Pre-Match Drinks: The Best Pubs in London for Premier League Supporters - Broke in London

Pre-Match Drinks: The Best Pubs in London for Premier League Supporters

A guide to the best pubs you can enjoy a pre-match ale at

Guest Post by Mike James

Heading to the pub before the big match is pretty much a given for football supporters. But if you don’t often see your team play live or you’re heading to an away ground, how do you know which pubs will be friendly and which will be full of opposition fans?

Here is a guide to the best pubs you can enjoy a pre-match ale at, whether you’re a home or away fan visiting the Premier League’s top London clubs.


For Arsenal fans:

If you’re an Arsenal fan and you’re looking for somewhere to drink before (or after) the match, there are a number of popular options to choose from. The Twelve Pins is a large pub that is used to large crowds and has a great atmosphere on match day. Additionally if there are any early matches to watch, the pub has two big screens raised high, so you can watch even when it’s busy. It’s about 15 minutes from the ground and right next to the Finsbury Park station.

If you’re looking for partisan décor and plenty of other Arsenal fans to hang out with, The Gunners offers everything you need. But again this is around a 15 minute walk from the ground. If you need something a little closer, The Tollington is only about five minutes away and guaranteed to be full of fans.

For away fans:

Away supporters tend to head to the Drayton Park pub which is based close to the Drayton Park railway station. It’s very busy on match days due to its proximity to the stadium. The aforementioned Twelve Pins and nearby Blackstock are both away-fan friendly, although you might expect a little banter.


For Chelsea fans:

Chelsea’s fans have had to battle the gentrification of their home turf as many of the traditional home fans’ pubs – the Rising Sun, the So Bar, the Wheatsheaf – turned into supermarkets or cocktail bars. Instead you’ll have to choose from options such as The Finborough Arms, The Chelsea Pensioner or The Butcher’s Hook.

Pubs in London for Premier League Supporters

The Chelsea Pensioner

For away fans:

Due to the fact that Chelsea fans don’t have a go-to pub, it generally means that virtually every pub located around Stamford Bridge will be crammed with Chelsea fans on match days. Unless you’re planning on visiting incognito it’s probably worth hopping off a couple of tube stops early, for example, at the Earl’s Court station, where you can find some good options such as the Courtfield or the Blackbird.

Crystal Palace

For Crystal Palace fans:

There are a number of different pubs close to Selhurst Park. If you want to drink close to the stadium then The Clifton Arms is a popular choice. You could also opt for The Cherry Trees which both cater to home fans. If you’d prefer somewhere a little less packed, try heading up to the centre of Crystal Palace where you’ll find The White Hart and the Westow House – both of which are nice pubs.

Pubs in London for Premier League Supporters

The Clifton Arms

For away fans:

Away supporters should probably avoid the pubs that are very close to the stadium unless they are happy to stifle their conversations about their team. A Wetherspoon pub close to the Thornton Heath railway station called the Flora Sandes welcomes both home and away supporters and generally getting further away from the stadium makes you more likely to find a good option that isn’t filled with Palace fans.


For Spurs fans:

The Bricklayers is the classic option for Spurs fans on match days and the only choice if you’re going for the real White Hart Lane experience. Of course it’s worth noting that the pub is excruciatingly busy leading up to the game and can’t be recommended if you’re not willing to wrestle your way to the bar for a beer. Much larger is the No.8 Tottenham (previously known as the Bell & Hare) which is equally close to the ground but can be relied upon for easier access to the pints.

Pubs in London for Premier League Supporters

The Bricklayers

For away fans:

The Elmhurst is a pub that’s fairly close to the ground and is away-fan friendly. But the area also suffers from the problem of traditional football pubs turning into swanky boutiques and upmarket restaurants. It’s a good idea once again to stop off closer to central London for a drink where you’ll find more pubs catering to you.

West Ham

For West Ham fans:

Since moving to their new stadium, West Ham fans are still finding their feet in terms of pubs. When the club was based at Upton Park, the Boleyn Tavern was the obvious choice for Hammers fans. With – supposedly – the largest horseshoe bar in London, this was the traditional meeting place for supporters before the match. While this is still a great choice for your pre-match drinks, it’s not exactly next door anymore since West Ham’s move to the former Olympic Stadium.

Pubs in London for Premier League Supporters

The Cow

For away fans:

The Stratford Westfield is a shopping centre close to the Olympic Park which has a large pub called The Cow which could be worth visiting for away fans.


A bit about Mike:

The above guide is provided by Mike James, a die-hard Hammer working with Soccer Box – a jersey, replica-kit and football clothing specialist.