We’re quite fond of Stoke Newington it has to be said. In fact, we may have a major case of the old Stoke-holm Syndrome. From bougie gelato spots to beautiful, leafy parks, it’s a lovely pocket of North East London that has a hell of a lot going for it. The home of hipsters and yummy mummy’s in equal measure, here’s our rundown of 10 of the best things to do in Stoke Newington:
1. Find amazing Indian food at Rasa
A firm favourite with Secret London’s Stoke Newington local, Rasa is hot pink on the outside and hot stuff on the inside. One of the best Indian restaurants in London, the menu is a veggie-heavy exploration of Keralan cuisine that will have you salivating. Start with the banana boli and take it from there; you will not be disappointed.
📍55 Stoke Newington Church Street, N16 0AR.
2. Get wet at the West Reservoir Water Sports Centre
Work up a sweat with a trip to the North-East London’s premier watersports centre, which is tucked away in a hidden corner of Stokey. Canoeing, kayaking and sailing are the major draws here, but hardy souls can indulge in a bit of open-water swimming come summertime. It also makes for a surprisingly beautiful wedding venue.
📍Green Lanes, Woodberry Down, Hackney, London N4 2HA
3. Enjoy cocktails and burlesque at Fontaine’s
Kick up your heels and put your gladrags on, because a trip to Fontaine’s is on the cards. This art deco bar was founded by burlesque performer Emerald Fontaine, and regularly hosts singers, burlesque shows, and swing dancing lessons. Whether your poison of choice is a Clover Club or a Corpse Reviver No. 2, a drink here will be a sassy yet classy affair.
4. Sink a pint at The Jolly Butchers
They can’t carve you off a flank of beef, but The Jolly Butchers can offer you a huge range of craft beers. Which, to be honest, actually sounds better. A big turnover means that new beers are constantly appearing on tap, but a steady range of bottled beers from breweries all over the world will keep you more than intrigued.
5. Nab cheap eats at Uncle Nam’s
There’s something about Stoke Newington and excellent food. Uncle Nam’s whip up wonderful authentic Vietnamese food from fresh ingredients, and still manage to keep the cost down. At lunchtime, you can grab banh mi baguettes for a meagre £7.50, and nothing on the menu exceeds £14. They’ve also got some excellent pho here as well as tasty curries too. Fill your boots!
📍Batley Place, 66 Stoke Newington High Street, N16 7PA
6. Kiss the blarney stone at The Auld Shillelagh
No big deal, it’s only the best Irish pub outside of Ireland. So says The Irish Times, who were presumably impressed by the regular live music and plentiful supply of Guinness. Tiny on the outside, The Auld Shillelagh is deceptively massive – which certainly helps come St. Patrick’s Day, when the pub is packed with punters and filled to the rafters with balloons.
📍105 Stoke Newington Church Street, N16 0UD
7. Snaffle some bread from The Spence Bakery
Dough not miss out on The Spence Bakery’s bread. Their vast range of baked goodness is made from scratch and baked in their on-site oven. Everything from sourdough to rye, from focaccia to carrot bread is sold here, and you’d be barmy to miss out on the freshly-baked goodness at this bakery.
📍161 Stoke Newington Church Street, N16 0UH
8. Dive into a tasty Turkish feast
Stoke Newington and nearby Green Lanes is famed for its Turkish food – your only problem is picking just one place. Perhaps the two most highly-regarded restaurants are Cirrik and Testi. You can’t go wrong with either, although Cirrik looks to be the marginally cheaper option. Got a strong stomach? Try Testi’s signature dish of lamb testicles, if you think you’ve got the balls. Sorry.
📍Find Cirrik at 34 Stoke Newington Road, N16 7XJ. Testi can be found at 38 Stoke Newington High Street, N16 7PL.
9. Wander around Abney Park cemetery or Clissold Park
One of the ‘Magnificent Seven’ cemeteries of London, Abney Park is a lovely place for a stroll. You know, for a graveyard and all. Wandering down crooked paths and amongst the trees will lead you to some stunning Victorian architecture, and a rather nice chapel at the park’s centre. Another great open space nearby is Clissold Park – a 54-acre-wide spot with plenty of wildlife, sports facilities and the lovely St Mary’s Old Church. It’s also a short walk from Sage Kitchen, one of our fave al fresco foodie spots in the area.
📍 215 Stoke Newington High Street, N16 0LH and Green Lanes, N16 9HJ.
10. Tuck into gluten-free goodies at Plant Club
Rounding off this list of the best things to do in Stoke Newington is Plant Club – London’s first gluten free and vegan Italian restaurant, serving up wonderfully authentic dishes. The restaurant itself is housed within a greenhouse at the back of Nomadis Café in Newington Green, so the space truly comes alive when it’s dark outside, the heaters, lanterns and fairy lights are lit, and the tables are bustling. Standout dishes include the gnocchi cacio e pepe and the sud pizza – a heavenly concoction of DO Vesuvio tomato (tomatoes grown on the slopes of Mount Vesuvius), superstraccia, olives, capers and chopped pistachios.
📍49 Green Lanes, Stoke Newington, N16 9BU.
So there you have it – ten of the best things to do in Stoke Newington. From tucking into tasty food to working it off in a reservoir, there’s plenty to see and do in this delightful pocket of East London. So hot foot it up there and see what all the fuss is about!
Also published on Medium.