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EARL OF ESSEX

Earl of Essex, Danbury Street, London, UK
Angel

Tucked away on a residential Islington Street, the Earl of Essex is well worth seeking out if you’re serious about your beer. They have a changing selection of around 20 craft beers up on their hymn board and they’ve got their own brewery on-site too. And every dish on their menu comes with a beer recommendation. Obvs you can get other drinks here but why would you want to?

THE ALBION

The Albion, Thornhill Road, Islington, London, UK
Angel Caledonian Road & Barnsbury

The Albion is another North London pub with an excellent beer garden. This one has got to be one of the prettiest though thanks to all the fruit trees and hanging wisteria. Thankfully the inside of the Georgian pub is just as good too with log fires for when it’s cold, a solid gastropub menu for when you’re hungry and a well stocked bar for, well you know.

SEFTON

196 Upper St, London N1 1RQ, United Kingdom
Highbury & Islington Highbury & Islington Highbury & Islington

Sefton bring together all the cool kids in their menswear boutique in Islington. Find everyone from Comme Des Garcons and Acne Studios to Wood Wood and Nike. They also stock their own line of Sefton essentials.

ST PAUL

St Paul Islington Cafe, Saint Paul's Road, Highbury East, London, UK
Highbury & Islington Highbury & Islington Highbury & Islington

During the day St Paul a great place to sit and have a coffee or lunch from the menu of sandwiches, eggs, toasties, and pastries but at night it turns into a proper wine bar. The owners are very friendly and welcoming and talk you through the wines and food with great enthusiasm – this is something they are clearly very passionate about so it’s easy to spend a few hours trying different wines and grazing on small plates of charcuterie and cheese. The selection of salamis served with cornichons and chutney, and the creamy rabbit rillettes are great, and don’t miss the epic whole baked Camembert or the ‘nduja on toast.

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TWENTY TWENTY ONE

274-275 Upper Street, London N1 2UA, United Kingdom
Essex Road

Set over two floors, the Upper Street store is packed full of design-led lighting, accessories and furniture. There’s a mix of classic styles from the twentieth century and more progressive pieces but everything in there is clean and elegant so it feels timeless.

SUNDAY BARNSBURY

169 Hemingford Road, London, N1 1DA
Caledonian Road & Barnsbury

Sunday Barnsbury does one of the best French toasts in town. It comes with creme fraiche and salted caramel and we recommend a side of bacon too, and the cornbread is also pretty on point with avo, halloumi and a poached egg. Portions are decent and this is proper neighbourhood cafe that you’ll wish you lived next to.

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RADICI

30 Almeida Street, London N1 1AD, United Kingdom
Highbury & Islington Essex Road

Francesco Mazzei keeps things nice and simple with a menu of fresh pastas, pizzas and some killer sides. MUST orders include the zucchini fritti, seafood fettuccine topped with mussels, squid, and scallops and bergamont baba. Radici is one of our fave spots in Islington and defo worth checking out.

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PRAWN ON THE LAWN

Prawn on the Lawn, London, UK
Highbury & Islington

Fishmonger by day, seafood restarant by night, Prawn on the Lawn is one of our favourite places in London. Now moved to bigger premises just around the corner from its original location, it can now offer a bigger range of dishes due to the fact that it actually has a kitchen this time around.

You can get whole fish from the fishmonger counter, great for bigger groups, plus a whole host of fishy small plates. Highlights include lightly seared tuna served with an Asian-inspired dip of soy, mirin, spring onion and chilli, and the brightly-coloured sea trout sashimi with tomato and red onion. Hot dishes are excellent too: try the whole prawns cooked in a spicy Szechuan seasoning, and the fillet of pollock, with salsa verde and capers.

Although we loved the charm of the original Prawn on the Lawn, even with all its limitations, the new incarnation is the restaurant it was meant to be. And we’re still big fans.

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OLDROYD

344 Upper St, London N1 0PD, UK
Angel

Tom Oldroyd’s tiny Islington restaurant has been quietly knocking out simple Italian dishes for a couple of years now and it’s still one of our favourite places to come for a quick dinner or lunch. Menus change daily but this is always a pasta dish and its always incredible – on a recent trip we had creamy crab tagliarini, thin freshly-made pasta, coated in a rich crab bisque sauce with chunks of crab meat. Other highlights included the roast monkfish, braised fennel & tapenade and the ripe peach and cow curd panzanella salad with broad beans & mint.

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WILD FOOD CAFE

269 – 270 Upper St, London N1 2UQ
Highbury & Islington Highbury & Islington Highbury & Islington

The second, bigger Wild Food Cafe on Upper Street really has that cool wellness vibe going on with a ton of plants, big copper-edged mirrors, millennial pink chairs and wooden tables. The drinks list is very comprehensive, with a range of healthy shots, smoothies and juices for those on the wagon as well as plenty of alcoholic options for those off it. It’s a traditional three-course menu rather than sharing plates, and it’s all plant-based, with a strong raw component as well. This site has a wood oven too so they’re turning out veg-based pizzas as well as burgers, nut roasts and indulgent puds.

