Well, damn. We remember a time when Upper Street was rather grotty, filled with nail salons and newsagents. Increasingly chic “Supper Street” has added yet another string to its bow with this brilliant little spot from James Cochran (formerly a chef at Notting Hill institution The Ledbury and star of the BBC’s Great British Menu). With the feel of a local restaurant you’d pop out to for a mid-week meal (though you’ll need to book this one ahead), the tiny space is simply done with whitewashed walls, wooden tables, pretty tiling and industrial light fittings.

A concise menu begins with “snacks” – soda bread with smoked-pork butter or cod’s roe on a tapioca crisp – before progressing to “small plates” that delight in the form of smoked eel and cauliflower veloute or line-caught cured Cornish mackerel with n’duja and pork crackling. Next up it’s mains of roast venison or mussels with brown-crab butter cauliflower, which is potentially the most generously portioned dish in the capital. While London is serving seasonal sharing plates aplenty, Cochran’s creations really stand out from the crowd. In fact, our only complaint would be that the tables are too damn small to cope with this unabating food trend. Finish with a doorstop-sized wedge of chocolate tart or Neal’s Yard cheese, washed down with a bottle off the broad, reasonably priced wine list.

  • +44 7934 202269
  • 107 Upper St Islington
    N1 1QN


Housed in an old granary building in King’s Cross, Caravan serves an eclectic global menu organised by sharing plates. Patrons will find that the large space of exposed brick, low lighting and open kitchen makes Caravan too lively to feel cosy or romantic, so it’s best to come here for a catch up with friends or a big group dinner. For a more intimate vibe, try the Exmouth Market outlet, which is considerably smaller.

  • 020 7101 7661
  • Go to Website
  • Address Line 1
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If you’ve had your eyes opens for the past three months, you will have noticed your Instagram feed flooding with pictures of Padella’s pici cacio e pepe. The Borough Market pasta bar has been serving thick, silky, hand-rolled spaghetti coated in parmesan and black pepper sauce – and it’s been going down a storm. Trullo in Islington is Padella’s parent restaurant, and is responsible for London’s renewed love affair with pasta. The romantic neighbourhood haunt has dark wooden floorboards, brown leather banquettes and low hanging lighting – all of which make for a relaxed and rustic atmosphere. The menu changes daily and is divided into antipasti, primi, oven and charcoal grill courses. We feasted on corn on the cob with garlic butter, ravioli of summer squash and sage butter followed by monkfish with coco blanc and salsa rossa. Be sure to leave room for dessert and a bottle of whatever takes your pick form the extensive wine list.

Cookies and Scream Bakery

Thought going vegan would mean you’d have to kiss gooey, chewy chocolate-chip cookies goodbye? Think again. Flavours include peanut butter ‘chico’, ‘ginger ninjas’ and ‘hot Mexican’ cookies. Most of the cookies, brownies, pies and doughnuts here are also gluten- and refined-sugar free if that’s your (chia) jam.

  • 07778 691519
  • Go to Website
  • The Market Hall
    Camden Lock Place
    NW1 8AF

Black Axe Mangal

The menu at Black Axe Mangal is small and succinct. If it’s possible, dishes here taste even better than they smell – especially the charred sweetcorn cooked in smoked cod’s-roe butter. Combining big flavours and great cooking, head chef Lee Tiernan spent 10 years at St John Bread & Wine and is infusing Black Axe Mangal with a similar rock-themed uber-kebab gastronomical experience. The interior is exotic, the rock music is loud and both complement the cooking without being overwhelming.



Cookies and Scream

Black Axe Mangal

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