I love a good pub. One of the most exciting things about moving to London was discovering all the great pubs in the city, from the famous boozers to the local secrets. But over the years I’ve discovered that the English don’t have the pub market cornered in London. Given the city’s amazing diversity, there are pubs here from all over the world. And given a Swedish pub in Marylebone just launched last week, I figured now’s a good time to share 8 international pubs in London that are perfect for homesick expats, adventurous locals, and curious visitors.
International Pubs in London
London’s international pubs hail from across the globe, each offering drink and food unique to its country of origin. From classic Irish pubs (what city doesn’t have one?) to more obscure French pubs, there’s something for every fan of a good time in a lively atmosphere.
The Harcourt Swedish Pub in London
The aforementioned Swedish pub in Marylebone is The Harcourt. It’s just re-opening after an extensive refurbishment and emerges from its soft launch today. Down the street from a Swedish church, it builds on the Scandinavian presence in the neighborhood and offers everything from Swedish food to afternoon fika, the Swedish answer to afternoon tea in London. I pressed my nose to the glass last week to get a photo, and I can’t wait to try it out now that it’s open.
De Hems Dutch Pub in London
Hailing from continental Europe, De Hems is one of the most famous international pubs in London. Though Dutch, it’s located in Chinatown, adding an even more multi-cultural air to the place. But once inside the multi-story boozer, it’s all about the Dutch beer and bitterballen, incredibly moreish fried meatballs I can’t get enough of (and always burn my mouth on!).
The French House French Pub in London
I never thought I’d find a French pub in London. For some reason it seems a bit incongruous with my image of France as a wine producing country. But right smack in the middle of Soho, The French House really exists (to my credit, they also have 30 champagnes and wines by the glass). With lots of dark wood and pictures on the wall, it’s a traditional pub but with classic French accents and menu items like duck confit.
Maple Leaf Canadian Pub in London
While there’s sadly no American pub in London, our friends to the north have generously represented our continent with the Maple Leaf pub in Covent Garden. There are enough Canadian flags for an army of Mounties, and lots of Moosehead beer and poutine on offer (although my Canadian friends complain that the latter isn’t as good as it is back home). Best of all for us homesick North Americans, the pub also shows lots of Canadian and American sports on TV.
Waxy O’Connor’s Irish Pub in London
No international city would be complete without an Irish pub or ten, and the most famous Irish pub in London is Waxy O’Connor’s. Like De Hems, this pub is in Chinatown, but once you’re through the doors it’s all Ireland all the time. I spent St Patrick’s Day at this six-story behemoth this year, and all four bars were busy the entire evening. But event on regular nights, the labyrinth of rooms and maze of staircases is fun to explore with a pint of Guinness.
Bradley’s Spanish Bar Spanish Pub in London
Right off Oxford Street, Bradley’s Spanish bar is secreted away on a tiny alley. For those who can find it, the intimate pub offers the reward of so-shabby-its-cool vintage decor and a jukebox that still plays records. Above all, there are Spanish beers on tap for those that need a cerveza fix.
Bavarian Beerhouse German Pub in London
It’s no surprise that the Germans have gone big with their London pub. The Bavarian Beerhouse by Old Street in Shoreditch is a cavernous underground space featuring multiple rooms filled with long checkered tablecloths. It’s Oktoberfest in London every night of the week. Prost!
The Dovetail Belgian Pub in London
When I worked in Belgium, I couldn’t get over how many different kinds of beer the country produced. From Trappist ales to lambic brews, there was something for every monk, man, and woman. So it’s pretty much a no-brainer that there would be a Belgian pub to round out the selection of international pubs in London. With lots of Belgian beer signs decorating the walls and no shortage of brews on offer, Clerkenwell’s The Dovetail is a great place to try some of the country’s famous export.
Have you come across any international pubs in London? Which ones?