Today I want to share my guide to Upper Street in London with you. This famous street in Islington is a fun place to eat, drink, explore, and browse. Its independent shops and variety of things to see and do make it a local London favorite. I’ve spent a lot of time in Islington over the years and I still go back regularly to see what’s new. Read on for my top picks for things to do on Upper Street. I’ve included a map, too.

Upper Street, London

Upper Street, London

Upper Street sits right in the heart of Islington. It runs from Highbury & Islington station in the north to Angel in the south, and it’s beloved for its abundance of fun boutiques, pubs, restaurants, bars, and coffee shops.

The street is surrounded by local markets and pretty lanes full of houses with colorful doors. They help make this part of north London worth a visit.

And that’s to say nothing of the shops. This is one of the best shopping streets in London, and you can find a lot to love here. If you’re wondering what there is to do on Upper Street, read on.

Mural on Upper Street in Islington

How to Get to Upper Street

It’s easy to get to Upper Street from other parts of London. Highbury & Islington station is on the Victoria line of the London Underground, and it’s also served by the Overground, trains, and local buses.

Angel station is on the Northern line of the tube, making it easy to get here from many parts of the city. Fun fact: Angel also has the longest escalator of any tube station in London, and the whole of the UK.

You can also walk, cycle, or ride a scooter to Upper Street from King’s Cross, Clerkenwell, Shoreditch, Hoxton, Canonbury, Highbury, Barnsbury, and other local areas. In short, there’s no excuse to stay away.

Red Phone Boxes in Islington

Upper Street Shops

Once in Islington, one of the best things to do on Upper Street is shop. There’s a plethora of boutiques and independent stores here, and they sell everything from clothing to home goods, food, wine, plants, and gifts.

If it’s fashion you’re interested in, Upper Street is just the ticket. There’s every name from Oliver Bonas to Whistles, Toast, Colibri, Mint Velvet, and Anthropologie here. They make this one of the best high streets in London.

Upper Street has shops selling beautiful things for your home as well. My favorites include Le Creuset for all things cooking, After Noah for pretty gifts and furniture, and Borough Kitchen Cook Shop for kitchenware.

Shop interior on Upper Street in London

As far as food goes, the Upper Street shops have no shortage of mouth-watering things to buy. Whether you’re looking for decadent chocolate or gourmet take-away, there’s a place you’ll love.

My go-to is Ottolenghi. This place has all the delicious deli items and pastries one could want, plus tables for dining in. The Sampler is also a fun place to buy (and taste) wine.

If you love beauty, this street has you covered. From Space NK to Neal’s Yard Remedies, the road has a lot of places to get make-up and skincare products. Just off Upper Street on Cross Street you’ll find beloved names like Aesop and Le Labo, too.

Shop on Upper Street, Islington

And when it comes to books, there’s a big Waterstones on Islington Green. It has multiple floors full of everything from novels to coffee table heavyweights for sale. If you prefer something independent, Upper Street Bookshop is just the ticket.

The side streets and shopping arcades coming off the high street are full of great stores, too. From the cool shops on Cross Street to the ones in Islington Square, there’s a lot to get excited about.

And that’s to say nothing of Camden Passage, which is one of my favorite places in Islington. This narrow pedestrianized lane is packed with delicious restaurants, cafes, and coffee shops. There are fun boutiques and vintage stores here, too.

Camden Passage shop

From Katsute 100 to Moxon’s Fishmongers, Kipferl, Bird & Blend Tea Co., Brother Marcus, Bibi’s, and Redemption Roasters, I can never decide which is my favorite.

Upper Street Markets

Speaking of Camden Passage, the market here is worth a detour while you’re exploring Upper Street.

Camden Passage Market is open on Wednesdays and Saturdays, and the stalls here sell everything from antiques to retro clothing, home goods, vintage luggage, curios, and bric-a-brac.

Camden Passage Market

On the other side of Upper Street, Chapel Market is a traditional London street market. Established in 1890, its no-frills stalls sell everything from fresh produce to flowers, gifts, clothing, plants, cards, and fish.

