The Compton Arms
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I have to say that this pub is a real hidden gem. There seems to be new real ales from different parts of the country appearing all the time, despite the Greene King tie. I have eaten here a few times now and been impressed every time – there is nothing frozen going on here – a pleasant change from the branded stuff up and down Upper Street. The garden has been spruced up for the Summer and its a great place to chat and sup the warmer evenings away. The other good thing is you can watch a game on the outside TV.

This is a proper pub, run as they used to be. No pretensions, no branding, unobtrusive music and great fayre. Worth seeking out down the lanes of Canonbury.

This is a really cosy, off the beaten track pub right in the heart of Islington. The real ales are varied and well kept, the food is generous and homecooked and the place appears to be the heart and soul of its community. There is big screen sports here for the main games, but essentially its just a great village pub in a big city. No longer do you stick to the bar when you lean on it or get a whiff of the gents every time someone goes in – even the bar flies are just a memory. Wonderful pub, long may it continue!

This place is by far the best “pub” around these parts. There is no corporate branding anymore – just a genuine old fashioned, real pub, full of proper quality cask ales, decent, good value pub grub and plenty of banter at the bar! There is an Arsenal bias, with match days pretty full of both home and away fans – but it’s a trouble free, nice place to watch! Colin.

This quiet, unassuming local is hidden away behind the Union Chapel and thus mercifully isolated from the chaos of Highbury Corner. It’s a cosy place, split between a longish main room (with a TV at one end) and a smaller, squarer space on the other side of the bar.

There’s not much to choose between them, but if you’re planning to order something from the menu of easygoing pub grub, you’re more likely to find a seat in the latter. A chatty bunch of locals gathers here nightly, chewing over Arsenal’s fortunes and bantering with interlopers over pints of ale (up to four on tap). It’s not Islington’s only real pub, of course, but it is one of its best.