Earl of Essex

Bars and pubs, Craft beer pubs Islington
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 4 out of 5 stars
(12user reviews)
58 Love It
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The first thing you might notice on entering this backstreet Georgian pub is the beautiful island back-bar with a ’60s ‘Watney Red Barrel’ sign; the second will probably be the vast hymn-type board advertising that day’s beers on offer. Staff are constantly hopping up on to chairs to change the names as kegs run out – it’s that sort of place.

Nowadays, almost every new pub tries to sell itself on a ‘craft beer’ offer, but not all manage it on this scale. There are 11 on keg, five or six on cask, plus a couple of quality ciders. The range covers Britain from Devon to Cromarty via Ilkley, before jetting off to the Continent, Scandinavia and the USA. And it gets even better – there’s usually one beer pouring from the on-site Earl’s Brewery.

Staff are happy to offer tastings and know their stuff. On the menu, dishes are all listed with beer recommendations. Whether we really need a suggested beer match for a fishfinger sandwich I’m not sure, although it’s a nice touch. Like most things in this pub.


Venue name: Earl of Essex
Address: 25 Danbury Street
N1 8LE
Opening hours: Open 3-11.30pm Mon; noon-11.30pm Tue-Thur; noon-midnight Fri, Sat; noon-11pm Sun. Lunch served noon-3pm Tue-Sun. Dinner served 5-9pm daily.
Transport: Angel tube
Price: Main courses £12-£16.
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Average User Rating

4.3 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:8
  • 4 star:2
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:1
  • 1 star:1
1 person listening
Yelly G

Only had the beer here - but definitely would give five stars for the great variety and quality beers on tap. Not right on upper street and a bit of a walk from the tube, but means it's less packed on Friday and Saturday night and you can actually enjoy your drink!

Jenni H

A truly great pub. They offer a variety of beers and are happy for you to taste something new. My boyfriend recently discovered the Raspberry Sour, which is a fruity beer that you definitely wouldn't find in many places. The food is also good, is recommend the burger or steak. If the sun is shining they also have a hidden gem of a beer garden out back.

David Clack

Brilliant craft beer pub with an on-tap selection that's never short of astonishing. Also does bloody excellent chips.

Una O

Very friendly staff great place for a quiet drink away from the hussle of upper st

Staff Writer

I went for a birthday meal with 15 friends last week, the bar staff were extremely friendly and patient with a large group arriving at different times. The food was great (i'd recommend the steak) and  they have an excellent selection of beers on tap. 


When it just opend we went loads because it was a welcome addition to the area. A massive selection of beers, but food has always just been ok and sometimes not so ok. Stopped going altogether now because last time the landlord shortchanged me twice in the same evening but was clearly too cool and destined for a higher purpose to be nice or apologetic about it. Back to the island queen and duke of wellington for much friendlier staff.

billy finnegan

Abysmal. Went their last friday for a friends birthday last week and got off to a bad start at the bar with some failed actress type barmaid who had a significant issues with asking for a medium wine instead of small wine. Moving in from that we went to go to the garden where our friends were located but were told by the doorman that it wss too busy for anyone else out there, despite it being half full. We then left for the isle an queen a much better pub. Generally nowhere near as good as it thinks it is, terrible service in a pub that is desperate to be in shoreditch


The best pub in Islington, an ever changing beer selection, terrific food and friendly staff....how pubs should be!


This pub has massively improved - it reopened about a month ago, and now the bar has about 15 proper beers on tap at once! The food is decent and the staff were friendly and courteous. All good in my opinion.


Popped in for a drink today and took advantage of the beer garden. Extensive range of drinks, in particular beers and ales. Knowledgable and friendly staff. Very pleasant experience. Will be back.