It’s hardly a secret that Arsenal fans shell out the highest prices in world football. The value for money of the tickets is debatable, but no-one can deny that the price of a meal at the Emirates is pretty steep. And we're not even talking about the beetroot-marinated gravadlax or the amuse-bouches on offer at Club Level. It doesn’t have to be this way, Gunners. Now that footie season's back, here's a wealth of other food options to try the next time you're in the area.
A mere stone’s throw away from the stadium is Wolkite Kitfo, where guests are welcomed with beaming Ethiopian hospitality. The novelty of eating with your hands simply doesn’t wear off as the spongy injeera bread expertly soaks up the Special Kitfo and the added kick of the mitmita chilli powder hits the spot. Wash this all down with tej, the authentic sweet honey wine, or a few of the several national lagers available, and you’ll scarcely be able to stumble over to the ground. 82 Hornsey Road, N7 7NN.
This family-run establishment started out with its owners shuttling back and forth between their kitchen and front garden overlooking Highbury. Nowadays, it’s nothing less than an institution that has branched out to Holloway Road, capturing the hearts of Arsenal fans and players alike with legend-inspired pies (try the Ian Wright with steak and stilton), an extensive beer list (just don’t mention that Beavertown is brewed in Tottenham) and impromptu DJ sets. 209-211 Holloway Road, N7 8DL.
If the sun is shining down on north London, it would be rude not to make a pilgrimage to one of the capital’s finest beer gardens at the Faltering Fullback. The Fullback not only boasts what can only be described as The Hanging Gardens of Finsbury Park, but a labyrinthine, Hobbit-like interior adorned with a curiously random selection of Irish paraphernalia, top-notch Thai food and a raucous sports room. You might even find yourself shoulder to shoulder with, dare I say it, rugby supporters. 19 Perth Rd, N4 3HB.
The Little Wonder Café has established itself as one of the prime local fry-up spots, with hearty food and service. The coffee here is not half bad either, and with a view of the Emirates that's a sight for sore eyes, this place gets it right, particularly with prices that your wallet will thank you for before it takes a battering inside the ground. 48 Hornsey Rd, N7 7BP.
Now, let's have a minute’s silence for those still quaffing stale pints of Carling and knackered pizza slices at the Emirates. Oh, the match has started?