The best pies in London, from Arments to Quo Vadis

Clawsome: Mount St Restaurant’s already famous pie  (Press handout)
Clawsome: Mount St Restaurant’s already famous pie (Press handout)

London has been in a loving, committed relationship with pies since time immemorial — well, since we first made them in the Middle Ages — and it’s been a full-on romance which shows no sign of relenting. Our adoration of golden flaky pastry goes beyond beef and ale classics, spanning glorious Wellingtons, homely chicken and mushroom numbers and even an imported galette de rois or two.

From suet to shortcrust, savoury to sweet, whether needing a side of jellied eels or a single oyster, below are London’s perfect pies.



It’s important to try and start at the beginning. Though eaten widely for centuries, it was east Londoner’s love of pies helped translated the staple into a national dish during the 19th and 20th centuries. Manze’s in Deptford has been a classic pie shop for more than 100 years, with jellied eels optional. Flaky pastry, liquor — that’s parsley sauce — buttery mashed potatoes and spicy vinegar all combine for the ultimate old-school pie and mash experience.

204 Deptford High Street, SE8 3PR,

Holborn Dining Room

 (Alice Wellings)
(Alice Wellings)

Nokx Majozi, above, took over from pie-making royalty Calum Franklin to become head pie-maker at the Pie Room at Holborn Dining Room in 2022 and has continued a legacy of exceptional quality, immaculate ingredients and wondrous pies. The beef wellington with truffle duxelle, mushrooms and bresaola is a special dish, but a more modern langoustine, salmon, octopus and bisque creation is worthy of immediate attention, too.

252 High Holborn, WC1V 7EN,

The Pelican

 (Press Handout)
(Press Handout)

An integral part of west London’s recent renaissance, the Pelican pub helped bring a relaxed elegance to the classic boozer. The lobster and monkfish pie is a notable example of an ethos where every day offerings are elevated above normal pub fare but value is kept. Pastry all over — rather than just a lid — is an important aspect of this bright, delicious creation. It’s also substantial enough to feed three and at £45, it might be one of the best value finds in an otherwise eye-wateringly expensive neighbourhood.

45 All Saints Road, W11 1HE,

Mount St. Restaurant


The battle of the lobster pie is on (Bentley’s, below, also do a mean one). Images of Mount Street’s lobster pie have been everywhere, meaning it’s already become something of a signature dish at the new-ish Mayfair spot. As seen at the top of this page, the crustacean’s head, roasted and exposed, climbs out the lid of this golden, spectacular serving, which might be London’s most expensive pie which, though it generously feeds two people, is nearly £100.

41-43 Mount Street, W1K 2RX,

Arments pie and mash

Arments is an entirely different affair, a proper pie and mash shop with a rich history, where £100 would buy the menu out. The current owners are fourth generation pie and mash vendors, with Arments having served the Walworth and Camberwell community for almost 115 years. This is a spot for chilli vinegar, sarsaparilla, liquor, creamy mash, and wholesome, hearty pies. They take these pies exceptionally seriously, so much so that they use two different pastry recipes for their creations: one for the base (to ensure a soft-not-soggy bottom) and one for the top, designed for extra crisp golden flaky wonders. The recipe is a guarded secret, but at about £3 a pie, there’s plenty of opportunity to test them out.

7 Westmoreland Road, SE17 2AX,

The Marksman


One of the UK’s finest pubs for eating, the Marksman does a cracking pie. Chicken and mushrooms are usually on the menu. Girolles, earthy and delicate, thigh meat succulent and tender; it’s a symphony of creamy gloriousness. Whilst the pub says the pie serves two on the menu, add a side dish and it’ll comfortably, generously satiate three.

254 Hackney Road, E2 7SJ,

J Sheekey

 (John Carey)
(John Carey)

The fish pie at West End institution Sheekey’s proves that flaky pastry isn’t always a must when creating a legendary pie. Enter the creamy mashed potato lid. Perfectly smooth mash rendered crisp in the oven covers tender hunks of freshly prepared fish, it’s the kind of simply delicious pie that brings on deep pangs of nostalgia and, surprisingly given its glamorous surroundings, doesn’t cost the earth.

St Martin’s Court, WC2N 4AL,

The Barley Mow

Since joining the Cubitt House group, chef Ben Tish has brought new life to the menus. The result, at the new Barley Mow in particular, is a hearty pie of particular note. Tender beef swims in a rich well-made gravy, parsley sauce and creamy mash on the side — oyster optional, but highly recommended.

82 Duke Street, W1K 6JG,

Bob Bob Ricard

 (Press handout)
(Press handout)

Bob Bob Ricard has a well-deserved reputation as a glitzy, glamorous, slightly debaucherous den of eating and drinking well. It’s not the cheapest night out in town but fortunately, there is pie. Specifically their “humble pie”, a total misnomer as its two primary ingredients are Champagne and truffles. Served under flaky, logo-embossed pastry, the pie also includes celeriac, Jerusalem artichoke and mushrooms for a hearty and umami rich experience. Humble? We’ll leave that up to you.

1 Upper James Street, W1F 9DF,


Sweetings describes itself as a “city institution”, probably because that’s exactly what it is. With more than 100 years under its belt, it’s long been a stalwart of the City and an unashamed, unchanging feature of the dining landscape of London; people come for Guinness in silver tankards, for too much white wine and for the terrific seafood. The fish pie, at £16, remains one of the best value dishes in town, but also one of the best. Hearty, but as satisfying as homemade.

39 Queen Victoria Street, EC4N 4SF,

Quo Vadis

 (Press Handout)
(Press Handout)

Jeremy Lee is known for his joyful laugh, his generosity of spirit, but also his pies. The daily pie has been on the Quo Vadis menu for as long as anyone can remember, and doubtless long before that too (memories are typically blurred at QV). Sometimes beef, sometimes lamb or chicken, usually with a proper suet lid and only ever around £20, it’s one of the more pleasing and reliable things in life.

26-29 Dean Street, W1D 3LL,

Putney Pies

Never mind the best pies in London, Putney Pies is laying its cards on the table by purporting to serve “the finest pies in the land”. It is certainly difficult to beat for an atmospheric location, as diners make their way into the arched vault beside the Thames, a setting ripe for pie-eating. Choose between shortcrust, puff or pot pies with fillings including classic steak and ale or an alternative Mexican-inspired chilli pie. Whatever is on the menu, it always delivers.

2 Putney High Street, SW15 1SL,


On paper, Bentley’s Oyster Bar and Grill sounds a plush, expensive haunt. It’s a fine restaurant tucked down a Mayfair side street, full of white tablecloths and dark wood panels. Yet amongst the Dover sole and lobster thermidor, a classic, humble fish pie can be found. Richard Corrigan, the legendary chef-patron has democratised this most famous creation by making the full recipe and method available online. If you’d rather opt for something more luxurious though, a royal fish pie is also served, featuring langoustine, lobster, scallops, and a slug of brandy for good measure.

11-15 Swallow Street, W1B 4DG,