You aren't truly getting the London experience if you don't visit a pub or two. Whether you go for a pint of beer or just some fish and chips, the pubbing experience is an important element of London life. No matter where you go you'll find a pub, but some of them are too commercial or too limited in choices for my taste. But for the amount of pubs I've been disappointed by, there is a healthy number of pubs that have truly delighted me.
My Five Favorite Pubs and Taverns:
1. The Princess Louise (Bloomsbury/High Holborn St): one of the nicest pubs in London. With etched glass creating cubicles for private drinking, the pub has an authentic Victorian feel to it, which is kind of rare for pubs as a lot of them have been commercialized and purchased by massive chains. It also has some of the best cider in the city.
2. The Lamb (Bloomsbury): rumor has it that Charles Dickens used to come to The Lamb all of the time to write, but this pub is worth visiting even if you're not a Dickensian scholar for it's beer and traditional English pub food.
3. The Fitzroy Tavern (Fitzrovia): let's just say that there's a reason why this tavern was famous among many literary figures such as Dylan Thomas, George Orwell, and Augustus John. Now a popular hangout for UCL students, the Fitzroy is different from many other pubs I've been to -- there's interaction between customers and a really lively atmosphere.
4. Cross Keys (Covent Garden): a gorgeously decorated pub with tons of shrubbery covering the outside and knickknacks covering the inside. If you go to one pub in Covent Garden, make it Cross Keys.
5. Ye Olde Chesire Cheese (City of London): located in the financial district on Fleet Street (of Sweeney Todd fame), this pub dates back to the 17th century, with previous pubs located there since the 13th century. This pub has good food and a selection of drinks to choose from, but it's definitely worth it to come here just because of the history.