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Cool, cheap London pubs?

We're looking for cool, cheap pubs near the Tower Hill Tube stop and St. Paul's Tube stop areas. Cheap takes priority, cool is secondary. Someplace to get tolerable fish and chips in the evening. (or other ideas if you've got them.) Thanks.

Posted by
1350 posts

You might try the Crutched Friar in Crutched Friars, just north of Tower Hill.

If price is the key factor you might try the Goodman's Field, in Mansell Street. It's a Wetherspoons - a British chain that does cheap, if fairly standard, beer and food.


Posted by
12077 posts

I never remember the name of places I eat. I especially avoid any restaurant listed in a guide book. That's a kiss of death, they get overrun by tourists. The prices, quality, service/attitude and even the menu change to the new traffic.

Near the Tower of London, I asked two Bobbies where to get "some decent pub grub, nothing fancy." They sent me to a really nice pub a couple of blocks away. The food and prices were great and the traffic was all local.

In Oxford, I asked the gate guard of a closed campus where to find a decent pub and got directions to a back alley pub with great food, prices and local color.

My best advice - when you are ready to eat, ask a local for a recommendation (just be clear you don't want anything fancy or they'll send you to a gourmet restaurant because you're a rich American).

Fish & Chips is always dripping with grease. Try their pies (Steak & Kidney is my favorite) as an alternative.

Posted by
43 posts

Thanks everyone. I'll either ask a local in the locale OR grab another protein bar out of my carryon. (my husband equates protein bars with 'carrion.' :-) We're doing this trip with two teenagers and no one wants to spend money on expensive food, that's for sure.

Posted by
3580 posts

I am fond of pasties as a filling cheap meal. Pastie shops are often take-out, but some may have tables. One of the best meals, and cheapest, that I've ever had in London was a huge bowl of chicken vegetable soup at an Indian deli/cafe. Not far from St. Paul's is a Salvation Army cafe--very new and nice with a selection of English standards at reasonable prices. It's located on the street leading to the millenium bridge.

Posted by
43 posts

Thanks, Swan. Actually, I know just exactly where you mean. I've been past there, but didn't realize I could get decent food for a cheap price. We'll check it out! :-)

Posted by
31 posts

My British boyfriend and his parents always suggest that the best place to get fish and chips is in a fish and chip shop, don't get them at restaurants. Fish and chip shops serve only fish and chips and other forms like clams and chips and are the tastiest places for a real English tradition.