Seven north London gastropubs voted best in UK

Red Lion & Sun Highgate

Highgate's Red Lion and Sun made it into the top 50 - Credit: Polly Hancock

North London pubs have been voted some of the best in the UK.

Winners of the Estrella Damm Top 50 Gastropub Awards were announced on Monday - January 24 - with hundreds of pub owners, chefs and food writers deciding on the top spots.

The awards named the top 50, plus 50 runner-ups and three specialist awards.

Venues in Islington, Hackney, Tower Hamlets and Highgate made it onto the list, with their food and décor applauded by the judging academy.

The Drapers Arms, Islington

The Drapers Arms came in at number 67, with its menu praised as "the perfect mix of rustic classics and modern techniques, a shining example of gastropub cuisine".

Dishes on the daily-changing menu have included curried roast onion squash soup and orange posset with an oat crumble.

Address: 44 Barnsbury Street, N1 1ER

Drapers Arms in Barnsbury Street

Visit the Drapers Arms in Islington for some great grub - Credit: Drapers Arms 

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The Pig and Butcher, Islington

Hailed as a "fascinating gastropub with a brilliant ethos", this Liverpool Road pub ranked 92nd.

Its listing noted that diners can enjoy a "laid back dining and drinking experience" in "stylish surroundings".

Meat is sourced from "only the best farms in the UK", the awards said, and the pub also has an onsite butcher to ensure every morsel is used.

Address: 80 Liverpool Road, N1 0QD

Islington's Pig and Butcher is one of the UK's best gastropubs

Islington's Pig and Butcher is one of the UK's best gastropubs - Credit: Google Maps

Smokehouse, Islington

The Smokehouse on Canonbury Road came in at number 94.

This Essex Road gastropub offers smoked and grilled foods and sources wine from small, family-owned vineyards.

A sister venue to The Pig and Butcher, the pub also has an on-site butcher but offers a completely different menu, including smoked bone marrow and Gloucester Old Spot pork chop.

Address: 63-69 Canonbury Road, N1 2DG

The Red Lion and Sun, Highgate

Coming in at number 16, The Red Lion and Sun was comfortably voted into the top 50 gastropubs in the UK.

The Highgate pub is a favourite with locals, and was a runner-up in our Hospitality Heroes awards last year. 

Praised for its fresh ingredients, meats supplied by Highgate Butchers and "New England boathouse" décor, the pub has earned itself a  "reputation of the village’s centre of outstanding food".

Address: 25 North Road, N6 4BE

Heath Ball, landlord of The Red Lion & Sun in Highgate, outside the "Christmas chalet".

Heath Ball, landlord of The Red Lion & Sun in Highgate, outside the "Christmas chalet". - Credit: Polly Hancock

The Bull and Last, Highgate

In 21st place, a second Highgate gastropub wowed the judges.

The awards called The Bull and Last "a fantastic venue offering everything from stunning dishes to a genuine local pub vibe".

A two-year renovation in 2018 saw the pub undergo a "thoughtful redesign", creating a "bright but traditional pub" with a half dozen new boutique bedrooms.

Its menu offers "twists on pub classics" - British cuisine with a continental twist and comfort food like its buttermilk chicken sandwich and its legendary Scotch eggs.

Address: 168 Highgate Road, NW5 1QS

Sharing a meal in pre-covid times at the Bull & Last

Sharing a meal in pre-covid times at the Bull & Last - Credit: Joe Howard

Marksman Public House, Tower Hamlets

On the border of Tower Hamlets and Hackney, the Marksman is a self-declared "proper London boozer”.

Chef owners Harris and Rotheram reopened the Marksman in 2015 after extensive refurbishment and the creation of an upstairs dining room.

Judges noted stand-out dishes of the past including beef and barley buns with horseradish cream, smoked cod’s roe and devilled pig’s skin.

Address: 254 Hackney Road, E2 7SJ

The Princess of Shoreditch, Hackney

This Hackney pub received the specialist Newcomer of the Year award, praised as "up and coming talent" that is likely to feature again in the Top 50 Gastropubs line-up.

The Princess of Shoreditch has been "carefully constructed" since its launch last year, with details including the glassware, crockery and interior décor standing out to judges.

Head chef Ruth Hansom was praised for her "super-seasonal, beautifully presented dishes", particularly the eight-course taster menu.

Address: 76-78 Paul Street, EC2A 4NE