Finding a good drink (or three) is not a hard task in N1. If you're looking for a classy, crowded bar with expert cocktail-making staff, go to 69 Colebrooke Row. If a homely haunt blasting tunes is more your thing, try Old Queen's Head. No matter what you're in the mood for, Islington has it all. Check out our favourites in our guide to great bars in Islington.
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Best bars in Islington and Angel
‘The bar with no name’, it styles itself – try telling that to a taxi driver. In reality, 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. Punters come for the cocktails, all of which are outstanding.Read more
This big bar rocks an urban bordello and burlesque look with its ruby-red ceiling, tassel lampshades and candelabras, with a solid Wild West saloon-style bar top on which to lean, and the separate ‘Satan’s Circus’ mini-club with dancefloor. But the whole thing kind of works. Sort of. The cocktail list is classic and concise, with mai tais, margaritas and martinis all at £7, while wines are confined to half a dozen reds and whites.Read more
House of Wolf is a self-described ‘three-story (sic) Victorian lair’ with ‘experimental dining, drinking and live entertainment… under one roof.’ And the building does indeed have several bars and dining areas, all exuding a steampunk-ish aesthetic. Instead of a single resident chef, House of Wolf promises a rota of monthly pop-up chef ‘residencies’. The ground-floor bar with its draught lagers and so-so wine list isn’t particularly lair-like, but climb the stairs to the ‘Apothecary Bar’, with its leather chairs and Victoriana and things look up.Read more
Who are Hoxley & Porter? You won’t find them pulling pints, but a squint at the website suggests a back story about one of them being a Victorian explorer. For this is another theme bar on Upper Street. Not mock Mexican, cod Cuban or faux-Oirish this time, but one that hangs on to the petticoats of the 19th-century colonial explorer look. So there are potted palms, uniformed staff, patterned wallpaper, vintage lighting.Read more