20 Of London’s Best Sunday Roasts

Roast Pork at Bacchus Sundays

Roast Pork at Bacchus Sundays

It’s one of the most eaten-out meals in London, yet we often complain that you can’t get it better than at home. Here’s our pick of 20 of the very best Sunday roasts in the capital; they may even beat your mum’s, but we wouldn’t tell her that.

Let us know any additions to the list in the comments below, we realise there are hundreds of places across London serving Sunday roasts and this is just the tip of the roast parsnip.

We rate all of the below as ‘must-try’ meals if you’re a roast fan, and have presented them in no particular order other than alphabetical.

The Albion, Islington
Gutsy mains and a wide choice of meats from carefully selected farms are among the best features of the Sunday roasts here, and there’s also a decent offering of veggie/fish options for the less carnivorous. A wide selection of ales and a roaring open fire complete the package.
10 Thornhill Road, N1 1HW

Anchor & Hope, Waterloo
A gastropub that arrived on the scene long before they were everywhere and operated a no reservations policy way before that was cool. A particular perk of the roasts is getting the whole joint of meat brought to the table for carving, as well as a fondness for simple, seasonal ingredients cooked well. In spite of such foodie credentials, the pub atmosphere remains, and you can easily grab a pint at the bar.
36 The Cut, SE1 8LP

Bacchus Sundays, Hoxton
Hoxton Street’s Bacchus was originally on this list, but earlier this year the venue shut up shop. We’re very glad to announce that the roasts are now back with a new line of weekly Sunday pop-ups at Hoxton Street Studios down the road, set to run until further notice. If you’ve had a bloody good roast at Bacchus before, rest assured that the chefs, ingredients, recipes and staff are all pretty much the same. If you haven’t, expect classy and carefully constructed roasts, generous portions, a cool crowd and lashings of Bloody Marys.
12-18 Hoxton Street, N1 6NG

The Bull & Last, Highgate
You could be forgiven for thinking this rustic-looking pub in leafy Highgate was more in the country than it was. Its menu combines cheffy-sounding starters (smoked pork cheek) with truly hearty mains of well-cooked, well-sourced meat in hefty portions. An impressive array of beers, wines and just about every spirit show an equal dedication to drinks.
168 Highgate Road, NW5 1QS

The Canton Arms, Stockwell
Relative of the Anchor & Hope, this gastro boozer is best known for its toasties, namely a foie gras one. But don’t overlook the Sunday roasts. Long and slow are the buzzwords for the cooking here, so expect meat to fall off the bone and melt in the mouth. Sides such as potato gratin hurtle towards the indulgent, with most vegetables receiving a dose of butter. There are special sharing dishes and a fair bit of game to be had, too.
177 South Lambeth Road, SW8 1XP

The Crooked Well, Camberwell
The Sunday menu here features a nice line in sharing meats for two, be it rib of beef, rack of lamb or a whole chicken. Single options are also plentiful, and though the meat is excellent we found perfectly cooked veggies and suitably splendid roasties to be among the points that make this gastropub stand out from the crowd.
16 Grove Lane, SE5 8SY

The Dean Swift, Bermondsey
Chicken, beef, lamb and pork are available every week at this local craft beer haunt, but they’re more special than they might sound. On our roast beef there was no such thing as going easy on the fat. Rather, the meat was cooked slowly until it melted to become part of the dish, a behemoth of flavour in a pool of gravy. Starters and sides tow a happy line between foodie fanciness and gastropub gutsiness.
10 Gainsford Street, SE1 2NE

The Duke of Wellington, Marylebone
On most Sundays, the option here is either beef or lamb, but don’t let the lack of choice deter you. We’ve found the quality of the meat cooking to be among the best we’ve tried, and the roast potatoes are perfectly crisp on the outside, fluffy within. The Sunday special of three courses for £14.95 is another plus. The pub is also brilliant in its bustle, though can lean a little towards the yummy mummy crowd, we’ve found.
94 Crawford Street, W1H 2HQ

The Gun, Docklands
It’s the mix of top-notch cooking and a great atmosphere that make The Gun a winner. Hearty portions, creative sides, waterside views and a bustling bar area that backs onto the dining space combine to unique effect — perhaps why Londonist readers voted it the best pub on the Isle of Dogs. It’s hard to get to, but if you book in advance, they’ll offer a free pick-up from Canary Wharf station. Bonus.
27 Coldharbour, E14 9NS

The Harwood Arms, Fulham
It’s the poshest pub on this list, and it’s gained a Michelin star to prove it, but it hasn’t lost its charm. The kitchen here has a real fondness for game, so expect to see a fair bit of deer and the like popping up; the ultimate, though, might be a roast rump of beef with bone marrow. The menu’s always changing, so check ahead. Expect to pay perhaps a little over £20 for your (hefty) main, but you won’t feel cheated.
Walham Grove, SW6 1QP

Hawksmoor, various locations
Yes, we know that Hawksmoor is all about the steak. But it seems it has no problem turning its hand to a roast either. Unsurprisingly, beef is the meat of choice; it’s Longhorn from Ginger Pig, to be exact, and when paired with a glug of onion and bone marrow gravy, some roasties and a bit of veg, there’s little that could be improved upon. Find it at the Covent Garden, Air Street and Spitalfields branches.

