A Guide to Tottenham
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If you believe the rumours, Tottenham is in the process of irreversibly morphing into Dalston - something that seems to scare the shit out of locals eager to keep those community vibes strong and high-rise flats absent.
This is a bustling multicultural blur of hustle: where some 200 languages fill the air; where industrial warehouses dominate the landscape; where venues still have a 4am licence (!). It's rough around the edges, but it's got hella heart - so come with us on our tour of Tottenaam.
Best for... escaping to South America
Stepping into Seven Sisters Market is straight up escapism: a trip to a vibrant community hub in Colombia, where South American locals meet to eat, drink, chat and chill at all times of day. In this shabby maze there are over 100 Latin American traders offering services of all kinds - we'd recommend grabbing some sweet, strong Colombian coffee and chomping down on a filling £1 beef empanada from Pueblito Paisa.
Best for... a cafe with some extras
Once you wipe the dust from your eyes - a hazard in this industrial patch - you'll stumble upon Craving Coffee: a calming cafe where sunlight pours in from the south-facing windows basking the white tiles, soft woods and greenery in a satisfying glow. The coffee is naturally top notch, but their kitchen also creates stuff to be sampled, and with supper clubs, events and exhibitions popping up, this has rapidly become a local hotspot.
Best for... pizza where you weren't expecting it
Find the right street and press the right buzzer and you'll land in the capable, flour-covered hands of Fabrizio - a chef who started whipping up his pizzas from his back yard. His famous pizza parties, created with his wife Kate, got so damn popular that they're now doing it in a chic space on the first floor of an office block. Those with the inside tip rate these as the best pizzas in Tottenham: simple Neapolitan pies that are heavy on toppings and heavier on flavour.
Best for... whatever you fancy
Five Miles is a jumping jack of all trades: a bar, cafe, brewery, restaurant and club spot all living inside a cavernous warehouse with minimalist interiors and a dope sound system. Depending on your mood, you can do a spot of remote working; tuck into some fried chicken; sip on an ale from their in-house brewery; and shake it until the early hours (4am) at one of their nice club nights. A destination, baby.
Best for... a cheap eat gem
In the Bernie Grant Arts Centre you'll find a colourful neighbourhood spot to warm the heart and the belly. Set up by Gina, who has won awards for helping disadvantaged youths, locals from all walks chill amidst the natural light, greenery and vibrant geometric decor. But don't come here without getting full - the jerk chicken with rice, peas and 'slaw is frickin' dope. The perfect level of spice and the perfect level of price, at just £6 for a big ol' plate.
Best for... a true community boozer
Heart-warming tales are a bit of a theme in Tottenham and here's another - a Georgian pub dating all the way back to 1822, saved from developer destruction in 2013 by 360 locals. It's the beating heart of the area, hosting music, karaoke and quiz nights whilst also serving underprivileged and homeless people a hot meal every two weeks. It also gets live-o when Spurs are playing.
Best for... working up a sweat
Maybe another bouldering and yoga space doesn't excite you that much... until we tell you that this is London's biggest bouldering centre! Here you'll find hundreds of bouldering problems but also plenty of places to hang about in and talk about whatever is on your mind - we suggest bouldering related topics to avoid looking like a fraud.
Best for... healthy living
Tri Prana is the type of healthy and holistic nook that you can almost hear your body thanking you for visiting the moment you walk in. During the day it's a sleepy cafe that serves up decent and affordable vegan smoothies, toasted sandwiches, buddha salad bowls and rotis with vegetarian curries. In the evening, it turns into a yoga space. Correct us if we're wrong, but that's the wellness dream if ever we saw it.
Best for... going wild
Here we have a real shape-shifter: a raucous venue capable of hosting gigs, summer day parties and weird and wonderful productions. You never really know what you'll get here and we're into it. Taking advantage of a late licence, this place really kicks off come weekend evenings, and there's also a very nice outdoor area with a water feature/pond thing/thermal bath depending on how you see the world.
Best for... friendly pints
Everything about this rough-and-ready boozer has us getting a little misty eyed, harking back to a time we're legally obliged to call 'the good old days'. A big block of a building with distinctive green and yellow paint on the outside, Mannions Prince Arthur is an Irish pub from a time when the Irish lived large in Tottenham. It's a very friendly, no-frills joint - the kind of place where the slightly dated decor only adds to its charm.
Best for... bargain sweet treats
After some considerable hustle, John and Emilia Mensah's Ghanaian sweet bread empire is booming and this is their busy HQ. Using the secret family recipe, the results are subtly flavoured baked goods that are expertly spiced without being too sweet or sickly. Stop by to lay your hands on savoury pies, soft-to-the-touch breads or doughnuts - and then tell everyone you know about what a bargain it was.
Best for... walks on the wild side
It might be called Walthamstow but it's very close to Tottenham so we're having it. This is a tranquil wildlife oasis ideal for a little bird watching, angling or just casual strolling. The green and blue landscapes are occasionally interrupted by electricity pylons and views of industrial warehouses, but this is Tottenham, where urban grit is all part of the package.