Dandy, Newington Green, Stoke Newington

Best restaurants in Stoke Newington

Check out our favourite restaurants, cafes, bars and foodie spots in the area of Stoke Newington

Looking for Stoke Newington restaurants? Here are our favourite restaurants in leafy Stoke Newington. The best foodie spots include top brunch spots, from bottomless brunch at The Good Egg to uber cool brunch vibes at Fink’s Sweet & Salt. Newington Green boasts some fab neighbourhood style restaurants, including Dandy and Perilla. 

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Perilla

Housed on a trendy corner in Newington Green – and with backing from industry big hitters Phil Howard of Elystan Street, Martyn Nail of Claridge’s and Thomas Kochs of Café Royal – Perilla’s got good foundations.

The team took the space and completely pared it back. Brick walls have been stripped bare, the original yellow black terrazzo floor has been exposed, while the tall windows that wrap around its triangular frame look out onto the green and pour light onto wine cages and a mix of tactile wooden and marble-topped tables. A peak-through-pass behind the bar shines a spotlight on chef as he calmly plates up. 

Just down from Green Lanes, famed for its Turkish restaurants, Perilla’s short but confident menu is a stark contrast for the area. A six course tasting menu is a mere £38 but, if you’re as greedy as we were, you might want to simply order everything off the a la carte (which is only 10-dishes-long itself) and share. 

Fried duck egg, with its creamy sunshine yolk, was topped with a rubble of chopped mussels and herbs and a final slosh of grassy, vivid-green parsley sauce. It’s unlike anything we’ve eaten in London, which is one of the things that makes Perilla great. This is a menu that surprises, often in its simplicity. Grilled romaine lettuce sat in a puddle of a light pecorino liquor, sour with lemon, and punctuated with green dots of parsley oil. With stalks of sorrel, too, it was sharp and intensely savoury – a wonderful balance of flavours. That, and the ‘pot-roast’ broccoli were enough to prove that this is a kitchen that knows what it’s doing. Vegetables sing.

The wine list is as succinct as the main menu, pleasingly, focussing on quirky bottles from Europe (including good ol’ Blighty) – a fruity German silvaner was seriously easy drinking, particularly with red mullet. 

Team Perilla couldn’t be more accommodating (I was nearly an hour late thanks to some ill-timed Arsenal traffic) and warm, and the food couldn’t be more exciting. With a daily changing menu to explore, it’s the kind of restaurant every neighbourhood should have. Lucky Newington Green.

Click here to read about our favourite dishes and our full restaurant review of Perilla, Stoke Newington

Fried duck egg with chopped mussels and parsley

Dandy

Aussie duo Dan Wilson and Andy Leitch (Dan and Andy makes Dandy, get it?) lovingly assembled their first joint venture, Dandy Café, from a shipping container in London Fields in 2015. The mismatch of corrugated iron, wooden planks and dozens of pot plants in all shapes and sizes created a charming spot specialising in natural wines and artisan coffee.

Dandy Café has now upped sticks and moved to Newington Green in a somewhat more grown up venture (they’ve dropped the Café, and are now simply Dandy). The larger site means the plants have a bit more breathing space and happy brunchers can stretch out over huge wooden tables.

All of the elements that gave the original café its rustic charm are still present in Dandy – warm and witty hospitality from Dan and Andy and their staff, an inventive menu that makes fresh produce shine, and talented yet approachable baristas (they can be hard to come by) brewing up artisan coffees roasted near Bath by internationally renowned rare coffee specialist, Colonna Coffee Roastery.

The short food menu lets vibrant produce do the talking. Vegetarian dishes particularly waved; blood orange segments were served on charred radicchio with a seaweed-speckled miso to create a bittersweet plate, and roasted beets were brightened up by pistachio dukkah and salted burrata. Super crunchy fried chicken with harissa mayo and herbs is another must-order.

