Hardens Guide to the Best Restaurants in London Islington
Hardens guides have spent 30 years compiling reviews of the best Islington restaurants. On Hardens.com you'll find details and reviews of 95 restaurants in Islington and our unique survey based approach to rating and reviewing Islington restaurants gives you the best insight into the top restaurants in every area and of every type of cuisine.
Featured Islington Restaurants
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. Isarn Thai restaurant in Islington 119 Upper St - N1
2018 Review: The “pretty authentic food” and attentive staff win consistent praise for this Islington fixture. The “modern decor is a cut above the normal high street Thai”, making the best of what could be a tricky narrow space.
4. Salut International restaurant in Islington 412 Essex Road - N1
Tiny Canonbury fixture, with “a small but perfectly formed menu” of ambitious modern European dishes, prepared in an open kitchen – “wonderful, well-flavoured, light cooking”, from “the amazing roast potatoes to the soups and everything in between”.
5. Dead Rabbits Saloon Spanish restaurant in Islington 138 Blackstock Road - N4
Paella Shack now has a permanent / pop-up home in Highbury, but it can still be found at markets in London City Island, Beaconsfield, Cobham and Walthamstow. There's also a cookery school, so you can learn to make your own authentic Valencian paella.
6. Butcher & Brew Steaks & grills restaurant in Islington 267 Upper Street - N1
This craft beer and butchery shop (sibling to a Streatham spot) has an open rear terrace for outdoor dining; once fully open, it will offer a small plates menu.
7. 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”.
8. 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”.
9. 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.
10. Stefs @ Oregano Italian restaurant in Islington 18-19 St Albans Pl - N1
2017 Review: “Consistently good thin-crust pizza” makes it worth remembering this cute, family-friendly Italian, hidden off Upper Street.
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