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The best restaurants in Islington, Angel and Holloway

Islington has a HUGE amount of restaurants, with the majority of them along Upper Street. But which are the ones you should be paying attention to - here's our list of the best in the area...

 

1251
Address: 107 Upper Street, London, N1 1QN
What We Know:

Michelin-starred James Cochran has gone back to his roots with 1251, his Islington restaurant which is a much more personal affair for him. Here he's serving up modern British food, made with Kentish produce (and several nods to his West Indian heritage). The restaurant is pitched as a place to try Michelin-level dining in a more relaxed environment.

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bellanger
Address: 9 Islington Green, London N1 2XH
What We Know:

Chris Corbin and Jeremy King (The Wolseley, Zedel) brought back their Islington grand cafe after an earlier closure and it's been more popular than ever. There's been a shift in the menu away from Alsace and towards more of a traditional French brasserie and it's one of the largest restaurants in Angel too.

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comptonarms
Address: 4 Compton Ave, London N1 2XD
What We Know:

The Compton Arms has been a tiny Islington mainstay for many years but has really blossomed since its most recent revamp. A large part of that is down to Four Legs, who are resident in the kitchen. They've an ever changing menu that's been a huge hit and it's backed up by what is unquestionably one of the best burgers in London.

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delhigrill
Address: 21 Chapel Market, London N1 9EZ
What We Know:

Delhi Grill is Islington's "Indian Canteen" a London version of a Punjabi “dhaba”. The emphasis here is on Indian street food (on a menu which changes regularly) in a pared-back restaurant that's covered with its fair share of Bollywood posters. Come here with the intention of sharing everything and you'll have the best time.

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Farang
Address: 72 Highbury Park, Highbury East, London N5 2XE
What We Know:

Seb Holmes' Farang has become a huge Highbury hit, offering some of the best Thai cooking across London, made with both Thai and British produce. Originally a pop-up, it soon went permanent and they've recently added an excellent in-store larder.

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hotstone
Address: 9 Chapel Market, London N1 9EZ
What We Know:

Chapel Market might not be the first place you'd think of for top quality sushi, but Head chef Padam Raj Rai was the former head sushi chef at Tsukiji restaurant in Mayfair and he knows his stuff. Plus, you'll get to throw an A5 Japanese Wagyu steak on the stone here and cook it exactly how you like it.

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llerena
Address: 167 Upper St, Islington, London N1 1US
What We Know:

This Spanish restaurant on Upper Street comes from expert jamón producers Jamon y Salud, so you'd be expecting their jamon to be of a particularly high standard (it is). But it's not all about ham as the restaurant does a great line in authentic Spanish tapas, as well as serving up excellent Spanish wines. It's also worth popping in and grabbing a seat on the bar if you just need a snack.

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mlislington
Address: 133B Upper St, The Angel, London N1 1QP
What We Know:

Since they opened, MEATliquor have grown their burger and cocktail empire across London, but all of their locations are places where you can get some of the very best burgers in town. Not to mention some killer cocktails.

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Plaquemine Lock
Address: 139 Graham Street, Angel, Islington, N1 8LB
What We Know:

After gaining a reputation for cooking Italian in the much-loved Bocca di Lupo, Jacob Kenedy returned to his US roots with a wonderful Cajun and Creole menu at his Lousiana-themed Plaquemine Lock on Regent’s Canal. If you fancy some deep-south cooking in London, there's little better available.

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pophams
Address: 19 Prebend St, Islington, London N1 8PF
What We Know:

This artisan bakery in Islington is best known for its pastries - chief among them the maple bacon croissant, but its bread is up there too. Head along here for some great coffee in the minimalist setting and work your way through some excellent pastries.

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Prawn on the Lawn
Address: 292-294 St Pauls Road, London, N1 2LH
What We Know:

Now moved to a larger location, Prawn on the Lawn is a fishmonger and seafood bar - with a wine bar on the side. Expect the usual fruits de mer platters and whole crab as well as some more tapas-style dishes like scallops ceviche and their signature dish - the prawn on the lawn which is toasted soda bread with avocado and prawns.

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Primeur
Address: Barnes Motors, 116 Petherton Road, London N5 2RT
What We Know:

This restaurant on the borders of Islington and Stoke Newington, was the first from the group that also brought us Westerns Laundry and Jolene. As with their other restaurants, there's a regularly changing menu - influenced by Parisian Bistronomy - and it's paired with a carefully selected wine list that's also regularly updated.

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Radici
Address: 30 Almeida St, London N1 1AD
What We Know:

This is an Italian trattoria with a terrace and wine room on Almeida Street, bringing with it lots of traditional south Italian dishes, as well as more laid back meals like pizzas, charcuterie and cheeses. It comes from Francesco Mazzei, best known for Sartoria and L'Anima.

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shiok
Address: 171 Holloway Rd, London N7 8LX
What We Know:

This is the Holloway home for critically acclaimed Malaysian laksa specialists Sambal Shiok, headed up by Mandy Yin. The laksa is great, but so are all the other dishes. Look out for regular events there and enjoy the wine list with a focus on Riesling.

