As the sun comes out a little more we know just the spots to enjoy some alfresco dining.
Our top-15 list includes an award-winning parkside café, a foodie-bar with a view of the canal, a restaurant with a stunning walled garden, a brand new East London market and some fabulous places to soak up the hubbub of a busy high street and people-watch.
Here they are, in no particular order.
The pretty walled garden of ANDI'S in Stoke Newington Church Street is one of our favourites.
In the summer gorgeous wisteria lines the walls, the floor has gorgeous painted tiles and there’s an outside heater in case the sun goes in. Their Spring menu is sensational – Persian spiced chicken with tabbouleh and harissa yoghurt, torches scallops with apple puree, beetroot crisps and herb crumb or pork belly with jalapeno and broccoli.
Local Buyers Club members save 10% anytime too (click for info)
Support local and save up to 25% at these great businesses and many more with the Local Buyers Club discount card. Click for info. or to join
VENERDI - Immerse yourself in the hubbub of Chatsworth Road and tuck into authentic and delicious Italian food. This neighbourhood restaurant has maintained its laid-back vibe and is getting rave reviews. Their bottomless brunches are pretty special! Local Buyers Club members save 15% anytime (click for info)
Fancy watching the canal boats go by? Head to Hackney Wick’s MASON & COMPANY for superb craft beer, a chilled out and spacious garden with comfy chairs and tasty Italian American streetfood from Capish? Local Buyers Club members save 10% Mon- Thurs too (click for info)
TRATTORIA N16. This Stoke Newington favourite is under new management and has a friendly, community vibe. Get there early to bagsy one of their outside picnic benches and enjoy one of Hackney’s best sourdough pizzas. Or, if you’re lucky enough to have a garden but can’t face cooking – give them a call and book a collection or delivery.
THE LAST CRUMB. Stoke Newington’s most central café and bakery is in a prime spot to watch the action. There’s a lovely enclosed forecourt with sun umbrellas. The menu is simple, fresh and seasonal and the staff are fabulous. They're now open late on Friday and Saturday evenings. Local Buyers Club members save 10% anytime (click for info)
Hackney’s best kept secret is neighbourhood restaurant THE LACY NOOK. It’s in Cazenove Road and their decked garden is a wonderful, pretty suntrap. The menu is inspired by the owners’ travels - delicious, modern Balkan food with a twist. Brunch dishes include Cave aged cheddar pancakes, maple cured bacon, poached egg & urban honey, treacle glazed ribs, spring onion, red chillies, lime & peanuts, smoked salmon, scrambled egg, labneh & beetroot-spinach spelt pancakes.
Another firm favourite is THE PEOPLE'S PARK TAVERN in Victoria Park, which was voted one of the best beer gardens in London by the Evening Standard and Time Out magazine. It has cosy little cabins, which are sheltered from the elements in case of a spring shower.
THE CLARENCE in Stoke Newington also boasts a lovely, secluded garden and they have some awesome cocktails and great food. THE RED LION and RYAN'S N16 in Stokey also have lovely gardens. Some great savings for Local Buyers Club members (click for info)
New kid on the block – THE CHURCH STREET MARKET at William Patten Primary, Stoke Newington, Sundays (10.30am – 3pm).
This weekly market is run by the same people as the Victoria Park Market and promises to be a real community hang-out. Nibble your way around the cheese stall, buy some bread from social enterprise bakery The Dusty Knuckle and binge on a Brockleby’s Pie. There’ll be vegan Banh Mi from Eat Chay, Meatballs from Melter Meatballs and slow pulled duck from Muffin Man & Co.
One pub which has seen a big transformation is the CLISSOLD PARK TAVERN (on Green Lanes, opposite Clissold Park. The garden is a fantastic and large space with picnic tables and umbrellas and a lounging area with fake grass and beanbags.
We’re hoping the threat of development will steer clear of the DALSTON EASTERN CURVE GARDEN.
This sprawling garden has been tended with care and eating here feels a little like visiting your favourite aunty in the country. Food includes homemade bread and soup and amazing cakes. Somewhat incredibly they don’t even mind if you bring your own picnic (but they hope you’ll make a little donation for the garden’s upkeep).
Celebrations are underway at LIZZIE'S on Newington Green. It has just been crowned Best Coffee Place, Best Brunch and Best Place to Drink in the Sun in Stoke Newington and Dalston in Time Out’s Love London Awards. This charming café serves delicious homemade food (quiches and fishfinger butties) and, being slap-bang in the middle of the park means you can sit and eat anywhere.
Few businesses can match THE WHITE HART on Stoke Newington’s High Street for garden-size. This is a safe bet on a sunny day and the food (think burger and chips) is pretty good too.
Or head to BROADWAY MARKET, pick up some locally made delicacies and enjoy a picnic in London Fields. Loads of savings for Local Buyers Club members. (More info here)
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