British, Modern Restaurants in Islington
1. Oldroyd British, Modern restaurant in Islington 344 Upper St - N1
“Tiny, really tiny!” – Tom Oldroyd’s converted Islington house is “either intimate or cramped… it’s hard to decide”, but “even though the space is confined, it has character” (“upstairs is slightly better”), plus it’s staffed with “nice people”. The draw is the “simple and well-prepared food”, which is “really tasty and interesting”: in the space, “how they do it is a mystery!”
2. The Wilmington British, Modern restaurant in Islington 69 Rosebery Avenue - EC1R
“Our local – we’re so lucky!” Near the foodie mecca of Exmouth Market, this “busy” Clerkenwell corner-boozer receives a consistent thumbs-up in reports: “the standard of the food is high”.
3. Frederick’s British, Modern restaurant in Islington 106 Camden Passage - N1
“Tucked away in Camden Passage”, this Islington institution is “still going strong after all these years” and remains a real “go-to place for family celebrations” for many north Londoners; as well as “a great place for a romantic dinner”. “The ordinary fascia hides a true gem inside”, leading onto “a modern, spacious and stylish interior” where the top seats are in the “lovely, light and airy back area”. It’s not a foodie kind of place, but the cooking is “contemporary and varied (the set menu never disappoints)”, and “staff are par excellence, always professional, but fun and cheery”.
4. Top Cuvee British, Modern restaurant in Islington 177b Blackstock Road - N5
“A brilliant addition to Norf Landon”: this “buzzy” and “notably hip” new Highgate wine bar and bistro offers a fashionable formula, combining a curt menu of “lovely small plates” – showing “real depth of flavour” – with an “excellent wine list, which may tend a tad to the ‘natural’, but which offers plenty of choice”. “Knowledgeable and enthusiastic staff” add to the picture. “Only slight issue is acoustics: this is a hard-walled box, so noise-sensitive folk may want to pass… but I’m looking forward to returning soon”.
5. Pig & Butcher British, Modern restaurant in Islington 80 Liverpool Road - N1
Craft ales and on-site butchered meat combine at this “great local pub” in Islington – where the “hearty fare” is (perhaps unsurprisingly) “great for meat-lovers”. It’s “buzzy and busy”, so “expect to queue” at prime times.
6. Humble Grape British, Modern restaurant in Islington 11-13 Theberton Street - N1
“An amazing choice of wines” is served by “lovely staff, who are passionate and knowledgeable about the list” at these “proper wine bars”, whose liquid offering is “complemented by a very good food menu” of “well-made” dishes (small plates, plus cheese and charcuterie). The Battersea original is still the branch attracting most feedback, although the chain is spreading eastwards, and its operation in the crypt of St Bride’s Church and newer Liverpool Street branch are “very competent”: next stop is an opening in Canary Wharf.
7. 1251 British, Modern restaurant in Islington 107 Upper Street - N1
“A much-needed alternative to the usual Upper Street fare” – James Cochran’s ambitious yearling is a ray of sunshine in N1, and even the less impressed minority who feel “it’s not quite up to the celebrity chef hype” generally feel “it’s nice to have something a bit different in the local area”. Quibbles also include the “cramped”, “corridor-like” space and service that can sometimes seem like “amateur’s hour”, but at its best this part-Scottish, part-Jamaican chef provides “exceptional dishes, with cleverly combined ingredients and subtle spicing”. Top Tip – “The £15 lunch deal is the gastronomic bargain of the year”: “extraordinary food, lovingly crafted, and at silly prices”.
8. Megan's at the Sorting Office British, Modern restaurant in Islington 6 Esther Anne Place - N1
“Affordable and with a nice vibe” – these good-looking, all-day hang-outs major in brunch, but make reasonably-priced options for a relaxed meal at any time. This year, they added Wimbledon, Battersea Power Station and Clapham branches to the fast-growing stable.
9. Jolene British, Modern restaurant in Islington 20 Newington Green - N16
“This too-kool-for-school hangout in Newington Green” – a yearling bakery/café/restaurant from Primeur and Westerns Laundry founders Jeremie Cometto-Lingenheim and David Gingell – is “full to the rafters with Stokie’s coolest hipsters with good reason – the food is spot-on”. The vibe, all ‘unaltered grains milled onsite’, gets up one or two reporters’ noses though, who feel “its mincing pomposity makes it the Jacob Rees-Mogg of the Hackney restaurant scene!”
10. Four Legs at The Compton Arms British, Modern restaurant in Islington 4 Compton Avenue - N1
A new kitchen team have livened up the menu at this Arsenal supporters’ pub, which is said to have inspired George Orwell’s fictional, idealised pub The Moon Under Water. Early press reports are excited about its mix of pub grub and somewhat fancier fare.
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