If you're reading this guide we can only assume that: A) you live in Stoke Newington, B) you've got a mate who lives in Stoke Newington, or C) you plan on eating and/or drinking your way around some of the many Stoke Newington restaurants and bars sometime soon. Maybe it's a mixture of all of the above. Maybe it's none of them. Whatever your affiliation with the area is, Stoke Newington has got a lot of draws. It's why young professionals with beards, papooses and tasteful line drawing tattoos have proliferated the area like some sort of good-looking, well-dressed plague.
One of the loudest, sexiest sirens that calls us to Stoke Newington ourselves is the area's great food and drink offering. North London is, after all, renowned for its unbeatable Turkish cuisine and an ever-increasing number of pared back small plates ventures. While Turkish legends like 19 Numara Bos Cirrik II and Testi and trendy premises like Perilla don't actually come under the Stoke Newington area code (we checked), there's still plenty of excellent restaurants that do.
Home to brunch essentials such as The Good Egg, kitsch cafes like The Green Room and some seriously good Indian cooking from Rasa, Stoke Newington's restaurants are thriving. If you can't find something that both you and your significant want to eat in Stokey, there might be no hope for your relationship at all. Sorry.
As always, in no particular oder, here's our guide to the Stoke Newington restaurants that deserve a place on your 'must try' list. You're welcome.
18 best Stoke Newington restaurants to eat at:
1. The Good Egg
93 Stoke Newington Church Street, N16 0AS
Neat brunch plates, stacked sandwiches and a banging babka are just the tip of the Israeli-inflected iceberg of what you can expect to find at this Stokey all-day restaurant and cafe. Tel Aviv street food-inspired portions of shakshuka and shabi scratch a za'atar itch while Jewish deli staples like the whitefish salt bagel and Montreal reuben pita take up equally worthwhile real estate on the brunch and lunch menu. If you're going for a dinner session then it's the merguez kofta with pickled corno pepper and amba yoghurt that deserves your money. That exciting sausage bleeds as red as a Kopite and pairs great with a glass of Rioja Blanco. Turns out that The Good Egg is a good egg, after all – and most definitely one of the best Stoke Newington restaurants to add to your 'must try' list.
117-119 Stoke Newington Road, N16 8BU
We're sure you're already aware that Turkish restaurants aren't exactly hard to find around this part of North London. The area is rife with some of the best kebabs and kofta in the entire city. What you're probably less clued up on is that quite a few of the most famous North London-based Turkish restaurants (including the plethora that pepper Green Lanes) don't actually sit within the Stoke Newington area code. One that does is Aziziye. Located under Aziziye Mosque, Aziziye – and its 100% halal food menu – serves some of the hottest and freshest pide, the meatiest lahmacun, and the silkiest hummus on Stoke Newington Road.
55 Stoke Newington Church Street, N16 0AR
Rasa – and its iconic bright pink exterior and interior – has fast become a London Indian food institution and a prime location to get your fill of genuine Keralan cooking. Vegan, vegetarian and non-vegetarian feast options are available from £25 per head and are an ideal way to see all that Rasa has got to offer. Start with a spread of idli and medhu vadai before going absolutely HAM on one of the restaurant's famous masala dosas. It's one the best Indian restaurants in London for a reason. In fact, there's a plethora of reasons to come to Rasa in the first place – reasonable prices and delicious food included – but there's even more reasons to come back for a return visit thanks to the friendly atmosphere and excellent service. Vegetarian cooking doesn't get much better than this – which is why it's hands down one of Stoke Newington restaurants you need to dine at.
4. Vicoli di Napoli Pizzeria
125 Stoke Newington Church Street, N16 0UH
Neapolitan pizza is just straight-up delicious; a disc of blistered dough, mozzarella cheese and San Marzano tomato sauce that hits every pleasure spot of our brain in all the right ways. It'd be absolutely insane not to include Vicoli di Napoli Pizzeria – a restaurant that serves some of the best Neapolitan pizza of all the Stoke Newington restaurants – in this here food guide. Naples born and bred owners (and sisters) Serena and Vania Sarnataro opened the doors of the pizzeria to Stokey's pram-friendly clientele back in 2017. It's only gone from strength to strength ever since. Settle down with a simple margherita and a glass of wine to remind yourself that food, much like life, doesn't have to be complicated to be wholly rewarding.
