the best british experience on this side of the pond
by Avivah with Offline
London Bridge 101
The Triangle’s most beloved British pub has renovated, remodeled, and, most importantly, added a Euro-inspired food menu that’s worth raising a pint to. Consider breakfast, lunch, dinner, and late-night—all covered.
For the uninitiated, London Bridge Brewpub is a laid-back bar in the heart of downtown that’ll transport you straight to the UK—no passport necessary. Not only are their offerings distinctly Euro-centric, their decor appropriately English, and their back patio top-notch, but the experience you’ll have there is entirely unique.
More than anything else, London Bridge prides itself as North Carolina’s premier soccer bar. But don’t be intimidated if that’s not exactly your thing. Show up during a soccer, er, football match, and you’ll be greeted by a packed bar full of *enthusiastic* fans, passionately glued to the TVs lining the walls. Even if you’re not there to watch the match per se, seeing these die-hard local fans geek out over the games is an experience worth having all its own. They’ll cheer, they’ll holler, and they’ll even sing in unison (yes, really—we witnesses this firsthand). And as long as you don’t root for the “wrong” team, you’re more than welcome to join in. It’s spirited, rambunctious and a helluva lot of fun—a place unlike anywhere else in the Triangle.
And, in addition to their new dine-in menu (which we’ll delve into a sec), they’ve got a killer back patio that’s dog-friendly, full of picnic tables and lawn games, and is pretty much the ideal spot to spend a warm spring day. Grab a drink along with some tasty snacks, and soak up the rays until its time to gaze up at the stars.
What to order
In addition to their large beer selection and full bar, London Bridge boasts a wallet-friendly menu full of craveable bar snacks, salads, sides, sandwiches, desserts, and entrees. They’ve even got a kids menu, breakfast during weekend EPL games, and late-night offerings.
First things first, get yourself a proper pint ($6.50 for a 20oz “Big Boy”). These guys don’t play around with their pints. If you order a Guinness (which you should definitely do) don’t expect to have it handed to you a second later. These guys pour the right way—pausing mid-fill to wait for “the surge to settle” before topping off your glass. You can also try out a classic “pub blend,’ like the Black Velvet ($6.50 for a “big boy pint”), which layers dark Guinness on nearly-clear Cider.
Chippy Plate ($5) are flat, paper-thin, perfectly crispy fries that come with more delicious, homemade sauces than you’ll know what to do with.
The Fish and Chips ($13) are hand beer-battered cod fillets, made to order, and served with those dangerously addicting chips. It’s a flaky, fresh and surprisingly light dish. If you’re looking for something heartier, the Shepard’s Pie ($12) is a generously sized dish made with lamb, beef and a mashed potato crust—it’s the perfect thing to warm you up on a chilly day.
If you’re there on the weekend during an EPL match and feeling a little adventurous, opt for the Full English Breakfast ($16). It’s a traditional plate that’s as classic as they come. It’s got a whopping nine different items on the plate, some of which may not sound familiar. There are zesty bangers (sausages) made of beef and pork, lean rashers (think: British version of Canadian bacon), bubble and squeak (a savory potato and onion cake) and blood pudding (made of pork blood, oats, lard and seasonings, it’s admittedly not for the faint of heart). The trick is to try and get a little bit of everything on your fork so you get the full picture with each bite.
- London Bridge has drink specials Sunday through Thursday.
- Their patio is dog-friendly. Just be sure you walk in through the side so you don’t bring Fido through the restaurant lest the Health Dept. gets mad.
- LB is so serious about soccer, they’ll often open early for notable games. Keep an eye on their calendar for special hours.
- Speaking of special events, they also host a weekly wine club. Led by a professional sommelier, you’ll get six, two-ounce pours of wine (plus loads of knowledge) for just $10. It’s an environment, perfect for dipping your toe into the wine world.
- If you see soccer darts on the back patio—GO PLAY! But we warned: it’s addicting, super fun, and a lot harder than it looks.
- Fun fact: there are an impressive number of North Carolina Courage players on the Women’s national FIFA team. With the Women’s World Cup coming up in June 2019, you just know London Bridge is going to be the place to be.
- On Friday and Saturday nights, the place transforms from a cozy English gastropub to a bangin’ night club with loud music and a late-twenties crowd. If you’re looking for a clubby vibe outside of Glenwood South or Fayetteville, this is it.
- There are three, seven-level parking decks within walking distance, should you happen to drive.
- Their breakfast menu is only available during EPL games. Follow them on Facebook to double check when they’re serving.