Whether you’re after a good old-fashioned fry-up, a vegan feast or a variation on smashed avocados, Stoke Newington has some of the capital’s best brunch spots.
The See you in Stokey team has been checking them out (all in the name of research) – from the understated but brilliant La Duchesse and Jeremy Corbyn’s favourite (Acoustic) to Leaf and Wild (the new kids on the Stokey block).
What stands these independent cafes and restaurants apart from big chains is that they’re run by real foodies, who care passionately about their work and who play an active role in community life.
Here, in no particular order, are some of our favourites:
La Duchesse, 10 Stoke Newington Church St
This is one of Stoke Newington’s best kept secrets. It might not market itself like some of the area’s better-known restaurants but La Duchesse serves delicious, good value food and it’s loved by locals.
Their croissants are wonderful (they have vegan ones too) – the best we’ve tasted outside of France. They offer a good selection of brunches (try their Shakshuka) and have delicious smoothies and juice blends. We eat here often and never been disappointed!
Acoustic, 97 Stoke Newington Church St
There’s a reason this place is constantly busy! The portions are big, it’s always yummy and they offer a bottomless brunch (90 minutes of food and Prosecco). As well a traditional English breakfast and veggie version (featuring haloumi and harissa spinach borani), the menu includes the legendary Acoustic special (avocado, tomatoes, mushrooms with garlic and thyme, poached eggs and homemade bread).
If people-watching is your thing, bag yourself a seat outside.
Leaf and Wild, 170 Stoke Newington High St
Sourdough toast features heavily on the menu here and there are plenty of brunch options to suit all tastes and dietary requirements. We love their Lebanese style Aubergine Shakshuka (aubergine, tomato sauce, shallots, baked eggs and feta cheese). Among the veggie choices are scrambled turmeric tofu and for vegans there’s sweet potato and beetroot rosti.
The coffee (Climpson & Sons) is also fabulous! Leaf and Wild started life in San Francisco – we’re glad they’ve discovered Stokey!
Joseph’s, 137 Stoke Newington High St
If you like your breakfasts to down to earth (think bacon, sausage, egg, white toast and beans), this old-style cafe is worth a visit. This community café serves a good selection of English and Turkish food. It might not look as slick as other neighbourhood cafes but there’s a friendly east-end vibe to this place.
The Good Egg, 93 Stoke Newington Church St
Fluffy pita stuffed so much that it’s spilling out with tahini, amba, zhoug, dak dak, egg, pickles and fried aubergine. Ok, I’ll be honest – I don’t know what’s actually in it but this is by far my favourite dish at The Good Egg. It’s tricky to eat without making a mess but don’t let that stop you!
This place has mastered the art of brunch and there’s often a queue to get in.
If your tooth is sweeter than savoury, we recommend their chocolate babka!
The food here is inspired by the flavours of the Middle East, with a nod to the cuisine of Tel Aviv’s street-food stalls and the fare sold in classic Jewish delis.
Esters, 55 Kynaston Road
Tucked away on a largely residential street, Esters has a loyal following of locals who seek out good coffee and exciting flavours.
The ingredients are fresh, seasonal and pretty local and the menu is small but creative, with everything cooked from scratch. There’s a little garden out the back. Recent dishes include meatballs with a soft egg, creamed parsley root, spigariello, hazelnut and focaccia. This place gets rave reviews.
215, 215 Stoke Newington High St
The guys behind this gorgeous café define kindness. In addition to donating 20% of their profits to War Child, throughout the pandemic they delivered thousands of meals to NHS workers and local people in need. They serve a ‘Hackney Feast’ (a full English with a Middle Eastern touch) and have some amazing Middle Eastern dishes (including the Jerusalem: Feta, homemade hummus, babaganoush, boiled organic eggs, tahini yogurt, nocellara olives and organic walnut dak dak salad with homemade pitta).
The Blue Legume, 101 Stoke Newington Church St
It’s worth booking at this local restaurant – they serve an impressive pancake stack with bacon and maple syrup as well as more traditional breakfast options and the mandatory smashed avocado. Locals love this place.
The Green Room Café, 113 Stoke Newington Church St
The garden of this lovely café is stunning – it’s a secret gem!
Run by a husband-and-wife Oya and Errol Adem, The Green Room Café offers a broad menu of brunch options from any kind of eggs to shakshuka to pancakes or homemade granola. You could happily while away a morning here.
The Parlour Bistro, 167 Stoke Newington Church St
These guys make the BEST breakfast burritos (creamy scrambled egg, chorizo, onion, sour cream, salsa, crushed avocado and cheddar in a tortilla wrap. Their eggs benedict is also fabulous. Expect good, hearty food for a fair price and really nice Turkish coffee!