The Jolly Butchers, Stoke Newington
It’s hard to decide what we like most about this excellent pub that does ales, ciders, pub grub and Sunday roasts almost equally well. The roasts in question are notable particularly for the generous quantity of meat (it’s good quality, too), some especially sizeable Yorkshires and a healthy portion of varied seasonal veg to boot. We hear the vegetarian nut roast is pretty special, too.
204 Stoke Newington High Street, N16 7HU

The Jugged Hare, City
This City gastropub doesn’t mess about. Sunday options ‘on the spit’ vary by the week, but tend to include whole haunches of venison and Longhorn beef ribs. It’s caveman cooking but with much more finesse. Large portions of meat to hunker down on are accompanied by creative (and only sometimes a bit too showy) sides and starters. As Sunday roasts go, this is one of the very slickest, though perhaps not the one with the most soul.
49 Chiswell Street, EC1Y 4SA

Marksman, Hackney
A true pub through and through, the food might have gone gastro at this Hackney Road watering hole, but the rest of the place hasn’t. Well-cooked, and full-flavoured meat is buoyed by crispy roasties, lovely soft Yorkshire puddings and some hearty gravy that tastes like it’s had some love given to it. A true local, but well worth travelling for.
254 Hackney Road, E2 7SJ

The Old Red Cow, Clerkenwell
If you’re in a group, you can carve whole chunks of meat at the table for yourself, at this meat flesh-haven close to Smithfield Market. But even if you’re not, you’ll enjoy the well-cooked focal points as well as the thoughtfully put-together side dishes. Somewhat unusually for such a standout Sunday roast pub, there’s a craft beer selection that’s among the best in London. More on that here.
71-72 Long Lane, EC1A 9EJ

The Pig & Butcher, Islington
The clue is in the title of this pub, not far off Upper Street: it takes meat very seriously indeed. Not only does it buy all its carcasses whole and butcher on-site (to ensure better quality), but it also prides itself on its gravy, taking three days to make it by gradually reducing down stock. We can confirm it’s full-on, richly flavoured stuff.
80 Liverpool Road, N1 0QD

The Princess of Shoreditch, Shoreditch
Older sister pub of The Pig & Butcher, just as much care has gone into the meat sourcing at this venue, while a particular perk of the roast offering is a mixed roast consisting of a slice of beef, one of pork and one of chicken for £16.95. Slow-cooking enhances flavours and textures, while crisp duck fat roast potatoes are a guaranteed crowd-pleaser. Plus, if you look up through the windows, you can see Londonist Towers.
76-78 Paul Street, EC2A 4NE

Roast, Borough
You’d expect good things given the name. And you’d be right. Be warned that this is very much a restaurant rather than a pub or gastropub, but given the selection of Sunday roasts, it’s very deserving of its spot all the same. From careful sourcing to even more careful saucing via some truly great Yorkshires, the roast dinner is what this place specialises in. The atmosphere is a tad too formal for our liking, though its setting above Borough Market allows for some fun people-watching of a Sunday afternoon, as shoppers and traders go about their business.
The Floral Hall, Borough Market, Stoney Street, SE1 1TL

The Smokehouse, Islington
As the name suggests, this pub, which opened late last year has a loving for all things smokey and fire-inflicted. The kitchen knows its way around a piece of meat, so you’re in safe hands whether you opt for one of the more traditional options (roast rib of beef) or something a little more adventurous (mutton chops with nduja, anchovies & parsley). Read our full review of the pub here for more idea what to expect.
63-69 Canonbury Road, N1 2DG

The Three Stags, Kennington
This friendly local pub close to Lambeth North tube balances its dining and drinking credentials well. It also has a strong eco-ethos, which means not only is the meat you’re getting for your roast excellently sourced, but some of the veg is locally grown or foraged, too. Not an ingredient is taken for granted and it shows in the final result, while vegetarian options are also well above the norm.
67-69 Kennington Road, SE1 7PZ

So, how many have you tried?

This article is part of our Best of London Food and Drink series. Visit the page for more recommendations of where to enjoy the capital’s top food and drink, categorised by cuisine, food type and more.

