LATEST NEWS & HAPPENINGS IN STOKE NEWINGTON
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Mixing east London cool with cosmopolitan north London, Stoke Newington is without doubt one of our favourite London neighbourhoods. Close enough to Dalston that you can pop in if you need to but far enough away from the carnage to stay sane, N16 is full of leafy quiet streets, cute cafes, and one of London’s best green spaces, Clissold Park.
Our favourite places to eat in ‘Stokey’ as it’s affectionately known include The Good Egg, Perilla, Primeur and the best of all Turkish restaurants, Cirrick II. If you’re cooking at home, there are so many places to pick up ingredients including the incredible Stoke Newington Fruit and Veg, and the organic butchers Meat N16. It’s also home to some of the best pubs in London, including The Shakespeare, The Axe, The Auld Shillelagh, and The Three Crowns.
Residents are famously hostile to big brands and chains moving in so you’ll find a wealth of independent shops including Hub, Mint Vintage, and Search & Rescue.
From the same people behind End of the Road festival, 13th Floor Coffee is a coffee truck parked outside St Mary’s church in Stoke Newington. They use Coffee by Tate, which not only had the ideal flavour combo they were after, but also supports female-led farms as part of Tate’s Gender Equality Project. As well as being a spot for your daily cup of joe, you can also treat yourself to one of their regularly changing bakes – there are plenty of vegan options too.
A bagel-based outpost of The Good Egg, Good Things Deli serves everything from freshly made bagels to take-home deli pots. Over lockdown, The Good Egg team shifted to at-home kits with their delivery bagels becoming so popular that they earned their own home. You can drop by to get a bagel filled with the likes of salt beef, smoked cheddar, house mustard & pickles; matzo fried fish, little gem & horseradish mayo; lox, capers, dill, & house schmear; caramelised banana, tahini, date syrup, cream cheese & streusel; and whitefish salad. Plus, you can grab some other bits from the deli counter, stocked with salads, granola, homemade drinks and bakes.
If dietary requirements have you missing out on delish authentic Italian food, Plant Club is a restaurant to get on your list. Thanks to its owners’ Italian gluten-free and veggie backgrounds, Plant Club has crafted a menu of favourites from the cuisine that cater to intolerances while still tasting great – yes, it is possible. Their menu reads like a classic Italian trattoria, with arancini, pasta dishes such as gnocchi cacio e pepe, a range of pizzas with rice flour bases and the likes of tiramisù and gelato to finish. And, of course, there’s a list of organic wines to pair with your organic meal. Cin cin!
Housed in an old 1920s garage (the faded Barnes Motors sign is still visible on the outside), Primeur is one of the best restaurants in Stoke Newington. Heavily influenced by the French bistronomy movement which promoted good simple food served in unpretentious surroundings, the space is pretty bare, with white walls and big wooden sharing tables – and when the weather’s nice, the old garage doors open right up. The menu is chalked up on a blackboard each day, you might find dishes such as rabbit, white beans, carrots and mustard, or hake with butter sauce. Whatever you choose, Primeur is nearly always on point. The wines are all low-intervention, with lots available by the glass, making it a great place to try some more unusual varieties and styles. The team also have Westerns Laundry and Jolene but Primeur is where it all began.
The Shakespeare is a local’s local where everyone knows everyone. Hidden in the middle of a residential street you’ll find beer by the bucket load, wine by the barrel load and a jukebox – yes a flipping real one – that will rock your socks off. There’s a beer garden, tables out the front and you can even bring in your pizzas from next door and eat them in the pub.
Perilla is all about fine dining – without the fuss. Although the menu changes regularly, expect dishes to include the likes of cuttlefish ‘bolognese’ and duck egg with mussels and parsley. And, of course, their tasting menu is the best way to try a bit of everything if you can’t decide.
Luminary Bakery is one of our favourite bakeries in London and not only because they make some of the best cinnamon swirls we’ve ever had. The bakery is a social enterprise designed to offer opportunities for women from an economic and social disadvantage to build a future for themselves – and that means you can feast on cake guilt-free.
If you’re after brunch in Stokey, there’s really only one place to go: The Good Egg. The breakfast bagels and shakshuka are our faves, but if you’re after something sweet the challah French toast with a side of bacon will really hit the spot.
Just next to Clissold Park, Stokey’s Delicatessen is a neighbourhood deli that stocks a range of artisanal food and drinks. Whether you’re after a coffee, some fresh bread, charcuterie, cheese, fish, pasta, natural wine or spirits, you can find it here.
Search & Rescue is one of our fave shops in Stokey to poke about. Whether you’re looking for presents or bits to fill your home, Search & Rescue has you covered – they literally do everything from ceramics to skincare.
Hub is our go-to spot for new womenswear in Stoke Newington. They stock some of our favourite brands – including YMC, Wood Wood, Our Legacy, Ganni and Mads Nørgaard – so it’s hard not to splurge here, but we all deserve a treat every now and then, right?
