One of London’s oddest boroughs, Chipping Barnet doesn’t just border the countryside but has a whole enclave of it right in the middle where the maps simply just disappear. This is London’s true suburbia, and that there are about 10 Italian restaurants per person with almost no Italian population says everything you need to know about Barnet’s conservative tastes. But conservative tastes are changing. Chipping Barnet has been blue ever since it’s inception but in 2017 Labour got within 400 votes of taking it. With a canvassing push this election it may well go red for the first time in its history. For those pummelling the long roads of Barnet, here’s where to stop off for some sustenance.Read More
Where to Eat When Canvassing in Chipping Barnet
An outpost of a world-famous pizza specialist, plentiful mixed grill platters, a Chinese-Malay hidden gem, and more
Languishing up in Hadley’s Wood, Thymari is the furthest point of the great Greek exodus north west from Camden and Palmers Green. Here Christine and Paul specialise in meat and seafood grills as well as twists on long-braised dishes such as kleftico in a root vegetable mash. Whatever the order made sure to finish on sweet balls of loukoumades which are made to order.
2. L'Antica Pizzeria
One of London’s essential pizzerias has an outpost here up in High Barnet where the owners of Hampstead’s L’Antica are introducing slow fermented dough and wet Neopolitan style pizzas to an area fed a diet of British-Italian. Like the original all the pizzas are named after famous Italians and Ninja Turtles: Donatello, Raphael and Sofia Loren.
3. Souvlike It
No version of souvlaki is left unmade at this grilled meat specialist in High Barnet. Get shaved gyros or chunks of meat in pita (with chips), the lesser seen skepasti which uses two pitas to form a disc sandwich (with chips), the Philadelphia bifteki, a beef sausage oozing soft cheese (with chips) or just a huge mixed grill platter with lots of pita (and chips).
4. Ci Vediamo Li
Direct and hearty Tuscan cooking is the draw at this old school New Barnet Italian which translates as “See you There”. There’s a bold use of heavy flavours throughout the menu: from tortellini filled with wild boar, to spaghetti cooked simply with red wine and a monkfish/gorgonzola dish that might alarm fish/cheese purists from other parts of Italy.
5. Bún 24
Barnet EN4 0DW, UK
One to add to the rule that the best Vietnamese restaurants always have numbers in their name. There is a Chinese menu here but stick to the Vietnamese side with herbal bowls of pho, Hanoi bun cha and a very decent bun bo hue with pink half moons of sausage.
6. Rice Terrace
New Parade in Barnet boasts Rice Terrace, which is slowly establishing itself as the area’s best Thai restaurant (admittedly with little competition). Stir fried dishes are done particularly well, from a pad thai that has the required bounce and elasticity, to Pad Kee Mao Talay, a ho fun stir fry full of huge prawns and mussels.
7. Chu Chin Chow
In the middle of nowhere, Chu Chin Chow is Oakleigh Park’s hidden gem - a genuinely great Chinese-Malay restaurant. Come on weekends and find locals taking advantage of one of London’s only good all you can eat buffets with freshly cooked dishes, but people partially in the know come here for their char kuay teow, mee goreng and rendang.
Surely named after the Mesopotamian city where Jonah was resident before he became ensconced in the belly of a whale, Ninova is a Turkish restaurant of huge behaviour — a cavernous space with paintings and cameos all of the dining room. The menu holds no surprises — it’s big grills or go home.
9. MERAKI GRILL
Right next to Southgate’s Brunswick Park, Meraki Grill is yet another great Cypriot restaurant hidden in the depths of north London’s outer boroughs. The draw here for Cypriots who care about meat and fish is the quality and size of the cuts Meraki use — best come as a group and demolish whole tomahawk steaks or turbots served on the bone.
10. Angelo's Italian Eating Place
Every person who grew up in Whetsone was taken to Al Fresco or Angelo’s as a child where their love of British-Italian food was cultivated. Angelo’s is like a cosier, less raucous Ciao Bella, a restaurant of the Primi-Pizza-Pasta-Pesce-Carne-Dolce variety where the chequered table cloths match the curtains. It may be a time warp completely immune to trends but it’s an enjoyable one nonetheless.
11. Da Franco Ristorante Italiano
London N11 3DA, UK
Doorstep pounders near Clown Town (Barnet) trying to get a candidate elected to Clown Town (Westminster) could do no better than stopping off at Da Franco which has been there for 40 years and shows no sign of decline or changing anything about their formula that clearly works. Hearty no nonsense pastas, a dover sole or a tranche or calves liver and a glass of red wine and that’s a perfect post canvass dinner.