North London’s borough of Islington is home to a lively selection of bars. From delicious cocktails to a classic G&T or refreshing glass of wine, we’ve chosen nine of the best bars in Islington.
Whether you’re looking for a stylish venue for an evening date, a fun and tropical themed place to go with friends or a laid back all-day drinking spot, here’s our top pick of Islington bars.
69 Colebrooke Row
69 Colebrooke Row, also known as The Bar With No Name, is the best secret bar in Islington. Hidden away on its namesake road, this speakeasy has an air of mystery surrounding it.
It’s the perfect place to go for experimental cocktails that are a cut above the rest, crafted by master mixologist Tony Conigliaro. Honour a special occasion with an indulgent drink in this intimate, alluring setting. Although there is a drinks menu, the bartenders are able to craft any cocktail you’d like. Order the 69 antipasto of prosciutto, olives and cheese to nibble on while you sip your drink.
Named after a poem from Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, Little Bat is a far cry from the Mad Hatter’s tea party. This stylish cocktail bar is designed like a speakeasy with its low lighting, dark wood furnishings, rows of old clothback books and intimate booth seating.
The cocktail menu is short but succinct, featuring at least one Alice inspired cocktail: ‘Through the Looking Glass’, a mixture of gin, elderflower cordial, lemon sherbet and tonic. The expert mixologists can craft a cocktail to suit your taste buds or help you choose the perfect pairing for a gin and tonic. Nibble on some light bites with your drink or order a sharing platter to enjoy with friends.
Aces & Eights Saloon Bar
Neighbourhood bar and pizza place Aces & Eights Saloon Bar caters to relaxed daytime drinks and a lively evening crowd. It’s situated just outside Tufnell Park station, making it easily reachable whichever side of Islington you live in (it’s also just a 15-minute walk from our Vantage Point apartments).
The venue resembles a cross between a 1950s rock ‘n’ roll cocktail bar and a cosy British pub. Pop by for a midweek local London pint or evening G&T and pizza. There’s a busy calendar of events throughout the year, including stand-up comedy, live music rock acts, and DJ sets.
Championing modern Irish hospitality, Homeboy has garnered many awards for its neighbourhood vibe and delicious cocktails. This is one of the best bars in Islington to enjoy a cocktail to the soundtrack of hip-hop and RnB tunes. The bar is easy to get to, located just off of Islington’s Upper Street.
As you would expect, there are a number of Irish liquors and whiskeys behind the bar. You’ll even find Homeboy’s own Irish coffee bitters featured in a few of the cocktails. If you want some comfort foods to satisfy your appetite while you drink, the evening menu includes buffalo nuggets, burgers, curry chips and cheese toasties.
Address: 108 Essex Road, Islington, London N1 8LX
Phone: 078 0159 3015
Barrio in Angel is a bright and colourful bar with a mismatch of furnishings and plants. The vibrancy of the decor is sure to enhance your mood, even when it’s gloomy outside. With a Latin-American theme, Barrio’s cocktail menu features classic tropical bebidas, as well as a few inventive creations of their own.
The fun and chilled atmosphere makes this a good bar to visit for after work drinks, bottomless brunch or a weekend fiesta with friends. Get your evening off to a good start by tucking into the street food menu of burritos, tacos, nachos, and burgers. On certain nights, you can look forward to a live DJ set.
If you favour wines over cocktails and G&Ts, Humble Grape is one of the best wine bars in Islington. Light and airy inside, with elegant brickwork and hanging plants, the wine bar is a chic setting for a romantic evening.
Order by the glass or bottle, choosing from a plethora of international wines – whether you’re a white or red wine drinker, you’d like a glass of bubbly or an alternative orange wine. It’s easy to be overwhelmed by the breadth of the menu. The expert waiters and sommeliers will happily help you decide on a wine to suit your palate. If you’re feeling peckish, the dining menu features delicious bar snacks, cheese platters, charcuterie boards and the namesake Humble pies.
Situated on the main Islington strip along Upper Street, Laki Kane is one of the best bars in Islington for tropical cocktails. You’ll be transported away from the bustle of London’s street to an exotic oasis, complete with palms, hula dancers and totem-shaped glasses. Your mood will be instantly uplifted at this tiki bar.
Visit for evening cocktails with friends and choose from the largely rum-based menu. Or savour bottomless brunch at the weekend, featuring a three-course set menu of authentic Thai cuisine and a tropical drink of choice. The bar also hosts a range of experiences to honour a special occasion, including cocktail masterclasses.
Hoxley & Porter
Another Upper Street haunt is the stylish cocktail lounge and restaurant, Hoxley & Porter. With its turn-of-the-century interiors, like Tiffany-inspired lamps, sleek leather armchairs and patterned wallpaper, it’s a chic venue for a date night or evening drinks.
Search for your star sign on the Zodiac cocktail menu. Each drink is carefully crafted to emulate the qualities and characteristics of each sign. It’s worth booking for food at the restaurant too. The à la carte menu focuses on modern European cuisine, such as venison loin in a garlic wild mushroom sauce and a roasted beetroot risotto.
Wine shop, deli and bar Yield N16 is the place to go for a chilled but chic drink in the N16 area. Head here if you’d rather skip the G&Ts and cocktails for a refreshing glass of wine or beer. Specialising in natural, biodynamic and minimal intervention wines, there’s an abundance of independent wines to tempt your palate. There’s also a smaller beer menu, carefully curated to showcase amazing breweries from around the world.
If you don’t have time to stay for a drink, visit the bottle shop and deli for all your pantry needs. After all, there’s no better way to enjoy a bottle of wine than with cheese, charcuterie and other nibbles.
The Best Bars in Islington
North London’s borough of Islington has a lively social scene with no shortage of excellent bars, cool hangouts and welcoming neighbourhood pubs.
You can make the most of this vibrant area when you live in our Vantage Point apartments, centrally located at the top of Junction Road by Archway Tube station. Find out more about life in this area by visiting our Islington area guide.