LATTERIA

56 – 58 Essex Road, London, N1 8LR
Essex Road

Not only do we love Latteria’s design – it’s a bit like a diner with lots of red leather booths and gleaming white tiles, offset by shelves stocked with Italian produce – but we love the classic menu too. The giant arancinis are ace as are the pizzas, which have thin crispy bases made with a combination of rice, wheat and soy flours. Star of the menu has to be the pastas however, particularly the crab spaghetti, and don’t skip puds either….hello nutella, ricotta and banana pizza.

THE COMPTON ARMS

4 Compton Terrace, London N1 2XD, UK
Highbury & Islington Highbury & Islington Highbury & Islington

The Compton Arms has had a refurb and the makeover extends to the kitchen where Four Legs has taken up residence. The pub was one of George Orwell’s favourite haunts, hence the name ‘Four Legs’ taken from his novel Animal Farm: “Four Legs good, two legs bad!”. The chef duo of Jamie Allan (ex-Hill & Szrok) and Ed McIlroy (ex-Bao) are in the kitchen serving up a seasonal British menu with European and Asian influences, with a focus on local produce. They switch up the menu a fair bit but there’s a few thing always on there including something that’s worth heading down for alone: the cheeseburger. That may not sound so exciting but trust us, this is definitely one of the best burgers in London.

BROWHAUS

271 Upper Street, London N1 2UQ, UK
Highbury & Islington Highbury & Islington Highbury & Islington

Browhaus specialise in all types of facial hair, including brow and lash treatments, so if your eyebrows need some attention this is the place to come. This branch, inside the Ministry of Waxing on Upper Street, offers all their signature treatments, including Browgraphy (essentially the Browhaus version of a shape and tint) and Brow Resurrection (a more permanent option).

CHICK 'N' SOURS

62 Upper St, London N1 0NY, UK
Angel

Chick ‘n’ Sours on Upper Street is site number three and many of the hit dishes at the other branches have made the menu, including the chicken toast, chilli fish sauce caramel wings, the Seoul Destroyer burger and the Shin Cup fries (that’s with instant noodle seasoning and sriracha sour cream). Come the weekend, you’ll be able to feast on treats like hot chicken and kimchi cornbread waffles and PBJ French toast, made with Malaysian coconut curd and dulce de leche. DROOL. This branch will also have outside seating too so you can get enjoy your chicken and cocktails al fresco.

SARDINE

15 Micawber Street, London N1 7TB, UK
Angel

Sardine is sort-of-but-not-quite from Stevie Parle – he’s backing one of his previous chefs Alex Jackson, who’s gone out on his own after leading the way at both Dock Kitchen and Rotorino. Sardine is located in the Parasol Gallery, just off the top of City Road in Angel behind that big McDonalds drive thru we’re sure everyone knows it. The menu is largely French though there’s bits of influence drawn from further afield too, with dishes like broad beans on toast, lamb with white beans and green sauce and chocolate pot with brandy prune.

LAKI KANE

144-145 Upper St, London N1 1QY, UK
Essex Road

The cocktail menu at Laki Kane is heavy on the rums, sugar cane syrups and exotic ingredients – the signature Laki Kane is made of Bacardi Cuatro Dark Rum, Mozart Dry Chocolate Vodka, soursop tea, cupuacu, guanabana and sugar cane juice – with a food menu to match. Rum masterclasses will also be held in the upstairs Spiced Dry Rum Club bar, where you’ll learn about the history of the spirit, experiment with tastings and even re-distill your own rum, which you can even re-order in the future.

1251

107 Upper Street, London N1 1QN, UK
Angel Essex Road

Great British Menu champ and Yes Chef star James Cochran is the man behind 1251. The menu is modern British, with a particular focus on produce from Kent (James was raised in Whitstable) as well as West Indian and Scottish influences in reflection of his heritage. As well as a tasting menu option, there’ll also be an a la carte offering of small plates and an epic sharing roast featuring multiple cuts of the same meat with all the trimmings.

TANAKATSU

10 Wakley Street, London EC1V 7LT, UK
Angel

Tanakatsu specialises in katsu (here you can get pork, chicken and prawns) and teriyaki as well as offering sushi and a few other sides – the tuna tataki with a truffle ponzu sauce is particularly great. The main event has to be that katsu though; both the pork katsu on rice with shredded cabbage and pickles, and the chicken katsu curry are spot on.

