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If you’ve ever hopped off the Tube at Highbury and Islington station you’ll definitely have had a little chuckle at the name of this pub.

The scene Previously a dingy and slightly threatening looking prospect, The Famous Cock has been given a lick of paint by its Smith & Jones chain overlords and is now a pretty welcoming option for meeting mates to start a night out with a bite to eat, before heading to one of the excellent nearby music venues – the Union Chapel or down ‘n’ dirty rock venue The Garage, for example. Prop yourself up near the large front window – it’s an excellent spot for people watching.

The grub My friend was a little underwhelmed by her gnocci with wild mushrooms and sage cream, though my house burger was good quality beef and super juicy, served in a brioche bun with pickles and beefsteak tomato.

With the pub being a stone’s throw from McDonald’s you’d think it would be an opportunity to axe the skinny chips offered with most of the main meals in favour of the chunkier ‘crispy on the outside, fluffy in the middle’ alternative.

But alas, no. Snacks include fish finger sandwiches and shareable platters, such as the charcuterie board, which features courgette fritters with gremolata, cured meats and olives. There’s also a mezze board, with chargrilled peppers, tomatoes with pesto, hummus, tzatziki and feta cheese, or get stuck into a big juicy steak and Abbot Ale pie with mash.

Behind the bar A tasty pint of Cornish Doom Bar ale comes recommended, or if you’re in the mood for woo-woos all round you’ll want to turn up in time for the two-for-one cocktails served 5pm-10pm. If you’re feeling guilty after guzzling pies and burgers, there’s skinny low-cal cocktails on offer, including the Slim Pickings, a concoction of Jack Daniel’s, agave nectar, pineapple and lemon juice.

Bill please Mains from £5.95; platters £11.50; pints £3.50-£4.50; wine from £3.90 per glass; cocktails £7.95 (remember the 2-4-1 times) or £15 per pitcher.

Verdict Decent inexpensive pub grub and a good start for a night out. 

259 Upper Street, N1 1RU  
smithandjonespubs.com  
Tube | Highbury and Islington


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The Famous Cock - review: 'Decent pub grub' in humourously-named Highbury-Islington venue
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