The Upper Street Byron Burger is now a Gordon Ramsay Street Burger – a reminder that the forces that propelled Islington’s dizzying rise and slow-motion culinary disintegration did not take a few months off during the pandemic. Or, as Chef Ramsay might put it, plus ça fucking change. That said, there are still plenty of reasons to get off the tube at Angel or Highbury and Islington: restaurants, bars and cafes that have emerged in defiance of the dominant casual dining model, and which offer a taste of an area often misleadingly (but not altogether unfairly) characterised as a boneyard of chain restaurant mediocrity.
In truth, Islington is London’s restaurant scene in miniature: a blend of prime high street real estate mired in chain mediocrity; achingly cool indie darlings setting up shop where rents and rates are a little more affordable; world-class immigrant-led assimilation food; and proper, grown-up places, where discerning adults can while away most of an afternoon or evening. All this, plus brunch.Read More