Pad Thai and a pint? While it doesn't sound like a classic British pub pairing, there are a surprising number of traditional London boozers that serve excellent Thai food. The tradition is said to have originated at the Churchill Arms, an 18th-century pub in Notting Hill, where a Thai chef was hired to add a little spice to the evening menu in the 1980s. It's now as easy to find dishes like Thai green curry and spring rolls gracing pub menus as it is to see fish, chips, and pies. We've rounded up the seven best London pubs with Thai kitchens for when you want to turn up the heat on traditional pub grub.
Between Kensington and Notting Hill, this 18th-century pub is colorful and characterful both inside and out. The exterior is decorated with an impressive array of hanging baskets and window boxes and the wood-paneled interiors are awash with portraits of British prime ministers and American presidents, road signs, regal memorabilia, bunting and copper trinkets. This popular pub was one of the first in London to introduce Thai cuisine in the 1980s and has been serving affordable Asian dishes like Pad Khing, Rad Na, and Pad Siew ever since.
This Paddington boozer may not be the prettiest pub in town but its tasty menu attracts Thai foodies from across London. From its small basement dining room, it serves some of the most authentic dishes in town. Many of the recipes hail from northeast Thailand and you'll find salads, curries, stir-fries and more on the menu. The restaurant doubles as a karaoke lounge after 9 p.m.
This fun pub in north London is a Finsbury Park favorite. It's a great place to watch sports (mainly rugby and football/soccer games) and live music events, including acoustic sessions and open mic nights, are held regularly. The secluded beer garden is one of London's best and to round out the many reasons to visit, it serves topnotch Thai food. Spicy treats including fish cakes and Tom Kha soup are available in the Back Room from 6:30 every day.
The Woodbine, Highbury
This good-looking drinking den is decked out with walls of reclaimed wood and chandeliers. It's a modern take on a traditional pub and serves craft beers from London breweries based in Islington, Hackney, and Greenwich. There's a long list of Thai dishes on offer including an array of stir-fries, Tom Yum soups, and noodles.
If you can't decide between Thai and British food, head to the Latymers in Hammersmith and you can enjoy both. The lunch menu features fish and chips on one menu and a selection of noodle dishes on the other. In the evening you'll find fancier food like Thai-style sirloin steak, roast duck and a number of sea bass specials. There's an outdoor seating area if you need to cool down after a spicy feast.
This pretty corner pub sits on a beautifully preserved street near Waterloo station. The cozy space features wood panels and a crackling fire and there's a regularly changing menu of guest ales. Kanchana's Kitchen serves affordable Thai dishes seven days a week including starters like spring rolls and sesame prawn toast that make excellent bar snacks.
Tucked behind the London Coliseum in Covent Garden, this cute pub is a little off the beaten track in this part of town and all the better for it. There are a number of real ales on tap and a good selection of wines. Thai food, including red duck curry and yum nua salad, is served upstairs alongside a small menu of classic pub fare.