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…

1. The Haberdashery, Church Street.

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!

The Good Egg Stoke Newington

2. The Good Egg, Church Street.

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.

The Yellow Warbler Stoke Newington North Four magazine for north London

4. The Yellow Warbler, Northwold Road.

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.

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