From cosy gastropubs to moreish Mediterranean delis, when it comes to food and drink, this Islington enclave has every base covered. Whether you’re in the mood for cocktails, live music, shopping or a lazy Sunday lunch, Angel is awash with all kinds of cultural delights. Here are the places to put on your list…
WHERE TO DRINK
69 Colebrooke Row
Hailed as one of the best cocktail bars in the world, this Islington gem stays open until 2am on Fridays and Saturdays. The Italian café-style interior with vintage posters and smartly dressed bartenders will transport you straight back to the 50s. They also run masterclasses on how to recreate famous tipples.
69 Colebrooke Row, Angel, N1 8AA
Elk in the Woods
Combining the perfect mix of rustic cool – think Nordic style reclaimed woods and animal head wall décor – this bar-cum-restaurant is a gorgeous setting to sink a few glasses of red in. The food isn’t half bad either, with everything from stacked sandwiches and small sharing plates to hearty boards of slow roast pork belly, Iberico pork short ribs, veggie stacks and Bloody Mary-fuelled breakfasts.
37-39 Camden Passage, Angel, N1 8EA
Hoxley & Porter
Festooned in zany prints, exotic green palms, vintage lighting and shadowy foliage, this vintage-look den comes dripping in Victorian style. Cocktails come with an exotic twist, so look forward to the likes of Peruvian pisco sours and boozy rum infusions – think Mai Tais and Mint Juleps with rum, mint, sugar syrup and bitters.
153 Upper Street, Angel, N1 1RA
From the people behind Callooh Callay, this sultry cocktail bar has plenty of dark hidden corners and slouchy sofas to curl up with a tipple or two. Quirky cocktails like the Shim and Proper, Carbon Tax Cocktail and Tinsletown Fizz will quench your thirst, whilst the short and sweet food menu comes loaded with plenty of comfort food classics to soak up all the booze.
54 Islington Park Street, Angel, N1 1PX
The Dead Dolls Club
Epitomizing quirky opulence, DDC is adorned with playful Quentin Blake illustrations on the walls, whilst mirrored tables and sumptuous velvet sofas offset the club’s industrial exposed brickwork. Sway to the sounds of piano jazz – with DJs sets thrown in for fun – whilst sampling their classic cocktail collection. Open until 4am.
181 Upper Street, Angel, N1 1RQ
Slim Jim's Liquor Store
This American-style dive bar dons bare brick walls, booth seats, low-lit tables and neon lights – all key ingredients for a grown-up night out. Along with a stellar selection of bourbons, whiskeys and cocktail classics that flow until 3am, there's a pizza station should the munchies strike.
112 Upper Street, Islington, N1 1QN
The Old Queen's Head
This raucous boozer is busy almost every night of the week, but it’s the weekends when The Old Queen’s Head really comes alive. DJ play till late, with crowds spilling out on onto the street, and there’s always a buzzy vibe. But if you’re not in party mode, there are plush leather sofas to kick back in, and a great food menu too.
44 Essex Road, Islington, N1 8LN
WHERE TO EAT
Brasserie Zédel’s slick little sister is the place to go if you’re hankering after French cuisine. Or German, they serve a mix of the two. Look forward to classic dishes of tartes flambées (slim, crispy pizzas with various toppings), veal schnitzel and bavette steaks served alongside Moules Normande, Choucroute à l’Alsacienne and a delicious fromage selection.
9 Islington Green, Angel, N1 2XH
Lesser-known dishes from mainland China are served in this Islington haunt, with an interior inspired by 80s Chinese home life. It’s currently under renovation following a fire, but is due to re-open this autumn, so watch this space. Diners can devour the very best Chinese dim sum as well as grilled meats, seafood and hearty rice dishes.
107 Upper Street, Angel, N1 1QN
An oldie but a goodie, Frederick’s glitzy setting, which comes complete with a swanky cocktail bar, lofty conservatory, poppy 80s artwork and a glorious hidden garden, is a food lover’s haven. The menu changes seasonally, so you might find the likes of dressed Colchester crab, assiette of duck and Welsh lamb cutlets moonlighting on the menu.
Camden Passage, Angel, N1 8EG
The concept of this neighbourhood steak joint is simple: people meet up to devour big plates of perfectly cooked meat. Any vegetarian should turn away now. Although the focus here is on steak (there’s everything from melt-in-the-mouth chateaubriands to succulent rib-eyes and Argentinian fillets), the menu stretches to ox cheeks, stone bass, kurobuta pork and confit duck too.
