Stoke Newington is a funny little location. Everything about this spot tells us that it shouldn't work, but for some unknown reason, things just seem to click perfectly into place. Some hate it, some seem to revolve their entire world around it, but one thing that can't be denied is that Stokey's now one of London's freshest spots. It's constantly trying new things and seems to have found the perfect tradition-contemporary balance with its quirky pop-ups and homely boozers. Whether you're searching for a signature cocktail or looking for a quiet dinner spot, this East London haven definitely won't disappoint. Here's a handful of venues that show why we love Stoke Newington so damn much.
Priding itself as a jack-of-all-trades, the various rooms, quirky décor and the endless list of drinks allows Haunt to cater for whatever mood you might find yourself in. The main bar area is a bit of a beautiful clash between old and new, with the vintage antiques and modern brands adding plenty of edge. With lunch and dinner in mind, expect a regular rotation of kitchen takeovers and residencies, spanning local talent, supper club pros, street food favourites and plenty more - so do check out their site to see who's in the kitchen if you're planning a visit. But even with their ever-changing food offering, the real secret here is the basement speakeasy bar, decorated like the 1920s watering holes you'd expect to find in an F. Scott Fitzgerald novel. Anyone for a highball or four?
Feeling a bit naugh-tea? Maybe you're just looking for some quali-tea time to yourself. Either way, the guys at one of London's quirkiest bars, The Stoke Newington Tea House, are tea-rrific (I'm awful, I know) at putting a smile on your face. Spread across various floors, the venue laughs in the face of convention and has replaced its bar with a wall of tea, collected from the world's most exotic plantations. From assam and darjeeling to oolong and pure ayurvedic, guests will be treated to the best brews in London at this Stoke Newington spot. Better still, their tea infatuation has drained to the cocktail menu; yep, they're even serving tea-laced concoctions, made using a variety of different brews, spirits and liqueurs. This spot perfectly embodies the clash of old and new that's always knocking about in Stoke Newington.
Since opening its doors back in 2014, Stokey Bears has firmly planted itself near the top of London's burger game. Serving burgers the size of small cats, the hipsters behind this East London grill have mastered the skill of cramming a bun with crazy amounts of bacon, cheese, onions and slaw. To help wash all that Crisco down, the bar is always stocked full of your favourite craft beers, fruity ciders and eye-watering spirits. Having steered clear of all the pitfalls associated with opening a burger restaurant in London, this site's pairing of burgers and booze will always get two thumbs up from us. So simple and yet still so genius.
Styled as one of those 70s basement dens that you'd expect to find in suburban America, Victory Mansion on Stoke Newington High Street wins over every reveller with its menu of creative drinks and hearty British dishes. The venue is owned by five close mates and pays tribute to London's proud culinary and literal history in a number of subtle ways. Pick a cosy spot in the parlour, settle down and escape all the rigours of the London bubble via one of their cheeky cocktails.
And last but by no means least, the magic of Stokey means you're never too far away from a delicious slice thanks to the iconic L'Antica Pizzeria Da Michele. Make no mistake, this joint is definitely not just another run-of-the-mill wood-fired pizza restaurant in East London. The name is legendary in Naples and the chefs in their new London site have all been trained back home in Italy to make sure that things remain authentic. Trust us, it's not an exaggeration to label this as one of London's best pizzerias.