What Are The Best Pre-Match Pubs?

An essential part of any match day experience is having a pint or two (or six) before and after the match. In the area around Emirates, there are several pubs all within walking distance of each other (and the stadium) that form the backbone of the Arsenal drinking experience.

The Tollington Arms
115 Hornsey Road, Islington, London, N7 6DN

This is probably the most well known of the Arsenal pubs. It is also the newest of the pubs covered here. It has several nice outdoor patios, and is absolutely packed with Gooners on match day.

Typically, I make this my first stop in a series of pre-match bars. The staff are nice and always seem to remember me (probably because of my American accent), and they have a well-known security guard who’s always friendly. It’s not a bad place to grab lunch or dinner before a match either, as it has a counter with excellent Thai food. Finally, this bar is the most likely place to see various Arsenal pseudo-celebrities such as Andrew of Arseblog fame.

The Twelve Pins
263 Seven Sisters Road, Finsbury Park, London, N4 2DE

This is the closest to an American “tailgate bar” experience with a vibe that you’ll be familiar with if you go to college football games in Big Ten or SEC country in the US. It’s always got a good, rowdy vibe on match day, and is one of the few pubs around Emirates that isn’t completely dead on non match days. It’s also a great second stop after the Tollington, since walking there takes you right past Emirates Stadium for some good photo ops and allows you to see the neighborhood around the stadium if you haven’t before.

The Arsenal Supporters Club
26154 St Thomas’s Rd, Finsbury Park, London, N4 2QP

This is the #1 must visit location on this list, and is where I stop immediately before heading to the stadium before almost every match. The Arsenal Supporters Club is a small building that has been a fixture since the early days of Highbury, and is the home base of the London branch of the Arsenal Supporters Club. It’s a tiny brick building, and you pay a fee of £1 or £2 to get in. Once inside, pints of beer and cider are available for just a couple of pounds, and you can drink inside or take your drink outside and drink on the street.

You’ll meet many awesome people young and old; look for your local supporters club flag or scarf in the rafters and make sure to say hi to Jeff, who runs the club and is a great friend to many American Arsenal supporters.

The Gunners
204 Blackstock Rd, Highbury, London, N5 1EN

This is my go-to post match bar. It’s filled with amazing Arsenal memorabilia from Arsenal’s glory days, and has an awesome backyard area with food on the grill and matches on the projector during warmer months. It’s the perfect place to end the day with a victory pint or two.

Published by Jon Hardin

By day, Jon is the CEO of a software company. Outside of work, Jon is an avid home improvement enthusiast who enjoys a wide variety of renovation, landscaping, and other projects.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: