Stoke Newington, affectionately known to locals as Stokey, has slowly grown its reputation as a foodie hub. With regular organic farmers’ markets, plenty of independent restaurants and boycotts of chain restaurants (despite best efforts, Nandos has been going strong since 2008) what makes Stokey different is the diversity of cultures. The inhabitants of N16 include Turkish, Jewish, Afro-Caribbean and Asian communities, all reflected in the cuisine on offer at the many different restaurants adorning the Stoke Newington streets.
There are no real transport links to Stokey, the nearest station is on the East London Line at Dalston Kingsland, making the area largely uncharted territory for many Londoners. But for those in the know, it’s certainly worth the bus ride. Here’s why…
176 Stoke Newington High St, N16 7JL
Adding to the music scene of East London is this Independent bar and kitchen. Upstairs you can hangout with mates and dine on gastropub-style menu with mains such as fish and chips for around £10. Downstairs in the basement is where this goes from regular Stokey hangout to a hip happening space where established and new musical acts, comedians and thespians are showcased and celebrated. Music nights are popular, as are the hours between 5-9 when the bar is descended upon for its sweet happy hour deals including two cocktails, or three beers, for £10.
Find out more about Babble.jar
125 Stoke Newington Road, N16 8BT
Stokey has one of Europe's largest Turkish communities and as a result it’s a mecca for lovers of Turkish cuisine... especially kebabs. The Best Turkish Kebab Shop has been voted to have not only one of the best kebabs in London but in the Good Kebab Guide declared the Stoke Newington Road joint to be one of the best in Britain too. Open for over 30 years, the kebabs, which cost around £5, are made with 100% lamb shoulder, making the takeaway more of a destination rather than a four-beers-too-many place.
Find out more about The Best Turkish Kebab Shop
61 Stoke Newington High St, N16 8EL
One of the latest pop-up to permanent restaurants is The Black Pig With White Pearls. Unassuming to the eye, the small tapas bar is split over two floors – a bar upstairs and a dining room downstairs. Named after the Iberico pork, which features predominantly on the menu, they serve a selection of tapas and pintxo which changes on a daily basis. Of course the black pig is a must, try the sharing platter of 24 month cured ham for £18 with a glass of Spanish wine
Find out more about The Black Pig with White Pearls
101 Stoke Newington Church Street, N16 0UD
A group of three with sister restaurants on Upper Street and in Crouch End, The Blue Legume is an all-day café which serves a wide ranging menu from Mediterranean inspired mezze to burgers and risotto although it’s the breakfast and brunch which draws the crowds. The portions are generous and prices fairly reasonable with breakfast meals around £7 and fresh juices for £2.95.
Find out more about The Blue Legume
24 Stoke Newington Church Street
The deceptively small restaurant front hides a large dining room clad with dark wood, wagon wheel lights and ceiling fans. What it lacks in cutting edge design it makes up for with the food. Tapas dishes, priced at around £4 each include dishes such as manchego cheese, tortilla, padron peppers and Iberian black boar pate but it’s the popular paella and reasonably priced cava that makes El Olivio an old favourite in Stokey.
Find out more about El Olivio
176 Stoke Newington Church Street, London N16 0JL
This old-school wine bar has been a local fixture since 1981. The food is high end bistro but the wine's the thing here with a regular wine tasting club. They'll welcome you with open arms if you're any good at backgammon with a weekly game night.
Find out more about The Fox Reformed
71-73 Stoke Newington Church Street, N16 0AS
Owners Roberta and Bilgehan, who hail from Italy and Turkey respectively, met in Stokey and have now set up shop in the heart of it. The menu reflects their birthplaces, a combination coming together to serve up Mediterranean dishes such as sourdough topped with poached eggs, mushrooms, provolone and truffle mortadella, £9.50, and black olive gnocchi with braised beef cheek and Parmesan, £13. Open for brunch, lunch and dinner, the vast menu has classic dishes as well as pizzas from a wood burning oven, tapas, small plates and specials.
Find out more about Homa
61 Stoke Newington Church Street, N16 0AR
Respected by locals for its thin crisp base pizzas for over 15 years, Il Bacio has an extensive menu but their specialties lie in stone baked pizzas with authentic Italian toppings. For around £8-9, there are a good variety of pizzas including the campagnola with olives, rosemary and Sardinian sausage and the Il Bacio with Parma ham, rocket, Parmesan and asparagus.
