March 09, 2015

Cafes in Islington | Holloway Road

I had never planned to move to London and yet as I sat at the interview table and was asked if I could pack my bags and move within the week to Islington, I said yes without hesitation. I reasoned that if there were anywhere in the city I'd most like to work and live in, Islington would be it and that was before I even really knew much about it. It just felt right.

How lucky I was that it turned out to be almost as diverse and interesting as my former residence in Barcelona's Raval - a mixture of the modern, the traditional, the wealthy and the not so wealthy and all that comes with multicultural, multifaceted London.

Of course, regardless of where I live, to me the modern cafe is the most important institute and there's certainly plenty in this borough. So many, in fact, I've had to split them into sections.

Think of this as the Holloway Road edition... an ode to the cafes that I love here. And this isn't even all of them. An introduction, if you will.

North London Cafes

Filled to the rafters with natural light, this traditional old public house turned cafe has the kind of windows you could gaze through for hours, watching the busy Holloway Road roar with traffic en route to Archway. 

Illumination aside, it's a fine choice for day and eve alike, with a simple menu featuring 'British Burgers', good coffee and cake and an exclusive cocktail menu when the working day has drawn to an end.

It takes its name from its love for cycling, which is evident from thoughtful paraphernalia and touches throughout the premises. 

Places for coffee on Holloway Road, Islington

Raw, a bit rustic-ragged but full of heart, Vagabond serves up just about the best coffee in North London in their oh-so-very precise ways. 

No frills. Just damn good coffee. Oh, and a lovely little garden for robin-spotting and clandestine meetings. 

The space at Vagabond is also transformational, with a farmer's market and thought-provoking events in their additional rear space. If you're looking for coffee and conversation, this is your cup.

Cafes on Holloway Road, Islington
Ez and Moss, Middle Holloway Road

Totally humble and unpretentious, which can be unusual for London coffee shops, Ez and Moss is warm, serene and the perfect hideaway for those escaping the office, or, simply using it as their own.
I've read somewhere that the staff are a little quiet but if you visit on a regular basis, they are engaging, kind and totally genuine and it's always a pleasure to visit.

A select but clean and fresh vegetarian/vegan menu provides the perfect fodder alongside a consistently excellent coffee. 

Playing Radio Paradise, I've not once heard bad music on the premises - they just get everything right on all accounts. Especially the soup and we all know how I feel about that.

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