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Where to Drink: Best Irish Pubs in London

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If you love a Guinness, these are the pubs for you

If you love a Guinness, these are the pubs for you.

Spotlight On: Auld Shillelagh

Auld Shillelagh, nestled at the heart of Stoke Newington’s busy Church Street, has been going for an impressive 27 years, first opening its doors all the way back in 1991 as a teeny tiny pub consisting pretty much solely of a bar and a dartboard. These days the pub has more than tripled in size and has room for all its many fans, who flock even from South London (shock!) alongside the local Stoke Newingtonians for what is touted as some of the best Guinness in the capital, as well as the warm atmosphere created by the lovely staff.

But that delicious Guinness isn’t the only reason to visit the Shillelagh: a recent development has seen a gorgeous little sun-trap of a beer garden pop up out the back, and of course, and you’ll never miss a rugby match on their screens. Or get down on a Friday, when Irish four-piece band Smoke and Derry have a weekly gig which never fails to lift spirits and get people on their feet. Or just trust the words of the Irish Times describing it as the most authentic Irish pub outside Ireland itself, and get yourself down there, stat.

Faltering Fullback Irish Pub Beer Garden

Image © The Faltering Fullback

The Best of the Rest:

The Faltering Fullback

What? Only kinda Irish, but more than kinda great, with split-level garden

Where? Just a few minutes from Finsbury Park station

Why? It’s the best beer garden in the city - no argument

Waxy O’Connor’s

What? Think you’ve seen a big pub? Think again, and you’ll be close to imagining Waxy’s

Where? In the heart of the West End

Why? There’s something for everyone within these labyrinthine walls: a warm seat by the fire in the Cottage Bar or a fairytale experience in the Tree Room

Ramble Inn

What? A welcoming Irish sports bar

Where? Between Tooting rail and Tooting Broadway tube

Why? Genuine Irish hospitality, a quiz night, poker, and live music. Who could ask for more?

The Tipperary

What? London’s oldest Irish pub

Where? Fleet Street

Why? This was the first place (ever!) to serve up bottled Guinness outside of the Emerald Isle - just about as Irish as it gets