Palmers Green is often nicknamed ‘Palmers Greek’ or ‘Little Cyprus’ because of the many Greek, Cypriot and Turkish immigrants who have made this bustling enclave of north London their home. Those who venture beyond the city center will be rewarded by an array of authentic Mediterranean restaurants, though a wider diversity of cafes and cuisines is beginning to appear in the area too.
For those in search of top-quality Mediterranean food, Palmers Green is THE place. While a bit off the typical tourist trail, it is easily accessible: a train from Old Street to Palmers Green station will deliver you in less than 20 minutes into the heart of this lively, down-to-earth multicultural hub. An assortment of wonderful cafes also awaits those who need a break amidst a morning or afternoon exploring the streets and parks of this tucked-away corner of London. Here we bring you a selection of some of the best of Palmers Green’s dining establishments.
Nissi’s luxurious wood-panelled interior provides the perfect setting for customers to enjoy its delicious Mediterranean fare. One of the most long-established and popular restaurants in Palmers Green, Nissi – whose name is Greek for ‘island’ – draws its inspiration from Cypriot and Greek cuisine. In the spirit of communal Mediterranean culture, the restaurant encourages friends and family to share mouthwatering platters of mezedakia, prepared by efficient chefs in the restaurant’s open kitchen. The list of cold and hot options includes highlights such as grilled octopus dusted with oregano; succulent swordfish souvlaki; and king prawns marinated in garlic, star anise and lemon juice. Everything is made daily with fresh ingredients and served with piping hot pitta bread. Brave diners can order Nissi’s ‘Mezedes’ meal, a selection of different dishes, which aims to challenge customers to stuff themselves into a stupor on the extravagant quantities of food that arrive.
62 Alderman’s Hill
Babinondas is another Greek mainstay of Palmers Green, with a vibrant atmosphere often enlivened all the more by traditional Greek music and dancing. The interior of this cosy restaurant feels much like an intimate living room, with open brick walls and a large wood fire that keeps diners warm throughout the winter months. The menu consists of a variety of simple, tasty appetizers and main courses that cater to vegetarians as well as fish and meat lovers – the Babinondas Mixed Grill and the Chicken Souvlaki are local favourites. If you go mid-week, check out the Midweek Mini Meze special, which offers seven different appetizers plus a hearty main dish, all for a very reasonable price. The drinks menu also includes a range of enticing Greek wines as well as good value cocktails. Try the Babinondas Cocktail, a delicious fruity mix of vodka, Galliano, miori, and mango and strawberry juice.
598 Green Lanes N13 5RY
Although a newcomer to Palmers Green’s culinary landscape, 222 Kitchen is already hailed by locals as the best Turkish restaurant in north London, which is some feat. Opened in May 2017 by Shuhrat, Erin and Olim – three friends who identified an untapped niche for healthy and fresh halal food in London – 222 Kitchen strives to offer a unique, contemporary twist on traditional Turkish fare. Much of the secret to the restaurant’s overnight popularity is in its innovative marinades. Made by expert chefs using up to 15 different natural ingredients, these secret sauces lend exceptional flavour to the variety of meat dishes. Freshly squeezed juices are another of the restaurant’s signature offerings, part of the founders’ ethos of offering diners a healthy, well-balanced meal. Don’t miss out on a meal you can feel good about eating!
222 Green Lanes N13 5UD
If you’ve had your fill of Greek and Turkish delicacies and want to sample a different national cuisine, head for Sole d’Oro, a traditional Italian restaurant next to Palmers Green train station. The dimly-lit, romantic ambiance of this intimate gem often lures courting couples that want to enjoy a special date night, but it’s also a favourite with local families keen to take advantage of the welcoming atmosphere and great value menu. The restaurant’s chefs are all trained in Naples and lend a lively dose of passion and flair to the trademark Italian dishes. Pizzas like the divine Mamma Mia – made with cherry tomatoes, smoked mozzarella, rocket, parma ham and basil – are cooked to crispy, chargrilled perfection in the restaurant’s wood-fired oven. Make sure you sample some of the sides and starters too, particularly the juicy olives, which are some of London’s finest, and the baked aubergine (melanzane) selection.
10 Alderman’s Hill N13 4PJ
Baskervilles Tea Shop
A little further down Alderman’s Hill you will find Baskervilles Tea Shop – a perfect stop-off for breakfast, lunch or afternoon tea. With its delightful vintage décor lit by retro chandeliers and homely sideboards loaded with quaint pans, jugs and crockery, Baskervilles Tea Shop is a treat for anyone with a sweet tooth and a predilection for quirky dining experiences. Along with a range of tea selections uniquely blended by a master tea maker, the café has a wondrous supply of home-baked cakes, including specials such as the banana and peanut butter cake or the ginger and pistachio tiffin. Go for a modest scone or a cupcake, or treat yourself to afternoon tea with all the frills. There are also plenty of salads and a popular breakfast menu. If the weather is sunny, make sure to nab a seat in the teashop’s lovely flower-filled garden. If not, no worries, from inside you can admire the beautiful view of Broomfield Park across the road.
66 Alderman’s Hill N13 4PP
Starfish and Coffee
Open from morning until evening, Starfish and Coffee offers a light-drenched, contemporary space and an imaginative all-day brunch menu. With its retro black and white-tiled flooring and modern white-washed walls, Starfish and Coffee is an undeniably hip venue that takes its name from a song on Prince’s 1987 album Sign o’ the Times. Local artists have their work showcased in the venue on a monthly rotation, and there are also regular live music events and supper clubs here too. The brunch menu includes tasty dishes like the Sweetcorn Fritters – garnished with bacon, a poached egg, lime yoghurt and smoked Chipotle salt – and the Mexican Eggs, made with black beans, crushed sweet potato, charred corn salsa, chorizo, and avocado, and topped with a fried egg. If you’re in the mood, why not wash your food down with a brunch cocktail, a glass of prosecco (on tap!) or a thirst-quenching mimosa remix of prosecco and elderflower liqueur?
92 Alderman’s Hill London N13 4PP
Last, but certainly not least, The Step is tucked away down Myddleton Road, a characterful, historic street that won the London category of the Great British High Street in 2016. A little pocket of London that time seems to have forgotten, Myddleton Road is worth a trip in its own right for visitors who want to take in its charming mixture of Edwardian architecture and buzzing independent shops. An award-winning café by day and a bar and restaurant by night, the once run-down pub was refurbished by its owners Matt and Nell and opened in 2012. Elegant, versatile and ethical, The Step sources many of its ingredients from local traders in order to support Myddleton Road’s thriving economy. The evening menu offers such dishes as black Thai rice and salmon salad with yellow courgettes, fine beans and croutons, or pan fried wild sea bass, with roast aubergine, spinach pesto rice and toasted hazelnuts. You may also be tempted by the ever-changing menu of homemade desserts and the impressive cocktail list, which features drinks with inventive names like the Lord Palmerston and the Whittington Whizz.
101 Myddleton Road N22 8NE