Deservedly protected by landmark status, this 1904 Art Nouveau masterpiece (also spelled the Black Friar) is as jolly as the fat friars that bedeck it in bronze, wood, and glass. A short walk from St Paul’s, it was once snuggled down a few dark alleys, but neighboring demolitions liberated it; now it’s blessed with a noisy outdoor patio and walls of windows bathed in afternoon sunshine from over the Thames. The back saloon was designed for the upper classes, hence its exceptionally overbaked interior in marble and bronze; the undulating front bar, where pop music plays and pub crawls frequently pass through, is extraordinarily well-stocked with a range of cask ales and cider. Pricey food is shuttled from the upstairs kitchen via a hand-cranked dumbwaiter.
174 Queen Victoria St., EC4
Our Rating Neighborhood The City Hours Mon–Fri 10am–11pm; Sat 9am–11pm; Sun noon–10:30pm Transportation Tube: Blackfriars Phone 020/7236-5474 Cuisine Type Pub Web site The Blackfriar
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