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Stoke Newington area guide

Discover the best restaurants, bars, pubs and shops in Stoke Newington

There are few places in London that offer the zest, charm and charisma of Stoke Newington. Church Street is the area's lively epicentre, with packed-out bars and pubs never too far away. Stokie's shops overflow with indie labels and vintage goods and its restaurants are noteworthy for their diversity as well as their quality. Of course much of N16's success is down to the remarkably strong presence of independent business in the area, making it a truly distinctive part of the capital.

What are your favourite Stoke Newington haunts? Let us know in the comments.

The best bits of Stoke Newington

15 reasons to go to Stoke Newington Church Street, N16
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15 reasons to go to Stoke Newington Church Street, N16

Apart from having what’s probably the second longest street name in London, the best thing about Stoke Newington Church Street is its lack of tube and rail stations. That has helped it dodge the breakneck development seen down in Dalston, Shoreditch and elsewhere in the Hackney borough. Yes, it’s hip – but in the sense of people opening up decent local shops, bars and restaurants, cycling everywhere and keeping one eye fixed firmly on sustainability. That doesn’t just mean locally baked bread: there’s a cautiousness about the place, as if everyone is nervously awaiting the announcement of a fifty-storey glass box called Stoke Newington One or Delta Point N16. You get the impression that if anything too wanky opened up, the locals would be out on the street, pitchforks in hand. There’s a reason that people (actual people, not estate agents) call this place a ‘village’. That dialled-down, community-minded cool is nowhere more snugly embedded than in Church Street. There’s a handful of unpretentious yet sophisticated watering holes and cafés, a melting pot of non-chainy global cuisines, and the kind of parade your nan would love: baker, butcher, bookshop, pub. With glass balconies encroaching from all sides, Church Street may end up as the last bastion of independent Hackney. Get down there before the developers do. Eat this   A photo posted by Mol Vaughan (@mol.vaughan) on Jan 7, 2017 at 3:30pm PST Alaska maki or incredible fried aubergine from Fuji, a cosy litt

15 reasons to go to Stoke Newington High Street, N16
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15 reasons to go to Stoke Newington High Street, N16

Connecting Dalston’s hipster heartlands with the quirky boutiques and cafés of Church Street, there’s loads to shout about in this laidback little corner of town. This is where the pop-up-ravaged, vintage-slathered streets of fashionable east London meet the affluent, family-friendly suburbs of the north. It’s also a place where Turkish, West Indian and Jewish communities have lived, merged and flourished for decades. And it’s where London’s wide-eyed radicals, free thinkers and anarchists famously once congregated in squats to plan their ill-fated revolutions. Stir all this together and you’re left with one of the most vibrant, diverse and multicultural bits of the capital, with great independent places to eat, drink, shop and potter about for each and every one of its varied inhabitants and visitors. Gentrification has made its inevitable mark here in recent years. However, unlike nearby Church Street – where trainer-wearing cool dads shunt designer pushchairs past ethical wooden toy shops on their way to spend £5 on an artisan loaf in Whole Foods; or equally close Kingsland Road, where the hipster apocalypse is surely nigh – there’s something reassuringly real about a London high street that has a Sports Direct, a Wetherspoon’s and a Savers… As long as there’s also somewhere to get a Negroni at 1am, of course. Drink this   A photo posted by Jane Ryan (@janecryan) on Sep 20, 2015 at 9:08am PDT Diamond Manhattans and other expertly concocted cocktails from O

Restaurants in Stoke Newington

Rasa
Restaurants

Rasa

The bright pink walls of Rasa in Stoke Newington are almost as bold as the flavours in their south Indian dishes. Opened in 1997, the vegetarian Keralan joint was the first of the Rasa chain that's now spread as far as Birmingham. Their basics - lentil daals and chewy coiled paratha - are always wholesome and moreish, but try more unusual dishes like moru kachiathu, a turmeric-infused, sweet-sour runny yoghurt dish made with mango and green banana for authentic Keralan flavour. Almost everything on the menu is priced at less than a fiver. 

