Updated: October 2016
It’s one of the most eaten-out meals in London, but with every pub and its neighbour claiming to do a great one, but it’s not an easy job to sort the unremarkable offerings from the roasts with the most. We first published our pick of 20 of the London’s best roast dinners in 2014, but have kept this list updated since — now we present to you an even fuller list of nearly 30 ravishing roasts, arranged geographically by postcode, and on a map too.
We’ve also included several more Sunday roast destinations for each area, which we haven’t managed to eat at recently ourselves (yet) but which readers have recommended to us — we'll try them out ourselves soon. Let us know any other recommendations in the comments below.
London's best Sunday roasts mapped
Track down the city's hottest roasts at a glance — our recommendations are red, reader recommendations are orange.
London's best Sunday roasts by area
Arranged according to postcode, for your weekend convenience.
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 wash it down in style, while either a roaring open fire or a floral garden set the perfect scene whatever the time of year.
The Albion, 10 Thornhill Road, N1 1HW
Bacchus Sundays, Hoxton
Born out of Hoxton Street’s Bacchus — which has since closed — the weekly Bacchus Sundays pop-ups ensure that at least the best bit of the pub keeps going: its Sunday roasts. Set in Hoxton Street Studios and due to run until further notice, it serves up sizeable portions of either rare beef, juicy chicken, pork belly or nut roast — or a mix of them all. Large, crisp-coated roasties, fluffy Yorkshires, pert veg, hearty glugs of gravy and roasted bulbs of garlic seal the deal, while spicy Bloody Marys complete the package.
Bacchus Sundays, 12-18 Hoxton Street, N1 6NG
The Bull & Last, Highgate
You could be forgiven for thinking this rustic-looking pub in leafy Highgate is more in the country than it is. 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 shows an equal dedication to drinks.
The Bull & Last, 168 Highgate Road, NW5 1QS
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. The vegetarian nut roast is pretty special, too.
The Jolly Butchers, 204 Stoke Newington High Street, N16 7HU
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 quality, but it also prides itself on its gravy, taking three days to make it by gradually reducing down stock. The effort pays off — we can confirm that it’s full-on, richly-flavoured stuff.
The Pig & Butcher, 80 Liverpool Road, N1 0QD
The Drapers Arms, Islington
This superb gastro pub does a mean roast. The menu changes with the seasons so you can expect to find guinea fowl and other treats alongside the traditional meats. Sides of seasonal veg are generous, with roasties, a giant Yorkie and gravy. It's the little touches here that make the roasts special, like the gingerbread stuffing in the chicken, and the quality of the gravy with the darker meats. There's a neat wine list too, and the warmest hospitality.
The Drapers Arms, 44 Barnsbury St, N1 1ER
As the name suggests, this pub has a penchant for all things smoky 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 for more idea what to expect.
Smokehouse, 63-69 Canonbury Road, N1 2DG
Also in North London:
The Old Queen’s Head, Islington
Priory Tavern, Kilburn
The Railway, Crouch End
Rose & Crown, Stoke Newington
The Snooty Fox, Canonbury
The Gun, Docklands
It’s the mix of top-notch cooking and a great atmosphere that makes The Gun a real 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. Isn’t that nice of them.
The Gun, 27 Coldharbour, E14 9NS
Jones & Sons, Dalston
Beef, pork, lamb, veggie pies and whole roast chickens to share are on the menu at this restaurant and bar that also specialises in cocktails — including an excellent horseradish-laced Bloody Mary. The minimalist decor isn’t a winning feature for us, but it’s buzzy and comfy all the same. As for the roasts, top-quality meat and well-sourced accompaniments shine through and we like the generosity of hefty yorkshires, gravy top-ups and ramekins filled with homemade horseradish cream. Jones & Sons is also currently in residence at Trip Space down in Haggerston. We haven’t tried the roast there, but are told that it serves exactly the same menu. Read our full review of the Sunday roast at Jones & Sons.
Jones & Sons, 23-27 Arcola Street, E8 2DJ
The Jugged Hare, City
This City gastropub doesn’t mess about, going the whole hog both literally and metaphorically. Sunday options ‘on the spit’ vary by the week, but tend to include whole haunches of venison, Longhorn beef ribs and its namesake jugged hare, not technically roast but stewed in its own blood. It’s caveman cooking but with much more finesse — large portions of meat to hunker down on are accompanied by creative sides and starters, duck fat roast potatoes and large, fluffy Yorkshires. It’s a reason to pay the City a visit of the weekend.
The Jugged Hare, 49 Chiswell Street, EC1Y 4SA
The 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 equally well worth travelling for.
The Marksman, 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 flesh-haven close to Smithfield Market. But even if you’re not, you can enjoy the well-cooked and carefully-sourced — from across the road — meats alongside thoughtfully put-together side dishes and a selection of craft beers (including lots of London ones) that’s among the best in the capital.
The Old Red Cow, 71-72 Long Lane, EC1A 9EJ
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, where beef sirloin, pork rib-eye, lamb shoulder and poussin are all on the regular Sunday menu. 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.
The Princess Of Shoreditch, 76-78 Paul Street, EC2A 4NE
The Merchants Tavern
Choose from 2 or 3 courses at this smart Shoreditch venue. The leather seating and shiny interior shouldn't put you off as the atmosphere is generally pretty chilled. The roast menu at time of writing included a roast leg of lamb with pomme Anna and cavolo nero and creme caramel with rum soaked oranges.
