Islington might be represented by the quasi-impoverished baby blue squares on the Monopoly board, but that doesn’t reflect the restaurants in Islington, which are solid gold. And probably occupied by the fancy motorcar. Driven by the dog. Wearing the top hat.
There’s elegant French brasseries and cosy wine bars; gourmet kebabs and Italian comfort food. We’ve tried and tested every one, in the quest to pin down the best Islington & Angel restaurants for your delectation.
These are they –
Word on the grapevine is that low intervention wines are not only really trendy, but go really well with Modern European cooking. Something the clever guys at Primeur must have heard before the rest of us judging by their affordable, natural wines, and clever ingredient-driven small plates. READ MORE
Details: 116 Petherton Road, N5 2RT | Open Tues-Thurs 5-10.30pm; Fri & Sat 12-10.30pm, Sun 12-5pm | £££
Black Axe Mangal
Nose to tail dining meets rock’n’roll thanks to Lee Tiernan – formerly head chef of St John Bread & Wine – who knocks up haute kebabs and lamb offal flatbreads to the thrashing beat of heavy-metal. READ MORE
Details: 156 Canonbury Road, N1 2UP | Open Mon-Sat 6-10.30pm, plus weekend brunch 11am-3pm | ££
Named after odd looking conical houses in Apulia, Italy, Trullo is the kind of contemporary little trattoria that you dream of finding on holiday, but sadly never do.
Because it’s in Highbury.
Jordan Frieda and Tim Siadatan, formerly of River Café and Fifteen respectively, serve up some of the freshest pasta available, as well as meat and fish cooked simply over burning coals. It’s trullo delicious.
Details: 300-302 St Paul’s Road, N1 2LH | Open daily 12.30-2.45pm, 6-10.15pm (9.15pm Sundays) | £££
It’s a relaxed, cafe-esque space in Highbury, serving up authentic X’ian street food – pork & vegetable dumplings, and thick belts of biang biang noodles – all of which you can wash down with absolutely any tipple of choice, thanks to its nifty BYOB policy. READ MORE.
Details: 117 Benwell Road, London, Highbury , N7 7BW | Open Monday-Saturday, 11.30am-10pm; Sunday, 11.30am-9pm | ££–
Oldroyd, the self-financed, debut restaurant from Tom Oldroyd (ex-chef director at Polpo) is made with love. You’ll feel it while enjoying a cocktail at one of the small alfresco tables. You’ll feel it by the open kitchen on the ground floor. You’ll feel it in the intimate upstairs dining room, while doting on modern European dishes like smoked pork belly & pea croquetas with truffle mayonnaise, and gigantic lamb & almond meatballs with salsa romesco & pickled garlic… and you’ll feel it in the chocolate mousse with salted pistachio praline. READ MORE
Details: 344 Upper Street, N1 0PD | Open Mon-Thurs 12-10.30pm, Fri/Sat 12-11pm, Sun 12-9.30pm | £££
Allow us to introduce Seb Holmes. Having started his culinary career at 13 yeas of age, then worked up to become head chef at both Smoking Goat and The Begging Bowl, he’s already one of the more experienced Thai cuisine specialists in the capital. And now he’s manning the stoves at another of the city’s best Thai restaurants: his own. Farang is his pet project, having gone through supper clubs, residencies, and pop ups to finally end up as a permanent feature in the North London scene. The space is simple (it used to be an Italian trattoria, and you can tell), and the food is next-level delicious. Expect fragrant stews like Cornish mussels in a coconut-scented green curry broth; spicy meat dishes like flat iron-grilled beef steak with roasted chilli jaew (a kind of dipping sauce); and fresh veggie options like aromatic crispy wontons and dipping vegetables. And there’s unlimited jasmine rice, too.
Details: 72 Highbury Park, N5 2XE | Open for dinner Weds-Sat, 12pm-9pm | ££
Opened by brothers Martin and Christoph Lange, Salut! resides on Essex Road in Islington with casual-yet-fine-dining food, a relaxed atmosphere, and remarkably friendly service provided by the duo themselves. They’re cooking up everything from seared lamb loin with parsnip ‘variations’ to grilled squid tartare; garden pea risotto and olive oil cake with rhubarb and lavender. And it’s all delicious. READ MORE
Details: 412 Essex Road, N1 3PJ | Open for dinner Tues-Sun, 6-11pm and lunch Fri-Sun, 12-3pm | ££££
Twelve Fifty-One. If you haven’t visited yet, then it’s about time. The next restaurant from Great British Menu-winning chef James Cochran, it’s a beautiful, airy spot with double-height ceilings, where candy pink banquettes contrast with soft vintage lighting and reclaimed wood panelled walls. The menu is a quintessential snapshot of Cochran’s inimitable style, from jerk ham hock terrine to slow-braised beef shin with smoked bone marrow; cured mackerel with kohlrabi; and cep mousse with ‘walnut soil’. READ MORE.
Details: 107 Upper Street, N1 1QN | Open daily 11am-11pm (10.30pm Sun) | £££
Prawn on the Lawn
This fishmonger-cum-seafood bar has a catchy name… but it doesn’t joke about when it comes to selling and serving its ultra-fresh seafood, delivered daily from its Padstow branch. Pick off a platter of fruits de mer at their cosy counter seating, or try tapas-style fish dishes from a daily changing menu like mackerel with n’duja & fennel. You could say it’s surf on the turf. READ MORE
Details: 292-294 St Paul’s Road, N1 2LH | Open Tues-Sat, 12pm-12am | ££
Sambal Shiok Laksa Bar
Sambal Shiok started life as a street food stall, before overwhelming demand gave Malaysian-born owner and chef Mandy Yin the confidence to open her first permanent site. Yin’s food take inspiration from her childhood in Kuala Lumpa, with the main focus being big bowls of spicy coconutty laksa (Malaysian noodle soup) topped with everything from fried tofu puffs, bean sprouts, and green beans; to poached chicken or king prawns.
Details: 171 Holloway Road, London, N7 8LX | Open Tues-Fri, 5.30-10pm; Sat, 11.30am-3.15pm and 5.30-10pm | ££
Last updated: 9th September 2020 | Main Image: 1251
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