Users say
  • 4 out of 5 stars
Blue Legume
Restaurants

Blue Legume

A noticeboard crammed with adverts for gardeners and yoga classes reinforces Blue Legume’s local vibe. You get the sense that everyone eating here lives within a five-minute radius. Weekends see a younger crowd healing hangovers with a standard breakfast menu. Grilled cumberland sausages, crispy hash browns, tiny button mushrooms, smoked bacon, a perfectly poached egg and a dollop of baked beans populated a generous plate. Thick scotch pancakes soaked up a pool of maple syrup, while the scrambled eggs were rich with cream. The coffee was served too hot, and could have been better brewed, but it did the trick. Order the delicious fresh orange juice or a vegetable juice for a healthy counterpart to the all-day breakfast. Blue Legume also does lunch and dinner, offering everything from burgers to lamb shank with mash. A small conservatory out the back is light and verdant and there are with street side tables out front. Staff, although obviously busy, were friendly and responsive. There are now three Blue Legumes, in Stokey, Islington and, the newest, Crouch End.

Time Out says
  • 3 out of 5 stars
Users say
  • 3 out of 5 stars
El Olivo
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El Olivo

Paellas bristling with chicken, chorizo and seafood and served in the pan are the real deal here, popular with locals seeking a change of cuisine. A tapas bar in a Turkish stronghold, El Olivo only concedes defeat when it comes to the bread – which is not Spanish but lovely, warm, locally baked and indispensable for scooping up aubergine cooked to melting softness or tender albóndigas with red peppers. No surfeit of oil to mop up, mind. While tapas can be tired and oily, these taste fresh and perky. Black pudding with rice instead of oats was delightfully herby. More typical and tip-top were soft, bouncy calamares and slightly crisp patatas bravas. In contrast, padrón peppers could have done with a little longer on the grill, and the tortilla came topped with unnecessary salad-creamy aïoli. Tarta de santiago with vanilla ice-cream (nothing special) or flan coated with synthetic-tasting strawberry sauce aren’t worth saving space for either. Gypsy-style violin music and a woody interior with wagon-wheel lights won’t win awards for a cutting-edge environment, but pleasant service and well-priced wines, along with the savoury food, easily tip the balance in El Ol’s favour.

Time Out says
  • 3 out of 5 stars
Users say
  • 4 out of 5 stars
Book online
Itto
Restaurants Book online

Itto

A pan-Asian restaurant on Stoke Newington High Street, in situ since the late '90s. It's a comfortable, if simple, looking venue offering a wide range of food from Japan, Thailand, China and Vietnam.  Dishes range from dim sum, gyoza and Vietnamese spring rolls to pad Thai, beef pho, Singapore fried noodles and chicken in black bean sauce. Thai green curry, chicken katsu curry and teriyaki chicken are also on offer. Desserts move well away from the cuisines influences the mains – think creme catalana, tiramisu and a stem ginger pudding. A local delivery service is available.  

Users say
  • 2 out of 5 stars
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Stoke Newington highlights

Abney Park Cemetery
Attractions

Abney Park Cemetery

Large, eighteenth-century cemetery that often has live music and other events hosted within its grounds, as well as wood and stone carving courses

Users say
  • 5 out of 5 stars
St Mary's Old Church
Attractions

St Mary's Old Church

Originally built in the sixteenth century, bombed heavily in World War II and restored in the ’50s, Stoke Newington's former parish church is now an atmospheric space for the arts and community events.

Bars and pubs in Stoke Newington

Auld Shillelagh
Bars and pubs

Auld Shillelagh

The added-value attractions at this skinny little Church Street boozer are numerous: sporadic themed music nights (including the Bowie Bar on the second Thursday of the month, with films and food – Diamond Hot Dogs, anyone? – to go with the tunes), big-screen football, a surprisingly large beer garden. But the Shillelagh is at its best when it keeps things simple, as an honest, uncomplicated Irish pub (as opposed to Irish-themed pub; the difference is crucial) that draws a devoted circle of boozed-up Stoke Newingtonians most nights of the week. It’s the kind of pub where the wine list runs to ‘red or white’, and where the staff are so matey and hospitable that they’ll offer to bring your Guinness over to your table rather than have you hang around at the bar and wait for it to reach perfection. No wonder everybody here always seems to be in such a good mood.

