Best restaurants and bars in Angel, London
London is the most popular tourist destination in the world, but most tourists only know the London that is so heavily commercialised through monuments such as Big Ben and Buckingham Palace. Often when tourists and travellers alike come to visit “The big smoke” they don’t have the time to step away from sightseeing around the Thames, and see the real London. The real, raw, unique parts of London,housed by over 8 and a half million people, are the reason why so many of us choose to call this great city home, and I’d like to share my own personal favourite area in London with you. Angel in North London.
This is where I live and where Map My Adventure was born.
The name isn’t the only angelic thing about this area. Angel, in North London, is one of the best places to live in the city, due to the location, brilliant restaurants and bars, and cultural atmosphere.
Angel is located in Islington, considering North London, but very central, occupying a zone 1 status on the tube line (you don't get much more central than that). It's definitely close enough to all of the action, but far enough away to feel that community and creative style that encompasses all of Angel. The people that live here are a mix of city types, creatives, and young families but Angel offers something for everyone.
Upper Street (or ‘Supper Street’ as its known to locals) has a huge selection of restaurants and bars with every type of cuisine. We really are spoilt for choice here, and if you're a foodie like me, you'll be amazed by the quality of the cooking here.
The high street shops of The N1 centre & the business design centre, which houses several events throughout the year also draw the crowds, as well as the daily stalls and boutiques of Camden Passage.
You'll love Angel not only because you can walk to places like Kings Cross, Old Street, Clerkenwell, Holborn and Soho from here, but because there are two underground stations that serve us. The nearest is Angel underground station, which is on the Northern (Black) line.
The best destinations to reach using this station are Old Street, the City area, Shoreditch, London Bridge, Kings Cross, Camden, Kentish Town, Leicester Square, Euston. These are the areas I think you would also like to visit following your adventure here.
Alternatively Highbury & Islington station, which is on the Victoria Line (Light blue) is also located on Upper Street. This is a very fast underground line and serves Oxford Street, the busiest shopping street in Europe. It also reaches out to Victoria, Green Park and Brixton.
With all our transport links in mind it makes perfect sense to pay us a visit. Whatever your taste, there is always an abundance of choice on the street known as "Supper Street" to the locals, and Upper Street to everyone else.
Below are some of my favourite restaurants that I highly recommend when you visit us here:-
1. La Farola (Spanish Cuisine)
You can find La Farola Cafe & Bistro at the corner of Therberton Street, and Upper Street, just a short walking distance from Angel and Highbury & Islington tube stations. It's a cosy space that feels warm, open and inviting. La Farola is a favourite spot amongst locals and easily wins the hearts of wanderers who happen to stumble upon this amazing restaurant. Be mindful that this restaurant is not for budget travellers, I'd say prices were about mid range, and we as a couple typically spend around £80-£100 each time. (If you don't drink wine it'll be a lot cheaper).
2. El Inca (Ecuadorian Cuisine)
One of my favourite all time restaurants, this is a place where every dish will blow your taste buds right out of your mouth (in a good way). The different ceviche dishes and the lamb at first class, just like the service here at El Inca. It's run by a chef that worked for Gordon Ramsey in a michelin starred restaurant for years as well as Jason Atherton. I try and go here as much as I can, because I cant get enough of the flavours in their food, and the feeling of warmth and culture when you're inside this restaurant.
3. Mem & Laz (Turkish Cuisine)
This is a extremely popular, stylish brasserie restaurant, with comfortable, authentic, intimate surroundings and fantastic Turkish food. Their lunch menus and Al la carte are incredible tasty and really good value too. Typical meal in here will be around £40 for 2 people. This restaurant is also located on Theberton Street, just off of Upper Street.
4. Fig & Olive (Great for breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner)
They offer modern European dishes with a Mediterranean influence. Their food is healthy, flavoured well and there's a great mix of dishes from all over the world. Salads and cakes are prepared daily from the freshest ingredients. Located on Upper Street.
5. Ottolenghi (Great for breakfast/brunch)
Both a deli and a restaurant that holds a Michelin star, it seats about 50 people. Tables are mostly long and communal but there are a handful of tables for two. Serves breakfast, lunch and supper but there is always a queue, so get there early or be prepared to wait, but rest assured it'll be worth it.
6. Le Mercury (French cuisine)
An extremely popular restaurant, that now has a sister restaurant a block away due to the demand. Great French and Mediterranean cuisine. Excellent prices. Perfect "date night" setting, eating by candle light. Located on Upper Street.
7. Rosa's Café (Thai cuisine)
This restaurant is located on Theberton Street. Popular Thai chain restaurant, wth incredibly tasty Thai food. However be prepared to pay a lot more than you would in Thailand for the dishes here.