Find out more about Fish Market
30 Stoke Newington Church Street, N16 0LU
An acid trip of colour greets you on arrival at Mercado, most certainly standing out from the crowd is this cheap and cheerful Mexican restaurant where fajitas, burritos, tacos and quesadillas are the order of the day. Don’t expect haute cuisine though, this joint is a more sombreros, plastic tablecloths and flashing fairy lights kind of restaurant.
182 Stoke Newington Road, N16 7UY
On the borders of Stoke Newington and Dalston Oui Madame! is a bijou French bistro with just 40 covers. The tiny restaurant has an emphasis on good, fresh French food including weekend brunch and dinner served until late every night. The menu, courtesy of chef Stefan Laugenie, changes daily - expect charcuterie platters with Savoie cured ham, Red Label saucisson sec and Don Carlos chorizo. Like all good French restaurants, the wine selection is magnifique featuring independent French producers only as well as a small cacacha and absinthe laced cocktail menu. There's an empty basement downstairs and rumours of nightclub opening up soon.
Find out more about Oui, Madame
35 Stoke Newington Church Street, N16 0NX
Popular with locals at the weekend, Nar is a Mediterranean fusion restaurant with strong Turkish influences. As well as especially dedicated vegan offerings there are dishes such as fava, hummus, baba ghanoush as starters and grilled halloumi, homemade burgers and kebabs for mains.
Find out more about Nar Cafe and Bistro
55 Stoke Newington Church St N16 0AR
Rasa, an award-winning vegetarian restaurant has been a favourite with locals for almost 20 years. Seen as one of the first Keralan restaurants in London to break from the Anglicised curry-house mould, the cuisine has an emphasis on spices, an attribution to the south Indian region. Owner Das opened the Pepto-Bismol hued restaurant in 1994 and now has an empire of six across England. Over the years the menu has barely been altered and the prices haven’t either, starters such as achappam and pappadavadai are as little as £3 and mains including the specialty dosa are just £6.50.
Find out more about Rasa
153-155 Stoke Newington Church Street, N16 0UH
Adding to the refined feeling of Church Street is The Tea Rooms, where traditional afternoon tea is the deal of the day. Homemade sandwiches, scones and cakes are served on embroidered tablecloths, alongside loose-leaf tea in vintage china and a glass of bubbly, all for £23.
Find out more about The Tea Rooms
61 Newington Green, London N16 9PX
Next door to Cafe Acoustic on Newington Green is this quietly brilliant Spanish restaurant serving up an impressive selection of wines and sherries, many of them natural wines which are a great passion of Xabi, the sommelier. Food is high end tapas - none of your chorizo, fried squid or patatas bravas here. Eduardo the chef trained with, among others, Alain Ducasse and his attention to detail makes for a really special menu which changes daily. The place is pretty, quirky and friendly with tables outside on a sunny day. Keep an eye on the website for details of special events.
Find out more about Trangallan
61 Newington Green, London N16 9PX
A small restaurant serving traditional Sardinian cuisine, Trattoria Luigi is good for a night out as well as a night in with their takeaway menu. Hailing from Northern Sardinia, head chef Roberto Tonzanu trained with Gennaro Contaldo before opening his own restaurant. The menu is typical Italian fare with antipasti, seafood, pizza, pasta, meat dishes and specials such as homemade ravioli and suckling pig.
Find out more about Trattoria Luigi
163 Stoke Newington Church St, N16 0UL
Opened at the end of 2012, Borough Wines is a double whammy of wine goodness, serving wine for as little as £5. The selection is excellent, from classic to unusual and unheard of wines from smaller vineyards, sparkling and fortified wine as well as pale ale from the East London Brewing Company. Doing their bit for the environment, the shop encourages you to bring your own bottle (again and again) to get your tipple of choice straight from the cask. They also hold regular tasting events.
Find out more about Borough Wines
Worth coming off the main thoroughfare of Stokey for is Fred and Fran, a family run coffee shop with a laid back vibe. Weekends are busy with punters squeezing on to wooden benches and chairs to get a taste of the very popular coffee, homemade baked goods and freshly prepared brunch dishes. Unlike any other coffee shops, the tiny space is a mix of modern and quirky old school touches such as water served in milk bottles, floral crockery and teapots complete with knitted cosies.
