As one of London’s most multicultural neighbourhoods, Finsbury Park is blessed with an eclectic dining scene. Whether you fancy sushi, spaghetti or a giant gourmet sandwich, read on for the best places to grab a bite in the area, from breakfast through to dinner.
As its name suggests, Blighty Cafe is a celebration of all things British and the Commonwealth. Inside its retro interior, it serves spins on the full English – including the Canadian with pancakes, lots of maple syrup and bacon – along with Indian dishes in the evening. A homely, community-driven vibe is the real draw at Blighty, with friendly baristas greeting you the moment you walk through the door. Meanwhile, settling down in the upstairs lounge feels like hanging out in a mate’s living room (if your mate owned a life-size artificial bulldog, that is). There’s also a lovely outdoor seating area, a great selection of cakes and sourdough bread baked fresh every morning.
Fink’s Salt and Sweet is a deli and café that stays open late on the weekends to serve wine and dinner. Large windows flood the beautifully decorated mezzanine-style dining area with sunlight, and on sunny days, the tables out front attract groups of friends and families on their way to Clissold Park or the Sylvanian Families shop next door. The café’s brunch menu has tasty options such as the brunch board, while the evening menu offers dishes like the thick-cut smoked salmon with pickles and caper cream cheese on rye.
On Finsbury Park’s Blackstock Road is the second branch of London’s friendly neighbourhood pizzeria chain, Yard Sale Pizza. Known for its delicious stone-baked pies, unlikely flavour combinations and punny pizza names – its courgette-based pizza is called ‘Cour Blimey’, for example – this 28-seat restaurant is the perfect spot for pizza lovers.
The self-proclaimed Kant of Sandwiches, Max Halley, runs Max’s Sandwich Shop – a must-visit when in Finsbury Park. He has made a name for himself with his gargantuan sarnies served in brown paper. The menu changes often, depending on whatever brilliant concoction Max comes up with – recent creations include a take on the caesar salad, croutons and all. What makes this sandwich shop stand out is Max himself – a friendly guy who might join you for a drink and a chat.
If it weren’t for the crowd of people waiting for a table outside, you’d be forgiven for walking straight past Dotori, a small Japanese-Korean fusion restaurant next door to Finsbury Park station. It’s cash-only and a little cramped, but worth it. From bentos and bibimbaps to sushi and stir-fries, the variety and quality of dishes served up at this neighbourhood favourite are unbeatable.
Minted Lounge is Finsbury Park’s flagship Italian restaurant, where you can watch the comings and goings of Blackstock Road as you slurp up steaming plates of spaghetti or chow down on cheesy garlic bread. Alongside pizza and pasta, there are delicious classics such as mushroom risotto, chicken milanese and beef carpaccio. The seafood here is particularly fresh – make sure you try the mussels.
From BYOB Indian restaurants to sandwich shops, Stroud Green Road boasts dozens of places to eat, but this tapas joint bringing Spanish flavours to North London deserves a special shout-out. It’s not only a delightful space to eat, all wood panels and warm lighting, but each of its small dishes is perfectly cooked and bursting with flavour. From juicy meatballs and punchy sauce to crispy manchego cheese fritters, there’s not a hair out of place here. Go with a group (it is tapas, after all) so that you can sample as many plates as possible.