HUMBLE GRAPE

11-13 Theberton St, London N1 0QY, UK
Angel

Humble Grape is the perfect neighbourhood wine bar: relaxed and with great food and drinks. You can browse the shelves for bottles to take away or sit down and choose from a constantly rotating selection of wines by the glass. If you’re eating there, leave yourselves in the very capable hands of the waiters who can suggest wine flights to accompany the dishes. On the food front, it’s simple, high quality ingredients and cooking all the way – think plates like chorizo croquetas with green aioli, mussels, hake with samphire and white Dorset crab, and a pork chop in anchovy butter.

KANADA-YA

35 Upper Street, London N1 0PN, UK
Angel

At Kanada-Ya’s first site outside of central, you can find all their famous ramens plus a handful of small plates, rice dishes and an extended sake list. And you’ll be able to catch all the action thanks to the open kitchen.

69 COLEBROOKE ROW

69 Colebrooke Row, London N1 8AA, United Kingdom
Angel

69 Colebrooke Row is a tiny speakeasy hidden away in Islington. Expect experimental cocktails with some odd ingredients – think Pagan incense and clay – but it’s not all weird and less adventurous cocktail drinkers will be happy too. Inside it’s all about the jazz-age, so expect live music and first class service.

LINDEN STORES

220 St Paul's Rd, London N1 2LL, UK
Highbury & Islington Highbury & Islington Highbury & Islington

Laura Christie (one half of Oklava and Kyseri) and Chris Boustead, (of Opera Tavern and Ten Bells ), are behind Linden Stores – a family run wine store and restaurant on the original site of Prawn on the Lawn. The neighbourhood joint stocks a well-priced wine selection with bottles for everything, from a rainy Monday night to big celebration, and all are available to drink in or takeaway. When it comes to the food, you can expect a regularly changing menu with dishes including smoked beef stew with thyme dumplings, potted rabbit with clementine jelly and the classic British cheese board.

PLAQUEMINE LOCK

139 Graham Street, Angel, London N1 8LB, UK
Angel

Louisianan-style pub Plaquemine Lock, from Jacob Kennedy (Bocca Di Lupo) is all about Cajun and Creole cooking – po’boys, gumbo, crawfish boil, jambalaya and pecan pie are all on the menu. And when it comes to the drinks you can expect NOLA inspired cocktails and lots of British beers

Photo credit: Howard Sooley

DELHI GRILL

21 Chapel Market, London N1 9EZ, UK
Angel

For generous portions of Punjabi food at very reasonable prices, Delhi Grill is the one. The dhaba (an informal canteen) serves up street food snacks, tandoor grills and slow-cooked curries. It’s relaxed yet lively (with options for veggies and vegans) so it’s the perfect place to order a load of dishes and just get stuck in.

PAPER MACHE TIGER

26 Cross St, Islington, London N1 2BG, UK
Essex Road

With a range of contemporary menswear, womenswear, homeware, accessories, antiques and plants all under one very instagrammable roof, Paper Mache Tiger is one of the coolest stores in Islington. There’s even a little cafe up front so you can have a coffee whilst you contemplate how you’re going to be able to afford everything inside.

VICTORIA MIRO

16 Wharf Rd, Hoxton, London N1 7RW, UK
Angel Old Street Old Street

Victoria Miro is a contemporary art gallery that showcases a mix of established and emerging artists, although it’s probably best known for showing Yayoi Kusama’s spotted pumpkins and infinity mirror rooms (you can tell when there’s a Kusama show on as there’ll be queues snaking out the door). The Islington space even has its own garden, which is often used to host installations.

ALMEIDA THEATRE

Almeida St, London N1 1TA, UK
Essex Road

The Almeida began life as a lecture hall and reading rooms, opening as a theatre in 1980. The programme focuses on the next generation of British artists and it often hosts award-winning plays that transfer to the West End, with past productions including Summer and Smoke, INK and Chimerica.

TRULLO

300-302 St Paul's Rd, London N1 2LH, UK
Canonbury

Even though Padella is the spin-off restaurant, it’s arguably more famous than its big sis Trullo (low prices and long queues will always attract attention). Not only can you get the very same pasta (admittedly the selection is smaller) including the famous beef shin pappardelle and the pici cacio e pepe, but at Trullo you’ve got some knockout seasonal Italian dishes on offer too, from rustic antipasti to fish and meat cooked over charcoal.

SCREEN ON THE GREEN

83 Upper St, London N1 0NP, UK
Angel Essex Road

Having opened way back in 1913, Screen on the Green is one of the country’s oldest cinemas. Now owned by Everyman, the singe-screen cinema shows a mix of new releases and classics, and often has directors come in for talks.

BARRECORE

90-92 Upper St, London N1 0NP, UK
Essex Road

Barrecore is probably the premier barre studio in town, thanks to its signature method of interval training applied to each major muscle group. As well as a warm up and stretching throughout, the classes have sections for the thighs, the seat and the abs – it’s like legs, bums and tums on steroids.

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With our guides...

NOTTING HILL

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KING'S CROSS

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