Wood St Coffee
Wood St Coffee might be open, airy, and laid back, but these guys don't fuck around when it comes to coffee. Serving up specialty brews, courtesy of Climpson & Sons and Counter Roastery, this independent local cafe is a great shout for those who want the best-of-all-beans in their cup of Joe. Man, they're so passionate about the art of coffee making that they offer masterclasses in home-brewing and latte art. The food ain't bad either; weekend brunches are hearty and antipodean inspired, which means sourdough toasties, homemade cakes and scrumptious salads. Do yourself a favour and get involved.
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Morsi & Co
** Unpub 10th May - Perm closed ** This popular neighbourhood cafe is our top spot for freshly-ground coffee and healthy, Italian grub on that strange stretch of concrete we call Holloway Rd. The menu changes regularly but you can expect the likes of lasagne, minestrone, parmigiana, colourful salads and cakes. Lots of cakes, which are not always healthy but they taste so darn good. Also, the staff are welcoming and the prices are nice - happy days.
Hackney City Farm's charming cafe is modelled on the traditional Italian farm restaurant. Plenty of the produce used in the kitchen is produced ‘in-farm’ while everything else is locally and ethically sourced: coffee is roasted down the road and community vegetable schemes provide them with all you need to smash that '5 a day' target. Wines and oils? Straight from small-time Italian producers, just how we like it. Swing by for a tasty brunch once you've had a peep at the animals and whatnot or park up for the whole day and tackle their Sunday roast in slow-motion. Whatever tickles your fancy, it's definitely worth a butchers.
You know the coffee's going to be good at a place where the owner gave up a lucrative marketing career to perfect her brews. Maison d'etre is exactly what you want in a cafe – cosy, chilled, and the old record player filling the room with Beach Boys tunes is right on the money. It's a given that the homemade cakes and pastries are works of baking genius. There's a seriously packed menu for such a small cafe though – from coconut chia pudding with seasonal fruits, to chorizo and kimchi on sourdough.
Sourcing local and loved by locals, The Plumstead Pantry went from pop up to permanent local fixture. Its ethically-sourced ever-changing menu is sure to get your taste buds in a tizzy, like the beetroot and apple soup, the lemon sole with crushed new potato salad and sauce vierge, or the venison with bashed veg, pickled pear and juniper jus. It's also the perfect place for brunch, with slow cooked eggs, pantry beans, smashed avocados, sourdough bread, and all that healthy get-you-out-of-bed goodness. Yes it's a little more fancy than your everyday local - with prices to match - but it's definitely more scrumptious too.