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Cheap eats in Islington

The best restaurants and cafés in Islington for good meals at good prices

© Jael Marschner

From ace vegetarian joints to brilliant burgers, acclaimed Italians and city-best restaurants, there’s no shortage of options when it comes to eating out in Islington. Dining well on the cheap is a little bit trickier, especially along the central stretch of ‘Supper Street’ – a real nickname, honest! – but we’ve done the legwork and gathered this list of the best cheap eats in Islington just for you.

Know a great place we've missed? Let us know in the comments or send us a tweet.

Afghan Kitchen

3 out of 5 stars

What’s the vibe? Cosy, pint-sized Afghan eatery on two floors with communal tables and a short menu that’s designed for sharing. Go for hearty, warming stews, home-baked breads and gallons of yoghurt.

When to go It’s handy for a quick solo lunch, but much more fun in the evening when it’s tailor-made for groups.

What to eat Anything from subtly spiced lamb with spinach to thick, comforting moong dhal – plus rice or bread (evenings only).

How much? No dish costs more than £7.50 (veggie or otherwise) – spend the rest on sides and a glass of refreshing ‘dogh’ (a yoghurt and mint drink). Just remember it’s cash only.

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Black Axe Mangal

3 out of 5 stars

What’s the vibe? A dark, loud, rock-themed über-kebab concept mixing crazy crossover dishes with drinks inspired by cocktail guru Ryan Chetiyawardana (of Dandelyan, and now Cub, fame).

When to go Join the local hipsters for weekend brunch or brave the noisy vibe in the evenings. Going in a group? Gangs of four or more can book.

What to eat The subtly earthy lamb offal flatbread with pickled red onion is a must, but the menu’s all about offbeat riffs – imagine a gastropub having a one-night stand with a Turkish grill. 

How much? Lamb offal flatbread £5.50; other dishes are well under a tenner – apart from the mammoth Mission Chinese mixed grill.

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Coffee Works Project

3 out of 5 stars

What’s the vibe? The first proper indie coffee shop to spill its beans near Angel, trendy CWP comes complete with loungey sofas and a leafy patio.

When to go Whenever it suits you – expect a happy gathering of yummy mummies, laptop drones and local creatives.

What to eat Peek into the deli fridge for locally sourced, artisan treats including salads, cheeses and charcuterie. Terrific sandwiches, cakes and pastries too. 

How much? Expect to shell out around a fiver for sweet or savoury sustenance, but factor in an extra £2.50-£3.50 for coffee or tea.

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Delhi Grill

3 out of 5 stars

What’s the vibe? Corrugated iron and walls plastered with Bollywood posters and Indian newspapers lend a ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ aesthetic to this upbeat Punjabi pit-stop on Chapel Market.

When to go On the hoof – either for a wrap from the stall outside or a quick sit-down indoors. With insistent bhangra beats and unyielding seats, this is not a place to linger.

What to eat The kitchen majors in street-food snacks and slow-cooked curries.

How much? Dhaba snacks from £3, most curries around £9.

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Gallipoli Again

4 out of 5 stars

What’s the vibe? A Turkish-themed Aladdin’s cave complete with enticing window displays, terracotta walls lined with pictures, fabulous lamps and a magnificent garden out back.

When to go Go on Saturday night to witness Gallipoli’s party vibe in full swing. Otherwise, nibble some mezze with mates during the week. Good lunch deals too.

What to eat Keep prices in check by sharing an assortment of hot and cold meze, with perhaps some sticky baklava to finish.

How much? Most meze £4.50-£5.50 each, although mains are over £10. The two-course lunch goes for a very reasonable £8.95 (£9.95 on Sat and Sun).

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Indian Veg

3 out of 5 stars

What’s the vibe? A classic vegetarian spot on Islington’s Chapel Market, serving a broad buffet in karmic (some might say preachy) surrounds.

When to go At these prices, whenever you want. There’s a reason why it’s a stalwart for cheap dates, early evening carb-loading and bargain lunches.

What to eat Everything – the buffet’s the only option. Think vegetable curries, colourful salads, onion bhajis and feather-light paratha.

How much? All you can eat for £7.95. It’s BYO, too. Cash only.

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