With its village-esque feel but great transport links in to the city centre, Crouch End is a favourite North London destination for The Handbook. And its Broadway boasts some great cafes and restaurants worth venturing out for, while at the weekend, there’s a lovely farmer’s market a short stroll away in nearby Alexandra Park. Read on for our top 5:
Best for Dinner: Tootoomoo
What: Fresh pan-Asian food
Why: Tootoomoo is a laid-back shack-style restaurant serving great pan-Asian cooking. We like to start nibbling on some edamame with one of their Lychee Martinis made with fresh lychee puree, apple and vodka, before tucking into the Shaoxing crispy chicken with Japanese cracker crust, herbs, chilli oil for an extra kick and a Shaoxing vinaigrette. And they serve Brighton-based Lick frozen yogurt for dessert – go for the strawberry & elderflower flavor if you fancy a twist on the classic.
Where: 12 Crouch End Hill, N8 8AA
Best for Fresh Produce: Alexandra Park Farmers Market
What: North London’s famous farmers market
Why: Ally Pally (as it’s known to the locals) hosts this quaint little farmers market every Sunday from 10am to 3pm, and it’s still a hidden gem in comparison to the tourist-strewn Borough market. Residents from nearby Muswell Hill, Crouch End and Alexandra Palace head over with the kids or pass through while walking the dog to pick up delicious local produce such as homemade pies, smoked meats and fish, and freshly-baked cakes and biscuits. With over 30 stalls each week, there’s always something new to try and taste – it’s where The Handbook first sampled raw milk!
Where: Alexandra Palace Way, London, N22 7AY
Best for lunch: Sable D’or
What: Boutique French patisserie
Why: This small French patisserie is one of two in North London (the other is a short walk away in Muswell Hill) and offers home-made cakes and savouries in a friendly, welcoming atmosphere. From soups of the day and grand salads to savoury crepes and open sandwiches, it’s the perfect place to stop in for lunch. They also do freshly pressed juices using a range of fresh fruit and veg so you can count on your 5-a-day while you’re there, or you can indulge in one of their thick, creamy homemade milkshakes…
Where: 43 Crouch End Broadway, London, N8 8DT
Best For Cakes: Dunn’s Bakery
What: A fifth generation bakery
Why: Dunn’s is a local family-run bakery that goes back through five generations of Master Bakers. Owner Christopher Freeman carries on his family’s business, which first opened in 1827 on Highgate Hill. They only use the finest and freshest ingredients to make a range of comforting baked goods, including buns, cream cakes and The Handbook’s favourite – the cronut (that’s the lovechild ofa croissant and a donut). They also make amazing wedding and celebration cakes so are a great go-to for special occasions.
Where: 6 The Broadway, Crouch End, N8 9SN
Best For Beer: Earl Haig Hall
What: An ex-British legion, social club turned pub
Why: With a vintage, quirky homely feel the Earl Haig Hall might not seem like your average pub, but who wants average? Originally a British legion social club, it reopened as a pub in 2013, keeping many of the original features. They have a strong focus on real ales, local beers and national beers as well as a strong wine list. They’re known for their Sunday roasts and each night they have something different going on, from tai chi to cabaret and drawing classes. We’re glad it’s not like every other pub.
Where: 18 Elder Avenue, N8 9TH