What's the best pub in London? We're busy building a new section of Londonist to help you find the finest places around. It is still very much a work in progress, and we're aware that some areas of town still require the attentions of our beer goggles. But as we just added the 200th pub, and the Easter hols are coming up, we thought now would be a good time to introduce the Best Pubs in London microsite.
How have we chosen the pubs? In many cases, the pubs were chosen by Londonist readers. Over the past two years, we've conducted many polls into the best pubs in different areas, as part of our 'A-Z pub crawl' series (A was Angel, B was Brixton, etc.). Our polls haven't yet covered all corners of the city, however, so we've also editorially chosen additional pubs that we think deserve to be in there.
How's this any different from other pub web sites? Unlike other sites, we're not trying to be comprehensive. We're only listing pubs that we (or you) think are genuinely brilliant. Rather than being purely editorial (e.g. Fancyapint), or purely user-generated review (e.g. Beer in the Evening) we're attempting something that builds on the best of both...you tell us your favourite pubs, and we then visit and write them up. By god, it's hard work.
What makes a good pub? It's a question with many answers. People look for different things in a good pub: fine ale, a cosy corner, plenty of buzz, peace and quiet, a good pool table, a big beer garden, live music, no music. Some people hate gastropubs and some people love them. The database contains good examples of all these virtues, without favouring any particular flavour of 'good pub'. So long as Londonist readers voted in sufficient numbers for a venue, then it deserves a place in the database.
You've missed out my favourite pub! How dare you! Although we now have 200 pubs in the database, there's still a long way to go before this is anything like definitive. At the time of writing, we still need to explore whole areas such as Bethnal Green, Chelsea, Dulwich, Ealing, Lewisham and more. We're like the half-completed Death Star in Return of the Jedi...up and running, but with much work still to do (although we promise not to blow up any planets when we're done). If your favourite pub is not listed, either leave a comment on the site, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Quite possibly, it's already on our to-do list, but we appreciate any input.
Are you going to run more polls on the best pubs in a certain area? Yes, indeed. Our A-Z pub crawl is about to conclude with 'part Z' (watch out for the poll next week). After that, we'll do a monthly vote on an area of town not currently well represented in the database. The poll will take place at the start of each month. The top pubs in each poll will be entered into the database. We'll also organise a pub crawl around the top four, and invite readers along.
Please do have a play, and let us know if you have any feedback. As well as searching by area, you can also filter down by places offering free wifi, a room for hire, a beer garden and many other features.