The Finsbury Park area’s food scene has experienced an explosion in the last few years, thanks to everything from improved transport links to the fact that it’s walking distance to one of the greatest teams the world has ever seen. Along a half-mile stretch that runs up towards Crouch Hill station, there’s a truly global array of options, with a mixture of decades-old mainstays and exciting new kids on the block all along Stroud Green Road.Read More
15 Superb Restaurants on Stroud Green Road
Melt-in-the-mouth dosas, Japanese-Korean fusion cooking, kebabs to rival Green Lanes, and more
1. Max's Sandwich Shop
Max Halley’s sandwiches are basically what, in any other establishment, could be referred to as “meals”, wedged between two slices of focaccia: never sourdough. The ham, egg ‘n’ chips is a natural London favourite, but with a line-up featuring the likes of tikka mutton with toasted mustard seeds, pickles and yoghurt, it’s hard to pick a winner.
2. The Old Dairy
From fish and chips to shepherd’s pie and scampi, the menu at this welcoming pub is as British as bunting, football and mild Saturdays spent watching rugby. On Sundays, roast half chickens, beef and pork — as well as a butternut squash wellington for meat abstainers — are served in a moat of gravy, much to the delight of those who’ve had a heavy night in the area the night before. A fine selection of regional English ales, ciders and such mean the weekend really doesn’t have to end until late Sunday.
3. Jai Krishna
London N4 3PZ, UK
Jai Krisha proudly champions the food of south India. Wafer-thin rice dosa wraps paired with fruit chutneys and bhajis make great addition to the the myriad vegetable and pulse-based curries; there’s very little meat. Look out, too, for paneer loaded with flavour, and avial, a simmered vegetable dish cooked with chilli, coconut and yogurt.
4. Yak & Yeti
Advertised as an Indian and Nepalese restaurant, it almost feels as though here Indian food is the well known, established anchor used to introduce Londoners to a rare glimpse of what its lesser-known neighbour has to offer. The starters of Nepalese momo, a popular regional street food, are a hit right off the bat, as steamed, pancake-wrapped or fried meat or vegetables. In the mains section familiar favourites share space with several sizzling Nepalese-spiced jhaneka kura haru dishes.
5. Pizzeria Pappagone
It’s celebrating two decades in north London, and Pizzeria Pappagone’s popularity shows no signs of waning. Championing wood-fired pizza long before it became cool, it’s stuck to its founding principles, serving a vast array of Italian favourites, plus pasta, superlative gnocchi and fritto misto.
6. The Chippy Fish & Chips
For a generation raised on gourmet burger joints and street food, a visit to this excellent fish-and-chips shop will be an educational experience, complete with saveloys. Alongside the immaculately battered classics, however (cod, haddock and plaice) are the likes of squid, king-prawn tempura and grilled halloumi, plus seafood linguine.
7. Cafe Mexicali
There might not be another fusion in the world as pervasive as the culinary middle ground between the USA and its southern neighbour Mexico. Head here to sample it: think fajitas filled with beef and chillies with sides of guacamole, liberally cheese-covered grilled corn enchilada wraps stuffed with the same, or even deep fried burrito chimichangas. These are familiar comforts, but no less enjoyable for it.
8. Granny's Caribbean
London N4 3SG, UK
Starting life a few miles east in Clapton more than thirty years ago, Granny’s will ring bells for the older generation of Caribbean Londoners. From jerk chicken and curry goat to oxtail and brown stew chicken, it serves up the full gamut of island classics throughout the week. In addition to this, all the street food favourites are plentiful: yam chunks, fried sweet banana plantain, sweet fried festival dumplings, roti flatbread wraps and much more.
9. Petek Restaurant
London N4 3EN, UK
While delicacies like koftes and falafels from Turkey and the Mediterranean are a dime a dozen just a few miles east toward Newington Green and Stoke Newington, here in Stroud Green that isn’t the case. Petek, happily, is the exception to the rule. Standouts include fried calamari, roast vegetables and the sucuk izgara, spicy beef sausages, all served tapas-style to share.
10. Cats Cafe des Artistes Thai Restaurant
Open for more than 25 years, “Cats” is a Finsbury Park legend. While the set menus provide an easy primer to this brand of Thai food, it’s better to take a dive into the main menu. Dishes come in differing levels of spice, with the hottest not recommended to anyone but true chilli savants. Standouts include the volcano chicken and the sizzling beef platter, both sent out to tables with much fanfare.
11. Boulangerie Bon Matin
Since opening in 2010, this French bakery’s sumptuous window displays have raised baby pushchair congestion around Stroud Green to new heights. It combines staples of crepes, ciabatta sandwiches and brunch choices with a rotating array of sweet treats and savoury bowls; it feels like there’s something different on every visit. Good luck getting a seat on the weekend.
12. Q&T Vietnamese Kitchen
Q&T wasn’t the first Vietnamese restaurant in the area, but it’s emerged as a favourite on the high road. There’s a vast offering of light, fresh and fragrant meat, fish and vegetable dishes laden with the likes of lemongrass and pak choi, but the pack leader, without question, is the beef phở.
13. La Fabrica
Transporting the warm summer nights of Catalonia to north London, La Fabrica’s elegant take on the Spanish finger food has proved an instant hit with a new generation in the area. Imported chorizo, pork, sirloin and more are smoked, grilled, seared, slow-cooked and partnered with a kaleidoscope of sauces, salads, and even chilli chocolate. The wine list is impressive yet accessible, and thoughtfully chosen.
14. Roti Joupa Finsbury Park
While Granny’s has a host of island favourites, for those hailing from Trinidad & Tobago, this isn’t quite sufficient. Luckily, the South London stalwart Roti Joupa decided to try its luck north of the river. Flaky chickpea-stuffed dahl puri flatbread roti, and oily bussup shot wraps are laden with a selection of classic fillings, from curried goat to potato based channa curry, callaloo greens and pumpkin mash.
Japanese and Korean culinary traditions meet here. Sushi platters and bento boxes, tempura and teriyaki salmon find themselves side by side with crispy, spicy Korean fried chicken and classic kimchi kigae stew. It somehow works, and makes for a wonderful outing.