Frugl Local: Angel

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Angel is one of the classiest areas on either side of the river and provides some of the best opportunities for a great night out.  It’s really easy to blow a load of cash too, but not if you know where your headed.  It’s liberally peppered with unique pubs, superbly programmed fringe theatres and delicious eatieries.


1. Ladybird – Located right in the heart of bustling Upper Street, this is ground zero for night’s out in Angel.  Mixing Islington classiness with good times hedonism, Ladybird has several different themed rooms, a huge cocktail menu featuring huge cocktails and whipsharp DJs who’ll propel your night into the stratosphere. Opening Times: Sunday – Thursday 5pm – 2am; Friday/Saturday 5pm – 4am. 70 Upper St, London N1 0NY

Narrow Boat Pub

2. The Narrowboat Pub – A walk along the Grand Union Canal is one of the most lovely things you can do with your time in North London and this unique pub is the perfect place to stop off and reward yourself with a pint and some delicious food.  Spread over two floors and with gorgeous views of the canal you can enjoy some top rate British pub grub and a fine selection of cask ales. Opening Times: Monday – Sunday 11am – 11:30pm. 119 St Peter’s St, London N1 8PZ

Little Angel Theatre

3. Little Angel Theatre – If you want to leave your little ones (and yourself) spellbound with fantastical storytelling, then the Little Angel is an essential.  A hive of activity, the theatre comprises of a workshop where all the puppets are carved and produced and a 100-seater performance space.  Shows range from myths and legends to fairy tales to brand new original work.  It is never less than charming and delicately and deftly performed. Opening Times: Changes depending on performances 14 Dagmar Passage, London N1 2DN


4. Angel Comedy – This seven day a week, pay what you want comedy club is one of Angel’s worst kept secrets.  Hosted by the perpetually charming, cheery and positive Barry Ferns, Angel has served as a crucible for some of the best up and coming comedy talent in the country.  Depending on what night you show up you’ll either see circuit acts honing their sets or trying our new material, sizzle-brained improv or hour long solo shows.  The club has become legendary amongst stand-ups and there’s always a chance that a huge name could pop down to try out new material – over the past couple of years Dara O’Briain, Russell Howard and Eddie Izzard have all made appearances there!  Needless to say, you must arrive early to avoid disappointment and then get ready to soak up a tremendous atmosphere and hilarious comedy.  Opening Times: Monday – Sunday 7pm – 10:30pm. 2 Camden Passage, London N1 8DY


5. Hen and Chickens – On the corner of the Highbury and Islington roundabout is one of North London’s best fringe theatres, located above a pretty classy pub.  The Hen and Chickens is a great place to catch top comics previewing their tour shows (Frankie Boyle has been known to use it) and also to see award-winning and inventive shows from around the theatre festival circuit. Opening Times: Monday – Thursday 4pm – Midnight; Friday/Saturday 4pm – 1:30am; Sunday Noon – Midnight. 109 St Paul’s Rd, London N1 2NA


6. Maison d’Etre – Ignore the cringeworthy pun and step through the door of this sweet little neighbourhood cafe to enjoy some delicious bites and drinks.  Priding itself on its meticulously sourced produce, you can enjoy an all day breakfast of varying degrees of healthiness (the Ricotta Pancake with Fresh Mango & Papaya with Lime Mascarpone & Passion Fruit Syrup is our runaway favourite), a hearty lunch or one of a vast range of teas and scrumptious cakes.  Opening Times: Monday – Friday 7:30am – 6pm; Saturday/Sunday 9am – 6pm. 154 Canonbury Rd, London N1 2UP


7. Smokehouse – Unleash your caveman and gorge on the huge range of tasty meat available here.  Taking its influences globally, you could enjoy a huge range of produce cooked to please a palate from Argentina all the way to Korea.  Opening Times: Monday – Thursday 4:30pm – 11pm; Friday 4:30pm – Midnight; Saturday Noon – Midnight; Sunday Noon – 10:30pm. 63-69 Canonbury Rd, London N1 2DG


