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Pub Menu Ideas: Tasty Tips for Any Public House

Lauren Valensky
27 Jul 2023

If you're thinking of opening a pub, or if you're an established pub owner trying to optimise your offering, one of the most important things to consider is your menu.  Not being able to choose specific dishes and drinks to include in your pub menu that are suitable can leave your business high and dry. So if you're stuck for inspiration, we've compiled a few pub menu ideas to help get you started.


Like the entirety of your offering's victuals, your pub drinks menu should be tailored to your target audience while reflecting the overall atmosphere that you're trying to create.

The beer minimum

As the staple of pub culture and likely the bestseller at your pub's bar, your drinks menu should feature a wide range of different beers at the very least.

For a more traditional pub, focus on stocking well-known, big brands like Guinness, Stella Artois and Corona. If you want to go down the gastropub route, consider adding a few artisanal beers and local ales to your menu as well.

Wine not?

While beer is the most popular drink choice for most pub-goers, many will still prefer a nice glass of wine. So make sure to have a selection of both red and white wines available.  

If you run a more casual pub, it's probably best to stick to the big brands that most people will be familiar with. However,  for a more refined pub dining experience, consider a curated wine list featuring old world and new world wines and stocking some finer wines such as  Champagne, Prosecco or Moscato.

Get creative with cocktails

Whether you’re going for a fun atmosphere, or you’re looking for more sophisticated gastropub menu ideas, unique cocktails are always a great addition to any drinks menu, and can push your profits no matter your target market.

If you want to keep things classic, consider adding twists on old favourites like Raspberry Mojitos. If you want to mix up your cocktail menu even more, consider adding something different like a Dandelion and Burdock Fizz or shareable cocktails such as Punch Bowls or Sangria.

Creating your own signature cocktails is also a great way to reflect the unique character of your pub.

That's the spirit(s)

If cocktails aren't really your thing, that's perfectly fine - there are plenty of other options to consider for your pub drinks menu, like spirits.

If you run a more traditional pub, focus on stocking all the classics like whisky, gin, vodka and rum. If you're looking to attract/appeal to a younger crowd, you might consider adding different types of tequila or some affordable, flavoured options like Sours. On the other hand, gastropubs might want to focus on stocking unusual or hard-to-find spirits such as Mezcal or Pisco to appeal to more discerning customers.

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Mockup some mocktails

In recent years, mocktails have been shaking up the 'alcohol' industry.

These refreshing combinations are a great way to appeal to those who are driving, pregnant or who simply don't drink alcohol, as well as those looking for a lighter option.

Since the classic pub menu tends to be quite heavy on meat and carbs, offering a refreshing mocktail (or two) can help balance things out.

It's important to make sure that your mocktails are just as delicious and creative as your cocktails, so be sure to try out some unique flavour combinations like:

  • Watermelon & Cucumber Cooler
  • Strawberry Basil Lemonade
  • Cardamom Chai Mojito


Your pub food menu should be just as carefully curated as your drinks list, with a focus on offering hearty, classic dishes that will appeal to your target audience.

Since gastropubs focus on serving high-quality food, with an emphasis on local, seasonal and organic ingredients, you'll want to focus on offering elevated versions of classic pub fare. If you're aiming for a more casual pub atmosphere, you can still offer great food, but you might want to focus on serving a more comforting, simple pub grub that pairs well with your drinks menu.

The classics

'Pub classics' refer to the hearty staples that you'll find on the menu of almost every public house. Think traditional British cuisine - Sunday roasts, fish and chips, bangers and mash, burgers, apple crumble.

While there's nothing wrong with typical British pub food - (it is what patrons expect of a traditional English or Irish pub after all),  if you want your pub to stand out from the rest, it's important to put your own spin on things.

For example, you could try serving a gourmet burger with artisanal cheese and locally sourced ingredients. Or, a fancy fish and chips featuring baked panko cod and homemade tartare sauce. You could also put a creative twist on classic pub snacks like Scotch eggs or crisps by adding unusual flavours or pairing them with surprising dips.

Go green

Considering the number of people living a vegan lifestyle stands at approximately 79 million worldwide, it would be an oversight not to offer a good mix of veggie and vegan options [1]. Gastropubs, in particular, are known for their inventive vegetarian and vegan dishes, so if that's your style, be sure to get creative with your plant-based pub menu ideas.

Vegan 'fish' and chips made with battered tofu or tempeh, loaded sweet potato fries topped with vegan cheese, grilled vegetables and a dollop of guacamole or a Vegan Wellington stuffed with roasted vegetables are all great options.

Finger food

A menu favourite for both traditional and gourmet pubs, finger food is a great way to start any meal, and like the best menu items, it's perfect for sharing. Plus, it's ideal for those looking to line their stomachs and easy to eat without getting too full before your main course arrives.

Some of our favourite finger food ideas include:

  • Wings: A pub classic that can be served plain, spicy or with a dipping sauce on the side.
  • Cheese boards: A great way to show off your pub's unique personality and style. Be sure to offer a variety of cheeses, as well as some tasty accompaniments like honey, fruit, nuts or jam.
  • Chips and dip: A great way to start off any meal, chips and dip can be served in a variety of ways, with an infinite range of flavour combinations.
  • Mini sliders: A bite-sized version of another pub classic that can be made with beef, chicken, pork or veggie options like black beans or portobello mushrooms, which can be served with or without all the toppings.

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If you're still brewing with questions about potential pub menu ideas, we'd love to hear from you?


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