French Restaurants in Islington
1. Le Sacré-Coeur French restaurant in Islington 18 Theberton St - N1
This long-serving “no-nonsense bistro” just off Islington’s main drag is a “hardy local stand-by at a very moderate price for those who like French bistro-style food and ambience”. Top Tip – “escargots followed by steak frites for lunch at under £15 is an absolute steal”.
2. Bellanger French restaurant in Islington 9 Islington Grn - N1
Created by Jeremy King and Christopher Corbin, this smart brasserie on Islington Green is long on Belle Époque-style charm, and – thanks to “a menu that suits most moods and a warm welcome” – has, for many locals, become “a go-to for most occasions, particularly family lunch and brunch”. Its cuisine (with some emphasis on its selection of tartes flambées) has always tended to be “fine if not particularly distinguished” but the experience is enhanced by “decent, unrushed service”. Now part of Minor International’s Wolseley Hospitality Group following its April 2022 takeover of Corbin & King: “I fear for it under its new ownership” is a common worry among regulars.
3. Le Mercury French restaurant in Islington 140a Upper St - N1
This “fun, old-style bistro with dishes to match” has been one of the dining bargains of Islington’s main drag for the best part of 40 years. It serves brunch from 10am as well as the standard Gallic brasserie menu for lunch and dinner.
4. Caravel French restaurant in Shoreditch 172 Shepherdess Walk - N1
A real “find and well worth visiting” – this converted barge moored on the Regent’s Canal near Angel has a tight modern Franco-Italian menu from Lorcan Spiteri, who trained under Jeremy Lee at Quo Vadis. With the Studio Kitchen next door, it is the first venture from Lorcan and his brother Fin, who were born to the job – dad is restaurateur John Spiteri (St John, Quo Vadis, Sessions Arts Club), mother Melanie Arnold co-founded Rochelle Canteen.
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