clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Five Restaurants to Try this Weekend

Including Neapolitan-style pizza in Camberwell, fine Austrian wines in Dalston and a full-on cheese bar in Camden

Sourdough pizza with tomato, mozzarella, basil, and ‘nduja sausage at Theo’s Pizzeria in Camberwell, one of the best restaurants in Camberwell, south London
Theo’s Pizza
Ed Smith/rocketandsquash

Theo’s Pizzeria

Once upon a time, fans of blistered crusts, floppy middles, soggy bottoms and minimal but flavourful toppings had to search far and wide for a decent Neapolitan pizza in London (i.e. go to Ealing.) Now this style of slice is everywhere (rumour has it Franco Manca will soon be opening its one thousandth site.) No need to slide too far from the front door this weekend, then? Well, to find the best depends on where you live. Despite sharing so few ingredients, not all pizzas are created equal; and some of the very most pleasing are pulled from Theo’s wood-fired oven in Camberwell. The sourdough bases have more character than most, the tomato sauce is aways striking, and mozzarella reliably fresh and milky. Toppings change regularly, but the classics are generally covered. Decent, succinct list of cocktails, beer and wine too. —Ed Smith
2 Grove Lane, SE5 8SY

Vinarius

Bacchus is alive and well on Roman Road near Victoria Park, and has found a home at Vinarius. And thank all the gods, for it’s the ideal spot to defrost this weekend. Though very much a wine store (run by convivial duo, Philippe and Eugenio), the enoteca — ever reliable for charcuterie and cheese — has a new chef in River Cafe alumnus Sophie Downer. The menu still focusses primarily on cold things, including Maldon oysters, Downer’s home-cured bresaola and just-baked focaccia, and features one hot dish — always just one, and rumoured to be lamb shoulder this weekend — so be prepared to double down on cheese if not a fan of the ovine; ‘tis not the season to restaurant hop. —Suze Olbrich
536 Roman Road, E3 5ES

Fink’s Salt and Sweet

All-day, neighbourhood and in the orbit of Stoke Newington, it’d be easy to apply lazy paradigms to this wonderful restaurant. The wheel will not be reinvented here, but it’s also a place where each and every aspect — food, drink, hospitality — is genuine and generous in equal measure. So, there is avocado toast, but it comes with rose harissa and yielding goats cheese; there are toasties, but The Fondue comes with ham, emmental, house béchamel and a white wine sauce. Come the evening, small plate staples rub shoulders with two more distinctive choices. Gribenes is a chicken crackling and sticky onion affair that makes “schmaltz by-product” a welcome rather than disarming phrase; Roadkill Potatoes are roasted, flattened, and doused in a slick of Pernod butter. In the spirit of ingenious comfort, pair with either a classic Picpoul de Pinet (sustainably made) or an inky, juicy Montepulciano (from Southern Australia, rather than Italy.)
James Hansen
70 Mountgrove Rd, N5 2LT

The Cheese Bar

Yes, it’s in the Stables, a septum piercing’s throw from Cyberdog. Yes, the marble counter-tops were made for ‘gramming. And yes, restaurants themed around single ingredients (naming no names, cough, Avobar) are too often irredeemably basic. But look, it’s perishing out there. And the only solution to this intense cold, to borrow a phrase from Withnail, is cheese. The Cheese Bar’s exemplary fondue is currently available all day, every day (it used to just be a bookable special) — supplement it with a Cropwell Bishop toastie, a haggis and Ogleshield Scotch egg or some truffled Baron Bigod with pickled walnuts. Heartening are the number of cheeses on the menu made not just in the UK but right here in London, like burrata from La Latteria in Acton and Gringo Dairy’s Queso Chihuahua, made by Kristen Schnepp in Peckham. Beware, though, of the mischievous sommelier; one man’s “light red” is another’s general anaesthetic. —Emma Hughes
Unit 93, 94 Camden Stables, NW1 8AP

Newcomer Wines

A popped champagne cork from Dalston Junction, this wine shop and bar feels like a sanctuary from the city’s bustle even when it isn’t actively blizzarding outside. There’s plenty to buy by the bottle — most of it produced in Austria, though there are a few other interesting Europeans on show too. Selections by the glass change regularly, and are always thought-provoking, even in a London that’s growing increasingly accustomed to minimal intervention and / or natural stuff. There’s a short but appealing menu of snacks, so there’s plenty of potential to pull up a stool at the bar and make a night of it — but with Little Duck, Mangal 2, Furanxo and Weino Bib all mere minutes away, there’s also an argument to be made that this represents an excellent starting point for one of London’s best food crawls. —George Reynolds
5 Dalston Lane, E8 3DF

Mangal 2

4 Stoke Newington Rd, London, Greater London N16 7XN +44 20 7254 7888 Visit Website

Furanxo

85 Dalston Lane, , England E8 2NG 020 7686 8027 Visit Website

Newcomer Wines

5 Dalston Lane, , England E8 3DE Visit Website

Franco Manca

20 The Broadway, , England SW19 1RE 020 8947 4368 Visit Website

The Cheese Bar

Chalk Farm Road, , England NW1 8AH 020 7428 6441 Visit Website

Fink's Salt and Sweet

70 Mountgrove Road, , England N5 2LT 020 7684 7189 Visit Website

Avobar

23 - 24 Henrietta Street, LONDON , WC2E 8ND Visit Website

Vinarius

536 Roman Road, London, Greater London E3 5ES +44 20 3302 0123 Visit Website

Mere

74 Charlotte Street, London, W1T 4QH Visit Website

Lamb

94 Lamb's Conduit Street, , England WC1N 3LZ 020 7405 0713 Visit Website

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Eater London newsletter

The freshest news from the local food world