Top 4: Stoke Newington Favourite Food Joints
Written by: Shanna Felicia
They’re not the fanciest, they’re not the smartest. They might not have Michelin stars, but they make up for it in pure vibes and enthusiasm. These restaurants have all been favourited by Stokey locals and boast relaxed atmospheres and smiley staff. Winner winner chicken dinner.
What’s the crack? Rubedo is a restaurant and a half. Dedicated to seasonal food and natural wine, everything that passes your lips comes with a wild story behind it. Several of the wines come from business partner Lorenzo’s family farm and you can taste the homemade dedication to quality. The atmosphere was classy yet laid back. Kind of like Nigella Lawson on holiday. I felt like the waiters really knew their fancy food and wine shit, without making you feel like a complete plonker. Despite the fact that I felt like I was in a high-class establishment and finally had my life together, it was pretty damn cheap.
What should I eat? Pretty much anything is a safe bet on the menu. Personal favourite is the cici fritti (crunchy fried chickpeas), pork crubeens and seasonal rhubarb Eton mess.
What should I drink? The unfiltered prosecco. Never before had I seen or tasted a prosecco like this, it was cloudy and really quite exciting. I finished off the meal with some of their natural limoncello, nothing like the cheap crap you normally get.
Best for… A posh date. You and bae are going steady now and you want to go somewhere to impress them/trick them into thinking you’re not a total skank.
Why it made the list: the dedication to wholesome, natural cuisine. They really put some thought into this one. Nice one.
What’s the crack? Literally every Stokey local I know lists Itto as one of their favourite restaurants. Asian fusion cuisine, done in a high-quality way with good service and sophisticated decor.
What should I eat? Anything is pretty much a safe bet on the menu, but my favourite is the spicy seafood soup and the summer rolls.
What should I drink? Fresh melon juice or go wild and have one of their exotic alcoholic beverages.
Best for… meals out with mates or Deliveroo that stuff right to your sofa.
Why it made the list: the food is literally more addictive than crack.
3. The Stoke Newington Tea House
What’s the crack? The Stoke Newington Tea House is a bit of a mish-mash of things. Strictly a pub, but think power clashing. Think of wearing your nan’s floral cardigan with a massive gold chain that would give any gangsta rapper a penis size complex. But that’s great, right? Not many places can you find a classic British pub atmosphere, decent food, a tea bible with 80 teas, cocktails, craft beer, a speakeasy wine and cheese cellar and an upstairs dedicated to tea making workshops.
What should I eat? The steaks are pretty darn good, or try the aubergine and goats cheese stack if you’re vegetarian.
What should I drink? The apple and elderflower green tea mojito. Tea AND alcohol? I feel like one of those classic, stylish, talented writers who’s sophisticated enough to have a signature drink. Who am I? Bukowski? Anais Nin? Hunter S. Thompson? Oh – false alert – I’m drunk. Heh heh. Who’s hat is this?
Best for? A casual second or third date. You’ve pulled this hottie and you want to impress with a nice atmosphere and seductive mood lighting. But you don’t want to go anywhere too fussy and make yourself look too keen, nor mispronounce the French cuisine – so not chill. You’re playing it cool like John Travolta in the first half of Grease.
Why it made the list: The sexy mood lighting and Japanese teapots. We’re a sucker for a teapot.
4. Suttons and Sons
What’s the crack? Ahh the classic fish and chip joint. The British stalwart. As humble as your grandad’s flat peak cap and greasier than Miss Trunchbull’s riding crop. Sutton and Sons smashes tradition and serves it up on a plate. What kind of fish and chip shop sells oysters and prosecco? A god damn good one, that’s what. It’s exciting and fancy without being try-hard trendy like some posh fish and chip joints.
What should I eat? The oysters – if you dare – or if raw fish makes your stomach turn try the tempura oysters. Surprisingly delicious. For the main try the lobster sub for lunch for something different or if you’re not feeling adventurous there’s always the classic fish and chip combo.
What should I drink? Craft beer or prosecco. Hiccup.
Best for… Taking the parents out when they pluck up the courage to come and visit you. Ply them with alcohol here so they don’t notice the state of your bedroom.
Why it made the list? The exciting posh seafood and laid back atmosphere.
Photos: all by Shanna Felicia except Itto and Suttons and Sons.
“Only last night I found myself lost / by the station called King's Cross. / Dead and wounded on either side / you know it's only a matter of time.” [Pet Shop Boys - Kings Cross] It’s the night after the play and I’m standing at the bar of ‘The Big Chill House’ on Pentonville Road in Kings Cross. It’s ‘Throwback Thursday’ (#TBT) and happy hour is definitely over.
Ceramics with charisma. Local pottery genius, Laura Bird has of course graced the digital pages of It’s Nice That, sold out in Anthropologie* and taken her seat at many a London ceramics stall since just recently starting her career in ceramics. It’s no surprise she is well loved: her unique and gentle humour exudes from every jar, planter and candlestick holder, adorned with cheeky expressions and impish grins.
Having worked in hospitality with a keen artist’s eye, the Arts Building knew Emma was perfect to take over the space. They were after a morning to night eatery for the neighbourhood, one for local residents and workers alike. Knowing the street’s reputation as a bit of a foodie strip, the menu had to be up to scratch for it’s discerning super-taster of a community. Yes, we’re a hungry bunch in Stroud Green.
