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Old Fountain, Old Street, EC1

3 Baldwin Street
Phone: 02072532970

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Reviews (Current Rating Average: 8 of 10) Add Review see review guidelines

The Chairman left this review about Old Fountain

Visited for the first time in quite a few years, and was quite disappointed. I was hoping to find the selection of 8 or 10 beers that I remembered and found only 2 cask beers alongside a selection of craft keg.The Northdown Bitter Seas best bitter was quite acceptable (£5.80 a pint), but the choice of that or Oakham Citra wasn't what I was looking for.

On 31st May 2024 - rating: 6
[User has posted 37 recommendations about 37 pubs]

Quinno _ left this review about Old Fountain

Been a surprisingly long time since I darkened its doors, so made a point of including this one on a Sunday post-Xmas crawl with a couple of pals. Unlike the Wenlock, this actually opened when it said it would on Sunday afternoon; on mentioning the not-open Wenlock the barman pulled a face which told us all we needed to know. Four cask on, 2x Kent, Vocation and Oakam Citra. Excellent quality, managed to work through three of the four (NBSS 4, 3.5, 3.5). One downside was that almost all the tables were reserved for food consumption, though the friendly barman made sure we had somewhere to sit, even if it was an awkward alcove in the corner underneath the dart board. On leaving I realised that in all these years I’ve never remembered to look at the roof terrace! Next time.

October 2017
It’s all gone a little upmarket here – new white & gold exterior signage, removal of carpet and slightly more eclectic grub. There’s also an upstairs roof terrace which I forgot to check out, having come in during a biblical downpour. However the range and quality of the ales remain. £4.10 for my Oakham Citra which, when served as well as this one was, is quite acceptable for London. Still one of Zone 1’s premier beer destinations. Rated 9

June 2013
Recent revisits have found the Old Fountain to be thriving - an excellent array of ales on the go. The interior has had a little spruce-up. Good food is offered and I’ve sampled both the pork bap and pizzas which are really good and wallet-pleasingly cheap. The overhauled gents are a plus and there's now some interesting stuff on keg like Magic Rock (which happily also makes it regularly onto handpump). Its fame has spread and there’s often no spare tables after chucking out time from the nearby offices later in the week. It’s now also open Saturdays too. Beware that food starts after 5. Also a dart board but I've never seen it used. Rated 9

May 2009
Had walked past a couple of times thinking that this place was a classic rough Hoxton boozer, so was shocked when I finally went in to find a whole host of interesting and eight well-kept beers. These are mostly from microbreweries bar the London Pride, which I gather is the house beer. In my half-a-dozen visits I have thoroughly enjoyed my beers and the standards are very high. Paulaner and Bitburger lagers are also available, but it’s sadly lacking a decent cider. TARDIS-like inside, there are two carpeted bars on split levels and the pub has an entrance in the streets on each side. The interior decoration is a bit staid, bar the comedy fish tank…think the Wenlock with more space and a carpet that still retains the carpet element. There’s a food servery, with a selection of doorstep wedge sarnies, pizzas etc at reasonable prices (only available after 5 weeekdays, all-day Saturday). The clientèle are a good mixed bunch, though it can be a little quiet during the daytime before the nearby offices chuck out. It's well worth stopping for and highly recommended to ale fans. Beware that it’s only open 11-11 weekdays. Rated 9

On 20th February 2024 - rating: 8
[User has posted 5239 recommendations about 5222 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Blue Scrumpy left this review about Old Fountain

Backstreet pub with entrances from both Baldwin Street and Peerless Street. Entering from Baldwin Street, you find yourself in the lower room, where the bar has 2 or 3 handpulls. Some were clipped on my visit, but service is from the upper bar where thirsty drinkers were queueing 2 or 3 deep on Wednesday evening.

Beers are listed on a blackboard next to the bar. There is a good range of both real ales and craft beer, along with a real cider too. Ales were Utopian Bow English IPA, Drop Project Choppy, Sambrook's Drop Kick, Oakham Citra & Thornbridge Lord Marples. The cider was Oliver's Dry, whilst craft beers were Brew York Fizzy Watermelons & Nightmare of Brew York 2022, Brew York/SALT Hopbusters, Hackney Boogie Van, Polly's Floret, a beer from The Kernel (which said check with bar staff to discover which!), Yeastie Boys/Utopian New Zealand IPA, Iron Pier Cast Iron Stout, Siren Suspended In Eldorado & Howling Hops Top Crop.

When quiet, it's a nice, relaxing place to visit. This time, it was much busier and I headed upstairs to the roof terrace, where our group had a table booked. Patio heaters make sure you're still kept warm in the winter and there was much more space for us.

Still one of the best, if not the best real ale pubs in the City and worth seeking out if you don't know about it.

On 3rd March 2023 - rating: 7
[User has posted 2550 recommendations about 2549 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Will Larter left this review about Old Fountain

This pub off Old Street is bigger than suspected, with a back room at a slightly different height from the lower room at the front. The bar is on the left, with five hand pumps - one real cider and four real ales. An unusual choice of beers from Hobsons, Moor, Siren and the comparatively local Anspach & Hobday. I went for the latter's Golden Bitter, although their habit of using a definite article with each of their beers - The Golden Bitter - is a little annoying. Like nobody else brews a golden bitter? It was in very good condition, though. I enjoyed my beer while taking in the surroundings: bare floorboards, a dark wood bar with hooks and foot-rail, some very nice windows (see photos). Also the service was friendly and welcoming, so altogether a very good pub experience.

