Food and Drink
Every patch tells a story
Fitness fanatics are living in the right place. Finsbury Park houses tennis and basketball
courts, a skatepark, athletics track and a brand-new outdoor gym. Flex your muscles
at the Castle Climbing Centre, one of the premier centres in Europe with over 5 floors
of fun- and growing! Or join one of the ever popular Saturday parkruns to get fit and
meet your neighbours at the same time. Pints afterwards are optional. If pumping iron’s
your thing, you can join the local branch of 24-hour PureGym, but you’ll probably
gravitate towards the frankly epic Sobell Leisure Centre just five minutes away, with
everything from trampolining to boxing, soft play to squash, and ice skating to saunas.
Over in the reopened Woodberry Wetlands, recharge amongst the tranquillity and beauty
of nature in the heart of urban London - kids will adore the wildlife weekends. But you
can’t call yourself a proper local without at least one trip to Rowans Tenpin Bowl:
it’s not where you’d go for a quiet game but it’s retro and best of all it’s round the clock!
Round the world in 80 plates
Uber Eats is uber-convenient, but sometimes you can’t beat a proper bricks-and-mortar dining experience. With so many cultures and flavours in the neighbourhood, you can eat
somewhere different every night of the month. But you might want to get to know some local faves.
Seven Sisters Road is lined with eateries and the greatest hits include lively Greek joint Apollo, innovative Italian Girasole and incredibly popular Korean restaurant Dotori. Nag’s Head Market has recently been revamped with a raft of global street food vendors serving
late – including some awesomely authentic Japanese options, while The Junction Market nearby is a food hall teeming with traders.
With a host of characterful pubs and bars, you don’t need to venture for a big night out.
Lined with bric-a-brac and with a huge maze of a beer garden, the Faltering Fullback is a local quirky legend. There’s the light and airy White Lion, charming Owl & Hitchhiker and the cosy Swimmer at the Grafton Arms. If you’re after something a bit more refined, Oak Wine Store and Bar is a local hidden gem, selling 180 wines. Or, a ten-minute meander
away, Highbury Library is a chilled local hangout with a garden, vinyl library and a range of cocktails.
Nearby get a pizza the action at Osteria Tufo, stay up pasta your bedtime at Alcedo or bag some of the best bagels and challah in town at The Happening Bagel Bakery. Provisions on
Holloway Road is a wonderful wine and cheese emporium great for dates, while a late-night (or earlier) kebab is always on hand from one of the many local grill houses. We love E. Mono’s juicy wraps and Baban’s pillow-soft naan
Threading your way
It’s all about connections round here – you’re so well placed to get pretty much anywhere. Upper Street in Islington is a 25-minute walk or one tube stop away: an upmarket mile-long stretch of chic boutiques, tempting homewares, ever-evolving eateries and bustling
bars for late nights out. Slightly further east, picturesque Stoke Newington was a pocket of alternative living long before the term hipster was even coined. Today it retains its laidback village feel with organic shops, traditional pubs and ethnic restaurants rubbing up against newer children’s clothes boutiques, cupcakes and craft ales. There’s leafy Clissold Park and the fascinating Islington Museum. Achingly hip Dalston and chilled London Fields with its Lido are just a little further.
Heading north, Crouch End is an established community with an old-fashioned high street that feels like a little market town. There are butchers, bakers, bookshops and baby shops – and it’s a hub of cultural events, from its cosy cinema to the art deco former town hall, reopening soon as an arts centre. By contrast, Green Lanes leading north from Manor House towards Turnpike Lane is a unique thoroughfare lined with some of the best Kurdish fruit and veg shops, bakeries and barbers.
Directly west, a short bike ride will take you to Parliament Hill and the magical delights of Hampstead Heath in a jiffy and we mustn’t forget Camden Town: you have to do the market at least once, so embrace it. The glory days of cheap vintage may be past but there
are still bargains to be found and quirky shops at every turn.