Pubs are an intrinsic part of life in England. While simple bar snacks like pickled eggs, pork rind ("scratchings" to the Brits), or nuts once sufficed to feed bar patrons, pubs eventually started to offer heartier restaurant-type meals like steak and ale pie, shepherd's pie, fish and chips, bangers and mash, and, of course, the much-loved Sunday roast. Then came "gastropubs," improving the quality of pub food still more and turning at least some pubs into culinary destinations (the term was coined in 1991 by David Eyre and Mike Belben when the two assumed ownership of an old pub in London's Clerkenwell district called The Eagle).
The Daily Meal has rounded up the best pubs for food around London. These pubs are local favorites and have been named as the best pubs in the city by many media outlets, and at the top of the list is Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese. [related]
On Fleet Street, this spot affectionately known as “The Cheese” does indeed have a rather Sweeney Todd feel. It's so historic it is even thought to have been visited by THE Charles Dickens. It’s known for its great prices (for both beer and food), so there’s no excuse to miss “ye famous” steak and kidney pudding or Curry-Lovers Pie, made of chicken in a curry sauce with potato and vegetables, encased in pastry, served with chips. What’s more is that the Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese is also known for the legendary literary greats who frequented here. It goes back hundreds of years — in fact, it was around before the Great Fire of 1666; there has been a pub at this location since 1538. There’s not a ton of natural lighting inside, and that’s led to a certain “gloomy charm” that has brought visitors in throughout the years. The pub shows its age on a board at the entrance, sharing the 15 monarchs’ reigns that The Cheese has lasted through. A throwback to the good old days of British pubs, this is one of few that deserve the “ye olde” moniker!