Find out more about Fred and Fran
3-5 Shelford Place, N16 9HS
Scandi goddess Signe Johansen described the products at Hansen and Lyderson as: “Some of the best Norwegian seafood in the world.” The smokehouse, situated at the end of a building site alley, is where salmon is smoked over beech wood and juniper is done so according to the long-standing traditions and a recipe which comes from owner Ole Hansen’s great-grandfather. The salmon sides are sold to restaurants across London, including Nopi and Viajante, as well as direct customers, from £40 for a 600g fillet.
Find out more about Hansen and Lyderson
191 Stoke Newington Church Street, N16 0UL
The small deli is proud of its freshly sourced cheese, antipasti, charcuterie and patisseries from local producers and independent suppliers. Stocking a huge range of products, as well as a wine cellar stocked with an extensive range of wines from around the world, Le Parc is good for grocery shopping, if a little more expensive than the supermarkets.
Find out more about Le Parc Delicatessen
104 Stoke Newington Church Street, N16 0LA
Winner of the 2012 South of England Butcher’s Shop of the Year, Meat N16 is an independent butcher stocking free-range meat sourced from UK farms. Stokey people queue for quality breeds, including Packington chickens, Blythburgh pigs and Colne Valley lamb, as well as the delicatessen stocked with charcuterie, cured meats, cheese, pies, olives and vegetables. Not only content with stocking fine cuts of meat, Meat N16 also holds regular butchery courses with the experienced team.
Find out more about Meat N16
161 Stoke Newington Church Street N16x
There’s a loyal crowd of customers who visit The Spence Bakery for their hand made bread with no added preservatives or additives. Made on site, the bread menu changes weekly with specialties such as pumpkin sunflower and honey baguette and garlic and thyme soda bread. A small counter seating area and outside tables and chairs is a great place to watch the Stokey world go by while tucking into something doughy.
Find out more about The Spence Bakery
40 Stoke Newington Church Street, N16 0LUx
Church Street is definitely not a Lidl or Asda kind of street, so it’s no wonder that in place of usual supermarket chains there is a Whole Foods. A store that seeks out organically grown, free from artificial preservatives, colours, flavours, sweeteners and hydrogenated fats foods fits in well on the street. The prices are a lot higher than your usual pop to the shops, but shopping there can feel better on your conscience with most products from small family farms and enterprising producers.
Find out more about Whole Foods Market
125 Stoke Newington Church Street, N16 0UH
Taking inspiration from Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, the cocktail bar is on the ground floor while down ‘the rabbit hole’ is the basement bar hosting music nights, private parties and theatre. Cocktails are a mix of the classic martinis, £10, with the more obscure concoctions like the lavender mojito, £8.50, apparently mint is ‘so last season’ so this cocktail is a mix of rum, lime and lavender flowers.
Find out more about White Rabbit Cocktail Club
132 Stoke Newington Church St
A mix of real ales, cocktails, games room, garden complete with canopy and heater, quiz nights, screens showing sports, art festivals, live music and monthly ukulele classes makes this pub a ‘if Carlsberg did pubs’ kind of place. The crowd-pleasing pub doesn’t however have a food menu but Il Bacio up the road deliver pizzas at no extra cost.
Find out more about The Lion
199 Stoke Newington Church Street N16 9ES
With boutique rooms and views over Clissold Park The Rose and Crown isn’t any old local boozer. Downstairs is a traditional pub serving hearty grub while upstairs is a super stylish getaway with a roof terrace and sun loungers. The popular pub attracts a young and trendy crowd who spill out on to the park in the summer.
Find out more about The Rose and Crown
- Great local fish and chip shop Sutton & Son's Fish and Chip Shop at 90 Stoke Newington High Street features oysters and tempura prawns on its menu and also does local delivery (dangerous!).
- The Jolly Butchers at 204 Stoke Newington High Street has a great list of real ales and ciders with different beers on offer every week. Grab a sausage or cheese board to share.
Your local London
Live somewhere with loads of great restaurants and food and wine shops that you reckon would give Stoke Newington a run for its money? Tell us about it and we may cover your area next.
View A foodie guide to the best restaurants, bars and more in Stoke Newington in a larger map