This pub was editorially chosen for inclusion by Londonist.
Formerly the Railway Tavern (it's the first thing you see emerging from Forest Gate station), this pub was bought by the Antic group three years ago, since when it's undergone something of a revival of fortune. There are quiz nights, DJs, vinyl fairs, open mic nights, charity jumble sales, funk nights, jazz sessions — and as a result it attracts a regular, friendly crowd. The six ale pumps change monthly (although it's not the cheapest pint in the area), the food is tasty but not over-priced and the Sunday roasts are worth travelling for.
Although it gets busy, the cavernous size of the Forest Tavern means it rarely feels uncomfortably crowded. In the winter there's a real fire, around which dog owners and their pets warm-up after a walk on the nearby Wanstead Flats; while in summer it can be hard to get a seat in the large yard at the back. If you're not allergic to beards, this makes for a great spot for a lively Friday night, a chilled Sunday afternoon with the papers, or a meal out.
Last updated July 2015.