55 Kynaston Road, N16 0EB
Esters is well nice. Esters is where you take your mum for brunch when she's visiting at the weekend and you're massively hungover because you totally forgot she was even coming and had six pints the night before. Esters is the poached-eggs-on-sourdough-bread cafe of your dreams. With an ethos focused on local producers and seasonal produce, it's a venue that just oozes familiarity and a real feel good vibe. It also doesn't hurt that it's always stocked with cakes and cookies. Be careful though: pop in for a quick coffee and you might just find yourself absorbed into Ester's warm and pleasant cocoon like every errant Stoke Newingtonite that's gone before. Never to be heard from again...
Barnes Motors, 116 Petherton Road, N5 2RT
How do you do something trendier than serve small plates and wine? You serve small plates and wine out of a garage, of course. If Stoke Newington was a secondary school then Primeur – sister to Westerns Laundry – would be the coolest cat in Sixth Form by a country mile. You'd probably find it outside of the common room at graduation, looking all relaxed, at ease, after having carefully balanced a hectic social lifestyle with a stellar spate of A-Levels. Primeur is a high achiever of the highest order. The food is sourced from ethical native producers; the wines are low intervention; and the ever-changing blackboard of dishes like jamón de Teruel and raw cuttlefish with polenta absolutely shines.
7. Trattoria Da Luigi
98-100 Stoke Newington Church Street, N16 0AP
Antipasti, primi and Victorian fireplaces – you can find it all at Trattoria Da Luigi. A mainstay of the Stoke Newington restaurants with enough character to fill an entire Dickens novel, TDL is an old school Italian joint where you can get a real deal taste of the Sardinian countryside. Pizza, pasta and pollo milanese or your pick of the hearty homemade daily specials, whatever you do eventually order, you'll be in for a good feed. Book a traditional agroturismo set meal two days in advance and you can even get your chops (pardon the pun) around a Sardinian-style bit of roast suckling pig. Doesn't take your fancy? Maybe our guide to the best pizza places in London is more your cup of tea.
8. Urfa Ocakbasi
85 Stoke Newington Road, N16 8DL
Charcoaled kebabs and daintily singed sucuk do right by us. Urfa is an ocakbasi that goes the extra mile to make sure you get a Turkish eating experience. Family-friendly restaurants in London can be a minefield of mediocre but we're pleased to say that Urfa is a venue where the unadventurous can play it safe with the kebabs and homemade nuggets while the rest of you can still push the boat out with some of Urfa's more regional offerings. Lamb liver is simply marinated with cumin and salt before being cooked over charcoal; soft and meaty with only the faintest accent of its offal heritage. Even your vegetarian friends will find it hard to complain once their gobs are plied with a cheese-topped kasarli pide and plenty of hummus and pillowy fresh pita. You need never Google 'Stoke Newington restaurants' again.
9. Osteria Wolf
110 Stoke Newington High Street, N16 7NY
Been listening to too much Duran Duran recently? Feeling hungry like the wolf? Osteria Wolf is the answer to at least one of those ravenous problems. Using the best local and specialty Italian ingredients, owner Antony Difrancesco and head chef Kenneth Tolley have joined forces to create a menu of seasonal dishes that take inspiration from regions all across Italy. The restaurant's minimalist navy blue exterior and marble tables tell you this is somewhere you want to be seen. Maybe not when you're mid-burrata mouthful, but still. Go to Wolf, tell your friends about Wolf, tell your friends' friends about Wolf. Awoooo.
