There are a lot of delicious things to eat in Tottenham. For all the Sherlocks amongst us, the clue’s right there in the name. Totten-ham. Coincidence? We think not. In this part of north London you’ll find some of the best sourdough pizzas in the city, excellent Nigerian tapas, and a jerk bagel we low-key think about every 60—OK, 10—seconds. Onwards for some of the best lunch options, dinners, drinks, and park-ready snacks in the area.
Welcome to an alternative universe where David Attenborough narrates one of our bi-weekly trips to True Craft: “Here we see the young carnivore on a Saturday afternoon, tentatively crawling towards their closest watering hole. A sensitive and vulnerable animal, the hungover millennial picks up speed in its final strides towards the ultimate reward, sourdough.” Basically, True Craft on West Green Road serves seriously tasty pizzas, with vegan and gluten-free options to boot. We’re big fans of the sweet balsamic pepper and mascarpone situation, but you can’t go wrong with the ‘nduja-loaded pizza when you’re feeling a little sensitive (read: hungover).
The slogan for this little Nigerian tapas restaurant is ‘Chop, Chat, Chill’. But honestly we think it should be ‘Chop, Chat, Cheer For The Truly Magical Experience That Is Eating The Caramel Kuli Kuli Chicken’. Catchy, right? The point is, this bright, cheerful spot just north of Seven Sisters station is serving some of the best food in London right now. Our personal favourite is the tender chicken wings covered in caramel-infused kuli kuli. Think sticky, sweet, spicy goodness that pairs perfectly with their refreshing Ginger My Swagger rum cocktail. Sip, chew, sip, chew, you’ll be happy.
The Palm is Tottenham’s answer to Spain. Stop laughing, there are croquettes present. Trust us when we say that everything from the foliage to the garlic prawns make for a compelling case that you’ve high-tailed it out of London. Sit under one of the outdoor heat lamps while enjoying a little chimichurri and you might even convince yourself you’re getting a tan. Inside is perfect for a Sunday roast while watching the game on the big screen, and the intimate covered terrace is the best place in the area for a date night over tapas. Watching the locals’ dogs beg for a bite of your fried chorizo is a definite perk.
photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch
Brothers Cafe & Restaurant
The lamb shank from Brothers doesn’t need much help falling off the bone. Its proximity to the Tottenham Hotspur stadium means that collapsing is in its very DNA, but the vital difference between these two destinations in N17 is that this Somali restaurant is actually worth travelling to. The duubi and bariis, or lamb shank and rice, are both fragrantly spiced, mixing star anise, turmeric, and cinnamon with melt-in-your-mouth fat. Throwing some basbaas—a sharp Somali chilli sauce that’s fast become a favourite of ours—into the mix alongside some flatbread is a must. North London football allegiances aside, Brothers is a restaurant that should get everyone’s undying support.
Sushi Heads is a teeny, tiny Japanese shop and takeaway counter that’s hidden on Phillip Lane. When you first walk in you’ll see a couple of freezers packed with frozen dumplings, an array of bottled sauces to buy, a wall of handmade cards, and a couple of Furbys whose existence we choose not to question. Yes, you probably will spend a small fortune on Japanese cards, custard dorayaki, and chilli garlic kombu oil alongside your sushi order. But that’s just the risk you have to take. There’s everything from donburi to nigiri to choose from, but it’s the katsu ebu futomaki that we’re really into. That being said, you can’t go wrong with a classic spicy tuna roll or a little salmon sashimi either.
Everyone deserves to have a bakery as good as Uncle John’s on their road. Technically, this Ghanaian bakery in South Tottenham is on everybody’s road now, thanks to the internet and its nationwide delivery. Aside from the majestic sweet bread and addictive servings of chin chin, the glossy meat pie is our favourite thing here. After months of dedicated practice, our preferred method of eating them is by steadily picking off the glistening baked crust, then nibbling our way through the herby mince and carrot centre while lying horizontally. If you too wish to take part in some of London’s tastiest self-care, you should know that it’s open from 9am–7pm and it’s strictly a takeaway affair.
Are you quick on your feet? Do you own a Fitbit? Are you of the general opinion that opening a bottle of wine does not qualify as daily exercise? If you answered yes to any of the above, then congratulations, you’re in with an excellent chance of getting your hands on one of Perkyn’s sell-out rolls. This cool and casual bottle shop and cafe has a changing menu of delicious chunky rolls throughout the week. Although, spoiler alert, they tend to sell out by 2pm so you need to move fast. Grab one of the rolls, stuffed with things like fennel and garlic salami and Old Winchester cheese, and a couple beers or a cup of freshly ground coffee and head into Downhill’s Park. Oh and at the weekend there are St. John doughnuts and a truly magnificent beef brisket roll.
There are so many chicken shops in Tottenham but there is only one Chick King. In the shadow of the Spurs stadium, this family-run restaurant has been open for over 40 years. Three things are guaranteed here. There will be a queue, the no-nonsense owner will give you a big grin if you give him one first, and that crispy chicken skin will be second to none. Whether you opt for a classic three pieces and chips combo or the mayo-loaded chicken sandwich, it’s genuinely some of London’s best fried chicken. Minimal grease, maximum flavour. Prices are higher than your average chicken spot, but as you can tell from the queue snaking out the door, it’s worth it.
Let’s just take a moment and look at this jerk bagel. Charred dough perfection, dark pink meat, and a glistening, generous portion of sweet-meats-heat sauce. It also smells magnificent. So magnificent in fact that it’s pretty much impossible to get five steps away from this grab-and-go spot without tearing open the takeaway bag and getting started, hungry hound style. A casual place where a tenner will get you far and more importantly, full. The jerk chicken rice box is our go-to if the bagel has sold out.
With Milk is a sister act. Not the kind that involves Whoopi Goldberg and Maggie Smith in habits, but a sister act nonetheless. A great little coffee shop in Tottenham, it’s owned by two sisters with a little assistance from their adorable pet dog Tekka. Not only do they make a mean turmeric latte, there’s a changing menu of sandwiches and sweet treats that always hit the spot. Plus, there are plenty of gluten-free options and the huge croissants are, quite frankly, flaky AF.