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The Axe

  • Bars and pubs
  • Stoke Newington
  • price 2 of 4
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Recommended
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Time Out says

5 out of 5 stars

A straight-up local pub that does everything – food, drink, atmosphere – absolutely right.

Opening a new boozer on the site of a beloved local institution can be a tricky proposition. But the folks behind Stoke Newington’s new beer-nerd destination The Axe have done a bang-up job, retaining everything that worked at Jan’s Belgian beer bar – the dim, cosy atmosphere, extensive ale selection and welcoming vibe – and adding a bright, airy, pine-lined smoking yard along with a captivating food menu.

The drinks selection is frankly ludicrous. There are more than 60 beers on offer (22 of them on tap), ranging from a pint of Camden Lager for less than a fiver (a near-miracle in Stoke Newington) to an 11 percent monstrosity called Marshall Zhukov’s Imperial Stout that costs, I kid you not, £33 for 75cl. You can also choose from eight different gin and tonics and a perfectly serviceable wine list. Oh, and they do negronis on tap, which are flat-out gorgeous.

The food is every bit as impressive, with starters and bar snacks several storeys up from your standard sausage roll. Try the olives Ascolane, a kind of Italian scotch egg minus the egg, using olives stuffed with veal. The ’nduja on sourdough toast was finger-licking greasy, smoky and heavily spiced, while halloumi chips were as thick as my thumb and dripped with sticky-sweet pomegranate molasses. Beyond gastropub bases, I tried grilled lamb chops, fat and juicy and lying on a heap of hearty, balsamic-rich Sicilian caponata; and mellow, salty-sharp king scallops on lemon risotto.

At heart, The Axe is a modest, fairly affordable local pub for local people. It just happens to get everything spot on. Get in now before it’s swamped by the Stokey masses.

Written by
Tom Huddleston


18 Northwold Road
N16 7HR
Stoke Newington Rail
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