7 best pubs of Islington

We’ve taken on the mission of finding the best pubs in Islington. After much taste-testing, ambiance-feeling and a few hangovers,  here are our favourites:

    1) The Earl of Essex, Angel

Tucked away from the hustle and bustle of Angel is The Earl of Essex, a gem of a pub near the Regent’s Canal. It is barely ever quiet, which might be strange for a relatively hidden pub, but it’s for good reason. A lengthy beer list always adorns the walls with craft beer from all over the country being served on keg or cask which changes almost weekly, so it’s worth visiting more than once. There is a cute beer garden out the back, and the pub also does a wonderful Sunday lunch that is always popular. If you are going on a Friday or Saturday night, or hoping to pop in for Sunday lunch it’s worth booking. 25 Danbury Street London N1 8LE @TheEarlofEssex1


    2) The Alma, Canonbury

Regularly voted TimeOut’s London pub of the year, or at least North London’s pub of the year, The Alma is a treat. Loved by locals and travellers alike, the pub is plastered with film posters and props and is always cosy, and packed. The Alma has a great range of beers, wines and spirits, but is much more than a pub to get drunk in; it is a proper community pub. In fact, it can’t be sold for non-pub use without the approval of local residents. Does great food seven days a week. 71 Newington Green Road London N1 4QU @TheAlma_N1



    3) The Three Johns, Angel

The first thing you notice about this pub when you walk in are the stunning ceiling and the enormity of the main room of the pub. This does mean it gets very noisy in The Three Johns, but you soon forget it when you sample the excellent beer behind the bar. There is always an excellent mix of ales and lagers on keg and cask along with an extensive wine list. The pub also does excellent pizzas, that go down well with the drinks on offer. A popular pub every day of the week, but a great atmosphere always. 73, White Lion Street, London N1 9PF   @TheThree_Johns

    4) Exmouth Arms, Finsbury

When grabbing a bite to eat from Exmouth Market, where else to go for a drink but the Exmouth Arms? Another pub with a fantastic selection of beers, fashionable interior and fantastic toilets… there’s not much to improve. It is a great pub to sit outside and watch the world go past and happen in the Market, but it is also cosy inside and often very busy. If cocktails are your thing then there is also a branch of the 5cc Cocktail Club upstairs, slightly hidden away. A pub that does great beer downstairs and fancy cocktails upstairs is not one to miss out on. 23, Exmouth Market, London EC1R 4QL @ExmouthArmsTheExmouthArms


    5) Hemingford Arms, Barnsbury

Just off the Caledonian Road and near the imposing Pentonville Prison, a classy pub might not be the first thing you expect. The Hemingford Arms, however, is the perfect pub to go to after a stroll through Islington, or for a night out with friends. Its Twitter account describes it as “off the beaten track hidden away like an oasis”, which is the perfect way to put this literally leafy pub. 158, Hemingford Road, Islington, London N1 1DF @hemingfordarms


    6) The William Butler Yeats, Finsbury Park

Not just the name of my favourite poet, but the name of a great pub away from the main road in Finsbury Park. Located at the northern end of Fonthill Road, this gorgeous place does more than just a great pint of Guinness. The food, beer and wine is all great, as is the atmosphere, especially when live music is on. 20 Fonthill Road, Finsbury Park, London N4 3HU   @WBYeatsN4


    7) The Lamb, Holloway

Dark and moody, The Lamb manages to nod towards the Islington’s latest wave of gentrifiers while staying true to its East End roots. The selection of bottled and draught craft beers and an ‘order to the pub’ arrangement with an italian takeaway over the road set a high bar for food and drink. A piano and iPad next to the door are often put to good use by the regulars, turning this sombre boozer into a spontaneous cockney knees-up for the evening. 54 Holloway Road, N7 8JL @thelambpub

If you need any more persuasion, here’s a handy map to show you where each pub is: