TOP 4: Cafés in Stoke Newington
Written by: Shanna F. Jones
Cafés. There’s something about them. Patti Smith, legendary rock and roll poet goddess, wrote several books dedicated to the worship of the humble coffee shop. She would drink black coffee with brown toast day in, day out and pen her world famous songs. If large chain coffee houses have you crying into your skinny latte and you’re yearning for interesting, quality food and drink, then this list of the Top 4 Cafés in Stoke Newington (as chosen by locals and then tested by us – it’s a hard life), will have you doing the moonwalk into your nearest independent café…
The sister of this little joint, in the nearby neighbourhood of Crouch End (North London = ballin’), has won awards right up to its ears. When I first walked into their Stokey branch, I was reminded of the quietly bohemian atmosphere of those lovely cafés found across Berlin, Budapest and Scandinavia. The exposed tiles, from the shops previous life as a butchers in the early 1900’s, are incredibly pretty. London has become somewhat of a breeding ground for a slew of hipster cafés that often seem a tad self-important, but this place is different. Massimo, one of the owners, has rounded up everything from chairs to cutlery from car boot sales and charity shops, he explains: “some may think it’s try-hard but I have always been this way, I have always loved recycling and finding ways to give things a new life.”
The food is ERMAZING. It’s always been my closet desire to have a full English breakfast that includes both the meat AND veggie options, at The Haberdashery you can do just that and you don’t even get so much as a glimmer of ‘disdain eyes’ when you ask for it. They also do lots of Bloody Mary variations to wash it all down… Sold!
This place just smells so god damn delicious. The Good Egg operates a café type set-up during the day, featuring a menu that includes items such as shakshuka and avocado with raw tahini on toast. From 4pm it turns into a restaurant, with a menu of dishes designed to be shared, such as candy beets with orange, mint and feta or Za’atar Fried Chicken with caraway red cabbage slaw & chilli honey.
The Good Egg has an atmosphere that lends itself to drinking fresh mint tea, whilst enjoying the Middle Eastern influenced food with friends or fam – perhaps whilst perched on one of the benches next to the window. We’re all about the people watching. The staff are very friendly and don’t mind you standing there for ages, like a gawping idiot, when you can’t decide what you want to stuff in your face. Good effort guys.
3. Green Room Café, Church Street.
A florist and a café. A florist and a café… Why didn’t I think of this? Absolute winning combo. To be sat among the roses and tulips whilst you sup at a coffee and catch-up with friends, well let’s just say that I was more zen than a matcha tea drinking yogi.
The goats cheese, tomato fondue and olive tart is ridiculously good and the iced coffee is not to be sniffed at. While you’re eating and drinking the smell of the flowers tends to waft over to you and the big glass windows allow a flow of sun to stream through them and warm your eyelids (well on the 0.2 days of the year when we have actual sunshine). Lovely place and pretty hilarious staff. Top banana.
This sunny little place is full of character and has really bloody good coffee. You’d be forgiven for thinking that the java is the most important part, but hold on to your hats because the Yellow Warbler’s South America street food influenced menu is what keeps me coming back for more. They had me at ‘rocket and chorizo arepas’ and ‘avocado on seven seeded sourdough with a South American twist’. Be still my beating heart.
The Yellow Warbler is quirky, without being pretentious, and is one of the truely independent cafes that ensures that the majority of its food is organic and locally sourced. If you’re lucky you’ll catch one of their exhibitions, Andrew J Millar is currently exhibiting his series of gold and silver leaf collages that depict troubling, dream-like visions.
When danger reared its ugly head, Brave Sir Robin turned and fled… to his namesake pub on Crouch Hill for a craft beer and a top-notch meal from kitchen residency Cue Point. Warm globes of light hang above intimate booths, specially commissioned wall design offers a rich backdrop, and cosy sofas, deep armchairs and plentiful cushioned stools ensure no one is without a seat.
Flocking to Holloway Road on one of the many Sundays that we’ve spent at the Nag’s Head Car Boot Sale, we spotted a new Vietnamese place called Pho Hot getting ready to open up their doors. Being the nosy folks we are, we peeked inside and spotted a menu. Banh Mi was on it. It's a baguette, but not as you know it. Glory of all glories! It’s been far too long since I last consumed this distinctive sarnie and I'm happy as Larry that there's a new Banh Mi joint on my doorstep.