4-6 Essex Road, Angel, N1 8LN
Fish lovers are in for a treat at this Islington gem, head chef and owner Marcel Grzyb headed up the kitchen at Randall & Aubin for ten years, so knows a thing or two about rustling up the perfect fish plate. As well as fresh Cornish mussels, seared Scottish scallops and Cornish crab spaghetti, meaty morsels feature including pork fillet with ham hock croquette, crispy duck confit succulent sirloin steak. If you’re feeling particularly indulgent start with a few oyster shucks – there are eight different types to choose from, including a gin and tonic option – and one of their decadently dressed cocktails.’ The French Deal’ served with Portobello gin, St Germain liqueur, Lillet Blanc, fresh dill and a gigantic frozen passion fruit cube is absolutely divine.
105 – 106 Upper Street, Angel, N1 1QN
With classics on their menu like ‘Filth Pie’ and the famous ‘Dead Hippie’ burger, you know exactly what to expect at Meat Liquor’s dive bar burger joint. Pure filth. But the best burger kind. Tuck into their greasy, cheesy sliders with a side of deep-fried mac ‘n’ cheese, then wash down with one of their dangerously addictive cocktails.
133b Upper Street, Angel, N1 1QP
Ottolenghi’s deli restaurants are a delight to walk into – you’ll see stacks of vibrant, zingy salads, spiced bakes and floral displays set out carefully on the counters, plus window displays of patisserie platters and pretty pastel-coloured meringues. It’s café-style, so you can help yourself and take away if you’d like, but the serene all-white setting is glorious for a sit-down lunch or laid-back dinner.
287 Upper Street, Angel, N1 2TZ
This serious smokehouse joint serves up brined, cured and Nordic-style meats, chargrilled to perfection over steaming hot coals. But Rök isn’t just about the meat – as incredible as it is – the menu also boasts tangy pickles, mussels cooked in Wu Gang Chops The Tree ale, and scallops with nduja and seaweed.
149 Upper Street, Angel, N1 1RA
A family-run, Modern European restaurant tucked away on Islington’s Essex Road. The pared-back dining room and open kitchen oozes style, and each dish is pimped to perfection with that classic French flourish foodies go nuts over.
412 Essex Road, Islington, N1 3PJ
The Breakfast Club
With locations all over London this retro café chain certainly knows how to rustle up a decent breakfast spread. This Islington branch is a little on the small side, so if you hole up for brunch on a Saturday be prepared to queue, but once you’re in you’ll be in breakfast heaven with American-inspired plates of pancakes with bacon, beer cheese benedict, breakfast burritos and chorizo hash.
31 Camden Passage, Angel, N1 8EA
The Pig & Butcher
Sibling to The Smokehouse, this rustic pub is one of the best spots in London for a lazy Sunday lunch. The meats here are incredible, so expect everything from slow-cooked pork shoulder and aged Hereford sirloin, to farm-sourced chicken crown cooked with lemon and thyme. There are epic side dishes and starters too – think autumn veg hash with halloumi and Cornish squid with roasted peppers, chorizo and cheddar mac ‘n’ cheese. Mmmm.
80 Liverpool Rd, Islington, N1 0QD
This swanky local hero serves up a mighty menu of moreish Italian classics. Tuck into plates of creamy burrata with marinated rainbow chard; tagliatelle with pancetta, trevise and wild oregano; and Cornish monkfish with Castelluccio lentils and salsa rossa.
300 – 302 Paul's Road, Islington, N1 2LH
WHAT TO DO
With a mix of vintage fashion stores, art galleries and delightful cafés and restaurants, Camden Passage’s quaint cobbled streets are a joy to explore. Antique and vintage market stalls spill out into the streets and on the weekends it has brilliantly buzzy vibe.
83 Upper Street, Angel, N1 0NP
Having undergone a bit of a makeover earlier this summer, Islington’s favourite music venue now has a brand new look with a quirky retro-style cocktail bar and state-of-the-art sound system. Hole up in the General Store’s diner-bar for pre-gig cocktails – be sure to try the ‘Sweetshop Surprise’ with rhubarb, raspberry and prosecco served in a giant sweet jar – before heading to the main room for your music fix.
20-22 Highbury Corner, Islington, N5 1RD
Screen On The Green
This gorgeously romantic cinema is one of the oldest screens in the country: it opened in 1913 and has been a single-screen cinema ever since. Velvet draped curtains frame the screen, and there are comfy sofas to snuggle up for the ultimate cinema experience. There’s also a bar at the back serving up wines, cocktails and tasty titbits.
83 Upper St, Islington, N1 0NP
Built in 1877, Union Chapel’s Grade I-listed gothic masterpiece is still used as a working church and help centre for London’s homeless. Oozing with ambience, the chapel also plays host to a number of live musical performances that are as uplifting as the stunning setting itself. It became famed for hosting acoustic nights and occasional jazz shows, but since then, the Union Chapel has become a magnet for thinking bands and their fans, particularly as part of the rightly lauded Little Noise Sessions for Mencap.
19b Compton Terrace, N1 2UN