The Plimsoll

When talking best pubs in North London, The Plimsoll is always a shoe-in to appear…

Located halfway between Arsenal and Finsbury Park stations, it was once known as the Auld Triangle, an Irish pub and regular match day spot for Arsenal supporters. While those football fans still hang around, it’s now got a new name (The Plimsoll) and a new pair of owners (Ed McIlroy and Jamie Allan), who you might also recognise as the two mates behind Four Legs, the wildly popular kitchen residency that used to run at Compton Arms.

The Plimsoll

In terms of design tweaks, McIlroy and Allan haven’t messed with the venue too much (they want to keep that roughed-up British boozer charm intact), so it’s more of a exercise in preservation than a full on glossy makeover – the nicotine-stained ceiling remains, and though the creaky floorboards and the wooden tables and chairs have been given well-earned polish, breathe in and it still has that irresistible old pub smell. One thing that did need changing, however, was the kitchen, and on the back of the £75,000 kickstarter campaign they’ve kitted it out to meet modern pub demands, and with a pasta machine and an open grill, which leads us to the food…

The Plimsoll

Both Allan (formerly of Hill & Szrok) and McIlroy (formerly of Bao) are esteemed chefs, dating well beyond their Compton Arms years, so you can expect quite the display of cooking prowess. It’s few levels up from your standard pub grub and the menu is an everyday-changing experimentation of big and small dishes – anything from day boat fish on the plancha to beef ragu orecchiette, pork rillettes, crumbed prawns served with a rouille sauce and chicken mayo sarnies – but one mainstay that doesn’t go anywhere is their hall of fame Dexter cheeseburger, one of the best burgers in London; a smashed patty, finely diced onion, American cheese, burger sauce, and gherkins in a brioche bun. Like an extremely gourmet Big Mac without the lettuce, if you had to make a comparison…

For drinks, you can plump for the short but sharp wine list or a perfectly fine selection of beers from the tap that include Thornbridge, Harbour Brewing, their namesake lager brewed by Forest Road and a fist-pumpingly good pour of Guinness. 

Ultimately, you can’t put a foot wrong…


NOTE: The Plimsoll is open Mon-Fri 3-11pm and Sat-Sun 12pm-12am. You can make a booking here.

ALSO NOTE: The food menu is limited on days when there’s a game on at The Emirates, but you can expect some nostalgic classics (including Bovril).

The Plimsoll | 52 St Thomas’s Road, London N4 2QW

Seeing as though we’re on the subject of North London boozers… How about the best pubs in Islington?

The Plimsoll

52 St Thomas's Road, Finsbury Park, N4 2QW

8.8 | Great