The best pubs and restaurants along the running route

Run for it: Thousands of people will run, jog or make their way along the famous route (AFP/Getty Images)

Run for it: Thousands of people will run, jog or make their way along the famous route (AFP/Getty Images)

On 23 April, thousands of ambitious runners will put their best foot forward across 26.2 miles of prime London turf, contributing to an almighty charity haul of over £1 billion since 1981.

If you don’t run, come forward and offer your full support. We’ve mapped out the best pubs, bars and restaurants near the pitch to cheer on. Not all of them are close enough for you to reach out and high-five the runners while sitting in the beer garden, but at most they’re just a short walk away.

Typically, the start in Greenwich and the finish, in St James’s Park, tend to have the best atmosphere, although in truth you’ll find that most of the course has its share of spectators.

If you’re hoping to see the runners twice, head to the Wapping and Shadwell area or West India Quay. Either way, have a drink, get your cheering voice out, and enjoy.

Start – Greenwich: Trafalgar Tavern

No humble riverside pub here – this grand Regency-style venue is perfect for a bite to eat after the race has started. It offers great river views and is more than comfortable enough to stop for a drink.

Park Row, Greenwich, SE10 9NW,

Start/Mile 6 – Greenwich: The Old Brewery

Previously a Meantime pub, the Old Brewery is now run by Young’s, but the building has retained its charm. Minutes from the Cutty Sark in the Old Royal Naval College, they have a great terrace and decent dining room serving locally sourced snacks. Either watch the race start and walk this way, or start here and wait for the runners to pass around the six-mile mark.

1A Pepys Building Old Royal Naval College, SE10 9LW,

Mile 6 – Greenwich: The Gypsy Moth

This tiny Grade I listed pub is opposite the Cutty Sark (mile six approx) so once the streams of runners get sweaty there will still be a decent view to be enjoyed. The food here is also decent, so if watching others has you exhausted, there’s a chance to regain your energy.

60 Greenwich Church Street, SE10 9BL,

Mile 10/11: The Mayflower

One of two pubs on this list alone claiming to be the oldest riverside pub in London, the picturesque Mayflower is an ideal base from which to stroll back and forth to see what workout is paying off as the runners get road through Rotherhithe. If you can (and the weather compels), find a spot along the river, in their pretty little garden.

117 Rotherhithe Street, SE16 4NF,

Mile 11/12: The Angel

The extensive gardens and views over the Thames mean the Angel is a lovely place to stay if the weather is fine. It’s a traditional neighborhood pub, which thankfully rarely gets too busy. If you’re simply looking for a decent pint, there are few better choices along the way.

101 Bermondsey Wall E, SE16 4NB, 020 7394 3214

Mile 12 – Tower Bridge: Pont de la Tour

Claim an outside table at this unique French venue and you’ll see the runners cross Tower Bridge. It’s expensive here, but the food and staff are both lovely. Admittedly, the view isn’t perfect for marathon running, but consider runners a nice addition to an indulgent Sunday lunch. They also have some great wines.

36D Shad Thames, SE1 2YE,

Mile 12 – Tower Bridge: Gunpowder

There are branches of this popular Indian eatery in Soho and Spitalfields, but it’s the one in Tower Bridge that will get you closest to the action on marathon day. It’s all about sharing dishes here: stuff a whole duck leg with andhra sambal and parsnips, or feast on Goan-style grilled prawns, beef ribs in Kerala pepper sauce, or grilled ray wing with curry and sol kadhi.

4 Walk of the Duchess, SE1 2SD,

Mile 13/14 (and 22) – Wapping: The Whitby perspective

Another institution claiming to be London’s oldest riverside pub, the Prospect of Whitby certainly looks like it hasn’t changed much in recent history. It’s part of the appeal, and it’s a great little pub. Make your way to the raised seating at the rear for views across the Thames.

57 Wall Wapping, E1W 3SH,

Mile 13/14 (and 22) – Wapping: Turner’s old star

There’s no flash at this pub, and it’s a short walk from the race itself (as are many around this spot), but Turner’s Old Star fills up with race supporters every year. He’s just a good old-fashioned drunk. As the name suggests, it was once owned by the artist. More recently, a few years ago, he appeared in the Kray biopic, Legend.

