If your idea of the perfect neighbourhood restaurant is a spacious and elegantly shabby corner spot serving dishes like a bull’s heart tomato with black olive and sheep’s curd, then Perilla on Newington Green is the place for you. Even if that doesn't sound like your cup of tea, you should give Perilla a go. The tomato is typical of what they do, and it’s delicious. They take their food very seriously here, and while the place does lack the kind of banter you might get in some of the more fun spots in town, it is surprisingly relaxed for a fine dining spot. Yes, you can do the £44 tasting menu with wine pairings, but you could also stop in for drink at the bar, and work your way through a doorstep of seaweed sourdough (served with braised greens and yoghurt), while nodding along to a hip-hop soundtrack.
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Trullo is the kind of neighbourhood Italian restaurant you’d find in an actual Italian neighbourhood, and the food is simply fantastic.
Dotori is a busy, cash-only neighbourhood restaurant in Finsbury Park serving excellent and inexpensive Korean, and passable Japanese food.
Want low-key cool in Highbury? Westerns Laundry is a modern wine bar & restaurant in a converted garage that does brilliant small plates.
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Earth Kitchen is an all-day restaurant in Dalston serving tasty, homely food in a very comfortable environment.
Bob Bob Ricard
Bob Bob Ricard is an excellent place to drink champagne and people watch. The French/Russian food is good, and the room is over the top lush.
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