The Knowhere Guide

Cheap Food in Highbury, Greater London*

Corner eateries, quick bites and the local chippy

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Cheap Food
  • Really a bar, but try the curries at Barcosa (54 Holloway Road). This place used to be Tank before it closed down. But the new bar is much better, I think. Have a chat with Abby and chill out on a leather sofa while he serves up great food and awesome acid jazz, lounge and smooth grooves. Drinks are slightly above average (2.80-3.00ish) but I think you get your monies worth.
  • The Bailey on Highbury Road has Thai food instead of your normal pub grub. Yummy.
  • RUBY IN THE DUST, UPPER STREET has sadly been disappointing on every visit. A real shame, especially considering the chilled, sunny decor, and promoted 'vibe'. On 2 visits (couldnt go back again), the food has been appallingly cooked, 3 different waiters were rude and careless, forgetting orders and simple things like cutlery. we had to ask for the bill 3 times, and eventually when we went up and gave them the money they didnt even say thankyou. Perhaps under different management it would be a more pleasurable visit.
  • Stringray Cafe is cheap & cheerful (opposite the Turkish place Iznicks - who by the way serve such teeny weeny portions me & my group of 6 mates ordered more starters for our desserts!! "Would you like coffee or desserts madam?" - "No thankyou - but a truck load of hummous & olives wouldn't go amiss"- very un Turkish like in their helpings) Small & Beautiful further down the hill - nice food & atmosphere - although they do serve Skippy on a plate & the prices have gone up
  • La Porchetta is a highly overated restaurant used by people with poor taste. Belmondo on Cross Lane is the one to go for.
  • Harry's of Highbury - best baguettes in London and Harry is a really nice bloke!
  • Tuk Tuk - Service depends on how nice you are to them, food is superb. Yellow River Cafe - New, excellent food.
  • Must - go -to is La porchetta's on Upper Street. sister to the branches in Crouch End and Muswell Hill, this is the posh Issie version. You get the huge - est pizzas ever for not much cash (about 4) You won't need Garlic Bread to start either. great atmos even though it looks a bit posh - you can also take away what you don't eat!
  • There is an excellent sandwich place at the top of Upper Street - I think its called Gorgeous George's - does American subs that slurp and over-run and generally muss you up in a delicious kind of a way
  • For those who want to go a little upmarket or just want a treat, try Granitas on Upper Street (where Tony Blair shafted Gordon Brown for the Labour leadership) - newish restaurants like The White Onion (again on Upper Street). Both these offer 'modern English', which basically means it's expensive, but you are paying to be surrounded by the beautiful people (well rich). For Breakfast try the Gill Wing Cafe just off Highbury Corner. Or alternatively Jindiviks on Liverpool Road. Best curry house in the area is The Standard Tandoori on Holloway Road (keep going past the Garage - it's on the left).
  • The Iznik in Highbury Grove is a slightly up-market greasy spoon by day and an excellent Turkish restaurant by night and seems to be the main focus for the legions of media types living locally. There is also Bodali's, a superb North Indian restaurant on the Blackstock Road, whose owner grinds all his own spices and makes the most wonderful fish curries. Not licensed, but you can bring a bottle.
  • Highbury as has one of the best butchers in London in Godfrey's, which does free range and organic meat and makes some excellent sausages.
  • What has to be the cheapest Japanese restaurant in the capital has just opened up in St John Street, Islington, 100 yds down from the Angel - the Japanese canteen. A sushi, sashimi or Yakitori set mean is just £4.95, the quality is darned good and they even have a licence.
  • Jeeeez... where do you start? Islington being the chattering classes mecca, provides them with loads of places for them to go and eat. Whether you want real Turkish (as oposed to crap post piss-up kebabs from the take away) Japanese, Mongolian Barbequeue, French... you got it all. They also have quite a few bistro type places: Dome and Cafe Flo etc. Best bet is just to wonder around and decide when you get there, though some get busy enough to merit booking in advance. La Finca on Pentonville Road does a mean tapas, and on Sundays you can get a huge paella for a fiver with live flamenco thrown in. There is a really nice bar that does top grub on Exmouth Market called Als Diner. No, it's not American. The food is great, the service is bloody slow, but you don't really go there for that, more to soak up the vibe and watch Roseberry Avenue go past. Opens late as well. La Maison on Upper Street (again!) is really nice: slightly inventive French food and it isn't badly priced. There are loads more, but I don't eat out much... other things to spend my money on!

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All the information in the Knowhere Guide has been contributed by users over the years. No one person is responsible for it all and not all contributors will agree with all the opinions included.

Parts of this information have been supplied by: Dave Brock, Sarah Little, david wilkinson, Antony, Jim, William, Dan, Emelie, Billy Jones, John Baxter, Tessa, marilyn, angel, remi, generic, denise, Claire, Mark, Jude Robinson, Sarah, Wynn, M, Someone with more knowledge than you, Martin Jones, Susan Jones, Rhiannon Mason, lisa, michael, chrissalton, betty, Frank Zee, richard grycz, juliancole, mal23, James Bradshaw

Last updated: 2008-10-14

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