Date of visit: 10th February 2022

On 9th August 2022 - rating: 8
[User has posted 3832 recommendations about 3556 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Graham Coombs left this review about Old Fountain

A lively pub just off the City Road with two connecting rooms at slightly different levels, with the bar down the side of both. Decor is fairly plain and uncluttered. Ales on pump were Lost & Grounded Autumn Protagonist, Tring Hound Dog, Oakham Citra and Anspach & Hobday Golden Best, with a selection of craft keg also. Not an exceptional pub but pleasant enough and some interesting beers which seemed well-kept.

On 1st December 2021 - rating: 7
[User has posted 3353 recommendations about 3290 pubs]

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Blackthorn _ left this review about Old Fountain

Tucked away down a side street but just a short stroll away from the Old Street roundabout, it looks like a rather rough and ready old boozer from the outside, and that, together with the high volume of noise emanating from within, meant we weren’t quite sure what to expect.

Inside though it’s something of a surprise being really quite contemporary, and populated largely with bearded hipster types as might perhaps be expected going on the locality. The first thing we noticed on entering was the semi-open kitchen and service counter, so were wondering if this was actually a pub or restaurant, but beyond this is a regular bar and a good choice of beers. The flooring was sanded wooden boards, whilst new back wood panelling had been fitted to the lower part of the walls, with cream plasterwork above. The pub stretches between two streets with an entrance at both ends, and the windows included lots of stained glass panels. A small black fireplace and wood burning stove was off to one side, and there was also a large fish tank. A sign pointed upstairs to an outside terrace, but we did not investigate this. Dark brown leather benches stretched around much of the perimeter, and there were several old black and white pictures of the locale dotted around the walls. A projector screen was rolled up, suggesting perhaps that major sporting events are screened.

There was a good choice of beers on tap, all displayed on a chalk board at the end of the bar, and on this occasion consisted of Tring Mansion Mild, Anspach & Hobday Tri-Stout, Summer Wine Oregon, Tring Drop Bar, Five Points Citrus Pale, Thornbridge Astryd, Oakham Citra and London Pride. There were also a dozen or so craft beer options on keg. Ciders meanwhile were Abrahalls AM and Crafty Apple, both of which were new ones on me. Overall, this is clearly a renowned pub for it’s beer, but it lacks the cosy ambience that I normally look for, and the harsh acoustics meant that it was very noisy and I was quite glad to leave for some peace and quiet.

On 8th May 2019 - rating: 6
[User has posted 1964 recommendations about 1877 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Tris C left this review about Old Fountain

Established as the Old Fountain Knights in the mid-18th century, I came here around seven years ago and found it pleasant enough. A return a while ago and it has clearly had a little - very little - done to it. The most noticeable change is the bare boarded floor where once there was carpet. There's still some slightly scruffy paintwork to keep the traditionalists happy though. The aquarium and piano remain, but the firing range (or whatever you call it) for the darts is now occupied by tables and chairs - the board is still there in a cupboard, but I can't now see it being used - a case of Health & Safety gone mad? There's also a roof terrace which is spacious and a great place for an al fresco drink in warm weather.
Noticeable too is that, due to the area's ongoing gentrification, the clients are now a little more moneyed and international; this is no longer an almost exclusively locals’ pub and the more mixed client base lends the place a better vibe. The TV remains as does the projector screen, retracted, so sport will probably feature but doesn't appear to be the mainstay of entertainment.
There's now a very large array of cask, keg and bottled beers on offer, all listed on a board with one weighing in at a monstrous £9.00 a pint. With five pumps - two double clipped - this is an ale drinker’s Mecca, the dreaded London Pride seemingly having been shown the red card. My half of Five Points XPA the other night cost just £2.10 which is great value and was in perfect nick.
This is one of the best pubs in EC1 and is a no-brainer if in the area, a short walk from the Craft Beer Co and the Wenlock. The scotch eggs are top notch too.

On 3rd June 2018 - rating: 8
[User has posted 2030 recommendations about 1995 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

hondo . left this review about Old Fountain

Old style pub with a split level interior and 2 entrances. 14 keg,6 real ale and 1 cider tap on during my visit.

On 22nd September 2017 - no rating submitted
[User has posted 2897 recommendations about 2834 pubs]

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Ian Mapp left this review about Old Fountain

Pointed out to me by the Good Beer Guide - it the sort of place that you are not going to stumble upon, tucked down a little side street next to tower blocks.

But it is worth seeking out - excellent pint of Hackney Best, friendly bar staff, reasonable prices (for LDN).

A success and recommended.

Visit blogged at

On 19th January 2017 - rating: 10
[User has posted 277 recommendations about 276 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Thuck Phat left this review about Old Fountain

Well known and well reviewed, as the City creeps northward the Old Fountain was beginning to feel slightly corporate when I visited.
The roof terrace is worth mentioning as it provided a comfortable and popular spot on an especially sultry September evening.
Beers on were: Fountain Brewhouse Amber and City Road Pale, London Pride, Siren Craft Undercurrent, Oakham Citra, Saltaire Long Day IPA, Charnwood White Fox and Roosters White Rose. That seems a decent selection but I was assured by my fellow, long experienced Old Fountain drinkers that it fell below previous standards. Some of our choices weren't in the best shapes either which didn't help.
There were also 14 keg beers available with breweries such as Kernel, Cloudwater, Moor, Five Points, Brew by Numbers, Northern Monk and Siren represented. Quality brewers and it seems that the Old Fountain's focus has broadened to include keg as well as their traditional cask offers.
Well worth a stop given the ale selection.

On 18th October 2016 - rating: 8
[User has posted 680 recommendations about 679 pubs]

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