Upper Street Restaurants and Coffee Shops

When it comes to food, there are a lot of great Upper Street restaurants and coffee shops to discover. This road is bursting with places to eat and drink, and you can find cuisine from all over the world here.

I already mentioned Ottolenghi, which has some of the most inventive and delicious food in London. Other popular places include Terra Rossa, Le Mercury, Llerena, Bewliehill, and Gallipoli.

Islington Restaurant

As far as cafes and coffee go, there’s no shortage of popular places on Upper Street. Favorites in include High Ground, Blank Street Coffee, and Urban Social.

And that’s to say nothing of all the great restaurants and cafes on the roads and lanes around Upper Street. From the aforementioned ones in Camden Passage to the ones on Essex Road, there are a lot to choose from.

Pubs and Bars

When it comes to pubs and bars, Upper Street has a number of good options. Some of the best watering holes in Islington are on and around this road. So much so that I’ve played both pub golf and One Giant Chicken here.

Pub on Upper Street, London

From pubs like the Library (perfect for book lovers like me) to wine bars like Humble Grape, there’s a lot of choice.

For music fans, the Hope and Anchor is a landmark from the 1970s and ’80s punk and new wave scenes. The Stranglers’ Live at the Hope and Anchor album was recorded here.

If you’re willing to venture a bit further afield, places like 69 Colebrooke Row (aka The Bar With No Name) are famous for cocktails, and pubs like The Pig and Butcher are local favorites.

Islington pub interior

Green Spaces

If you want to take a rest or sit and watch the world go by, Upper Street has no shortage of places to do it. The parks and gardens here are beloved local spots.

From St Mary’s Church Gardens to Islington Green and Compton Terrace Gardens, there are green spaces all up and down the road.

Landmarks and Cultural Hubs

When it comes to landmarks and cultural hubs, Upper Street has no shortage of places you’ll want to see. From Islington Town Hall to the Business Design Centre and the towering spire of St Mary’s Church, there are lots of places of interest.

Islington Town Hall

As far as the performing arts go, there’s plenty to see on and around the street. A range of dramatic productions takes place at the Almeida Theatre, The Hope Theatre, and the King’s Head Theatre pub.

Add to that live music at Islington Assembly Hall and Union Chapel, and you’re spoiled for choice.

Where to Stay on Upper Street

If you want to stay on Upper Street, you have some good options. There’s a range of accommodation in the area, from hotels to apartment rentals.

Islington building

The Citadines Apart’hotel Islington London is just off Upper Street in Islington Square. Sleek and modern, it offers guests the independence of an apartment with the services of a hotel. You can book your stay here.

If you prefer a hotel, the Hilton London Angel Islington is right on Upper Street. With contemporary rooms and all the amenities, it’s a great place to stay. You can book a room here.

You can see a range of other accommodation options and hotels in Islington here.

Upper Street flower shop

Local Area

There are a lot of places around Upper Street that are worth a trip when you’re in Islington, Angel, and the greater area.

From pretty side roads like Charlton Place and Barnsbury Street to walks along Regent’s Canal, there are plenty of fun spots to explore.

Add to that elegant spaces like Lonsdale Square and cultural highlights like the Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art and the Islington Museum, and there’s a lot to be found around here.

Regents Canal Towpath, Angel

The children’s puppet shows at Little Angel Theatre are unique, too.

If you like parks, Highbury Fields is hard to beat. One of the biggest parks in the area, it’s a great place to walk, relax, or have a picnic. Closer to the southern end of Upper Street, Duncan Terrace Gardens is atmospheric.

You can do my free self-guided Islington walk to see my top picks for places to discover in the area. It will take you around to see the highlights.

Upper Street, Islington Map

If you want to get your bearings, you can find my interactive map of Upper Street here. You can use it to locate all the shops, restaurants, cafes, and other places on the road that I mentioned in this blog post.

Camden Passage Market, London

Upper Street, Islington

I hope you’ve enjoyed my Upper Street guide and that it’s inspired you to get out and discover this beautiful part of London.

There’s so much to do and see here, and I know you’ll enjoy getting to know this place as much as I have. Happy exploring!

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Upper Street, London

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