8. Slim Jim’s – An authentic feeling dive bar in the heart of well-to-do Islington.  If you want to escape the chrome and cocktails vibe of a lot of the bars on Upper Street you could do a lot worse than sneaking into this charmingly grimy venue for an ice cold bottle of beer, great atmosphere and rock tunes. Opening Times: Monday – Wednesday 4pm – 2am; Thursday – Saturday 4pm – 3am; Sunday 6pm – 1am. 112 Upper St, London N1 1QN

Old royd

9. Oldroyd  – A resounding Frugl favourite which typifies delicious modern British cookery.  Set up by Tom Oldroyd, formely of Polpo (another one of our foodie loves) the ever-changing menu here reflects Tom’s direct, tasty cookery and is excellently affordable.  You can have three delicious courses here for just £18.  And you definitely should! Opening Times: Monday – Thursday Noon – 11pm; Friday/Saturday Noon – 11:30pm; Sunday 11am – 9:30pm. 344 Upper St, London N1 0PD


10. The Joker of Penton Street – This excellent pub hits all the right notes – friendly staff, tasty American food from an open kitchen and great decor, covered in portraits of some of the nation’s finest comedians.  Perfect for a post-work pint or a weekend session! Opening Times: Monday – Thursday Noon – 1am; Friday/Saturday Noon – 3am; Sunday Noon – 2am.  58 Penton St, London N1 9PZ


11. Elk in the Woods – An easy winner of the unofficial ‘Weirdest Named Venue in Islington’ award, the eclectic snacks and eccentric decor all add to a unique dining experience.  For a tiny venue it packs quite a punch, with highlights being it’s creatively seasoned breakfasts, indulgent venison burger sandwich and hearty three bird stew. Opening Times: Monday – Sunday 9am – 11pm. 37-39 Camden Passage, London N1 8EA

Island queen

12. The Island Queen – In an area overflowing with classic British pubs, The Island Queen stands out as having just that little bit more personality and verve than the rest.  A five minute walk from the main strip of Upper Street, it ticks all the boxes of warm wood panelling and etched glass interiors, regular offers on food and booze and a cracking Tuesday night pub quiz. Opening Times: Monday – Saturday Noon – 11pm; Sunday Noon – 10:30pm. 87 Noel Rd, London Borough of Islington, London N1 8HD

Kings head theatre

13. King’s Head Theatre – Probably the best known fringe theatre in these parts, the King’s Head regularly sees productions transfer to the West End.  It also caters to all tastes – whether you like seeing boutique opera shows or shocking in-yer-face theatre, there’s all sorts on offer here without having to pay the inflated prices of the nearby Almeida. Opening Times: Monday/Tuesday 11am – 11pm;  – Wednesday 11am – Midnight; Thursday 11am – 1am;  Friday 11am – 2am; Saturday 11am – Midnight; Sunday Noon – Midnight. 115 Upper St, London N1 1QN


14. Little Georgia – Once you’ve visited this place you too will utter the unlikely phrase “darling, fancy popping out for a Georgian?”  The rustic decor matches the food, which is of the filling, sticks to your ribs type.  Mixing the influences of neighbouring Russia and Turkey, the stews and goulashes on offer all pack a mighty punch making this place a must for the more adventurous gastronomes. Opening Times: Tuesday – Saturday 6pm – 11pm; Sunday Noon – 10pm. 14 Barnsbury Rd, London N1 0HB

Wenlock and essex

15. Wenlock and Essex – A huge, sprawling bar featuring classic pub grub, super-charged DJs, great cocktails and the occasional comedy show in the back room.  If that sounds good, but a little run of the mill then one look at the bright and glittering interiors will convince you that this is an essential stop-off for a night out in Angel. Opening Times: Monday – Wednesday Noon – 11:30pm; Thursday Noon – Midnight; Friday Noon – 2am; Saturday 11am – 2am; Sunday 11am – 11:30pm.  18-26 Essex Rd, London N1 8LN

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