Everybody has an area of London that they default to when they’re looking for a certain kind of dining experience. If you want top-quality street food, you head to Borough Market. If you’re marking a special occasion, a trip to Mayfair is on the cards. Want to dine somewhere quick and in easy reach of great cocktail bars? Soho is the place for you.
If you want an affordable, casual meal in a fuss-free setting though, you head to Chapel Market, just a few minutes’ walk from Angel tube station. Don’t be put off by the gritty surrounds or the cramped feel, as this bustling street is a real treasure trove of great casual dining spots. Whether you’re in the mood for all-you-can-eat Indian, a menu of Vietnamese food designed to share, or sushi that wouldn’t look out of place on Grosvenor Square, there’s a Chapel Market restaurant waiting to welcome you.
We’ve rounded up a few of them below so you can do some research before heading down there – with so many restaurants in one place though, we highly doubt you’ll ever be short of options.
The Little Viet Kitchen
What: Ticking off lots of cutesy interiors trends including floral print menus and sanded down wooden floors, The Little Viet Kitchen serves a please-all menu of stomach-warming Vietnamese fare which is designed for sharing. Tuck into the likes of pork spring rolls, caramelised salmon in a tamarind and black pepper sauce, and mochi ice cream for dessert.
Where: 2 Chapel Market, N1 9EZ
What: Billing itself as an Indian canteen, Delhi Grill is home to a short menu of pot curries and dishes from a tandoor grill. It also boasts the kind of low-ball prices that you rarely come across in London, without compromising the quality of the food. Choose from the simple, yet effective likes of butter chicken or lamb biryani, all mopped up with doughy naans.
Where: 21 Chapel Market, N1 9EZ
What: Traditional Italian Mangia Bene features rustic interiors and a menu of classics that is split between antipasti, pasta, pizza and meat and fish dishes. If you’re in the mood for carbs, try the spaghetti carbonara or gnocchi al forno, while there are salads for those after something light. The selection of by-the-glass wines and fizz is also worth your time.
Where: 18 Chapel Market, N1 9EZ
What: Most of London’s flashy Japanese restaurants might be in Mayfair, but unassuming Hot Stone flies the flag for Angel. Enjoy the likes of A5 Japanese Wagyu which you cook yourself on sizzling granite slabs, or stick to the sushi offering which is presented in traditional wooden boxes and ranges from the traditional to the contemporary.
Where: 9 Chapel Market, N1 9EZ
Image: Jamie Lau
What: Try not to let the militant anti-meat propaganda distract you at Indian Veg, as this all you can eat buffet restaurant is a real hidden gem. For just shy of £8 per person, you can fill your boots with a daily-changing menu of vegetarian Indian fare that might feature the likes of onion bhajis, salads, paneer and daal. There’s always plenty of rice to pad things out too.
Where: 92-93 Chapel Market, N1 9EX
The Angel Curry Centre
What: This family-run curry house may be small in size, but it’s big on flavour. The menu here is made up of Indian classics, which means you can expect to tuck into dishes such as thalis, curries and meats cooked on a tandoori grill. Tradition stretches to the dessert offering too, which sees Kulfi and gulab jamun, which are best described as Indian-style doughnuts.
Where: 5 Chapel Market, N1 9EZ
What: Keeping things casual, Masigo offers up a selection of Korean small plates alongside more substantial dishes, with recommendations from the chef written up on a blackboard. The simple interiors are matched by a concise menu of Korean dishes, split up via stews and noodles – try spicy kimchi stew with pork and tofu, or perhaps noodles with beef and veg.
Where: 29 Chapel Market, N1 9EN
Terrace Turkish Kitchen
What: This small but perfectly formed Turkish restaurant is great for families and small groups who are looking to share their dinner. Start with a mix of cold and hot meze (think stuffed vine leaves and grilled halloumi), before moving on to lamb shish or chicken doner, which are all served with rice, salad, bread and dipping sauce.
Where: 61 Chapel Market, N1 9ER
Image: Jamie Lau
What: Somewhat of an Islington institution, this old-school Italian caff has been open since 1959. Stop by in the morning for a fried breakfast, while the lunchtime rush is all about hearty bowls of pasta. At peak times, you might have to share a table with fellow diners, but the astonishingly affordable prices and friendly staff make any awkwardness worth it.
Where: 97 Chapel Market, N1 9EY
The Crown Fish & Chip Bar
What: London may be full of upmarket dining options, but sometimes you can’t beat good old fish & chips. Head to The Crown to feast on cod, haddock or plaice served with thick-cut chips, or try a beef burger instead. Prices are fairly reasonable as it is, but the lunchtime specials menu, with several dishes for under a fiver, represents particularly good value.
Where: 20 Chapel Market, N1 9EZ
What: This chocolate café presents the sweet-toothed residents of Angel with an entirely vegan menu. Get your chocolate fix via orange zest pancakes drizzled with choc sauce or a chocolate fondue to share, while you can also take advantage of the chocolate happy hour every Friday between 3-4pm, where you’ll get a free cookie with any coffee or hot chocolate.
Where: 1 Chapel Market, N1 9EZ
Hot & Spicy Malaysia
What: Laminated menus and pared-back interiors speak to the casual nature of this Malaysian restaurant. Hot & Spicy Malaysia’s menu packs more of a punch than its look though, with spicy dishes to try including beef rendang, Sichuan chicken and a spicy lamb curry. Cool down with lemon tea or a refreshing lychee drink.
Where: 28 Chapel Market, N1 9EN
Once you’ve made your way around all of the restaurants above, set your sights beyond Chapel Market and discover our pick of the best restaurants in Islington.