Array stocks a curated edit of clothing, homeware and bath products – carrying brands such as La Paz, Armor Lux, Wax + Wick Workshop, Heath London, Maison Bengal and Tom Lane – as well as hand-selected vintage objects and mid to late 20th-century British pottery.
WAVE Stoke Newington is the second outpost of the cafe We Are Vegan Everything. As the name suggests, everything that WAVE serves is plant-based, without compromising on flavour. Expect the likes of the Breakfast Brioche (made with slow-roasted sweet cherry tomatoes, ‘edgy mayo’ aka kala namak tofu and watercress), the ‘Save the Salmon’ Bagel (made with marinated carrots, cream cheese, cucumber, dill and watercress) the gluten-free Mushroom Roll and baked goods. There’s also a selection of healthy, secret recipe milkshakes like salted tahini caramel and mint choc chip, and seasonal specials to keep an eye out for.
Stoke Newington Farmers’ Market, which is on every Saturday, is one of the best in town. Everything sold is 100% organic and you’ll be able to pick up all your groceries with fruit, veg, meat, bread, cheese, raw milk, chocolate and more on sale. All the produce is also sourced from sustainable farms within 60 miles of London, so you’ll be supporting local in every way possible too.
Searching for a place to get your Chinese fix in Stokey? Lu Lu is the place. The restaurant’s chefs are from Shanghai and there’s a decent dim sum section. The dumplings are all made fresh and by no means are they perfect – the casings are pretty thick but they are tasty and there’s no added MSG. They’re not badly priced either at just under £4 for three. Shout out to their lip-numbing cucumber salad too.
We once heard a rumour that a young lady approached the bar and asked the barmaid, “Do you have prosecco?”. The barmaid nodded and poured Guinness into a champagne flute. Yes, this is an Irish bar through and through. You’ll find characters from all walks with stories; there’s live traditional Irish music; and lots of loud, loud, enjoyable singing. Oh, they like football here too, so it’s not one for a quiet pint.
The Axe is what we like to call a new breed of pub. It’s all about the beer, but with a quirky, forward-thinking mentality that will make beer lovers weep with joy. Expect mind-bending and unpronounceable guest beers that are so rare, so limited, you’ll feel so lucky that you’ll spend a tenner on a lottery ticket. They do support local brews too so check the boards and ask questions, take a seat and enjoy the education.
Despite some epic lampshades, it’s very dark in this Stokey pub, which can be good and bad, depending on how hungover you are, but they’ve got outside street seating too and the music is always good. They’ve got a menu of the pub grub usuals, which ain’t bad either.
BebopALula (The Monarch) is a Stoke Newington pub with a strong 50s rock ‘n’ roll theme and an even stronger Sunday roast. It’s one of the best value roasts around, and you get a big old portion of beef, pork, chicken, or lamb served with tasty roasties, Yorkshire pud and veg. We particularly like that the plate is covered in gravy and they give you another pot of gravy on the side as standard – you can never have too much gravy folks. They also have the footy on, so you can have the double winner of the Sunday games and a good feed to banish that hangover.
The team behind Westerns Laundry and Primeur (no involvement from Dolly here) are responsible for bakery and restaurant Jolene. Bakers Jeremie Cometto-Lingenheim and David Gingell work with farmer Andy Cato to source grain from two UK farms to be milled daily for breads, croissants, buns, madeleines and sausage rolls. There’s a daily changing daytime menu of eggs, toasties, pastas and salads, and come evening, you can expect dishes like grilled cod on the bone with olives and artichokes; T-bone with parmesan and rocket; and bread, apricot and butter pudding. Like Westerns Laundry and Primeur, the wine list feature natural bottles with in-house ferments and juices available for those off the sauce.
In a landscape of fancy French-focused cheese shops, head to Jumi in Newington Green for a Swiss selection. The family behind it have five generations of experience in making cheese, so they seriously know what they’re doing, with a focus on quality all the way from the milking of the cows to the delivery of the produce to customers. Emmental is the name you’ll probably know here – derived from the Emmental Valley in Switzerland, home to acres of green pasture and lots and lots and lots of cows. A name you might not know, though, is blue brain cheese, which is one of the shop’s specialities. Don’t panic! No brains were harmed in the making of this cheese: it’s a reference to the blue mould that grows on this particular variety, which ends up looking a bit like, yup, a brain. And guess what? It’s delicious.
Gallo Nero is a slice of Italy in the heart of Stokey and this place is the real deal. There are actually two branches of Gallo Nero (one on Stokey High Street and one on Newington Green Road) and both have plenty of pasta, sauces, meats, cheeses and more. We’re talking proper Parmigiano Reggiano (26 months matured), slices of salame Napoli and stacks of Sicilian panettone.