8. Wahaca (Mexican cuisine)
This vibrant Mexican cantina chain features trendy decor, good prices and fresh tasting food.
Wahaca is opposite "Highbury Green", a great area to chill out, read a book or relax on a bench, either before or after your meal.
9. Byron Burger
They serve simple, delicious, juicy hamburgers, as well as great side dishes and fries. Their mac and cheese is to die for. Byron restaurants have a relaxed atmosphere with a stylish/alternative. A great chain of restaurants in London, and located on Upper Street.
10. Five Guys
Great fast food. Burgers with every topping you could imagine, plus fries, soft drinks, milkshakes. Classic American and very tasty. Indulge! I do.
11. Meat Liquor
A dark, underground style American esque restaurant that serves up some excellent food, and alternative cocktails. Love this place, so give it a visit if you can. If just for the chicken wings. Located just off of Upper Street.
Their Sushi is delicious and their hot food is hearty 'home-style' Japanese cooking with traditional flavours. This is an intimate Japanese restaurant in the heart of Angel not to be missed. Sushi is my favourite, so if it's your's, I would recommend trying this one.
14. The Breakfast Club (Arrive early, or be prepared to queue)
Tucked away on Islington’s Camden Passage is a pretty little breakfast cafe. After being welcomed in by a cardboard cut out of Elvis, you'll feel free to treat the cafe like a home away from home. Very popular with visitors to London so always be prepared to queue and wait for a table.
Below are some of my favourite bars in Angel, that I highly recommend you pay a visit to.
1. The Bar with No Name (69 Colebrooke Row)
‘The bar with no name’ styles itself on being mysterious– but try telling that to a taxi driver! Luckily you can walk there in 5 minutes from Angel underground station. In reality however, everyone knows this place by its address, hidden away from the Upper Street hordes on an Islington backstreet. It’s the tiny flagship of bar supremo Tony Conigliaro, noted worldwide for his dedication to the art of the mixed drink: as such, it’s not easy to get a seat here without booking (but I always manage to, so I'm sure you will too). People come for the cocktails, all of which are outstanding. They regularly change their list of drinks to keep you coming back. Delicious!
2. The Winchester
This is the perfect spot to head to as part of your night on the town or the next day. Cheap 2-for-1 offers and a good vibe, with an even better crowd. I actually met my other half here. (Which in London is rare). Don't forget to head downstairs where you'll find a dark dance floor and banging tunes.
3. The Wenlock and Essex
I've had many a birthday party here. It's a huge space, with a great bar and seating area, as well as a back room with a DJ and a dance floor that resembles the dance floor in the movie "Saturday Night Fever". Cocktail list is deliciously good, and the beers and wine are on par.
4. The Pig and Butcher
This famous pub in London is on my doorstep. It has a great outdoor seating area for when its warm, and inside has a gastro pub vibe. The smell of the food walking down the street is enough to make you pay attention. Very highly rated amongst locals and tourists alike.
5. The Bull
The Bull is a pub very close to my heart, and is a great date place. On a Tuesday they do a really good pub quiz, thats really buzzy, and the atmosphere is super friendly. Friday nights they now have their resident DJ, and it gets quite lively with the after work crowds starting their weekends. the only way us Londoners know how
6. The Old Queens Head
The Old Queen's Head is a traditional pub in Islington. With a Karaoke room, club room & booths for parties & a fine selection of cocktails, food & drink. They do a great pub quiz on a Tuesday and on the weekends it has a cool, young, hipster vibe. One of my favourite night spots in Angel not to be missed.
7. Barrio North
Think Mexican loud spirit immersed into a small bar on Essex Road in Angel. A late night venue where the bar staff join you when taking a shot, and the music pumps out of the speakers. Barrio North is a chain, and its sister bars are Barrio Central (in central London) and Barrio East on Shoreditch high street in East London. Influencers for Barrio are filtered through from the urban art and music scene in South America, Mexico, Miami and London.
Be prepared to drink and dance here to the latin beats. Great place for a night out with a group of friends.
8. The Dead Dolls House
Recently renamed, (previously House of Wolf) this is an impressive building on Upper Street that occupies 3 floors. Each floor has a different atmosphere, and the top floor normally dominates for private parties with dance poles included.
They have a residence chef and DJ, as well as a great choice of cocktails.
9. Nags Head
Charming spacious pub opposite Angel tube station that serves great cocktails and a young hipster vibe. The atmosphere isn't pretentious, it's very much laid back and relaxed.
So now all you need to do is to come and visit the famous "Angel", and see with your very own eyes a quirky, unique, inviting area of London that will have you reaching for your visa application.