People might pass by Herne Hill on the bus, or possibly if they’ve popped to Brockwell Park for a run or the Lambeth Country Fair. But this quaint corner of London actually makes a nice spot to hang out. No it’s not bangin’ Brixton, or hipster haven Peckham… But Herne Hill has plenty of charm, including some good pubs.
These are our favourite pubs in Herne Hill by beer selection, food quality and general vibes.
1. The Half Moon
This grand facaded Victorian redbrick pub is pretty much the icon of Herne Hill. And yes, it’s probably (in my humble opinion) the best pub in the area. Why?
First of all it’s spacious and light with some lovely classic snugs. The dining area at the back is pretty huge, there is an excellent selection of beers, wines and spirits and the food options are solid too.
What sets the Half Moon apart compared to other pubs in Herne Hill is the sizeable outside space out back. The beer garden is nicely set behind the pub, so no traffic fumes getting in your pint. Plus, there is a little playground bit for the nippers – a winner for parents in need of liquid refreshment.
2. The Commercial
Just opposite the train station, The Commercial actually ties with The Half Moon for the title of best pub in Herne Hill, in my humble opinion. The reason for this is that it is a simple classic boozer, not too hipstery, but with just the right amount of hipster vibes. It also offers some lovely classic pub fare, a solid selection of a beers and wines, and has a small space out back for beer garden vibes.
The Commercial is also set on the pedestrianised Railton Road, meaning you can sit and do some people spotting during the Sunday market with your pint, or quaff a quick one before you jump on the train to central.
3. The Prince Regent
Probably the least pretentious pub in Herne Hill, The Prince Regent is actually the sort of pub that would still be seen as the posh option outside of London. That said, it has ample indoor seating, a front (streetside) beer garden/terrace and a reasonable selection of booze.
It also benefits from being right outside the lido/Brockwell park, which makes for a quick pub access on sunny days.
4. The Florence
The yummy mummy favourite, The Florence is a grand pub that you’ve probably seen rammed to the rafters if you’ve passed through Herne Hill on a weekend. The pub itself is spacious, with lots of room to swing a pram, and has some comfy sofas too. They also run their own in house brew, with brass tanks in the corner.
Food wise The Florence offers a gastropub style selection of classic and contemporary pub fare. Yes it’s good, yes it’s also the more expensive option in town. There is also a beer garden out back which is a nice sun trap on a summers day.
5. Effra Social
Technically not Herne Hill, but Brixton. But hey, we’ll claim it as our own. The Effra Social is a great spot just a stones throw (if you throw really hard) from Brockwell Park on the way back to Brixton. With it’s reading room/social club vibes, a big front beer garden and quirky music nights, Effra is always a good choice.
They also do good food and bar snacks and it’s one of the more fun spots to party in the area.
Local brewery Canopy has a slightly edgy vibe, being nestled in between a car garage and the railway arches. You wouldn’t bring a date here, but fans of craft beer will be delighted.
You can also buy Canopy beer at The Half Moon if you’re looking for a nicer spot to enjoy a local brew.
7. Off The Cuff Bar
I’ve never actually been to this venue for the music. But this is another edgy venue, and probably Herne Hill’s only genuine live music venue. Just off Railton Road, under the arches, OTC makes for a good spot on market days – or check out the live tunes if you’re in town at the right time. They also serve a simple selection of drinks and coffee
So there you have it. If you find yourself in this leafy corner of South London, now you know which are the best pubs in Herne Hill!
Need to meet a mate in central? Check out our guide to the best beer gardens on London’s South Bank.