The name ‘Stoke Newington’ apparently derives from an Old English phrase meaning ‘the new town in the wood’.
Must have been really easy for people to find in ye olden days, then.
Now far more accessible thanks to the modern marvels of buses and the overground, Stoke Newington still harbours a secluded, village-y feel, where chains and corporate-backed eateries are shunned in favour of locally owned, independent businesses. And after a day swimming in the outdoor reservoir, strolling through the picturesque Abney Park Cemetery or rock-climbing in an old Victorian pump station built like a Scottish castle, you’re going to want to refuel somewhere. Here’s our pick of the best eateries in the area:
Primeur’s bakery-led little sister, Jolene opened in 2018 and won an instant army of local fans. Thankfully, they take bookings, so you won’t have to queue up behind them. Expect freshly baked pastries and good strong coffee in the mornings, with bigger dishes of hand-rolled pasta and Italian-styled meat and fish come the evenings. READ MORE
Details: Open Wed-Sun, 9am-3pm & 6-10pm | 21 Newington Green, N16 9PU
Aun specialises in its own brand of ‘Japanese tapas’ – unusual but delicious combinations of local ingredients and Japanese cooking techniques. Right now, you can head in for set menus filled with the likes of panko fried chicken omelette; Aun’s unique sushi rolls with salmon tartare and flying fish roe; udon noodles with soft shell crab tempura and more – or swing by at Friday lunchtime for a fried chicken hit from their karaage pop up.
Details: Open for dinner Tues-Sat (6-10pm) and lunch Fri-Sun (12.30-4pm) | 178 Stoke Newington Church Street, London N16 0JL
The two friends behind Perilla have one heck of a CV: the chef (Ben) was poached by Copenhagen’s Noma (largely seen as the best restaurant in the world), while the manager (Matt) cut his teeth at Polpo before realising he could handle going solo. The result? Noma-level food in a cosy, laid-back space. A bit like Polpo. READ MORE
Details: Open for lunch Fri – Sun, dinner Wed-Sat | 1-3 Green Lanes, Newington Green, N16 9BS
Chef Alexis Noble has done her fair share of wandering, globetrotting from Sydney to San Francisco over the past decade while searching for inspiration. So we should be thankful that she chose Stoke Newington to settle down in, bringing us the best of the dishes she came across in a cosy, wine-filled neighbourhood restaurant. READ MORE
Details: Open for dinner Thurs-Sat from 6pm | 214 Stoke Newington High Street, N16 7HU
19 Numara Bos Cirrik II
Stoke Newington’s famed for its Turkish restaurants, specialising in ocakbaşı (charcoal grilled) dishes. Cirrik has two branches on Stoke Newington High Street (hence the catchy moniker) – the sequel is the one to head for if you’re craving melt in the mouth kebabs, crisp flatbreads and flavourful salads. What’s more, it won’t cost the earth, either.
Details: Open Mon, Wed & Thurs 4pm-12am, Fri & Sat 12pm-1am, Sun 12pm-12am | 194 Stoke Newington High Street, London N16 7JD
A gorgeous, buzzing, bohemian bolthole where twinkling chandeliers and rustic wooden furnishings come together to give the impression of dining in a luxurious barn. Founded by three friends, Trangallán is a love letter to Galician cuisine, with stunningly presented small plates, authentic paella and hand-picked natural wines. And as a covid-era side-hustle, they’re also running a little market and wine shop, where you’ll find crates stocked with vibrantly coloured fresh produce (Wed-Sun). READ MORE
Details: Open for lunch Wed-Sun, dinner Tues-Sat | 61 Newington Green, London, N16 9PX
A petite oasis on the high street, Cérès is named after the Roman goddess for ‘agriculture and motherly relationships’. Female-led, and focussed on crafting everything – from bread to pasta and gelato – in-house, it does everything it says on the tin. The rotating dinner menu is organised almost supper club-style, with a different region of Southern Europe, or particular ingredients, informing the set menu each night.
Details: See upcoming dinners, and book, here | 74 Green Lanes, London N16 9EJ
The Good Egg
The Good Egg are just being modest. They’re actually fantastic. And since their Stokey flagship is a little on the petite side, they’re keeping going in the age of social distancing by putting together mouthwatering Montreal-style bagels to takeaway for lunch and dinner, stuffed with harissa egg mayo and crispy bacon; salt beef with apple and dill kraut and mustard; and the classic combo of lox and cream cheese. And for dessert? Their famous chocolate babkas or an ice cream sandwich should do the trick. READ MORE
Details: Open for lunch daily (9am-4pm) and dinner Thurs-Sat 4-8pm (takeaway only) | 93 Stoke Newington Church Street, London, N16 0AS
Rasa N16 is unmissable. Not just because of its luminous pink shopfront, but because it would be a tragedy not to try the Keralan cooking within. Chef-owner Das Sreedharan serves up the spice-rich vegetarian cuisine of his childhood in south-west India, and his food’s won accolades over the past three decades.
Details: Open for dinner Tuesday-Sunday | 55 Stoke Newington Church Street, London N16 OAR
Is Primeur in Stoke Newington? Or is it technically Highbury? Two questions you will not be remotely concerned with while you’re uncorking a bottle of white and devouring a plate of pork belly with butterbeans and mojo rojo in this sundrenched (or candlelit) former garage. READ MORE
Details: Currently two sittings Wed-Fri, three on weekends – book ahead | 116 Petherton Road, London N5 2RT
Stokey’s smart Italian eatery is serving up an irresistible set menu these days – with three courses for £30 or four for £40, you can tuck into the likes of confit cod with pickled kohlrabi; pork collar and tomato salad; London burrata with white peach and meltingly tender lamb shoulder ragù. Sleek marble tables, flattering lighting and an unbeatable tiramisu seal the deal. READ MORE
Details: Open for dinner Thursday-Saturday, 6-11.30pm | 110 Stoke Newington High Street, N16 7NY
With the bifold windows pulled back, the glimmer of exposed bulbs and the merry murmur of satisfied diners within, Rubedo is one of those restaurants it’s nearly impossible to walk past without contemplating dropping everything to go inside. No wonder – the regularly changing menu draws on influences from across Europe, especially Italy, and there’s a whole cellar of natural and biodynamic wines to work your way through. Plus, they play host to the occasional guest chef from top restaurants.
Details: Open for dinner Tuesday-Friday, lunch & dinner on weekends | 35 Stoke Newington Church Street, London, N16 0NX
Not your average neighbourhood café. Soup of the day? Try a rainbow chard and coco bean broth. Sandwiches? Have a homemade tortilla packed with overnight beef shin. Bread and cakes? Uhh, yeah, they’re made fresh every day.
Details: Reopens 8th September | 55 Kynaston Road, London N16 0EB
You don’t run a restaurant called Yum Yum for nearly three decades without serving incredible food. Stokey’s Thai gem has been winning awards since ’97 (including two from Thailand for authentically representing the cuisine), and is a genuine local spot, sponsoring a dozen community initiatives. Settle in for mouthwatering tom yum, massaman curry and crispy Thai golden parcels, washed down with one of the longest cocktail menus in the area.
Details: Currently takeaways and deliveries only | 187 Stoke Newington High Street, London, N16 0LH
Looking for a nightcap spot? Head along to Original Sin