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 96 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. Rudy's Vegan Diner Vegan restaurant in Islington 206a Upper Street - N1
The second branch of the all-vegan diner, next door to their Islington butcher.
2. Campfire restaurant in Islington Tileyard London, Tileyard Road - N7
New from the Two Tribes beer company is this outdoor firepit and tap room in King's Cross next to its HQ; much like Carousel, the venue will feature guest chefs and residencies to showcase open-fire cooking.
3. Santa Maria Pizza restaurant in Islington 189 Upper Street - N1
A fourth branch of this successful small pizza group arrived in summer 2021.
4. 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”.
5. 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”.
6. 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.
7. 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”.
8. Le Cellar French restaurant in Islington 130 St John Street - EC1V
Promising initial feedback on this tiny, wine, cheese, charcuterie and tapas yearling in Clerkenwell, whose backers include wine buyer Anthonin Charlier (formerly at Cellar and Club Gascon). French and Spanish flavours are to the fore – “a really happy discovery: both food and wine are great, but the service makes the place”.
9. FTABAM (Black Axe Mangal) International restaurant in Islington 156 Canonbury Road - N1
“Unique! Hard rock, offal, penises on the walls, skateboards… all plus rocking cooking from an ex-St John chef” – KISS fan, Lee Tiernan’s tiny kebab dive near Highbury Corner is “not a place for everyone”, but his massively spicy flatbreads “take this kind of dish to the next level”, and, for its adoring fanclub, “a brilliant vibe and superb food make it a must-go”.
10. 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.
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