On the Club Soda Guide we’ve rated more than 200 places on their mindful drinking selection, from traditional pubs to trendy bars. So it can be a bit overwhelming to find the right places for your particular mindful drinking needs. To help you out, we’ve put together five fab City pub crawl routes for your #MindfulPubCrawl, featuring some of our favourite places. And if that’s not enough, you can even order our bespoke Mindful Pub Crawl kit delivered to your door by us for free if you plan to do a crawl in the City of London or Hackney!
In this post we’ll take on the City. Watch out for our pick of Hackney’s watering holes to come. Each venue’s Club Soda Score is given in brackets, out of five (i.e. 4/5 indicates a four star place).
This is the route of our first-ever mindful pub crawl on 5 January, with three different five star venues.
Starting at the Draft House Chancery Lane on Plough Place, you can choose from several craft low and no alcohol beers. Say hi to Ruth from us! Next, walk down New Fetter Lane to Fleet Street, turn right to find the historical Ye Olde Cock Tavern: dating back to 1549, and also allegedly the pub with the narrowest frontage in London. To complete this crawl, walk up Fleet Street towards St Paul’s, past the Thameslink station, to All Bar One Ludgate Hill, which has a great selection of non-alcoholic beers and cider, plus mocktails.
Nearest stations: Chancery Lane, Bank, Blackfriars
On Watling Street, just off Mansion House station is Ye Olde Watling (5/5), a pub with a great choice of non-alcoholic beer and cider. At the other end of Cannon Street, by Monument station you’ll find the Hydrant (4/5). This modern bar serves a non-alcoholic beer and raw juices, and they have promised us to make their already pretty good soft drinks menu even more exciting soon.
Turn around and walk back again, to All Bar One Cannon Street opposite the station of the same name, which has two non-alcoholic beers, and a good mocktail menu, like all All Bar Ones (5/5). And just across the road, Sir John Hawkshaw is a JD Wetherspoon pub, which means there will be non-alcoholic beers and cider on offer (5/5). For added convenience, Sir John is located inside Cannon Street station, seconds away from the platform. Might be a good place to end your crawl?
And if you get peckish on the way, Camino Monumento is just a short hop towards Fenchurch Street station from the Hydrant (5/5). They serve Spanish tapas, as well as small batch coffees and non-alcoholic beer.
Nearest stations: Mansion House, Cannon Street, Monument, Bank
For this crawl we’re not even going to try to give you directions, as you are at the heart of the old City, with its warren of narrow streets with peculiar names. It would be fun to tell you to “turn right from Seething Lane to Crutched Friars”, but why not just walk around until you find the right pub?
Speaking of Crutched Friars, at number 48 you’ll find Cheshire Cheese, with chandeliers and wood floors, hearty food and sport on big screens (4/5). But also non-alcoholic and lower alcohol beers.
And ok, if you turn back to Seething Lane you will get to Draft House, a burger bar with an incredible range of rotating non-alcoholic beers including stouts, wheat beer and cider (5/5). We think this branch of the generally excellent Draft House chain may just about have the biggest range of non-alcoholic beers of all City pubs.
The Ship on Hart Street (there are several pubs called the Ship in the City so make sure you find the right one!) is a traditional City pub with a non-traditional two non-alcoholic beers on offer (5/5). Don’t forget to say hi to Paul the landlord from us.
If you walk towards Monument, you can pop into the pub that Charlie thinks has the best name ever: the Walrus and the Carpenter! (5/5) But they’re not just a great name, they also serve two non-alcoholic beers, plus a cider and a decent soft drinks range too.
And finally, with a view of Tower Bridge, the stately Liberty Bounds is part of JD Wetherspoon chain, and therefore has the usual good selection of low and non-alcoholic options (5/5).
Nearest stations: Fenchurch Street, Tower Hill
There are many places around Smithfield market, all very close to each other. Here are some to try.
Bishop’s Finger (3/5) is a traditional pub with food, function room and outside seating. Almost next door is ale and pie house the Butcher’s Hook and Cleaver (3/5). Both offer at least one 0% beer and a decent choice of soft drinks. On Long Lane towards Barbican you’ll find Piano Smithfield if you fancy a mocktail instead (3/5).
A bit further out there is Dado 54 on Farringdon Street (3/5). Apparently 200 years old, but serving low and no alcohol beers in the modern mindful drinking fashion. And in the other direction, past Barbican Station on Goswell Road is the Shakespeare (4/5). A classic pub with two non-alcoholic beers and the usual soft drinks.
Nearest stations: Barbican, Farringdon
Starting from Bank station, walk down Old Broad Street until you get to Throgmorton Street. This is where you’ll find the Arbitrager. They only score 1/5 on the Guide, since their non-alcoholic drinks range is rather small, but they are still worth a visit as their drinks list is well curated and very interesting. They do serve a lower alcohol beer and an exquisite selection of soft drinks including Square Root – and they create their own fresh tonics!
Continue on Old Broad Street, turn right to Wormwood Street, left to Bishopsgate and right again to Devonshire Row. Cinnamon Kitchen is on Devonshire Square (5/5). A chic contemporary restaurant for innovative Indian cooking influenced by classic British traditions. And also a non-alcoholic beer, and a good choice of soft drinks and mocktails.
Curry eaten, walk back to Bishopsgate, where you have several options for a mindful night cap: turn right to All Bar One (5/5) for a mocktail, pop into Hamilton Hall (5/5) at the Liverpool Street station entrance for a non-alcoholic beer, or walk up Liverpool Street to the Railway Tavern (4/5) for a Posh and Becks: Becks Blue non-alcoholic beer with elderflower or lemonade!
Nearest stations: Bank, Liverpool Street