Need somewhere to find a gay friendly pint in Hackney or the East London area? I’ve got you covered…
The George and Dragon – 2 Hackney Rd, E2 7NS
Back when I lived in the East, I can’t tell you how many times the words “Wanna meet at the George and Dragon tonight?” fell out of my mouth. Situated right in the heart of Shoreditch, this pub is East London through and through. If the soundtrack of obscure 80s tracks and slightly overpriced pints don’t do it for you, then the crowd certainly will. The boys here are bearded and out to have a good time, using what little space there is to chat and dance. And when the weather gets hot (rarely in London, but still) the boys pour those pints into plastic cups and spill out on to the streets.
The Nelson’s Head – 32 Horatio Street
This was always my go-to early evening pub. In fact, most of the time I would be able to pop my head in myself and see a friendly face or three. What I like about the Nelson’s Head is that it is a proper pub – carpet on the floors, wooden chairs, pictures all over the walls, and a killer jukebox. Plus, the pints are very reasonably priced for London.
The Joiners Arms – 116-118 Hackney Rd, E2 7QL
I don’t know if I would call The Joiners a pub or not – but I guess it is pub-ish. I wouldn’t advise getting there until 11ish because this is when The Joiners and its dancefloor heats up. You can find all kinds of gays here, bears, hipsters, and the like, and that is what I like about it – although the cover charge is a bit much and the door staff have a reputation for their unfriendliness. Still, there is no denying that this haunt is a gay East End institution.
The Clapton Hart – 231 Lower Clapton Road, E5 8EG
Clapton is a newly fashionable part of town that still clings on to its grit. And gritty it was. The Clapton Hart is sitting in a part of Hackney that used to be called Murder Mile. F’real. But there is nothing to fear now, promise – I lived in Clapton myself and found it delightful. This is not a gay pub but you will find plenty of gays here. This place is expansive but it does fill up. Word on the street is that they do a mean Sunday Roast.
The Red Lion – 41 Hoxton St, N1 6NH
The Red Lion is my #1 date place in London. It is not so gay that the clientele are sniffing poppers but just gay enough to make it a comfortable place to sit with a pint. The real draw of this pub (in the summer, at least) is that it has a rooftop so you can perch in the fresh-ish London air while knocking back a few with your mates or with a date.
The Prince Arthur – 95 Forest Road, E8 3BH
Set into a quaint street in “trendy Dalston”, this pub is the perfect mix of fancy and friendly. The laid back feel lends itself more to daytime or early evening drinks but they also host evening activities like quiz nights. Again, this is not a gay pub but you definitely won’t have to look far to find other gays (although it’s not a hook up place either…). The Prince Arthur is famous of serving up its ‘pint of prawns’ so do not leave before trying them.
Enjoy! Which is your favourite gay pub in East London? Do you enjoy drinking in any other parts of gay London?