14 Watt St, E1W 2QG,

Mile 15 (and 18/19) – Boisdale of Canary Wharf

If you fancy making more of a day out rather than while away the hours in a pub, head to upscale Boisdale. Highlights include the whiskey and oyster bar and a cigar terrace, but stick around until the evening when there’s live music.

Place Cabot, E14 4QT,

Mile 17 – Crossharbour and South Quay: The Lotus

A step back from the Canary Wharf hub at mileage 17 is South Quay. The pubs and restaurants here usually have smaller crowds than those near Canary Wharf and West India Quay, so you’ll have a little more breathing room. Grab a window table at the Lotus, which sits on a huge permanent mooring between Crossharbour and South Quay stations, directly on the Marathon route.

9 Oakland Quay, Millwall Inner Wharf, E14 9EA,

Mile 23 – Tower Hill: Hung, Drawn and Quartered

Fuller’s has set up this pub near the finish nicely and it’s a good place to watch exhausted runners dig into their last reserves of energy. There’s plenty of space here, but it’s still worth getting down a bit early to get a seat.

26-27 Great Tower Street, EC3R 5AQ,

Mile 24: The Savoy

After spending some time on the embankment and watching the joggers go by, change the pace radically and head to the Savoy for an afternoon in absolute luxury. The American Bar and the Beaufort Bar both serve great drinks.

Wire, WC2R 0EU,

Mile 25 – Embankment: Gordon’s Wine Bar

Gordon’s Wine Bar is right on the course as runners pass the Embankment and continue on towards Westminster. Grab an outdoor table in the alley beside Victoria Embankment Gardens to catch a glimpse of the sweaty masses regretting their life choices, or go inside the wine caves, which are always bustling and always romantic. Gordon’s is almost always full and the marathon doesn’t help, so get down early and be prepared to drink lots of wine.

Via Villiers 47, WC2N 6NE, gordonswinebar. com

Mile 25/The End: The Westminster Arms

This little pub comes right before the finish line. At the top of the road, racers will either sprint to the finish line or swear they’ll never be that stupid again. Once you’ve seen enough, come back here. As the name suggests, it is a popular spot for politicians. Bill Clinton and Angelina Jolie are among the famous names who have dropped in for a pint.

10 story door, SW1P 3AT,

Finish Line – St James’s Park: The Red Lion

With runners passing the Palace and down the Mall to finish the race, get away from the crowds and find a spot for one last drink. There is not one but two good St James pubs called the Red Lion: one is a Fuller’s pub on Duke of York Street and the other an old bar on Crown Passage. Both are cosy, with stylish decor and nice old etched glass, perfect for relaxing after a long hard day watching others work out. If you’re treating a runner, take them out to be spoiled at hotels such as the nearby Stafford or Duke’s – both have excellent bars and the Stafford also has a fantastic restaurant in the Game Bird.

2 Duke of York Street, St James’s, SW1Y 6PP,

Victoria Market Halls

If the crowds are proving too hectic, Market Halls – a food hall comprising eight kitchens, a bar and roof terrace – is just a 15-minute walk from The Mall, opposite Victoria train station. It’s a casual all-day dining and drinking venue, where it’s easy to while away an afternoon over cocktails and street food. The atmosphere in this former ballroom is always upbeat (in the summer, they often have to resort to a “one in, one out” policy for their ever-popular roof terrace) and will no doubt be even more celebratory on the big day, especially whereas they previously offered 15% off house drinks to marathon runners with a medal.

They don’t take advance bookings and instead operate on a walk-in basis, so if Victoria proves too busy, you could head to one of the other covered market outposts. Our suggestion would be Market Halls Oxford Street (9 Holles St, W1G 0BD) — less than 30 minutes’ walk from the finish, where 20ft Fried Chicken, sister to the famous Black Bear Burger, has just opened.

191 Victoria St, SW1E 5NE,

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