149 Upper St., Islington
Three friends with careers in law and finance have come together to open their passion project: Slaw. The menu is rooted in the kind of plant-based, root-to-stem cooking that they love to eat, eliminating as much waste as possible. The interior feels straight out of Copenhagen, with chevron wood flooring, white-painted brick walls, and stacks of firewood heaped in the corners. You immediately want to settle into one of the wicker chairs and start eating. Bowls of squash and barley risotto topped with hazelnut crumb, a plate of garlicky chickpeas, and spicy, slow-roasted tomatoes are so nourishing and satisfying, you’ll hardly miss the meat—and that’s exactly the point.
169 Hemingford Rd., Islington
Islington is a sort of de facto testing ground for restaurant concepts and only the best stand the test of time—the legendary Ottolenghi and Trullo, for example. And teensy Sunday, hidden away on a residential street with a beige, unassuming awning and low key decor, may just be the next big hit. Walk by any weekend morning only to find a line around the block, waiting patiently for some of the best breakfast London has to offer. Same goes for weekdays, when virtually every local freelancer in the know rocks up for breakfast, coffee, and lunch. The lure: a perfect breakfast, great coffee, and healthy, hearty lunch. Our picks: Buttermilk pancakes and their as of yet undefeated zucchini fritter, halloumi, and avocado pile served on yogurt spiced with dukkah. Enough said.
300-302 St. Paul's Rd., Islington
This Italian spot is great with a few friends because it means you get to share a bunch of the delicious, seasonal offerings. Their menu is constantly changing, so you can always expect to be pleasantly surprised. Downstairs, you'll find a slightly glitzier (though still very tasteful and understated) vibe and small plates that are a little fancier.
Duke of Cambridge
30 St. Peter's St., Islington
From yummy mummies and their banker husbands to twenty-somethings who've wandered a bit too far from Essex Road, everyone seems to enjoy this up market gastropub with great organic fare and drinks. It's a perfect location for a post-meal walk to Broadway Market via Regent's Canal.
The Draper’s Arms
44 Barnsbury St., Islington
Hidden away on a quiet street in Islington, the Draper’s Arms attracts a faithful following who come for casual tipples and full meals. The British gastro-pub fare is wonderful as is the small selection of wines; and, this being England and all, the beer and ales selection is definitely on point. Old wooden tables, checkerboard floors, board games, and a wall full of classic orange-spined Penguin paperbacks drives the cozy vibe home.
10 Thornhill Rd., Islington
Tucked away on an idyllic street in Islington, this pretty Georgian pub boasts a lot of outdoor space—a rarity in London. On summer evenings and weekends, the best spots in the house are in the front courtyard for beers and cocktails, and out back for classic pub fare in the wisteria covered courtyard. This being one of the most popular gastropubs in the area, dinner and Sunday roast reservations come in handy.
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