The oldest continuously operating pub in the city, and the oldest brewery in the country, the Lord Nelson crafts primo ales from centuries-old recipes  (light beer fans prefer the Quayles Ale, while those who like a heartier porter go for the Old Admiral; there's also a season special to try most nights of the week). On weekends, music rocks the rough sandstone walls here, adorned with penants, historic photos and antique tin signs. Those who want some serenity with their pint and lamb stew can sit out in the lovely front garden when the weather cooperates. Don't skip this place just because you're not a suds fan: the bartenders also can whip up a mean cocktail. As for the crowd, it's a mix of well-off locals, backpackers seeking history and pretty much everyone in between.

-Pauline Frommer