Out and about in Holloway

Getting to know London is a full-time job that can be stressful and not always very successful. And even if you are a true Londoner, there is always something new to surprise you. That’s why London Met decided to help students get to know their city better. Each week a new area of London will be introduced on the blog, with the best food, drinks, entertainment, coffee and community, and something special that can be found only in the area.

It comes as no surprise then that the first area to be introduced is the home of the University’s biggest campus – Holloway. No matter if you live in the area or just come down for your classes, everyone spends most of their time in and around the University. The high-street might not look like it has much to offer, but there are many hidden gems that will become your new favourites.


MOMA’s Healthy Food is a small place opposite the Rocket entrance and it’s a definite winner amongst staff at the University. As is already clear from the name, MOMA is all about healthy food served as quick as possible. You can choose between hot wraps or meal boxes, and the best part is that everything is under a fiver.

Dirty Burger/Chicken Shop is a well-known chain that always goes hand in hand. The name makes it pretty clear what both of them offer and the prices are around £6 for a burger or quarter of a chicken. You can find Dirty Burger/Chicken Shop at 274 Holloway Road.

Zia Lucia is a pizza restaurant that offers four types of dough for all the picky eaters. You can either go for a sit-down meal or order through Deliveroo when feeling lazy. The restaurant offers a great selection of appetisers, salads and pizzas, and you can always treat yourself to a Negroni while waiting. Pizza prices are between £7 and £11. You can find Zia Lucia on 157 Holloway Road.

Roll Papa Sushi is a great restaurant located opposite the University that offers Japanese and Korean food. It has a wide range menu for a reasonable price and recently started doing takeaway. Sushi is around £4.90 and mains are around £8.50.


The Edward Lear is a lovely pub that offers a happy hour every weekday between 3pm and 6pm where you can enjoy selected drinks for £3.25. Or you can visit them for their express lunch, which gets you a lunch and a drink for £7.50. Not bad at all! You can find the pub at 471 Holloway Road.

The Horatia is the nearest pub to the University and it’s a favourite choice of many staff. The pub has a selection of over 60 craft beers and their kitchen is run by the pop-up OH MY DOG, a great place to get a hot dog. The Horatia is on 98 Holloway Road.

The Highbury Barn is a short walk away from Arsenal stadium and is a great place to watch any game with a special match day menu offering barbeque food out on the terrace. You can find the pub at 26 Highbury Park.

The Landseer is a spacious pub in Upper Holloway with a great outside area that offers gourmet food and tapas dinners. It might get a bit pricey but it’s a good place when you want to treat yourself. The pub is located on 37 Landseer Road.

Coffee and Cake

Vagabond N7 is a laid back local cafe with a tiny patio where you can enjoy professionally made coffee and artisan snacks. Menu prices are between £4 and £8. Vagabond N7 is located at 105 Holloway Road.

Five Four Ate is a cute little coffee shop that has a great selection of breakfast and lunch meals and even offers Sunday roast. The all-day breakfast starts from only £4.60 and lunch meals are around £5. Bear in mind that the coffee shop closes at 5.30pm. You can find it at 548 Holloway Road.

Ez & Moss is an independent cafe serving vegetarian and vegan food, cakes and great coffee. They have comfortable couches in the back and have nice modern art paintings on the walls from local artists. The great thing is they even do take away - get the order in fast though because they close at 5pm! You can find the cafe at 183 Holloway Road.

Le Peche Mignon is an independent French café and fine food store. It’s a very tiny place with a cute garden at the back and loads going on. They have a great selection for breakfast and brunch or you can simply pop in to stock up your cupboards with the exciting array of products, from wine and cheese to charcuterie and olive oil. The store is nestled on 6 Ronalds Road within walking distance of Highbury Fields and Arsenal's Emirates Stadium.

The Spoke is an all-day eatery that is about three things and three things only: coffee, burgers and cycling. The even offer drinks as the day turn into a night. The place used to be a pub but is now brightened up and fitted with an open kitchen at the centre of the action. It’s definitely worth going to The Spoke as it is known as one of the best burger places in North London. The eatery is located opposite Upper Holloway Station at 710 Holloway road.


Odeon Holloway is a great night-out option. Students get discounted tickets and food, plus Monday to Thursday you can get a ticket for as little as £6. Catch a film at 419-427 Holloway Road.

Pleasance Theatre Trust has been one of the most exciting Fringe theatres in London since it opened its door back in 1995. Its mission is to provide a platform for the talent of the future not only in theatre but also in comedy. You can find the theatre at Carpenters Mews, a short walk from Caledonian Road Station.

Nambucca is a live music venue that is popular with up-and-coming bands and hosts music and entertainment events on a nightly basis. Since its re-opening in 2014 following a fire, Nambucca has turned into a 300-capacity music venue that Buzzfeed named as an ‘iconic venue every music fan should visit’. You can find the venue at 596 Holloway Road.

The Garage is a music venue in Highbury, considered to be one of London's "landmark venues". It opened in 1993 and since then gained the reputation of a venue that hosts ground-breaking acts. The main room has a capacity of 600 and the upstairs room has a capacity of 150. The Garage is located opposite Highbury and Islington station at 20-22 Highbury Cres.

Islington Arts Factory is the only multi-arts community centre in the London Borough of Islington and provides over fifty educational courses in art, dance and music for children and adults. The Factory also regularly opens its gallery to both established and emerging artists. If you want to take a class you need to be a member and membership is very affordable with prices of £1/day, £8/term (12 weeks), £20/year. Islington Arts Factory is a very short walk away from Holloway station at 2 Parkhurst Road.


Tender Education and Arts is a charity that works with young people to prevent domestic abuse and sexual violence. Tender uses drama and the arts to create spaces in which children and young people can explore sensitive issues safely and playfully. You can donate, fundraise, campaign or even become one of the guardians. Tender is located at 356 Holloway Road.

Whittington Community Centre brings people together of all ages and walks of life. You can find a wide range of classes such as Hula Hoop classes, Latin dance, Yoga and Pilates or you can relax with a book at The Whittington Park Cafe. There are many opportunities to get involved if you want to give back to the community but either way it’s a great place to meet your neighbours.

Only in Holloway

Blue 17, a cavernous vintage and second-hand shop in the style of an American thrift store is hiding behind a rather unassuming door with the CND logo. Established in 1989, the shop stocks over 6,000 recycled vintage, retro and contemporary garments shoes, boots, bags and accessories from the USA and Europe. You will pay more than in a second-hand shop but you will get a true vintage gem. Blue 17 is at 162 Holloway Road.

Sensations is a heaven for all of you with a sweet tooth. It is an ice cream parlour, serving authentic Italian gelato and an exciting variety of delicious desserts and delicacies. Ordering proves to be the hardest thing as you can chose not only from 36 different flavours of gelato but also waffles, crepes, sundaes, milkshakes and smoothies. This heaven is located on 300 Holloway Road and is open every day until 11pm.

North London Buddhist Centre is a great place to learn and practice yoga and meditation. The Centre also offers classes in exploring the meaning of life over coffee and croissants. They offer a lot of community events, where you can learn more about Buddhist’s literature and music, or can simply meet new people. Most of the events are free but there are suggested donations available on the website. You can find the Buddhist Centre on 72 Holloway Road.


Do you want to write for the blog? Great! Please email Lyubomira Nikolova at l.nikolova@londonmet.ac.uk 

Photograph of Holloway Road leading to the City of London.