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Angel London guide

2 May 2014 Cat Byers Read time: 4 min
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Cat Byers

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The name isn't the only angelic thing about this area - Angel London, in North London, is one of the best places to live in the city, due to the location, brilliant restaurants and bars, and cultural atmosphere. Check out our guide for the best places to eat, drink and visit in this vibrant part of North London.

Located in Islington, on the Northern edge of central London, Angel manages to be close to all the action, but still retain its own cultural and creative identity (and not be plagued by tourists). With an eclectic mix of city and artistic media types calling it home, Angel offers something for everyone.

Upper Street (or 'Supper Street' as the Evening Standard have dubbed it) has a veritable smorgasbord of restaurants and bars with all types of cuisine, while the high-street shops of the N1 centre and vintage delights of Camden Passage will satisfy even the most fussy shopper.

All this brilliance comes at a price though, so start saving your pennies if you're thinking of moving here.


History of Angel London


A picture of Upper Street in Islington hundreds of years ago Photo credit: www.pubshistory.com

Islington has existed in some form since the Saxon period, when it was known as Giseldone. It grew from a small manor into a popular resort for Londoners in the 17th century, due to the local water supply and relative greenery compared to the cramped city centre.


This popularity led to many music halls and pubs in the Victorian period, but the introduction of the railway to more rural areas led to a steady decline, and the area was run-down and unpopular by the mid 20th century. However, gentrification in the 1960s and the construction of estates in nearby areas revived the area and led to the Angel we now know and love.


Cost of renting in Angel


Period houses in Angel Photo credit: www.zoopla.co.uk
Combining an amazing central location, a great selection of restaurants and beautiful architecture, it’s not surprising that living in Angel doesn’t come cheap. In fact, rent is around 50% higher than the London average. While you’ll certainly find a lovely place for your money, your budget needs to be pretty healthy.


Cheapest rent for a two-bed flat: £1600pcm

Most expensive rent for a two-bed flat: £5630pcm
Search Angel rental properties

Transport from and to Angel


Inside the tube station at Angel in London Photo credit: www.georgesjournal.org
Not only can you walk to loads of places thanks to the central Zone 1 location, Angel is also served by a tube station on the Northern, a second tube station and Overground at Highbury and Islington (Victoria Line), and buses to all over London! 


Kings Cross and Old Street are both around a 20 minute walk, meaning the many bars and restaurants of Shoreditch are very easy to get to. The tube will take you to Leicester Square in just over 10 minutes, while Hoxton is only 4 stops away on the Overground.


Restaurants in Angel


The bar, House of Wolf, in Angel, London Photo credit: www.socialconcierge.co.uk


Comedor Grill and Bar

If you want to experience some of the finest steaks in London, look no further than Comedor Grill and Bar. As well as delicious meats, you can expect an authentic Argentinian experience and a selection of quality cocktails from the bar. Oh, and there's 50% off the menu every Monday. 


The second London restaurant offering from beloved TV chef Yotam Ottolenghi, this is Mediterranian-inspired food at its finest. As both a deli and a restaurant, you can have a meal here or pick dish to take away, and the bestselling Ottonlenghi cookbooks are also on sale if you fancy having a go at home. It’s a tad on the pricey side, but definitely worth it!


Named after the specific type of tapas from the Basque region of Spain (known as ‘Pinxos’), Pix serves platters Basque specialities on cocktail sticks, allowing you to have as much or as little as you like. Eat them with some of their tasty sangria, and you’ll feel like you're by the beach in San Sebastian.


The cakes in Vivo bakery in Angel, London Photo credit: www.tripadvisor.co.uk



This casual Italian bakery is straight out of Sorrento, with rugged stone walls, long wooden tables, and an amazing selection of cakes and sandwiches. Lunchtime sees the locals linking up for the mozzarella and prosciutto focaccia sandwiches, while in the evening it transforms into a chic cocktail bar.


Voted as the best Mexican restaurant in London, Chilango doesn’t need too much of an introduction. With a selection of fresh gourmet burritos, wraps and tacos, this place manages to beat the plethora of nearby Mexican joints as the local favourite. You can also order online if you want to skip the lunchtime queue!


Shops in Angel


The front of Fara Workshop in Angel Photo credit: www.yourssustainably.com



Not to be confised with the other Farah who was an angel, A charity shop with a difference, the Fara Workshop features an in-store design studio, where donated clothes are reworked then sold in the shop. The fashionable team have managed to create a beautiful collection of unique, stylish clothes, and all the profits go to the Fara foundation, so there’s no need for any post-shopping guilt!

Cass Art

The flagship store of London chain Cass Art, this shop is paradise for artists and creatives, with three stores of supplies and equipment including paints, sketchbooks, pencils, papers, easels and an extensive craft section for children. The staff are friendly and knowledgeable too, if you ever need any advice.

Camden Passage

People shopping in Camden Passage Market

Behind the hustle and bustle of Upper Street lies Camden Passage, a remnant of Old London that will make you feel like you’ve fallen into a time warp. Full of high-quality vintage and antique shops (many of which have been known to supply the costumes for period dramas), this street is a lovely escape from modern London.

N1 Shopping Centre

Along with a selection of unique and quirky shops, Angel also has all the high-street favourites in the N1 centre, located just off Upper Street. With shops like H&M, Gap, Waitrose and a large Vue Cinema, you can find everything you need, and even see a Hollywood blockbuster after!


Attractions in Angel


Barges on the river in Angel, London Photo credit: www.britain-magazine.com


Islington Waterways

A short stroll south of Upper Street and you'll soon find yourself on the tranquil waterway paths, which stretch for miles along the Thames. Escape from the hustle and bustle of London to watch the colourful riverboats go by from one of the little cafes or bars.

Exmouth Market

If you run out of places to eat in central Angel (however unlikely that may seem!) or just fancy something different, head to Exmouth Market. With up to 32 independent food stalls and some brilliant restaurants, you're sure to find something delicious.

Hen & Chickens

While it may look unassuming, this intimate fringe theatre bar on the edge of Angel has showcased famous comedy acts including Jimmy Carr, Frankie Boyle and Jack Whitehall. Check out their website for upcoming shows, and book before they sell out!


People shopping in an antiques market in Camden Photo credit: www.frugaltraveller.blogs.nytimes.com


Camden Passage Antiques Market

The previously mentioned Camden Passage is transformed on Wednesdays and Sundays with the bi-weekly antiques market, filled with stalls offering everything from jewellery to furniture. Make sure you check out the boxes full of oddities too, as they often contain hidden bargains!

Almeida Theatre

This internationally-renowned theatre is not only right on your doorstep, but also shows productions that rival anything shown in the West End. Recent performances include American Psycho: The Musical, 1984 and King Lear, but make sure you book in advance as the venue only has around 300 seats!


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