Whatever time of day you’re visiting (young families with prams and big breakfast parties at brunch time make way for an intimate candlelit evening atmosphere), bread plays a big part in the menu, owing to Dan’s experience at top E5 Bakehouse. For brunch we tried lahmacun Turkish pizza (also on the evening menu) – a grilled flatbread topped with lamb mince, soft pieces of lamb shoulder, a crisp fried egg, tahini and dukkah.

Click here to read our favourite dishes and our full review of Dandy

Dandy, Newington Green Restaurant Review

The Lacy Nook

With a name like The Lacy Nook you’d be forgiven for thinking you were visiting a tea room, but in reality this north-east London eatery is much more than that. Away from the main crowds of central Stoke Newington, on Casenove road, walk past the airy coffee shop/bar on the ground floor – complete with wooden floors, exposed brick feature walls and velvet sofas – and head downstairs to the restaurant proper.

It’s here that the reason for the quirky name becomes apparent, thanks to the cosy proportions and little lacy doilies placed on every table. The effect, though, is modern rather than twee thanks to a palette of Farrow & Ball-esque pastels and chic details such as marble tabletops and pendant lamps shaped like pineapples. There’s also a pretty sun-trap of a garden tucked away at the back.

The Lacy Nook styles itself as a fusion-style joint, serving up food influenced by the owners’ travels, namely dishes with Mediterranean, Middle Eastern and Asian touches. We tried the Sunday lunch menu, which owes more to owners Elena and Jana’s Macedonian roots, with a roster of Balkan-style barbecue dishes plus a list of de rigeuer small plates to share.

Click here to read about our favourite dishes and our full restaurant review of The Lacy Nook, Stoke Newington

The Lacy Nook, Stoke Newington

Wolf, Stoke Newington High Street

Opening a contemporary Italian restaurant was a natural step for Wolf owner Antony Difrancesco, who was born in London to Sicilian parents.

Seasonal dishes include fazzoletti with sheep ricotta, broad beans, peas, lemon and mint, and breaded veal chop with brown butter capers, anchovy and lemon. Antony says: “The great thing about the renaissance of Italian food is that chefs are applying new techniques and other influences to make them their own.”

wolf-restaurant.co.uk

Wolf, London

The Good Egg

This is relaxed day-to-night dining with a warm, friendly vibe. The menu is an eclectic mix of the owners’ favourite dishes, inspired by their childhood and travels in amongst others Tel Aviv, Montreal, California and Jerusalem. 

Breakfast, lunch and dinner menus are available during the week and weekends feature an all-day brunch menu. 

Pastrami, breads, preserved lemons and pickles are all made on the premises and other ingredients are carefully sourced, some from just streets away such as the smoked salmon from Stoke Newington locals, Hansen and Lydersen. Meat comes from London butcher, Turner and George.

The one-room space is fresh, open and buzzy with whitewashed brickwork and blond wood tables and bench-style seating. In the evening clever lighting gives the room a cosier, more intimate feel. Tables are quite close, but the acoustics mean that conversations are kept private.

Click here to read about our favourite dishes and our full restaurant review of The Good Egg, Stoke Newington

The Good Egg, Stoke Newington

Fink’s Sweet & Salt

Fink’s Salt & Sweet is where the cool kids of Finsbury Park hang out at the weekend – girls in cardigans take their knitting, groups of young folk sip on Caravan Roastery coffee, and you can even take your pooch along to sit under the table while you enjoy brunch.

Stripped-back interiors are the norm in hip parts of London but light spills in through the floor-to-ceiling windows of this desirable corner spot on to wooden floors, off-white tile and dark grey chipboard walls, and galvanized zinc counter and tables.

The counter and shelves heave with local produce – Balthazar bread, Dodd’s gin and jars of English Preserves that you can yourself spread onto sourdough toast for brunch. Go one step further with sobrasada (spreadable paprika sausage) brought over direst from Mallorca by a lady who lives down the road, drizzled with sweet honey. We’re going back in the summer for a locally cured House of Sverre salmon board with goat curd, seaweed and crackers, and a quince and aniseed spritz on the pavement outside.

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Click here to read our full review of Fink’s Sweet and Salt, Stoke Newington

Fink's Sweet and Salt review