Stokey’s independent restaurant scene is buzzing-10 of our favourites
An amazing array of talented chefs have set up in and around Stoke Newington – offering a refreshing, more colourful option to big chains.
Despite massive rents and competition from generic brands, the area has independent restaurants which are brimming with character and flavour. Whether you fancy a quick burger, exquisite Mediterranean, French or Thai food, handmade Italian or a taste of Jamaica – you won’t be disappointed.
Since launching six months ago the team at the Local Buyers Club has been eating their way around town (it’s a tough job but someone has to do it!) to bring you our recommendations for the very best places to dine or order takeout from. And members can save money too.
Here, in no particular order, is our top 10. We’ve gone slightly outside of Stokey to include Essex Road and Highbury Barn because, frankly fabulous restaurants there are just a short walk from N16 and they’re worth the effort.
THE LACY NOOK
Tucked away on Cazenove Road, this is one of Hackney’s best kept secrets. It’s pretty and ambient with plants hanging from wooden beams and has a stunning garden – and the food is deservedly receiving rave reviews.
It’s run by childhood friends Jana Miseva and Elena Smileva, who raised £22,000 through a Kickstarter campaign and ploughed in all their savings.
The menu includes Mediterranean cuisine influenced by Jana and Elena’s home country of Macedonia, inspired by their travels and passed down generations of their families. It’s a delicious fusion of Balkan, Middle Eastern and Asian flavours. Popular dishes include Beef Cevapi (beef patties), sweet and savoury pancakes and ribs. Local Buyers Club members save 20% off food on the brunch menu from Thursday to Sunday. (Click for info)
You’d be hard-pushed to find a restaurant with more personality than this. It’s run by chef, musician and TV presenter Andi Oliver and her equally vivacious business partner Kelly Miles. Working closely with local producers and growers, their food is fresh, seasonal and delicious. The restaurant has a cosy brasserie feel in the evening and they have one of Stokey's prettiest gardens. Andi’s was voted Hot Dinners readers’ Favourite New Restaurant of 2017. Dishes are hearty and include ingredients like ox cheek, rabbit, quail and hake. Local Buyers Club members save 10% any time. (Click for info)
WOLF, Stoke Newington High Street
A stylish neighbourhood restaurant that celebrates authentic Italian food – and the Italian way of eating. Using the finest local and speciality Italian ingredients, owner Antony Difrancesco and head chef Mattia Antonioni create seasonal, regional dishes that hail from all corners of the country. Winter menu favourites include Bucatini with 7-hour Hogget Shoulder, Mint, Ligurian Basil Ragu topped with toasted Sicilian Pistachios or Tagliatelle with Sicilian Fennel Sausage, Burnt Devonshire Butter, Chilli, Parsley & Parmesan topped with Duck Egg. Local Buyers Club members save 10% any time. (Click for info)
ITTO, Stoke Newington High Street.
Locals rave about this Stoke Newington Asian fusion restaurant, which has been in the area for almost 20 years. The menu offers fresh and delicious food such as gyoza, fried noodles, Thai green curry, crispy duck and Szechuan prawn rice. Local Buyers Club members save 15% any time. (Click for info)
TRATTORIA N16, Newington Green
Now under new ownership, this Stokey favourite has a friendly, community vibe and is a fabulous place for a family meal. Offering a full breakfast menu and a delicious array of dishes from their Italian kitchen (including awesome sourdough pizzas), it's well worth a visit, day or night. Trattoria N16 holds regular film nights (enjoy pizza, a drink and a movie for £12). Local Buyers Club members save 10% Mon - Thurs. (Click for info)
THE LAST CRUMB
Good news! This popular café on Church Street is now open on Friday and Saturday evenings too. Run by best friends Paula Chapman and Helen Collier, this bright, friendly place serves simple, fresh and seasonal food all-day and amazing desserts. From time to time their evening offer includes outstanding live music. We eat there lots and love it! Local Buyers Club members save 10% any time. (Click for info)
FARANG, Thai, Highbury Barn.
At the tender age of 27 Sebby Holmes has managed to carve out a career as a published author, TV chef and restaurateur. His debut restaurant Farang serves modern Thai street food with seasonal ingredients. Food critic Giles Coren, summed up Farang as: “the perfect restaurant for me” and described it as: ““Historic. Fiery, colourful, distinctive, lavishly seasoned, modern, bright, fun, filling, rare and unusual.” We agree - this is some of the best Thai food you’ll taste outside Chiang Mai!
This place is constantly packed – get there early to avoid disappointment. Local Buyers Club members save 10% any day before 7 pm. (Click for info)
SALUT! Essex Road
The food here is almost too pretty to eat. Their modern European food tastes as good as it looks – options include Octopus pressed with Choritzo served with Cannellini, Ink Tuile, Garlic & parsley puree, Slow Cooked Beef Cheek served with celeriac puree, burnt onion and Chestnut and Seared Duck Breast with Pumpkin polenta.
Rated among Time Out’s Top 50 restaurants, Salut creates a fabulous setting for a special occasion. Time Out wrote: "This is high-falutin’ cuisine with real soul: each dish pimped to perfection, every ooh-la-la flourish made to earn its keep." Local Buyers Club members save 10 % off food (dinner Sunday to Thursday & lunch Saturday & Sunday) . (Click for info)
This hip Jamaican restaurant on Kingsland Road is renowned for its signature Real Jerk chicken, jerk lamb, curry goat and rice and peas. Oher dishes include ribs, wings, peppered shrimp and delicious burgers and wraps. Charcoal grilled and smoked-jerk flavouring feature highly and the servings are small plates or sharer plates – a bit like a tapas experience. They’ve taken just as much care with the drinks menu and, among other things, offer boozy rum cocktails.
These guys have created the perfect laid-back atmosphere with classic reggae soundtracks. Local Buyers Club members save 10% Mon - Thurs. (Click for info)
STOKEY BEARS, Stoke Newington High Street.
This place has nailed the art of top-notch burgers. hotdogs, wings and fries. Meat-lovers rave about Stokey Bears’ Bacon Jam (secret ingredients include Jack Daniels, coffee, tabasco, bacon and sugar) and the restaurant offers excellent lagers and craft beers. It’s definitely more of a casual dining experience, a brilliant place to come with a group of friends and a great place to get the party started – expect banging tunes. Local Buyers Club members save 10% any time. (Click for info)
What is the Local Buyers Club?
We're on a mission to help you discover & support the best local and independent businesses.
We've negotiated discounts for our members at dozens of fantastic restaurants, shops, bars and businesses throughout North and East London. We help promote them and raise awareness of the advantages of shopping locally. We also organise and support community initiatives.
Join Local Buyers Club and, for just £12 per year, you'll be helping to support local business and you'll receive a discount card to use at any of the 100+ businesses listed on the site.
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