This old-fashioned caff has been going since 1959, and it’s an Islington institution. The menu divides into standard caff fare, including enormous breakfasts and Italian dishes. And all at crazy low prices. Big plates of pasta are the favourite at lunchtime, when it’s packed out with locals. And when it’s really busy at mealtimes, you might find yourself sharing a table – but this only adds to the lively atmosphere. The owners manage the crowds well (both when seated and when waiting), and service is speedy. Just mind your time. Other customers need your seat.
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The Ottolenghi in Islington is a reliable place for salads and delicious pastries.
Smokehouse in Islington serves some of the best meats in London. Make sure to go for the lamb shoulder. And wash it down with a beer.
Kipferl is an Austrian cafe in Islington that’s perfect for a weekday lunch or quick coffee run. And when you can’t pronounce the dishes, just point.
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Saporitalia is a neighbourhood Italian spot that doesn’t look like much, but is actually excellent. Go for the pizza and veal chop.
Polpetto is a cool Soho Italian restaurant that’s all about the candlelight and intimate atmosphere. There is also pasta. And negronis.
Pizza East is one of the best casual spots in Shoreditch for an easy dinner with a few friends.
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