It may be cheesy for the Londerers but what is the best pub to have a true pub experience, maybe with a touch of history?
True pub experience?... in 2019? Find yourself a Wetherspoons and settle in for the day!
There are many many pubs. I wouldn't worry. A lot of them are tied to big brewery companies Greene King / Nicholson etc. These might feel a bit samey but I don't think you'd notice as a tourist.
Around Covent Garden, I like the Lamb & Flag. Trafalger Sq, I'd go for the Ship & Shovel. If you're round Westminster you might want to search out one of the pubs that still has a division bell used to call MPs back to parliament in the event of a vote. St Stephens Tavern has one I believe and there are others.
I couldn't possibly say which pub is best, as I haven't visited them all. I can say that I;ve been to a few on Fleet Street that are very historic, though some I would not want to return to!
My favourite pubs in Central London include The Black Friar next to Blackfriars, The Ship in Holborn (behind the tube station), The George, an old coaching inn on Borough High Street and The Crown on New Oxford Street.
the old cheshire cheese was touristy > 27 years ago. when I moved on regmaiche
I would go for The Red Lion in Parliament Street which is close to Parliament, so you might see the odd MP having a drink. They are famous for their pies. A good meal can always be had at The Clarence in Whitehall and the Coal Hole in the Strand. A final choice would be The Punch and Judy in Covent Garden. They are all close to the main attractions, train and underground stations,and the West End Theatres. Wherever you choose have a good time..