Reading has an array of pubs of different sizes, origins and ages. Over the years favourite haunts have come and gone, but a few have survived changing fashions.
In the centre of town inns like the Angel, George and Broad Face were part of Reading's commercial life. Others like the Crown and King's Arms grew up along the busy London to Bristol or Bath roads, reaching the height of their prosperity in the coaching age and declining rapidly with arrival of the Great Western Railway in 1840. Some of these smaller coaching inns survive as public houses, including the Turk's Head and the Sun.
New hotels and pubs such as the Great Western opened to serve the new railway trade and the growing areas of housing that were being built to house workers in Reading's factories. In the 20th century public houses opened in new suburbs, though many have since been demolished or converted to other uses as regular pub-going declines. However in Reading centre new bars have opened alongside older survivors.