One of South Bank’s most popular spots for a pint can be found just a short walk from Waterloo Station, as the name suggests. Waterloo Tap’s mission is to showcase the beers from top brewers in the UK and abroad. Located on the corner of Sutton Walk and Concert Hall Approach in London, The Waterloo Tap has 20 keg and 6 cask beers on at all time with lots of rotation. Set in one of the many atmospheric arches, which dot the area, you'll always find it busy with punters with a welcoming feel. There’s even freshly made gyozas to order as the ultimate beer snack made fresh daily and delivered to the bar. There's never any need to book here either, simply rock up and sample one of the many delicious beers on offer!
Hole in the Wall
A local institution, the Hole in the Wall next to Waterloo Station has exactly what you’re looking for if you’re in search of a no-nonsense old-fashioned boozer. Opened in 1947, The Hole in The Wall is pretty much an institution in Waterloo - and it's stayed pretty much the same for years. his little gem of a pub is actually quite a large hole in a wall, being situated in an arch beneath one of the main routes used by trains to enter Waterloo station. Every few minutes there is a train rumbling throughout the pub which gives the place an Old Time charm.With an atmospheric and cosy inner bar area and a wider space round the back, there’s plenty of nooks and crannies to sit back with friends, family your dog, or even a good book.
Fountain & Ink
This stylish, airy hangout attracts crowds not only for it’s great range of beers, but for their artisanal sourdough pizzas too. Boasting 16 draught beers and over 80 different bottled beers from around the world, there’s also a fantastic wine offering for casual drinkers and wine fanatics alike, and plenty of no-and-low alcohol, and gluten-free options available as well. You’ll find Fountain & Ink slightly off the beaten track behind the major icons of Southbank Centre, National Theatre and Oxo Tower Wharf on Stamford Street.
The Thirsty Bear
South Bank’s best option of you’re looking for a sports pub is The Thirsty Bear, just down the road from Fountain & Ink on Stamford Street. The Thirsty Bear were one of 6 national finalists in the Best Sports Pub in the Great British Pub Awards, with 8 TVs and a large projector showing all the big sporting events. Unique to The Thirsty Bear are self-service taps on their self-styled beer wall featuring four different draught beers. You can also beat the queues or order from their range of iPads or app and their friendly staff will bring everything right to you, meaning you won’t need to miss any of the action.
The Mulberry Bush
Our favourite pub for a proper British roast is The Mulberry Bush on Upper Ground, just behind the National Theatre and OXO Tower Wharf. The perfect excuse to head to the pub, The Mulberry Bush is famed for our Sunday roasts, served with the fluffiest Yorkies, crispy roasties, the best of the seasons vegetables, and of course lashings of proper gravy. Kick back with a Bloody Mary to rejuvenate from the weekend’s antics and await the best Sunday roast in South Bank. At the bar choose from a selection of Young’s cask and local ales, London craft lagers and small batch spirits plus a great range of exclusive wines.
The Hop Locker
Found in two locations along South Bank, The Hop Locker is the areas premier craft beer pop up, known for its range of local, national and international tipples. You can find their main Riverfront Bar underneath Hungerford Bridge, which is open seven days a week from 11 in the morning to 11 at night. It's even next door to Oh My Dog, home of the ultimate custom made franks. Its taps are on constant rotation and its team of breezy bartenders go the extra mile to find you unique and special beers. Get their advice on the perfect pairing for the street food you’ve grabbed on your way over.
And if one Hop Locker isn't enough, you can find their pop up stall inside the Southbank Centre Food Market, every Friday to Sunday too. The perfect accompaniment to some top notch street food.
If it's beer your after, then specialist shop and bar Beer Hawk has to take the final spot on our South Bank beer guide. It may be a little off the beaten track, found beneath the skyscrapers that dot along the far eastern edge of South Bank, but it's definitely worth the stroll.
They're all about great tasting craft beer and love hunting out the very best beers and ales from around the world just for you. Enjoy great tasting beer on draught and take your pick from a wide range of packaged beers available to drink in, and to takeaway. Plus, if you get peckish, you can even order your favourite food from Deliveroo or Uber Eats direct to the bar!
Doggett's Coat and Badge
If you’re in search of a riverside location, Doggett’s Coat & Badge – or Doggett’s for short – is squeezed into the far corner of South Bank by Blackfriars Bridge and just a short walk to Bankside where you’ll find the world famous Globe Theatre and Tate Modern. This family friendly pub is one of the best real ale pubs in South Bank too. With stunning panoramic views over the Thames, the City of London, and St Paul’s Cathedral, Doggett’s Coat and Badge is a great spot to catch up with friends, relax with family, chat with colleagues, and generally enjoy the finer things in life in unique surroundings.