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.
If only there was a club night that could tap into that special pre night out time. Or at least play your taste in music, sometimes on repeat. Imagine! Lucky for you musical homebirds, bi-monthly club night Mammory Tapes intent to do just that at VFD in Stokey. All night long you can expect an all girl playlist and the best of your bedroom beats on the dance floor. So get ready to finally showcase your once unseen pyjama/half ready outfit based choreography.
“He said, I know It’s only arctic roll but I like it like it yes I dooooo” Those are the lyrics right? Well this weekend they certainly are, at Kerb’s Guiltiest Pleasure in Kings Cross featuring an arctic roll of pure indulgence. Over Friday 21st and Saturday 22nd July, the street food collective from your wildest dreams are hosting the most indulgent hits from all their pop ups at Granary Square.
Hivemind are coming to the Hen and Chickens Theatre this Summer with a cracker of an innovative show. Three directors try to win over the audience with improvised stories acted out by the rest of the Hivemind cast on the spur of the moment. As each scene ends you decide whether to “stick” and see where the story goes or “twist” and let the next director take over. The director who ends up with the least scenes acted out has to pay a ‘terrible forfeit’. Told you it was harsh.
We have been wondering whether or not to share this secret gem with you for a while now. Having walked past Cazenove Road on many a drunken occasion, we’d spotted The Lacy Nook A Board luring us inwards with a siren’s call of cocktails and beer garden. But unfortunately we’d get the timing all wrong and they’d rarely be open. “Closed at 4am! How ludicrous?” we’d holler, slurring and swaying up the road. Until now. Opening last year, The Lacy Nook is a collaboration between two friends who turned to Kickstarter to help them achieve this culinary dream . Think small and large plates of fusion Balkan BBQ, salads and carpaccio alongside
This year, Playing Up have commissioned a new play by Sophie Ellerby (HighTide First Commissions Writer and NYT REP Company 2013), Three, which will be staged at the Arcola Theatre from 20th to 22nd July. The urban and domestic drama, directed by NYT Associate Director Anna Niland follows three sisters who fight to keep track of reality as their world is turned upside down.
Tonight, on this dull yet sweaty Monday, what you may well need is to show your confectionary based fillings to the ceiling and let it all out with a huge bellowing guffaw about nothing in particular. Let the likes of quick witted Josie Long, surreal twosome Max and Ivan and the downright uproarious Tom Parry help you escape the chocolate lacking reality of 2017.
Registered charity, All Dogs Matter are a dog rehoming centre based in Archway. They use a mixture of foster homes and kennel spaces to house their dogs, who are each looking to be fostered or adopted. Occasionally we look through their profiles of beautiful singletons looking for love and feature one at random. We interviewed one newly single lady in particular called Lottie. A fun spirited character with smooth hair and a huge grin, Lottie was a right laugh.
Next Sunday it’s the Cally Road Jumble Trail, run by the community. Think a car boot sale but on the street with vintage clothing, accessories, toys, original creations and cakes if you’re lucky. The whole of the trail is set up online over at jumbletrail.com where visitors get a colour coded map to explore and discover all the hidden treasures on offer from your neighbourhood.
You’ve got your socks pulled up but no Cliff Richard in sight. You’re all white shorted up with nowhere to go. It’s time to find out where your white headbanded self will fit in. Here's our top four Wimbledon screening hang outs to try this Summer.
Until five minutes ago I would’ve believed Pet Nat was a holistic dog food brand / veterinary business in Wood Green. I’m half right actually*, but in the boozios world it’s a fizzy wine. Pétillant Naturel is light and fizzy, usually pretty low on the alcohol scale and rather sweet. Think the opposite of a dry red wine.
Abney Public Hall is hosting a market of world food delicacies next weekend, having gathered together the creme de la creme of planet Earth’s cuisine. Prepare for a mass fusion of cultures, great food, drink and music just off Stoke Newington Church Street.
Otherwise known as the shoredification of London, there are four stages of denial when it comes to dealing with the inevitability of gentrification. Are you a dilapidated ol’ boozer clinging on to the same threads since 1989, or more of a craft beer-swilling/moustache-bearing pop up type propping up the bar at a cookie dough cafe? Let’s find out before your bedroom’s transformed in to a pop up belfie gallery.
Poop poop! Get your driving gloves on and tweed jackets ready, for Toady has invited us down to Toad Hall for a banquet on the riverbank. Join The Literary Hour for their all new immersive supper club experience this Summer. It’s the eighth in their series of book themed events with multi-sensory five course meals featuring additional surprises… Ooh ratty!
Every last Thursday of the month a motley crew of performing acts shuffle off to the skinny little Moustache Bar on Stoke Newington Road for a night of microphone hogging. It’s Open Mic night and the stage isn’t just available to acoustic guitar yielding crooners. The floor is open for all you comedians, rappers, poets, hell even actors are welcome to come tread the boards at Moustache Bar this Thursday 27th July.
Ah Stokey. You chilled out little rebel of North London. The seemingly easy breezy, laissez-faire attitude that appears to exude from every award winning eatery and baby clothes shop of Church Street is all but an organic hessian veil over it’s anarchic and rebellious history. Nonconformists, anti fascists and dissenters built the area as we know it.
Trying our luck, we decided to ask the wonderful Raina and Saira of Joginder Supper Club to give us some unseen insight in to their centuries old Punjabi recipes. Amazingly they agreed to shed some light on one of their most tasty dishes: the Bhoolghobi Tamatar (cauliflower with tomato and potato). Over to the experts...