Time Out says
  • 5 out of 5 stars
Users say
  • 5 out of 5 stars
Jolly Butchers
Bars and pubs

Jolly Butchers

As one of the first of the new wave of London craft beer bars, The Jolly Butchers has stood the test of time well. It’s dated by a few dodgy design details from the most recent refurb (those lights above the bar with the faces on, for instance, although thankfully the Fornasetti wallpaper is gone), and the rip-everything-out openness of the Victorian-era room can make it a bit clattery and cold (physically, at least). But there’s no problem with the atmosphere as jolly Stokey drinkers pack in for the excellent beers, which place an emphasis on British breweries and give cask and keg equal standing. There are also healthy portions of good pub grub.

Time Out says
  • 4 out of 5 stars
Users say
  • 5 out of 5 stars
Original Sin
Bars and pubs

Original Sin

In the autumn of 2014 the staid Stoke Newington burger scene was shaken to its core by the arrival of disco-loving griller-about-town Burger Bear. And now, directly underneath this flung-together Stokey Bears diner, as-yet completely unmarked, is this new bar from the same people behind the consistently commendable Happiness Forgets in Hoxton Square. Like that forebear, it’s dark, seductive and serves peerless cocktails. But unlike the shoebox-sized Happiness, Original Sin is pretty sizeable. A long, thin bar stretches the length of the long, thin room, which has old railway-carriagesque booth tables beside it. At one end, below a chandelier, is a very suave pool table  – so suave that no 50-pence pieces are required, as it’s free. The whole venue is illuminated to a degree by funky ’70s lighting, including some pineapple-shaped wall pendants straight out of a tiki dream. And the cocktails, brought to table by impeccably pleasant staff, are brilliant. They’re strong, well-balanced and classy. Interestingly, the short list doesn’t include any gin or vodka, but instead plenty of unusual and complex spirits such as white rye, Kamm & Sons and mezcal. There’s also a good showing from the aperitifs – Suze, Byrrh, Aperol, Amer Picon, vermouth. For an introduction try the hard-hitting Red Hook, with rye, maraschino and Punt e Mes (a decent £8), or the Penfold Sour (Byrrh, Kamm & Sons, Aquavit, lime and cane syrup, an equally decent £8). Such drinks seem simple, coming as they are w

Time Out says
  • 4 out of 5 stars
Users say
  • 5 out of 5 stars
Londesborough Pub & Dining Room
Bars and pubs

Londesborough Pub & Dining Room

This backstreet Stokey local, buried in the complicated network of residential streets behind Church Street, has been spruced up lately after some time in the doldrums. It’s a big place, even bigger than it looks from its streetcorner location, and a difficult one to fill. The deepish back room can feel a bit tumbleweedy when it’s not busy, which is often the case early in the week, and the bare-brick decor doesn’t encourage intimacy. As a result, you’re better off staying at the front, close to the big picture windows and the imposing bar. Still, that shouldn’t disguise its virtues: a couple of ales, worthwhile cocktails, sturdy gastropub grub and staff who are keen to make you feel at home. Worth a second look.

Time Out says
  • 3 out of 5 stars
Users say
  • 5 out of 5 stars
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Hotels near Stoke Newington

Rose & Crown

Rose & Crown

The Rose has always been popular as a pub, but now a separate entrance leads to a contemporary B&B. Landscape gardener Will, who with Diane runs the place, transformed three floors to create individually and tastefully styled guestrooms (drench showers, quality smellies and furnishings), a breakfast room and a sun-catching roof terrace with a large table, a couple of loungers, a patio heater and a view across to central London from the illuminated glow of 13th-century St Mary’s Church alongside. Pricier rooms feature a stand-alone bathtub, and the suite by the breakfast room is vast. Truman Brewery touches from yesteryear remain: the pub sign lettering, a finely carved pre-war stair rail and the Mystery Arrow games machine.