Baby, it’s getting cold outside, and what better way to aide our frostbitten noses than a chat to a professional skin person? We’re talking to Lee Garrett, founder of The Garrett Clinic, accomplished skincare specialist and heralded by many as the UK’s leading Skin Guru. Read on to find out his insider tips for surviving this winter season with your skin looking as radiant as the moon that breaks a stormy night.
Joined by over 50 other artists incorporating printmaking, painting, digital art, photography and small-scale sculpture, Tomorrow’s World presents us with utopias, dystopias, predictions, prophecies and visions of the future. We hit up the private view last Friday and it was pretty damn bleak, in the best sense of the word.
Carouse founders Chris, Theo and Ben – the charming folk behind Kentish Town’s Rose and Crown – have a new venture afoot and we couldn’t be more bloody excited to see it. We’ve been creeping in their windows, peering through the paint and sneaking glimpses at builders’ bums for a few months now (okay, maybe not the last one), watching these guys transform this cosy corner of Crouch Hill into a rather cool little boozer. Now they’re opening and everyone is invited. Come one, come all, and try all 20 of their beers on tap with us.
Last month I decided to try clubbing again. I don’t quite know what came over me, but I actually (brace yourselves) enjoyed it. I went to Body Hammer’s monthly party in Manor House and I’m here to tell you to go too, whether you love clubbing, hate clubbing, or really couldn’t care either way. #notspon
Rich, fried, buttery, potato-y vessels loaded with flavor combinations that go down rather well with craft beer, late nights and good times. Ha, who am I kidding, EVERYTHING goes down well with beer. You heard that right buddy, loaded potato skins are back with a bang (and a generous portion of bacon) and are currently being served at Old Street's The Magic Roundabout by street food pop-up Skins and we could not be any happier. Well, unless they were to stuff it with, say, Mac and Cheese or risotto. Oh, that's exactly what they do? Well paint me green and call me a cucumber.
Magical gifts, wonderful gifts, marvellous gifts, beautiful gifts, gifts, glorious gifts glo-ri-ous giiiiiifts. Please Sir, I want some more. It’s that time of year again and whether you love it or loathe it gifts will be purchased and presented into expectant hands. Stroud Green's very own Pretty Shiny Shop have compiled a gift guide to help ease the shopping shock. Imagine only having to trot to your local gift shop and tick off your entire shopping list in one fell swoop. Done, finito, terminado! To make it that little sweeter, it's also all very affordable... so you won't even have to pick a pocket or two.
Alright guys, it’s happening. The frosty charm of December is, once again, being beaten to a pulp by the capitalists’ wet dream: Christmas. The hideous twinkling of artificial outdoor lighting is starting to appear, with tourists flocking from far and wide to watch D-list celebrities press a button. Invitations to Christmas parties flood in from your multiple part-time jobs, ensuring you make bad decisions bi-weekly til next year. Supermarkets are selling 12-day advent calendars containing confetti, cookie cutters and candles for a flawless £50. And oh, how the mulled wine flows.
Who doesn’t love a cheeky statistic, correctly sourced? You know we do. Well, did you know that for every £1 spent with a small business, 63p is re-spent in the local area, as opposed to a measly 40p in every £1 re-spent locally with larger businesses? An absolute travesty, am I right? That 23p has to mean something, right, guys?! Guys? Guys, where are you going? Wait, there’s freebies involved too!
By gum there are a lot of winter markets this year. Fueled by sickly sweet mulled wine and overpriced pulled pork sliders, we’ve managed to wade our way through the murky waters of winter markets and find some decent looking ones round this here part of town. Don’t let our Grinch-esq vibes put you off (I’m more of a Pancake Day person myself) because, if you’re into markets, you’ll probably like these. Read on, if you’re merrier than us.
Take a short walk along Finsbury Park’s own sunset strip and you’ll find MoseyHome, an interiors retailer and styling consultancy who have invited us to collaborate with them on an exciting new series titled 'Style My Shop', in which they invite some of London's most talented interiors experts to quite literally style their shop. Interiors porn at it's finest.
Why was the snowman sad? Because he had a meltdown. Much like us, every year, when winter comes. It’s cold, it’s dark, and we know Christmas is on its way. But hey, it’s not all bad – the events round this time of year can be pretty swell. So don your scarf-shawl-blanket and get your frolic on, it’s time for fairy lights, scarfing mulled wine and stuffing your face!
Touch, taste, smell, hear and create art. Smith & Sinclair, purveyors of the Edible Cocktail, presents The Flavour Gallery: a multi-sensory adventure that’ll seduce your senses and tickle your taste buds beyond all imagination. Ooh matron!