This Newington Green wine bar sells only natural, biodynamic and organic vino – handpicking bottles from small producers across the world. They match their selection of raw, honest wine with meats, cheese and bread from artisanal producers including Cobble Lane Cured, Neal’s Yard Dairy and E5 Bakehouse. Now that’s one hell of a charcuterie board.
If you’re in Stokey and you need fruit & veg, this shop is the place to go because both the variety and the quality are on point. Think British staples sitting alongside exotic fruits from all over the world. And this place is cheap, like seriously cheap, so forget paying those crazy supermarket prices for some juicy toms.
Beloved by Stokey locals, Clissold Park is a total gem. It’s got tennis courts and a bowling green for when you’re feeling particularly energetic, but the park itself is big enough to get a good stroll in. You can see the whole thing by walking the perimeter, looping in the Grade-II listed Clissold House and the lakes on the way. If that doesn’t earn you a picnic after, nothing does. Plus it’s one of the only urban parks that’s home to animals. Where else are you gonna see goats, deer, swans and terrapins in North London?
It’s no secret that some of the best food you can get in Stokey and Dalston is Turkish, and we LOVE Turkish food. There are so many places to choose from but our fail-safe is Cirrik 19 Numara Bos and in our opinion, it’s the best. The menu mostly focuses on kebabs made from barbecued meats cooked on the charcoal ocakbasi served with an abundance of sides including salad, spicy onions, THOSE balsamic grilled onions, THAT fresh bread (which is unlimited), chilli sauce and garlic mayo. Their speciality is lamb chops, though you can’t really go wrong with their chicken Shish (or anything else for that matter). The place is no frills and concentrates on offering great food and decent service. Go hungry.
If you’re looking for the perfect martini in Stokey, Fontaine’s is the place to find it. In addition to its spesh cabaret and film nights, the glamorous art deco bar, decked out in midnight blue and gold with vintage curiosities and lounge sofas, Fontaine’s has a menu that celebrates this iconic drink in all its forms. Besides the drinks making you googly-eyed, the inside is bound to dazzle you too, it is amazing.
If you’re looking to do a spot of plastic-free shopping in Stokey, Jarr Market is the place to hit up. This zero-waste store features a large pantry of bulk, unpackaged foods including pulses, spices, pasta, rice, cereals, oils, vinegars, plant-based sweets and vegan chocolates. There are also coffee and nut grinders, oat milk and maple syrup on tap, and all sorts of toiletries and cleaning products to stock up on too. Just remember to take your own container to help cut down on plastic and packaging waste.
Rubedo is a restaurant that understands the importance of comfort, a true cosy London bistro that greets you with a hug as you walk through the door. Dishes are homely but polished and dictated by the season, with warming dishes like delica pumpkin & cow’s curd ravioli, biscotti & game sausage with bread sauce & kalibos cabbage alongside some seriously respectable desserts like mille feuille with pear & bay leaf ice-cream and chocolate crémeux with peanut parfait & honeycomb will keep your bellies full and still leave you begging for more. The best thing about Rubedo is that they really go the extra mile to treat ingredients with proper respect, and they’ve also got a banging natural wine selection.
Clarence Tavern is the true definition of a ‘neighbourhood pub’ with a lunch and dinner offering that spans way beyond the realms of your average pub grub. Heady pub bangers are chalked up on the blackboard for you to dither and deliberate over each day. Some recent standouts have been braised pork shoulder with grilled radicchio & pickled damson, roast skate wing with purple sprouting broccoli & bernaise butter and fennel, Swiss chard & St James gratin. There are plenty of dishes for two like slow-cooked lamb and gratin dauphinois for couples who can’t resist the temptation of their partner’s plate. Not to mention orange wine by the litre for grape lovers who can’t get enough of the skin contact.
Japanese tapas restaurant AUN brings the concept of ‘wakon yosai’ – that means combining two contrasting cuisines, creating Japanese dishes with Western techniques and European ingredients – to Stoke Newington’s Church Street. It’s fair to say AUN executes wakon yosai effortlessly, with the menu featuring small sharing plates including oyster ajillo with crispy nori cracker, aubergine with smoky mustard miso sauce and the AUN haccho dark miso gelato. A unique restaurant that’s a great addition to the Stokey neighbourhood.
The Three Crowns in Stoke Newington came under new management when the team behind The Lexington, a classic London boozer with a Kentucky twist, took over with chef Ousmane Gaye heading up the kitchen and a programme of gigs and club nights. The historic pub has been around since the 17th century, and its latest iteration is a gastropub with a seasonal British menu of dishes like the chorizo scotch egg with tomato & red pepper chutney; a pork chop with potato salad, chayote & apple slaw and red wine jus; and a Beyond Meat burger with slaw, vegan mayonnaise and chips. You’ll find the main bar playing disco, funk, soul and worldwide grooves until 2.30am every Friday and Saturday. While downstairs, their event space, The Waiting Room, regularly holds gigs, jazz nights, drag performances and DJ sets, so keep an eye out for what’s on.
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