13 Smashing Reasons To Saunter Over To Stoke Newington

Stoked to visit Stokey? You will be after reading our guide to Stoke Newington.

We’re quite fond of Stoke Newington. In fact, we may have a case of Stoke-holm Syndrome…

1. Sample the ‘world’s best pizza’ from L’Antica

Photo: @infatuation

The debate will never end, but this place has serious pizza street cred. L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele is the famous Naples pizzeria regarded as the world’s best. Whilst the Stokey joint might currently be embroiled in a lover’s tiff with its Neapolitan progenitor, the quarrel doesn’t detract from the quality. Only two pizzas – margarita and marinara – are on offer, and you’re pretty much guaranteed to queue, but the result is worth the effort.

125 Stoke Newington Church Street, N16 0UH

2. Get wet at West Reservoir Water Sports Centre

Photo: @calh

Work off that pizza with a trip to north-east London’s premier watersports centre. 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, Hackney, London N4 2HA

3. Enjoy cocktails and burlesque at Fontaine’s

Photo: @tigzrice

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. Find amazing Indian food at Rasa

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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

5. Rummage around in Lucky Seven

Photo: @mrs_faulkner_2015

Second hand records and books fill every nook and cranny of this amazing little shop. Vinyls from all genres and homelands are the shop’s major draw, and incredible bargains can be found with some searching. Make sure you check out the books, given Stoke Newington’s literary heritage: it’s the former home of both Edgar Allen Poe and Daniel Defoe.

127 Stoke Newington Church Street, N16 0UH

6. Sink a pint at The Jolly Butchers

Photo: @thejollybutchers

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 intrigued.

7. Nab cheap eats at Uncle Nam’s

Photo: @unclenamsuk

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 £6, and nothing on the menu exceeds £10.

Batley Place, 66 Stoke Newington High Street, N16 7PA

8. Kiss the blarney stone at The Auld Shillelagh

Photo: @kittz80

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

9. Snaffle some bread from The Spence Bakery

Photo: @misterandrewholden

Dough not miss out on The Spence Bakery’s bread. Their huge range of bread 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.

161 Stoke Newington Church Street, N16 0UH

10. Dive into a Turkish feast

Photo: @cirrik_london

Stoke Newington 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.

Find Cirrik at 34 Stoke Newington Road, N16 7XJ. Testi can be found at 

11. Wander around Abney Park cemetery

Photo: Simon Hadleigh-Sparks

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.

215 Stoke Newington High Street, N16 0LH

12. Grab a burger from Stokey Bears

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If you’ve just emerged from winter hibernation, Stokey Bears is a great place to fill your stomach. The flagship branch of street food legends Burger Bear will deliver insanely large burgers with aplomb. Double or triple stack it, add fries and sides – whatever you do, don’t miss the opportunity to add their famous bacon jam, or Holy F*ck hot sauce.

129 Stoke Newington High Street, N16 0PH

13. Steal away for an evening of Original Sin

Photo: @originalsinbar

Hidden underneath Stokey Bears is a winner of a cocktail bar. The second venture from the team behind Hoxton Square’s highly-regarded Happiness Forgets, Original Sin is a more relaxed venue. In spite of this, it’s kept the sleek interiors and top-notch drinks of its sister bar – try the intriguing Red Silhouette, made with rum, red wine, maple, and lime juice. Another winning feature is their free-to-play pool table, which comes with only one rule: you must attempt to win at all costs.

129 Stoke Newington High Street, N16 0PH