The Merchant's Tavern, 36 Charlotte Rd, EC2A 3PG
Also in East London:
SE postcodes and SW postcodes south of the river
The Anchor & Hope, Waterloo
This gastropub arrived on the scene long before they were everywhere, and operated a no reservations policy way before it was cool to do so. Thankfully they now let you book for your Sunday lunch — though there’s no such luck at other times of the week. The roasts are the best thing anyway: whole joints come to the table for carving, oft slow-cooked meat is juicy and tender, seasonal veg is properly cooked, and the roast potatoes are epicly crispy. We’re pleased to say that in spite of such impressive foodie credentials, the pub atmosphere remains and you can easily grab a pint at the bar.
The Anchor & Hope, 36 The Cut, SE1 8LP
The Camberwell Arms, Camberwell
This relaxed gastropub likes to be seasonal and it likes to be meaty — which makes its Sunday roasts a very good call. Charcuterie and pickles galore are made on-site, while a large amount of the cooking is done on a spit roast or charcoal grill. Spit-roast chicken drips with both flavour and its own juices, while a slow-cooked lamb shoulder is soft enough to almost melt into its sauce.
The Camberwell Arms, 65 Camberwell Church Street, SE5 8TR
Canton Arms, Stockwell
Sister of the Anchor & Hope and The Camberwell Arms, this gastro boozer is best known for its toasties — particularly the 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. Look out for regular game options, which are especially good, and get your chops round sides such as the indulgent potato gratin.
Canton Arms, 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.
The Crooked Well, 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, while there’s countless beers and board games to while away your post-roast afternoon.
The Dean Swift, 10 Gainsford Street, SE1 2NE
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, and has prices to match, but it’s very deserving of being listed among London’s best roasts. From careful sourcing to even more careful saucing via some truly great Yorkshires, every detail of this Borough Market institution’s namesake dish has been painstakingly thought through. The atmosphere is a tad too formal for our liking, though its setting above the market’s bustle allows for some fun people-watching of a Sunday afternoon, as shoppers and traders go about their business.
Roast, The Floral Hall, Borough Market, Stoney Street, SE1 1TL
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.
The Three Stags, 67-69 Kennington Road, SE1 7PZ
Also in South London:
W postcodes and SW postcodes north of the river
The Admiral Codrington, Chelsea
There’s something serene about this plush, off-the-beaten-track pub — but its roasts are not something to keep quiet about. Highlights include moist-fleshed chicken, juicy beef or a mixed roast plate, along with buttered veg, crisp roasties and punchy Bloody Marys. The burgers are worth a try, too.
The Admiral Codrington, 17 Mossop Street, SW3 2LY
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 — and its cooking — to be among the best we’ve tried. Not to mention the roast potatoes, which are perfectly crisp on the outside but fluffy on the inside. The pub is also brilliant in its bustle, though can lean a little towards the yummy mummy crowd, we’ve found. Note that due to demand, you can now also get the roast of an evening on Sundays, rather than just at lunchtime.
The Duke of Wellington, 94 Crawford Street, W1H 2HQ
This might just be the best Sunday roast in the whole of London. Blacklock actually specialises in chops, except on Sundays when they hang whole joints of meat over English oak to cook slowly, their meat juices dripping below, sending up sizzles, smoke and the most incredible smell. The medium rare meat is then served with gargantuan Yorkshires, duck-fat roasted potatoes, carrots, broccoli and bone-marrow gravy. Extra sides are available too - cauliflower cheese, roots with gremolata (a peppy seasoning of lemon, garlic and parsley) and minted peas. There are sauces of course (horseradish, mint, apple) and you can order a meat combo for 2 or more people combo to avoid any arguments. It's magnificent. Just go.
Blacklock Soho, The Basement, 24 Great Windmill Street, W1D 7LG
The Harwood Arms, Fulham
It’s the poshest pub on this list, and it’s gained a Michelin star to prove it — but this pub headed up by Brett Graham, who also runs The Ledbury, 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, but the ultimate — to our mind — 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 main, but it’s sizeable and sensational enough to make it worthwhile.
The Harwood Arms, Walham Grove, SW6 1QP
The Truscott Arms, Maida Vale
The roasts at this large multi-level pub are downright epic. From the quality of meat (choose from rump of beef, rare-breed pork or smoked lamb shoulder) to the plump and chewy Yorkshires, crisp-coated but fluffy roasties and generous amount of rich gravy — it ticks all the important boxes. All these components, plus heaps of seasonal veg, are served at the table on a large board, to plate-up yourself — a homely touch which also means you can easily order a variety of meats to share. Throw in decent veggie options, excellent provisions for gluten-free diners and hefty offerings of both wines and beers and this place really is a winner.
The Truscott Arms, 55 Shirland Road, W9 2JD
The Princess Victoria, Shepherd’s Bush
Originally a Victorian gin palace, the high-ceilinged PV — as the locals know it — isn’t short of grandeur. On Sundays more than ever, this translates onto the plates. Impeccably sourced and carefully cooked meats — such as rib of beef, pork belly and spiced chicken — form the cornerstone of the menu, while charcuterie, steak tartare, dressed crab and homemade scotch eggs are excellent supporting acts. There are also no fewer than four different Bloody Marys on offer — including a dirty one, made with olive brine — and the wine list is known to be exemplary.
The Princess Victoria, 217 Uxbridge Road, W12 9DH
Also in West London:
Chains with several locations
Hawksmoor, various locations
Yes, we know that Hawksmoor is all about the steak, but it has no problem turning its hand to a roast either. Unsurprisingly, beef is the meat of choice — 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, Knightsbridge and Spitalfields branches.
Hawksmoor, various locations
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. For more pub-related goodness, see our microsite dedicated to the best pubs in London.
We’re working on a round-up of London’s best vegetarian roasts. If you have any suggestions for us, please leave a comment or email email@example.com. In the meantime, see our sizeable selection of vegetarian restaurant reviews.