Started by three friends almost ten years ago, The Good Egg boasts an eclectic menu from which to start your day. Spanning Tel Aviv street food to fare from the grand old cafés of New York and Montreal, the menu emphasises high-quality ingredients and sustainable produce. An ideal spot for weekend brunch, we love the sound of the babka French toast with caramelised halva, labneh and poached pear; and Montreal smoked meat hash with pastrami, smoked short-rib, fried potatoes, zhoug, pickles and two fried eggs. If you’re after a decent brunch or breakfast, Esters is another great shout. Here, the team cook a short and creative menu from scratch, inspired by produce grown by small farmers in Cambridgeshire, Sussex and Kent – the baked goods and gut-friendly drinks made with homemade vinegars are well worth a try.
The team behind Westerns Laundry and Primeur (see below) opened popular bakery Jolene in Newington Green in 2018. A bakery by day, Jolene transforms into a restaurant from Thursday to Sunday, serving up simple plates for dinner, using vegetables from Flourish farm in Cambridge, fish from day boats in Cornwall and Devon, and meat from a farming collective in North Yorkshire. Jolene now has further outposts in Shoreditch, Islington and Hornsey, and when it comes to the baked goods make sure to order one of its filled croissants, cardamon buns or lemon tarts. Having started life as a small café on Stoke Newington Church Street in 2001, The Spence added a wholesale bakery to its property portfolio in 2014, followed by a bakery in Tufnell Park. When it comes to anything bread, put the original Stoke Newington location at the top of your list. From nutty sunflower ryes to a classic white sourdough and rustic baguettes, the team knows there’s nothing better than a freshly baked loaf.
If you’re looking for a relaxed lunch, visit Primeur, an independent venture from chef David Gingell and manager Jérémie Cometto-Lingenheim, whose past employers include Mark Hix, the Bistrotheque boys, and the Galvin, Boxer and Wright brothers. A sister to Highbury’s Westerns Laundry, which is famed for its cosy atmosphere, small sharing plates and quirky wine list, Primeur’s menu is equally stripped back, with the restaurant itself occupying an old motor shop. Perilla is another beautiful yet relaxed restaurant serving a modern European menu using humble ingredients of the highest quality. The team’s evening menu changes daily and with the seasons, but both the à la carte and tasting menus are offered with vegetarian and pescatarian alternatives. Expect to sample the likes of seaweed doughnut; leek and potato rarebit; and homemade sourdough served with smoked langoustine taramasalata and burnt onion hummus. Also on Newington Green, you’ll find Cadet, headed up by Jamie Smart – previously of Brawn – who serves a menu of considered and creative French cooking. A wine bar and shop from wine importer Beattie & Roberts and charcutier George Jephson, the space only opened last summer, but has already built a loyal following. It offers wine and charcuterie to sit in or takeaway, and a cave-à-manger style kitchen with daily changing menu. Dishes could include anything from chilled cucumber and hazelnut soup; tomatoes with peaches and fennel pollen; and red current and cherry clafoutis.