10. Yum Yum
187 Stoke Newington High Street, N16 0LH
Atique Choudhury and his wife opened up Yum Yum in Stoke Newington in 1990. For over 28 years, the Thai restaurant has been a gateway for many into the wonderful world of fish sauce and nam phrik. Yum Yum's still maintained its consistency despite its decades of service. Soft shell crab and ped ma kam (crispy roast duck with tamarind sauce) prove that proteins are always tastier when they're crisp and crackling. If you're not sure exactly what you want to eat – and we don't blame you considering that everything at Yum Yum sounds enticing as hell – the set menus are a good shout. Cocktails like the raspberry mule and jade garden? They're a must. See, Stoke Newington restaurants do far more than simply serve hella good food...
35 Stoke Newington Church Street, N16 0NX
Rubedo has big bistro energy. Serving up seasonal food and natural wine, it's very much a Stoke Newington restaurant that's awfully of-the-moment and awfully 2019. But it's also awfully good. Rubedo works with a range of local suppliers such as Natoora, Huntsham Farm and Neal's Yard Dairy to make sure that you're getting the good stuff. Spread some Duckett's Caerphilly on rye cracker and you'll quickly realise how its those little touches that make the largest difference. The wine list is a real who's who of no-added sulphite slappers. In the market for a zesty Zweigelt from Austria? Rubedo will be able to point you in the right direction.
12. Il Bacio
61 Stoke Newington Church Street, N16 0AR
If you're a fan of impeccable service and cracking Sardinian food, Il Bacio is the place for you. This independent Italian trattoria on Church Street isn't somewhere that's trying too hard to be trendy and down with the kids. It's a family-run restaurant that simply cooks really good food, and does it with a genuine sense of joy. Whether you're there to chat with your best mate about your latest disastrous foray into the world of internet dating or you're an old school regular coming in for your weekly pizza and pasta hit, Il Bacio is a Stoke Newington restaurant where you'll always feel welcome. It's real home away from home. Only with much, much better cooking.
020 7249 3833
56 Stoke Newington Church Street, N16 ONB
Located right next to Rasa, another one of the best places to eat in Stoke Newington, lies Travancore. Just like its neighbour, Travancore is an excellent restaurant to explore the culinary ins and outs of Keralan cooking. Travancore's vegetarian and vegan feast is £16 worth of pre-meal snacks, starters, mains, side dishes, rice, breads and a traditional Keralan sweet to finish it all off. We're not lying when we say that every plate at Travancore is given the VIP treatment. If Travancore were a human being, they'd be a gem. A real keeper. In fact, we'd happily get in a serious relationship with Travancore, making the most of the endless affection, compliments and back rubs that come along with getting involved with such a quality restaurant. Now, we're not usually the sort of magazine to rush into anything headfirst without thinking of the consequences… but… we think Travancore might just be the one.
67 Stoke Newington Church Street, N16 0AR
The Spanish know how to live, man. Tapas, paella, siestas, tortillas: there's something about Spain that hits a sweet spot that not many other cuisines can match. Something undeniably… sexy. Put a plate of slow cooked pig cheeks with caramelised onions in front of us and we're as happy as said pigs in a pile of shit (before they've had their lovely chubby cheeks removed). Located off Stoke Newington Church Street, Escosesa is a little slice of Spanish that Stoke Newington is made all the better for. Heads up, however, that the excellent paella is only available at weekends at specific times (12-4pm on Saturday and 4pm & 5:30pm-9:30pm on Sunday) and requires a minimum of two people to tackle it. There's not many prettier sights in food than a sunny seafood rice swimming with mussels, cuttlefish, prawns and baby squid.
15. The Blue Legume
101 Stoke Newington Church Street, N16 0UD
The Blue Legume isn't just a great pun, it's a family owned independent cafe and restaurant that's found itself embraced by Stoke Newington locals thanks to its feel-good vibes and capable menu of breakfast and brunch staples. Nothing will completely blow your socks off, but that's not why you come to The Blue Legume. You come to The Blue Legume to keep your socks firmly on and enjoy some french toast and a smoothie while your flatmate drones on about their relationship problems. Do you care that the solicitor they went on three dates with hasn't texted them back in two days? No. But is the croque madame good enough to make you nod your head and pretend that you do anyway? Yes.