Users say
  • 3 out of 5 stars
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Premier Inn London Hackney

Premier Inn London Hackney

Located opposite Dalston Junction Train Station, Premier Inn London Hackney provides en suite rooms with a bar and restaurant. This London hotel has a 24-hour front desk, and WiFi access is available.Each room is air-conditioned and has en suite bathroom facilities. There is a flat-screen TV, hairdryer, desk and tea and coffee facilities in all rooms.Premier Inn guests can enjoy a range of hot and cold breakfast options, including bacon, sausages, eggs and hash browns. The menu also includes croissants, fresh fruit, cereals and yoghurts, plus fruit juice, tea and coffee.Less than 5 miles from central London, Premier Inn London Hackney is around 5 minutes’ drive from Shoreditch and is just off the A10 leading to Hertfordshire and Cambridgeshire. Regent’s Park and Hampstead Heath are around 15 minutes’ drive from the hotel.

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The perfect weekend in Stoke Newington

Relax: Clissold Park
Attractions

Relax: Clissold Park

Kick back in 54 green acres or get active on the athletics track

Users say
  • 4 out of 5 stars
Drink: Jolly Butchers
Bars and pubs

Drink: Jolly Butchers

Sip on a huge range of craft beer at this much-loved boozer

Time Out says
  • 4 out of 5 stars
Users say
  • 5 out of 5 stars
Eat: L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele
Restaurants

Eat: L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele

Sample some of the best dough outside of Naples at this hyped pizza joint 

Time Out says
  • 4 out of 5 stars
Users say
  • 4 out of 5 stars
Explore: Abney Park Cemetery
Attractions

Explore: Abney Park Cemetery

Wander through an atmospheric woodland that hosts gigs and guided walks

Users say
  • 5 out of 5 stars

Love London Awards: last year's winners

The Haberdashery
Restaurants

The Haberdashery

Sandwiches, brunches and cakes are served on mismatched vintage crockery at this cute, Mediterranean influenced café-bar. They have also started serving dinner from Thursday through Saturday. For a review of their branch in Crouch End, click here. 

Users say
  • 5 out of 5 stars
Restaurants

Lizzy's On the Green

A café kiosk right on Newington Green, with pastries, cookies, muesli, coffee/tea and the occasional Bloody Mary. Seating and tables are outside.

Users say
  • 5 out of 5 stars
Shopping

Newington Green Fruit and Vegetables

Greengrocers selling fresh produce, the variety and quality of which far surpasses your local supermarket

Users say
  • 5 out of 5 stars
Rio Cinema

Rio Cinema

This Dalston cinema opened as the Kingsland Empire in 1915 (although films were shown on the same site several years before in a converted shop). The venue was significantly changed in the 1930s and reopened as the Classic in 1937 – very similar to how it looks today. It became the Rio in 1976 and is now one of the few genuinely independent movie houses in London. A single-screen cinema with a grand, two-floor auditorium, the Rio shows mostly independent and foreign films, with a healthy sprinkling of double bills, classics and films for kids. The foyer is a compact but welcoming place to find food and drink before a film – although you might want to save yourself for one of Dalston’s Turkish restaurants.

Users say
  • 4 out of 5 stars
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Comments

4 comments
lily S
lily S

T&SHOP between Newington Green and Clissold park does great coffee for a tea shop, it's roasted by Caravan in Kings Cross. I got some really great handmade ceramic bowls as a present there too- really recommend trying it out!

AGK
AGK

Seems to be no mention of the best cafés so I thought I would volunteer one: Tangerina, www.tangerina.co.uk, on Green Lanes has some of the best coffee in N16 and a great mix of Brazilian and European influences to boot. Then there are clasics like the Blue Legume. Where is the list of the best coffee shops in Stokey?

Jenna F
Jenna F

If you're a parent in Stoke Newington there's also a fabulous website www.stokeyparents.com which feautres loads of classes and events for children and babies...

Olga
Olga

I love stoke newington church street but it's so expansive to live....so sad that I have to move!! I can't find any studio around, only agency that want to to rent you at impossible price!!! :(((