There is nothing quite like sitting in a classy pub while enjoying a Sunday roast with a refreshing drink. In fact, a trip to the pub is basically a British pastime.

And if you just so happen to live in Islington, then you're spoilt for choice when it comes to boozers with excellent pub food in the N1 postcode.

But which one should you visit?

We've put this guide together detailing where you can get the best pub food in Islington, from gastropubs to local favourites.

1) Compton Arms

Any pub that was good enough for George Orwell is good enough for us. The famous English novelist used to frequent the Compton Arms, and he knew a thing or two about great pubs.

The Compton Arms has traditional ales on cask, as well as London craft beers and an impressive wine list. When it comes to food, the focus is on fresh and seasonal produce served on small and medium plates designed with sharing in mind.

Address: Compton Arms, 4 Compton Ave, London N1 2XD
Phone: 020 7354 8473
Email: [email protected]
Follow @comptonarmsn1

2) The Draper's Arms

Head to Barnsbury Street to experience some of the best pub food in Islington at The Draper’s Arms. There’s a great atmosphere in this boozer, plus outdoor space and high ceilings for a roomy, non-crowded feel.

The rotating ales will please anyone looking for a bevvy, but it’s the food where The Draper’s Arms has gained its reputation. The seasonal menu will leave your mouth watering for more, whether you’re tucking into classic pub grub or creative dishes with a hint of flair.

Address: 44 Barnsbury St, Islington, London N1 1ER
Phone: 020 7619 0348
Email: [email protected]
Follow @DrapersArms

3) The Earl of Essex

People head to The Earl of Essex for the lengthy beer lists that cover the walls, but they stay for the food. The Sunday lunch is so good it feels like it's playing games with your taste buds. And the local bar menu serves up treats like the seriously good fish and chips.

There's also a beer garden out the back, which is great for somewhere to relax during the warmer months.

Address: 25 Danbury St, Islington, London N1 8LE
Phone: 020 7424 5828
Email: [email protected]
Follow @theearlofessex1

4) John Salt

From great food to drinks galore and even a DJ, John Salt pretty much has it all. This trendy gastropub is the perfect spot for a quiet drink and bites to eat during the week or an evening of fantastic food and leg shaking to the latest tunes.

The exposed brickwork and woodwork prints only add to the atmosphere, giving off an elegant industrial vibe. Go for the Sunday Roast, or enjoy typical pub grub like burgers with tasty side dishes.

Address: 131 Upper St, The Angel, London N1 1QP
Phone: 020 3437 0634
Email: [email protected]
Follow @johnsalt131

5) Hemingford Arms

Located in nearby Barnsbury, Hemingford Arms is a creatively decorated pub with red and grey walls plastered in posters and quirky knick-knacks. Oh, and the food and drink is pretty good too.

Hemingford Arms is hidden among some of the most sought-after residential streets, making it one of the best places for pub food for locals. The menu has delectable Thai food to tuck into, and you can even take part in drag bingo nights or play the out-of-tune piano. It's all going on at Hemingford Arms.

Address: 158 Hemingford Rd, London N1 1DF
Phone: 020 7607 3303
Email: [email protected]
Follow @hemingfordarms

6) The Pig and Butcher

It’s perhaps fitting that the area surrounding The Pig and Butcher was previously used as fields to rest livestock before they were sent off to a meat market. And the pub pays homage to the area’s past with a menu that features rare-breed meats and changes according to the produce brought in.

There’s a handy drink list too. So you can enjoy a great time at The Pig and Butcher, whether you’re having a meal or sipping on a beverage.

Address: 80 Liverpool Rd, Islington, London N1 0QD
Phone: 020 7226 8304
Email: [email protected]
Follow @pigandbutcher

7) The Alma

Head to an award-winning pub at The Alma, a boozer that's regularly voted TimeOut's London pub of the year. It's easy to see why too. Located in nearby Canonbury, The Alma sets the scene with film posters pinned to the wall and has a great range of beers, wines and spirits.

Then there's the food, which features classics like Cumberland & mash, fish & chips and beef & Guinness stew.

Address: 59 Newington Green Rd, Mildmay Ward, London N1 4QU
Phone: 020 7226 3531
Follow @thealma_n1

8) Narrowboat

If you're looking for the best pub food in Islington with some great views, then get yourself down to Narrowboat. Overlooking the Regent's Canal, you'll enjoy unrivalled images of the waterfront while you sip back on a beer and taste great food.

There's loads of natural light flooding into this pub, which gives it an uplifting vibe, while the industrial look offers lots of modern charm. It's a Young's pub, so you can expect both great ales and even better food.

Address: 119 St Peter's St, Islington, London N1 8PZ
Phone: 020 7400 6003
Email: [email protected]
Follow @narrowboatpub

The best pub food in Islington

As a place with so many great pubs, you have tons of options to enjoy top-notch food and thirst-quenching drinks.

Whether you’re living in Islington or find yourself in the area for a couple of hours, you can’t go wrong with one of the pubs on our list when it comes to delicious food.

Mark Flint


Mark is a regular contributor to the Essential Living blog and shares all the latest news and sourcing the very best content for our customers.