At the time of writing this the menu has just been released for Food by Feast’s new supper club. I imagine, however, that by the time you read this every dining space will be swiftly filled. If you aren’t acquainted with the duo yet (tsk), they’re the genius collaboration of Cordon Bleu chef and food writer Olivia Potts and Guardian food writer and cook, Kate Young. Having successfully completed the likes of a Gilmore Girls supper club to rapturous applause and smacking lips recently, the latest menu experience is Twin Peaks inspired and looks equally witty and delectable.
Sound healing in Stoke Newington. This Thursday 18th May, The Mystery School of Sound are running a de-stress gong bath experience in Stoke Newington Ramadan Mosque. Alongside guided meditation, healing process and gong performace, you’ll get a mini intro to healing traditions of the druids and hermetic teaching.
Patron Cave a Manger’s pop up cinema are shacking up at The Rose and Crown in Kentish Town to screen The Artist. Soak up the atmoshpere of the Festival du Cannes with swanky popcorn and elegant cocktails. Get red carpet ready for this special screening of The Artist - the ridiculously popular award winning silent French film that everyone fell in love with.
Unfortunately rising rents are affecting community spaces in Stoke Newington and their availability. St Mary’s Centre currently provides a space for projects including the Foodbank, Hackney Migrants centre and the Night Shelter but they're at risk of losing their space. To help raise funds to redevelop the space and increase awareness, they are organising a weekend food market in Stokey. The pop-up food market is a launch event for their huge fundraising drive to rebuild the community rooms attached to St Mary's Church in Stoke Newington.
Healthy chocolate mousse and sexing up your smoothie with Kate Oates. We have found ourselves a yoga guru in Kate Oates, a healthtastic yogi based in Crouch End. When we met her last year she hinted at a few of her own culinary creations and boy were we intrigued. Asking for an exclusive recipe for you health conscious readers, we received a taste sensation of an idea for chocolate breakfast.
“All My Single Cylinders, All My Single Cylinders”. Two girls, sick to the back teeth of Tindering and Bumbling about the bars of London, decided to create their own speed dating night. Involved in the biker community of East London they have created a special series of nights combining live music, motorbikes and speed dates. Bolt Motorbike Shop of Stoke Newington is their latest venue, providing a more intriguing backdrop for your date night and quashing the usual awkwardness of sparse, brightly lit speed dating scenarios. You can admire the motors, enjoy your free drinks and listen to some live music with some top notch handpicked company.
In case you’ve never had a piirakka, (also known as Karelian pasties, pies or pirogs) they’re a delicious Finnish treat that you need to try immediately. Whether savoury or sweet, they’re basically a light pastie made with rye flour and a pretty unique variety of filling options. Meet Aapo Nieminen, a native Finnish local who grew up with piirakka. After getting tired of asking friends and family to bring him these naughty little pasties whenever they visited he came up with a plan. “They are an important part of everyday finish life. One day I thought why not just make them yourself?”
The lycra is optional. Coffee however, isn't. On Friday 197 cyclists descended on Sardinia to compete in the 100th edition of the Giro d'Italia. For those of you that don't have wardrobes filled with lycra you might never of heard of it but Think Tour d'France but in Italy. Still drawing a blank?
Naked Dough have appeared like a pair of beautiful fairy godmothers to lead me to an actual edible cookie dough dance party. Plus they didn’t even tell me what I should wear, they genuinely don’t care. Naked Dough is a new restaurant serving edible cookie dough from tubs, cones and even carry home pots. The ingredients are raw egg free and the flour is heat-treated so you need not worry-like-Edwina-Currie about salmonella and stomach bloat (unless you’re gluten free of course. In which case I’m sorry you’ve stumbled upon this torture page of an article).
Ten years ago MINT Vintage first opened in Covent Garden before moving on to the more creative surrounds of Stoke Newington, pioneering fashion forward vintage. Every piece is hand selected and sourced from all over the world, ensuring every garment is trend driven but timeless and always unique. This May they’ve decided to transform their world in to an “oops we were trying to make corduroy and came up with denim” dreamland*.
Finding myself wandering around Limehouse Basin craving a pint and perhaps even a slice of pizza, I needed to get home to my local Crate Brewery sharpish (they do the freshest craft beers and have award winning pizzas). But how to get there? Stumbling in to Limehouse Station and towards a huge sign saying CLOSED, I consider walking there instead. A short meander riverwards, I reach the canal and begin to notice a group of people donning chunky waistcoats stretching their arms around. I pause for a second, swaying slightly on the spot, watching this mesmerising circle of humans yielding huge double ended spoons.
"Ooh they’re doing a psych night at Moth Club Tina!” "What, again?” It’s a familiar sentence. Fast becoming a buzzword for young musos and Beyond Retro dwellers alike, psych music is no longer just for the suede fringed waistcoat wearing Acid Jazz lovers who curse their parents they weren’t born in 1966. No no. The psych music spectrum has spread it’s bendy wings and shaken off it’s lava lamp skin to embrace a whole host of musical genres. From William Burroughs to Pet Sounds to Thee Oh Sees, the genre’s had a birth, decline and resurgence. Nambucca in Finsbury Park are totally capitalising on this revival with their new monthly night, SIKE! This Thursday 11th May, they’re bringing four different acts who are all covering different elements of the psych scene.
Back in 2014 The Good Egg was hatched, mixing Californian sunshine with Tel Aviv traditions to bring one heck of a menu to Stoke Newington. Food critics, instagrammers and swathes of Stokey baby holders flocked to it’s doors to get stuck in to the Jerusalem breakfast, merguez sausage and indeed eggs washed down with spicy brunch cocktails.