Stokey’s unique scene sees splendid but shabby Turkish restaurants rub shoulders with hip cocktail joints, late-night dive bars, brunch spots and high-end delis.
NOTE: we’re defining Stoke Newington as the area designated by the N16 postcode, stretching from Dalston Kingsland station in the south to Stoke Newington station in the north, and from Kingsland High Street / Stoke Newington High Street in the east to Clissold Park and Green Lanes in the west.
North London mini-chain The Blue Legume’s Church Street outlet serves an exemplary fry up, with high quality ingredients and a discernible lack of grease. The Haberdashery on Stoke Newington High Street offers breakfast excellence ranging from cereal to salmon via bacon sarnies and eggs Benedict. Acoustic Café on Newington Green serves hearty breakfasts of the English variety as well as those with Turkish leanings — try the seared halloumi.
Tapas restaurant El Olivo on Church Street offers a very good value lunch menu on weekdays. Le Parc Deli is a lovely spot for a quick bite with a drink — not to mention for stocking up on cheese, charcuterie and wine to take away — and you won’t go wrong with a chippy lunch at Sutton & Sons, which we’ve named as one of the capital’s best fish and chip shops. There are very decent sarnies, burgers or well-priced homely mains to be had at Acoustic Café and The Blue Legume too.
Stoke Newington and the surrounding areas have the highest Turkish population in Europe, and this is reflected in the area’s restaurants. They’re a mixed bunch but good bets include ocakbasi restaurant 19 Numara Bos Cirrik on Stoke Newington Road, Testi on Stoke Newington High Street, Café Z Bar on Stoke Newington High Street and — not so inappropriately named — The Best Turkish Kebab on Stoke Newington Road. For more in the area, see our pick of the best Turkish restaurants on Green Lanes.
For cuisines from further east look to Thai restaurant Yum Yum, Itto which serves pan-Asian dishes and the original restaurant in the Rasa group, which has been serving vegetarian Keralan cuisine since 1997 and is still going strong.
Europe also gets a good showing. There’s quality tapas in the form of The Black Pig With White Pearls, and gutsy Spanish dishes at Trangallan. Il Bacio offers excellent traditional-style pizzas and other Italian dishes, while Trattoria Da Luigi is a charmingly old-school Sardinian. At Oui Monsieur (formerly known as Oui Madame) elegantly cooked French small plates are served in a picture perfect Parisian setting.
A branch of Hawksmoor spin-off Foxlow — a sister site to the Clerkenwell original — has arrived on Church Street. Highlights include an eight-hour cooked bacon rib, plus some superlative fried chicken.
Topping the list of Stokie’s foodie pubs are The Jolly Butchers (which we rank as offering one of London’s best Sunday roasts), The Three Crowns and The Leconfield which does a particularly good line in bar snacks.
For top coffee in the area, make a beeline for quirky café The Haberdashery on Stoke Newington High Street, Esters on Kynaston Road, or The Spence Bakery on Church Street where you should also try some of the freshly baked breads, cakes and pastries.
Pubs and bars
Stoke Newington is quickly becoming one of London’s prime destination drinking spots. The best pubs include The Old Shillelagh — one of London’s best Irish pubs — and The Jolly Butchers, which stocks an excellent range of both beer and cider. Visit our good-pub database to see more recommendations in the area.
There is no shortage of bars either. Highlights include decadent art deco-styled Fontaine’s.
For late night drinks The Stokey Records Bar is open until 2.30am on weekend nights, while The Waiting Room keeps going until 4am. If it’s food you’re after The Best Turkish Kebab on Stoke Newington Road serves until 2am and there are plenty more — very good quality — Turkish restaurants open later if you head in the Green Lanes direction.