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  • Lou

    Can’t believe The Clarence in Balham isn’t on this list!

  • JohnnyFox

    I have tried most of these … but I still defy any gastropub to get right the correct combination and temperature of beef-dripping-soaked crispiness on the top and sogginess on the bottom of a home-cooked Yorkshire pudding fresh from the oven. Crisp and dry pub-style just doesn’t cut it for me.

    • MattFromLondonist

      Yeah, I’ve found that. I suspect it’s because they cook them all in veggie-friendly conditions, rather than having two sets on the go.

      • JohnnyFox

        I think it’s also the batch sizes. When I worked in a very un-gastro pub as a student, chef made the YPs two dozen at a time every five minutes through lunch service so no-one got one hardened off by the heat of the kitchen. I doubt anyone does that now and have sent them back at the Savoy for being the texture of doorknobs.

        • Guest

          So which one would you recommend as the “acceptable” on on the list?

        • Steve Fraser

          As a foodie, I know food and cuisines are very subjective. In your own personal experience, which one among the list would be “acceptable” and “consistent” in your palate?

  • Bermondsey James

    I’ve only been to two of these, but the Royal Oak in Borough is better than both. In fact it’s probably the best roast I’ve had in any city. Recommend!

  • Squiz

    the photo of the Hawksmoor beef is so rare it looks like its just been killed. it’s like these chefs spurn the gift of man’s red fire.

    • MattFromLondonist

      Agreed. Am I the only one who just can’t taste beef when it’s rare? A little cooking brings out the flavour, at least to my palate.

  • Jamie Rox

    The Railway, Crouch End hill, Crouch end & The Old Queens Head, Essex Road, Islington Score high in my book

  • George

    The Jam Tree in Clapham has an incredible roast also! 100% worth checking out.

  • http://www.kizi4game.com/ Kizi 4

    hello. Some really interesting information, healthy eating should be a top priority

  • shanie

    That picture of a roast dinner looks disgusting!
    the meat looks raw! it could almost walk off the plate. I certainly don’t want to be swallowing animal blood

  • Jane Hewitt

    FYI Bacchus is now at Hoxton Studios 12-18 Hoxton Street: http://bacchuspubandkitchen.com/

  • Kirsty

    The Woodman in Battersea also does a wonderful roast. Massive portions and great yorkshires too.

  • ChrisSomeone

    I’m always disappointed when an article on roasts refers to “veggie options” – when pibs do this they usually mean a risotto or something equally boring. I’m a veggie and love going out for a Sunday roast. It’d be great to know where London’s great veggie roasts are. I’d vote for the Prince Albert on Royal College St, Camden personally

  • Claire

    It ain’t fancy and it certainly isn’t gastro, but The Dog House pub in Kennington does an amazing Sunday roast. And it’s only a tenner. Highly recommended!

  • Smith Victory

    It could almost walk off the plate.
    like friv 2

  • PJ Crittenden

    Both the Snooty Fox (Canonbury N5) and the Clapton Hart (Clapton E5) are as good as any of them.

    • Sophie

      Agree with Clapton Hart .. Should also try their sister pub ‘Farrs School of Dancing’ in Dalston. Their kitchen is new and their roasts are awesome.

  • Victoria Jane Appleton

    Priory Tavern in kilburn should definitely be on this list!

  • Leona

    Ok, forgive me, I’m from the USA. What is yummy mummy?

    • HHGeek

      Posh(ish), usually fake blonde, over monied & under brained female. Drive 4WD coz her handbag is just too heavy to carry otherwise. Can’t drive well, parks badly, transports children to school in said 4WD rather than walk quarter of a mile “because it’s safer” (for whom, unspecified). Drinks a lot of coffee with her chums from ante-natal classes. Reads “ironically” crap magazines about “reality” TV slebs. Dressed in Boden, as are her colour co-ordinated children. Farms out childcare to a nanny / au pair, complains about how difficult her life is with her commitments to childcare, which are mostly transporting the kidlings to the next hothousing talent class in between the latest fashionable gym session.

      Should be avoided at all costs, and preferably shot on sight.

      Hope that helps. :)

  • http://www.kizilove.in/ Kizilove

    great article and helpful, thank you.

  • James

    Barrel & Horn, Bromley and The Water Poet, up the road from Liverpool Street do amazing roasts.

    • Dazzlin

      Defo the Barrel & Horn, great roasts here, and one of the best beer selections anywhere in London!

  • Leo

    The Bull and Last., are you having a laugh? It is woeful and shambolic with beef way too rare to enjoy (as previous comments). How about the Rose and Crown, Stoke Newington?