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sichuan-house
Address: 141-142 Upper St, London N1 1QY
What We Know:

Sichuan House on Islington's Upper Stret is all about authentic Sichuan and Chinese cuisine, with a focus on traditional cooking and recipes.

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skal
Address: 149a Upper St, London N1 1RA
What We Know:

Skal took over the space that was once Rok and have continued offering Nordic cuisine to Islington. The menu features Nordic recipes but with a modern, seasonal twist all in a stripped-back room. The Nordic theme continues with the cocktails and they serve their own home-made aquavit.

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smokehousenew
Address: 63–69 Canonbury Rd, Islington, London N1 2DG
What We Know:

This Islington pub/restaurant has a strong emphasis on smoking and BBQ. Alongside the food expect plenty of rotating beers and the outside garden is a surprise oasis just off a busy Islington road.

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sunday
Address: 169 Hemingford Rd, London N1 1DA
What We Know:

This bright, friendly neighbourhood cafe really comes into its own at the weekends when it serves up one of London's best brunches. You'll have to fight off every other Islington to get a seat, but it's worth it for dishes like Crispy Pork belly with spring onion pancake, kimchi and scrambled eggs.

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The Draper's Arms
Address: 44 Barnsbury St, Islington, London N1 1ER
What We Know:

This Islington pub is tucked down a quiet side street and remains one of the prettiest pubs in the borough. Run by Nick Gibson, the menu is a modern take on British pub grub. Grab a table in the garden if the weather's behaving itself.

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gateis
Address: 370 St John Street, London EC1V 4NN
What We Know:

The Gate first started in London over 30 years ago, long before vegetarian and vegan menus became a big thing. They've been serving up quality vegetarian fare for years and have earned a big following as a result. As you'd expect, much of the food is plant-based and there's a strong vegan selection too (and their wine list is entirely vegan).

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nook
Address: 220 St Paul's Rd, Highbury, London N1 2LL
What We Know:

The Nook comes from Angus and Lale Oztek-Pook who have experience at Zucca, Bernardis and Oklava among others. The food is described as "contemporary European with a Turkish twist" and is paired with a winelist of sustainable, organic, biodynamic and minimal intervention wines. It works as a deli too, so there's lots to take away.

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topcuvee
Address: 177b Blackstock Road, London N5 2LL
What We Know:

Top Cuvee in Highbury sees an ex Dinner by Heston in Melbourne alumni return to London, backed up by a chef from Naughty Piglets. Expect a neighbourhood wine bar with a regularly changing list of both food and wine, as well as cocktails from the people behind Three Sheets.

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Trullo
Address: 300 - 302 St Paul's Road, London N1 2LH
What We Know:

Probably Islington's most famous restaurant, this Italian affair sees Jordan Frieda, formerly front-of-house at The River Cafe teaming up with chef Tim Siadatan (the same team behind Padella). Expect superlative Italian cuisine and if you're passing by, it's well worth a look in their next-door deli too.

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vins
Address: 93 Grosvenor Ave, Canonbury, London N5 2NL
What We Know:

Slightly off the beaten track in Canonbury is this small neighbourhood wine bar, serving up a changing seasonal European menu. The owners are Hugo Thurston and Vinny Burke, who were also behind Shoreditch's Jago.

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Westerns Laundry
Address: 34 Drayton Park, London N5 1PB
What We Know:

Owners David Gingell and Jeremie Cometto-Lingenheim also run nearby Primeur and Jolene, both also excellent. Here, there's a distinct focus on seafood and the menu changes every day, although if the cuttlefish croquettes with aioli are on there, make sure you order those. In the summertime, you can take a glass of something cold out on the front courtyard and if you're really pushing the boat out, ask for the leather-bound, handwritten, ‘black book’ of fine wines.

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ximpression
Address: 117 Benwell Rd, London N7 7BW
What We Know:

This Holloway restaurant (it's just across the road from the Emirates stadium) has won a deserved reputation for cooking up some of the best Shang Xi-inspired street food in London. Yes, that means there's a bit of heat involved here, but their hand-pulled noodles are among the best in town. Their pork/beef "burgers" are not to be missed.

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zialuuia
Address: 157 Holloway Rd, London N7 8LX
What We Know:

A top Holloway Road pizzeria which prides itself on its dough, 48-hour fermented, and there are also vegetable charcoal, wholemeal and gluten-free options. Combine this with some unique toppings and combinations (including truffle honey) and you've a winning combo. Their next-door pasta restaurant Berto is worth a look too.

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The best of Islington map

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Find the best restaurants in...

Borough and London Bridge  |  City of London  |  Clerkenwell  |  Covent Garden  |  Fitzrovia  |  King's Cross  |  Knightsbridge  |  Islington  |  Marylebone  |  Mayfair  |  Notting Hill  |  Peckham  |  Shoreditch  |  Soho |  Victoria and Pimlico

 

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