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London’s most interesting restaurants of 2018: Etles in Walthamstow
Etles’ Uyghur food is coming to Finchley Road this weekend
Andrew Leitch/Eater London

Where to Eat When Canvassing in Finchley and Golders Green

From Iranian and Jewish sandwiches to some of London’s very best Japanese and Chinese food

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Etles’ Uyghur food is coming to Finchley Road this weekend
| Andrew Leitch/Eater London

The bulk of Finchley and Golders Green used to be solidly blue, returning Margaret Thatcher majority after majority ever since she took up the seat in 1959. After the boundary changes in 1992 the seat has acted as a bellwether to judge the mood of the nation: Labour in 1997 and Conservative in 2010. In 2019, unusually, three parties have a chance of taking the seat, meaning canvassers are out in force. Luckily it also has some of the best food options of any constituency in London: from Iranian and Jewish sandwiches to some of London’s best Japanese and Chinese food.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

Gokyuzu Restaurant Finchley

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Lads it’s Gokyuzu

Caspian Lounge

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Another Tehrani sandwich shop called Caspian (the other is in Ealing), this takeaway specialises in Iranian pizza and subs. Skip the pizzas and stick to exceptional sandwiches full of delicious wobbly things like livers, tongue, beef salami, and brains.

Izakaya Japan

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Bar Mayfair, no area has such a concentration of Japanese restaurants as Finchley (which is where many of the community live). Izakaya is not an izakaya exactly but one of the best spots for sashimi, yakitori, and katsu kari. A good all rounder.

Atariya Foods Golders Green

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Maybe the strangest location of all the Atariyas, this outpost by the North Circular looks like a produce shop from the outside (and is), but it is also possible to sit down at the bar and eat good sushi at a discount price. 

The Salt Beef Bar

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A mix of Greek Cypriot owners and Ashkenazi Jewish traditions have kept this small cafe alive for the past couple decades, quietly serving some of the best salt beef in the city. Get a mix of salt beef and tongue, and don’t forget to order a latke on the side to untraditionally insert inside it. 

Just about the best falafel in London, so herby the insides look like emeralds, with hot crusts that crack on teeth. Don’t miss the sabich as hefty as cannon balls, fluffy pitta soaking up freshly fried aubergine, hard boiled eggs, hummus, chilli sauce, mango pickle, and chips. Vegetarian only, except for when the Sabbo boys cook their Moroccan grandmothers fish recipes on weekends.

Hummus Bar

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One of the new wave kosher restaurants, like the new wave halal cafes in other parts of London Hummus Bar repackages the traditional into a fun, bright space, and genre-hopping menu that appeals to the whole family. Choose between sandwiches, burgers, baos, small plates, big plates and, of course hummus. 

Cafe Japan

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Recently taken over by fish wholesaler Atariya, Cafe Japan is now an open secret among London’s sushi obsessives as one of the best in the game (Andy Hayler even giving it that coveted 14/20 rating). Try to sit at the counter and get omakase for a parade of thoughtfully prepared sushi of the chef’s choosing.

Sun of China

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In the former Local Friends location, Sun of China is carrying on the Golders Green Hunan tradition, saving one side of its menu for slowly braised Chairman Mao’s pork with buttery fat, or dry wok dishes of brisket, tripe and tongue. 

Reindeer Cafe

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Tucked inside the Cricklewood Wing Yip, Reindeer Cafe is a very Hong Kong daipaidong, of the type that is dying out in Chinatown. Many dishes exceed what is available in Soho, particularly the clarity of an excellent wonton soup, bobbing with fat prawn-sweet dumplings. It’s also a chance to grab some of the more unfashionable HK dishes, like cha chaan teng-style macaroni breakfasts with ham or sausage, or the simple textural pleasure of a bowl of curry soup filled with fish balls, pork rinds and turnip.

Etles Uyghur Restaurant

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Yes, that Etles. Now taking over when Karvon Uyghur used to be, this second branch of the Walthamstow restaurant will open this Friday with a 20 percent discount on food. Those looking for a ganban chaomian fix or steaming large plates of da pan ji can now come straight to Finchley Road.

Gokyuzu Restaurant Finchley

Lads it’s Gokyuzu

Caspian Lounge

Another Tehrani sandwich shop called Caspian (the other is in Ealing), this takeaway specialises in Iranian pizza and subs. Skip the pizzas and stick to exceptional sandwiches full of delicious wobbly things like livers, tongue, beef salami, and brains.

Izakaya Japan

Bar Mayfair, no area has such a concentration of Japanese restaurants as Finchley (which is where many of the community live). Izakaya is not an izakaya exactly but one of the best spots for sashimi, yakitori, and katsu kari. A good all rounder.

Atariya Foods Golders Green

Maybe the strangest location of all the Atariyas, this outpost by the North Circular looks like a produce shop from the outside (and is), but it is also possible to sit down at the bar and eat good sushi at a discount price. 

The Salt Beef Bar

A mix of Greek Cypriot owners and Ashkenazi Jewish traditions have kept this small cafe alive for the past couple decades, quietly serving some of the best salt beef in the city. Get a mix of salt beef and tongue, and don’t forget to order a latke on the side to untraditionally insert inside it. 

Balady

Just about the best falafel in London, so herby the insides look like emeralds, with hot crusts that crack on teeth. Don’t miss the sabich as hefty as cannon balls, fluffy pitta soaking up freshly fried aubergine, hard boiled eggs, hummus, chilli sauce, mango pickle, and chips. Vegetarian only, except for when the Sabbo boys cook their Moroccan grandmothers fish recipes on weekends.

Hummus Bar

One of the new wave kosher restaurants, like the new wave halal cafes in other parts of London Hummus Bar repackages the traditional into a fun, bright space, and genre-hopping menu that appeals to the whole family. Choose between sandwiches, burgers, baos, small plates, big plates and, of course hummus. 

Cafe Japan

Recently taken over by fish wholesaler Atariya, Cafe Japan is now an open secret among London’s sushi obsessives as one of the best in the game (Andy Hayler even giving it that coveted 14/20 rating). Try to sit at the counter and get omakase for a parade of thoughtfully prepared sushi of the chef’s choosing.

Sun of China

In the former Local Friends location, Sun of China is carrying on the Golders Green Hunan tradition, saving one side of its menu for slowly braised Chairman Mao’s pork with buttery fat, or dry wok dishes of brisket, tripe and tongue. 

Reindeer Cafe

Tucked inside the Cricklewood Wing Yip, Reindeer Cafe is a very Hong Kong daipaidong, of the type that is dying out in Chinatown. Many dishes exceed what is available in Soho, particularly the clarity of an excellent wonton soup, bobbing with fat prawn-sweet dumplings. It’s also a chance to grab some of the more unfashionable HK dishes, like cha chaan teng-style macaroni breakfasts with ham or sausage, or the simple textural pleasure of a bowl of curry soup filled with fish balls, pork rinds and turnip.

Etles Uyghur Restaurant

Yes, that Etles. Now taking over when Karvon Uyghur used to be, this second branch of the Walthamstow restaurant will open this Friday with a 20 percent discount on food. Those looking for a ganban chaomian fix or steaming large plates of da pan ji can now come straight to Finchley Road.

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