Finsbury Park might not be the first place that comes to mind for a night out in London, but there are plenty of spots to spend an evening here. Discover the area’s best pubs, plus a neighbourhood wine bar and a late-night dance hall.
Just off Stroud Green Road on a residential street is The Faltering Fullback, an Irish pub. After buying a drink at the trinket-filled front bar, walk through the pool hall and out the back door to enter the jungle-like, multistorey beer garden. As this much-loved pub is always busy, it’s best to get here early to grab your perfect nook in the big, boozy tree house.
This dog-friendly, child-friendly and very much people-friendly pub on the corner of Fonthill Road is as lovely as a local can get. It’s off the main drag, so it’s never too busy. Its customers are usually those living in the surrounding area; however, whether you’re a neighbourhood resident or not, you’ll be greeted with the same warmth a regular would. If the affable bar staff, great craft beer selection and heated outdoor terrace aren’t enough to woo you, the pub is renowned for its standout Sunday roast – it might even be the best roast in London.
Straddling the intersection of Stoke Newington, Manor House and Finsbury Park is The Brownswood, a big, Victorian gastropub spread over two floors and a spacious beer garden. There’s everything you could want from a pub here, from a decent selection of ales – which you can try before you buy – to a large fireplace, classic pub grub and lots of space to sit outside in the summer months. It’s the perfect all-rounder.
Given the neighbourhood’s proximity to the Emirates Stadium, Arsenal fans often frequent the many pubs in Finsbury Park. One of the most popular Gunners pubs is The Twelve Pins, easy to spot on match days from the sea of red-shirted fans surrounding it. If you’re not a fan of football chanting, head across the street to The BlackStock Pub, a large, late-night boozer directly opposite. There’s plenty of room to dance or relax here, with benches out front to watch the revelry of match days unfold – without being too close to the action.
If you’re looking for something a little more sophisticated, tucked away on Mountgrove Road is this lovely neighbourhood wine bar, where you can sip rare wine from around the world and nibble on cheese and charcuterie to your heart’s content. The cosy, family-run bar also regularly partners with local chefs to host supper clubs and pop-ups. Much like the traditional bothy, this place is the ideal little hideaway.
Other than Rowans, the late-night bowling alley with a dance floor, there aren’t that many places to dance until the wee hours in Finsbury Park. That’s where Orleans comes in – a basement dance hall with live music until 4am, found behind a fairly inconspicuous door between a pawnbroker’s shop and a hair salon on Seven Sisters Road. It’s been a neighbourhood stalwart for over 25 years, playing jazz, hip-hop, soul and more, plus hosting regular spoken word and ladies’ nights.