Five New Restaurants to Eat At in East London This Summer

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Here at dealchecker, we like our food. We spend an embarrassing proportion of our salaries on it, in fact. While this might be absolutely diabolical for our bank balances, it means that we’re pretty good for recommendations. These are the openings in east London this summer that are sure to make you a hit with your friends, dates and family members.

Papi, London Fields

Seasonal small plates, natural wine and a real sense of fun are what this London Fields newcomer is all about. Situated in a new apartment block, there was a chance that the space could feel a little cold and yet, it does not. The playlist is full of bangers, there’s a red chaise longue in the toilets and a buzz in the atmosphere that’s difficult to achieve in this sort of space. The menu changes frequently but some dishes appear often: these include oysters topped with everything from macerated cherries to elderflower, and a potato bun that has served as a vessel for garlic-laden cheese and more recently, tuna ‘nduja. When it comes to drinks, you’ll find a carefully-selected natural wine list and a small selection of cocktails developed by the same person as Shoreditch’s much-loved Seed Library. This is a great spot for that all important third date when you’re finally ready to stop being weird about eating in front of a stranger, but still want to snuggle up together in a lightly boozy haze.


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Sonora Taquería, Stoke Newington

We don’t know if you’ve heard but London is notoriously bad for Mexican food. Our South, central and north American friends lament about it often, but there are a few spots that buck the trend. During its residency in Netil Market, Sonora Taquería was one of them. Its time as a market stall has come to an end, and the husband-and-wife duo who run Sonora Taquería have found a new home in the form of a restaurant in Stoke Newington. The decor is simple and the opening hours are limited (between 10am and 4pm currently), but the food is sublime. You’ll find the same satisfyingly chewy goose-fat tortillas that garnered them such praise to begin with holding up grilled barbecue meats and vegetables, barbacoa (a mixture of beef and short rib) and more. The prices are kind to your wallet, so you’ll be able to sample much of the menu in one sitting (should your waistband allow). There’s a reason why people queued for hours for their tacos over lockdown. We’d recommend that you find it out for yourself.


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107 Wine Shop & Bar, Clapton

Okay, this is not really a new opening but instead is more of a very happy revival. You see, 107 Wine Shop & Bar was formerly known as the much-loved P.Franco, which sadly had to shut its doors in March. After a quick round of crowd-fundraising, the restaurant-cum-wine-bar is back (which shows just how much its former patrons love it). Just as before, there’s no set cuisine here. Instead, guest chefs take to the kitchen for brief-but-excellent residencies that’ll see you booking to visit time and time again. As you’d expect from the name, wine is at the centre of the offering and the staff are more than happy to talk you through the best options to either pair with the food or just to your palate. It feels like a local spot, but don’t be fooled—people travel from far and wide to eat here.


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Oranj, Shoreditch

Finding somewhere cool to eat and drink in Shoreditch is becoming an increasingly difficult affair. However, tucked away from the bars serving up teeth-achingly-sweet cocktails and extortionate pints, you’ll find Oranj, a natural wine bar that’s undoubtedly chic. The decor here was created with dates in mind. The lighting in this former warehouse is dark and moody, ironic artworks line the walls and the almost-entirely stool seating means that your leg is sure to be brushing against that of your drinking companion. It’d be wrong to come here without sampling at least one glass of orange wine, but there’s also a short cocktail list serving up small but punchy numbers that require sampling. At the moment, it features one of the spiciest margaritas we’ve ever been lucky enough to drink! The kitchen here is taken over by guests, and it’s currently run by Cariñito Tacos, who are serving up unorthodox dishes like brown shrimp guacamole and tamarind-laced aubergine tacos.


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Leo’s, Clapton

Upon opening, Leo’s had big boots to fill as it took on the space formerly taken up by the much-loved Jim’s Cafe on Chatsworth Road. However, if anyone was going to fill those boots with ease, it was Peppe Belvedere (who had previously worked at east London favourites Brawn, Bright and P.Franco). While the interiors retain much of the old cafe charm, the food here is authentically Italian, with a particular nod to Sardinia where Peppe is from. Leo’s is open from morning to night and each mealtime brings something different: breakfast is a quick coffee and pastry affair, while lunchtimes are unpretentious and comforting, and dinners have something special about them. The menu is constantly evolving but you’ll find a short pasta menu sitting alongside hearty meat dishes and even heartier desserts.


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