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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Linden Stores is a wine bar and small plates spot near Highbury Corner, and it’s really quite nice.
Mountgrove Bothy is a relaxed wine bar in Highbury serving market-fresh snacks in the week, and hosting pop-ups in the kitchen at the weekend.
Farang is a long term pop-up Thai restaurant in Highbury with excellent curries and a whole seabass that’ll make you happy.
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Llewelyn’s is a charming neighbourhood spot serving seasonal food to the people of Herne Hill.
Two Lights is the Shoreditch restaurant an algorithm might design. It doesn’t quite add up, but, if you use it in the right way, it’s a good bet.
Pollen Street Social
Pollen Street Social is an excellent fine dining spot in Mayfair, but it feels like the kind of restaurant you want to go to all the time.
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