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The Best Pubs in Islington: Classic Boozers, Quirky Dens + Organic Spots

The Best Pubs in Islington: Classic Boozers, Quirky Dens + Organic Spots

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Looking for the best pubs in Islington? These are the best pubs for pub grub, beer gardens and everything in between.

As you may well already know, Islington is home to plenty of boozers. But this only makes it harder for the pint seekers to find the very best watering hole. Ever wound up in a pub with flat pints and bad ambience? Dreadful, we know.

Whether you’re looking for a gastro pub, somewhere to watch sports or a sunkissed beer garden, follow this guide to the very best Islington pubs.  

The Best Pubs in Islington

The Albion

The Albion pub in Islington has one of the area’s finest pub gardens, with plenty of outside tables situated underneath a wisteria-covered garden that is blooming lovely. 

The pub has a good amount of drafts on taps (which is great for day drinking), including its own brew from Laine brewery. Order a spritz or a European wine for a refreshing and light drink. 

The Albion is equally as good in the winter, with a roaring fire and comfy chairs. Some people (including us) judge pubs by their roasts, so let us tell you that The Albion’s roast is full of all the good stuff including yorkshires bigger than a pint glass. 

The Island Queen

Paying homage to the old London gin palaces that once lined the canal-side, The Island Queen is quirky and eccentric by design. Inside awaits an intriguing oasis, with original wood, towering palm trees and outstanding wall ornaments. 

The Island Queen is a must visit for all gin lovers, there’s not a gin that you can’t find here. The food is quintessentially British pub grub done right and you should try the Pale Ale Battered Atlantic Cod and Triple cooked Chips – totally delicious. 

The Narrowboat

Eat and drink canalside at The Narrowboat pub in Islington, with uninterrupted views of Regent’s Canal. 

Flooded with natural light, there’s plenty of good spots at this pub, take your pick from one of the sun soaked balconies or by the windows for the best views of the canal. With a fantastic range of cask ales and craft beers this Islington pub is the best place to lose a few hours. 

What’s on the menu? The Narrowboat cooks up British classics with a twist like Kentucky Fried Quail and the Venison Sausages and Mash. 

The Earl of Essex

Beer drinkers assemble– The Earl of Essex has craft brews aplenty. This cosy back-street boozer has 14 keg taps and 6 cask lines of the UK’s very finest beers and ciders for you to try. 

Fancy something a little more fruity? Order the wonderfully refreshing mix of Campari and Stiegl grapefruit Radler Spritz from the cocktail menu. Enjoy them in The Earl of Essex’s spacious beer garden, it’s a sun trap.

On the menu is traditional British fare and a proper Sunday Roast with all the trimmings– just how we like it.  

The Castle

Just a few minutes walk from Angel station, The Castle is a drinking haven tucked away from the hustle and bustle of Islington. 

Looking for a roof terrace? Look no further, The Castle’s roof terrace is perfect for quaffing sundowners and it’s partially covered so you can drink here all year round– definitely one of the best rooftop pubs in Islington. 

Want to bring your furry friend? No problem, The Castle is a dog friendly pub– pawfect.

Fancy British pub classics, bottomless brunch or a sunday roast with a side of sport? The pub boasts three TV screens and a big screen on the roof terrace so you never have to miss the action.

The Pig and Butcher

An Islington institution, The Pig and Butcher is a laid back country-style pub with quintessentially British decor and serves British meats from the onsite butcher and local farms creating the best pub food in Islington.  

The Pig and Butcher’s highly trained chefs curate seasonal menus based on what produce is the best at that time, so you could keep on coming back and not have the same meal twice. 

So whether you’re eating Braised Pigs Head, Cured Cornish Mackerel or Norfolk Chicken and Morel Nuggets, you know it’s sure to be fresh and tasty.

Expect to find drinks from small and independent companies and wines from family owned vineyards, alongside an extensive collection of craft beers, most of which hail from London and the UK. 

The Drapers Arms

The Drapers Arms is a neighbourhood pub with airy rooms and a fantastic beer garden to match. The food menu is seasonal and features a mix of classics and more imaginative dishes like the Wood Pigeon and Suet Crust Chicken. 

Sunday roasts can be ordered in sharing size, so round up your troops you’ve got a delicious feast on your hands. 

From the taps, Drapers Arms has Harvey Sussex’s Best and a range of craft keg pale ales and lagers and the wine list is regional and authentic. 

The Old Queens Head

Grab your mates and head to The Old Queens Head for a good ol’ pub quiz in Islington. This spot is best known for its award winning burgers and gravy dripping sunday roasts.

Come for the food, and stay for the quiz nights, club nights with big name  DJ sets, private karaoke rooms and comedy nights. 

Its decor is shabby-chic with wooden ceilings and chandeliers, blue tiles walls and bar, and torn sofas. The green tiles on its exterior looks like you’ve winded up in an area of the Ministry of Magic that serves Negroni and Burnt Pear Old Fashioned cocktails.  

The Canonbury Tavern

Impressively dating back to the 17th Century, The Canonbury Tavern has even served the likes of George Orwell – who wrote part of 1984 in the very same beer garden that you’ll be drinking your pint in.

Serving mouthwatering pub classics, hand-crafted contemporary plates, as well as juicy burgers from its Burger Shack. Count us in.  The Canonbury Tavern also invites your furry friend to join you sipping on real ales, local beers and wines from around the world. 

The Three Johns

The Three Johns has a vibrant atmosphere with exposed bricks, high ceilings and dark wood-panelled bar.

The craft beer pub has an impressive 14 beers on tap spanning the globe to choose from, as well as bottles and cans from behind the bar. You could easily wile away an afternoon or evening here with a pint and one of its pizzas from the temptingly gooey sourdough pizza menu.   

Compton Arms 

Local backstreet pub and ale house, Compton Arms has been around on Compton Avenue since the 16th Century. It’s a contemporary country Islinginton pub and a safe haven from Upper Street– sounds like the perfect hangout spot for a pint or three. 

Ales and beers are a mix of local and traditional, and there’s also wines and cocktails now on the menu. 

Stop by Wednesday through to Sunday and try out the new Belly menu where texture chef Reece Moore creates a daily changing menu of globally influenced sharing plates using seasonal British produce. 

The Duke of Cambridge

Britain’s first certified organic pub back in 1998, The Duke of Cambridge serves organic beer, wine and meats as well as sustainable fish. It’s one of the best pubs in Islington for vegan food options. 

The gastro-pub with stripped down decor promotes a plant based diet and gives customers a real choice when it comes to tasty veg on the menu. Sink your teeth into dishes like courgette & taleggio gratin with truffle or blood orange and fennel salad. 

Wash them down with organic wine– good for the environment and best for no hangovers, everyone’s a winner here. 

Islington Pubs: Map

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