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Written by Luke Bull - 09 October 2023

The 5 best pubs in Southwark

Pubs are a funny thing, aren’t they? One minute they’re silent, old buildings, the next, they’re still old but full of life and beer, like we all know and love.

The slow trickle in of thirsty pub-goers, their raised voices competing for the crown of the loudest, snippets of conversations, the sloshing of drinks, and huddling around ring-stained tables.

Ask any regular and they’ll tell you that the best thing about them is the people (and pints). That’s never been more true than in Southwark, home to the Bermondsey Beer Mile and more public houses than you can count. Fear not, you don’t have to – let’s take a look at some of the best pubs in Southwark.

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1. A pub in Southwark for a really gut time: Katzenjammers

Southwark, London

Tomato, tomato, bierhall, pub. If you’re reading this, then you’re here for beer and one thing Katzenjammers know about is beer.

The bierhall, self-described as a modern take on a Bavarian bierkeller, has two floors. Upstairs is the bierkeller and downstairs you’ll find the bierhall. Katzenjammers have made it easy to remember – upstairs for drinking, downstairs for dancing. Simple, right?

With simple wooden benches and a stripped-back school hall interior, you can tell that they’ve picked function over fashion, and it’s obvious why. Who needs plush booths when you have good pints, good music, and good company?

Make your way downstairs, following the sounds of the Oom-Pah band, slide into a bench, and take your pick of any of their 30 bottled beers and 9 draught beers. Prost!

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2. A Southwark pub that’s a piece of local history: Duke of York

Southwark, London

Duke of York is a lot like your typical pub. Think oak floors, wood furniture, and an inoffensive beige and brown palette to match. By all counts, a pretty standard place to go for a pint.

Where it gets interesting is that all their beers are supplied by Shepherd Neame, Britain’s oldest brewer. Since 1698, they’ve been brewing beers for the country, and to this day they’re still using revamped recipes.

It’s on Borough Road, right in the heart of Southwark. Stop by, and grab yourself a pint. That’s history right there.

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3. Visit this Southwark pub for beers and cheers: The Miller

Southwark, London

Somewhere on Snowsfields Road is The Miller, Southwark’s answer to anyone who’s wanted a pub and comedy club. Come on down for your pick of their rotating cask menu. Think Beavertown, Brixton Brewery, Amstel, Heineken, and Birra Moretti.

Maybe it’s the foosball table, the interesting art of the Mona Lisa or maybe it’s the comedy stage, but you wouldn’t be mistaken for thinking you’re in a bar in New York. This isn’t your regular pub, it’s a cool pub.

If you’re in the mood for a chuckle or two, they also host a Hoopla improv comedy club upstairs and a live DJ every Friday night. Beers, live music, and comedy, now doesn’t that sound like a good night out?

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4. A Southwark pub for an after-work pint: The Southwark Tavern

Southwark, London

Right at the front of Borough Market (Southwark Street, to be exact), is the cosy and well-loved pub, The Southwark Tavern. Get away from the monotony of the day and the busy streets, sit down with friends or colleagues, and grab a pint. You’ll be here a while.

With colourful stools and a bar so blue that it’s hard to miss, it’s a little cheerier than your usual pub, and just what you need after a long day.

Try one of their craft beers, fruity ciders, or maybe an international larger. Or take a look at their food menu. Halloumi fries, anyone?

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5. Drink with the greats at this Southwark pub: The George

Southwark, London

What do Dickens, Shakespeare, and Southwark have in common? A lot, probably. One thing though, is that the two literary greats used to drink at this pub (Dickens even referred to it in his novel, Little Dorrit).

The George Inn, or The George as it’s more commonly known, has its own impressive piece of Southwark history. It’s the only remaining galleried London coaching inn. During the 17th century, stagecoaches to and from London would stop by here.

Now the pub, which also has a lovely beer garden serves as a rest stop for thirsty Londoners and tourists.

If you’re in the mood for a side of history with your pint, The George’s doors are open.

The best pubs in Southwark

Everyone loves a Southwark pub, and booking your own exclusive space in a pub or hiring out the entire venue is a great idea for an event. With so many great pubs near you to choose from, it can be hard to find a boozer to accommodate your private booking. We've rounded up the best in Southwark, from gastro-pubs for a Sunday roast to pubs with beautiful gardens for a few pints in the sun. Have a look at all our top pubs. with private hire options near you. Alternatively, tell us exactly what you need and we'll make sure the very best Southwark pubs respond to your enquiry.

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How to hire a pub in Southwark

We know that finding a venue the old-fashioned way (where you trawl the internet, contact 10 venues or set your heart on one, only to find that they're out of your price range and not even available on your dates) is a pain, and there are a few pitfalls between you and booking your perfect pub. Getting the venue finding process down to a professional art is what we’ve made our mission ever since we took on the events industry. We often get asked the same questions, so here's what we recommend to quickly and easily hire a space in Southwark.

Frequently asked questions

For pubs in Southwark, you're spoilt for choice. Here are a few extra special ones that we vouch for:

The George – Having hosted a few literary legends, this historic is ready to welcome you with open arms.

The Southwark Tavern – Stop by this local pub for an after-work pint.

There really is no one answer to this question: so many variables come into play when understanding the cost of exclusive hire of a pub or a private space in a pub. How many guests are you planning for? Is the venue for the day, an afternoon, or the night? The good news is that you can find a venue for pretty much any budget (okay, almost any budget). Instead of letting the venue dictate the price, our advice is to be proactive and set a budget that you feel comfortable with – this way the right venues can reach out to you through HeadBox.

There are lots of ways to book a Southwark pub. You can do the old-fashioned thing and pick up the phone, or email the venue directly. Unfortunately, lots of venues are busy and may not get back to you in time. That's where we come in. Give us your enquiry and we'll reach out to the best pubs in Southwark and let you enjoy your free time. Easy.

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