Deceptively cosy bar-room interior (pictured above), with carefully mismatched geek chic furniture and wonky art. Industrial shelves proffer sacks of coffee alongside beautiful jars and utensils. Great coffee in the day and quirky cocktails after dark, with decent all-day plates prepared in the open kitchen too.
710 Holloway Road
Oak and Pastor
Back-to-basics lightly renovated boozer with reclaimed church pew interior, cask ales, decent draft lagers and cider, comedy nights, lively crowd, secret garden and good banter at the bar. Burgers, steaks and 2-for-1 pizzas on Mondays.
86 Junction Road
A real local. Expect a line of boys propping up the stools at the bar, with couples and twentysomethings playing pool, or snug in a candle-lit corner. Quiz nights, handy book swap, 13 draught pumps including four local real ales, plus own branded Despard Pilsner. Best of all? Cats sprawled attractively across the wooden floor, so leave the pooch at home. One, Legs, has just three of them and is adorable.
17-19 Archway Road
Legendary rawk, grunge, punk and metal pub based forever in Soho which upped sticks and moved to N19 earlier this year. Open until a mighty 4am at weekends. Aces.
1 Archway Close
A ‘Tufnell Parkway’ secret, we love the grafittied garden for a pint of Hell’s, although it’s a little chilly now. Always decent pizzas, happy hours (5-7pm) and a full programme of arts events on two floors, from open mic and spoken word to live music. Open till 2am weekends.
114 Junction Road
St John Tavern
This gorgeous pile may not quite boast the directional cooking it once did – but it’s a mighty corner building with cute nooks and crannies, roaring fires, garden, and decent wine list. An Archway classic.
91 Junction Road