16. Green Room Cafe
113 Stoke Newington Church Street, N16 0UD
A cute little coffee shop with a very large garden where you can sit and eat in the sunshine surrounded by a veritable greenhouse of flowers? Sounds all right to us. The Green Room Cafe certainly lives up to its namesake; moonlighting as a florist where you can grab a pretty potted plant or a handful of petunias to go with your brunch. Said brunch doesn't disappoint. Whether you're tucking into the homemade granola or a smoked salmon rosti, your palate will be just as pleased as your eyes. We really mean it when we say this might be the loveliest Stoke Newington restaurant to eat and drink at in the N16 area code.
17. Bánh Mì Etc
37A Stoke Newington Church Street, N16 0NX
Nestled right next to Rubedo is Bánh Mì Etc – a small family-run cafe that specialises in Bánh Mì, phở gà (chicken noodle soup), vegetarian tofu and canh chay (mushroom noodle soup). The cosy joint's namesake sandwiches are only £4.50 and an absolute joy to consume. So much so that it's hard to stop at just one. The soft and airy baguette of the classic Bánh Mì has the perfect ratio of juicy pork meatballs to its coriander, chilli, cucumber and carrot medley. There's more than just sarnies to sample, too. The Vietnamese soups are some of the finest going in the whole of London, and we're including Kingsland Road in that. They're real soul warmers that bring home the fact that every dish at Bánh Mì Etc shares one secret ingredient in common: love.
18. The Best Turkish Kebab
125 Stoke Newington Road, N16 8BT
Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them. The Best Turkish Kebab is the most famous kebab shop in the whole of London. Ask any döner connoisseur where to find the best hangover-preventing, leak-all-over-your-hands-and-chin, downright delicious kebab in the city, you can almost bet that they'll direct you to The Best Turkish Kebab. The Stokey icon first opened up its shutters for business in 1982 and you best believe founder Osman Cinikt's monumental kebab-y has retained a number regulars since day one. The Best Turkish Kebab is affordable, delicious, and guaranteed to make you feel like you're part of some strange but comforting shaved meat family. The Best Turkish Kebab is the best.
3 Stoke Newington bars to try
19. Original Sin
129 Stoke Newington High Street, N16 0PH
We're big fans of basement bars here at Foodism. They're dark, sultry and perfectly suited for sipping on cocktails and making bedroom eyes at someone you fancy the absolute pants off. Original Sin is the best basement bar in Stoke Newington. Bar none. Cocktails like the Perfect Storm (dark rum, plum brandy, lemon, honey and ginger) and House Old Fashioned (Islay Scotch whisky, tawny port, honey and bitters) are muddled by the mixologists with expertise and care; an echelon above your bog standard mixery. Even if you (or your date) aren't a cocktail person, there's a short but sweet selection of organic wines here that make for equally attractive post-dinner consumption. Get there for the daily Happy Hour (between 6-9pm) to drink any of OS's signature and classic cocktails for £6.50 and all wine for £4. Because there's nothing sexier than a bargain.
20. The Auld Shillelagh
105 Stoke Newington Church Street, N16 0UD
The Auld Shillelagh isn't just an Irish pub on Church Street. The Auld Shillelagh is the Irish pub on Church Street. Having grown in both size and reputation since its inception in 1991, the Irish boozer now boasts a beer garden out the back with multiple screens on the go for punters to keep up with all the sporting action. The bar – like a cricket bat – is very, very long and very, very narrow. But that won't matter once you've got the best pint of Guinness in the whole of London in your greedy hands. Bliss.
21. The Three Crowns
175 Stoke Newington High Street, N16 0LH
Go to The Three Crowns for a pint. You won't regret it. A decent selection of craft beers sourced from local and American brewers should keep up your constant buzz momentum while the pleasant premises provides the right arena for conversation. Good food always helps, too. The kitchen is independently run by husband and wife duo Joe Curtis (Vinoteca, St John, Urban Caprice) and Victoria Grove under the guise of a long-term residency A La Mesa. La Mesa handle the restaurant space at The Three Crowns with aplomb, serving fresh, seasonal, modern European food. On any given day you'll be able to find everything from British classics (Thursday is steak and wine night) to fresh Mediterranean seafood and rustic Italian cooking.