And Drinking Along The Line
following selection is compiled from people's comments and recommendations
and is by no means a comprehensive guide - suggestions for additions
are always welcome!
The Old Oak is directly
opposite the station- lively locals' pub with Fullers London Pride
on handpump. But if you have longer to spare, turn left into Gordon
House Road, go under the bridge and turn right at the junction with
Highgate Road, and there (in the shadow of our one-time Highgate
Road High Level station – what a pity it’s not still
open!) you will find the utterly wonderful Southampton
Arms. After years as an unremarkable Courage pub,
this has now been taken back to real old-fashioned basics as an
ale and cider house, with an awesome selection of both (mostly from
small brewers and producers) plus traditional pub fare like slices
of real pork pie and sausage rolls. A gem, and a must-visit…..but
don’t make too many plans for the rest of the day! If you
just fancy a quick bite and a cuppa, check out the little snack
bar immediately on the far side of the railway bridge arch.
away from the station up Holloway Road towards Archway Northern
Line tube station, there are several interesting local
independent cafes, including a chippy. Pub-wise,
heading up Holloway Road you come to the Mother
Redcap, a REAL Irish pub with astounding tiling
and - naturally - excellent Guinness. Going across the major road
junction and up the Archway Road, you'll find the Charlotte
Despard, North London pub award winner - a lively
house with good beer, a youngish clientele but a welcome for all.
Opposite the station entrance is
The Hopsmiths one of the small number of pubs run by South-East London's Late Knights brewery.
Formerly known as the Noble, this hip but friendly no-frills bar boasts no fewer than twenty taps offering a range of craft
cask and keg ales from Late Knights and others (the list is on the blackboard!), plus food seven days a week.
The Old Dairy
is a short walk along Crouch Hill towards Finsbury Park.
This is a lively gastro-pub / eaterie, housed in the former
Friern Manor Farm Dairy building dating from the 1840s. Take
a look at the superb decorated panels along the frontage that showed
how milk was brought from cow to home then! Across the junction
The Stapleton, restored to its old name after stints as The Larrik
and Danzibar! Several cask beers are on tap and food is available
Head along Stroud Green Road towards Finsbury Park for cheaper food
offerings. There are many cafes and restaurants, ranging from
Pizzerias to Kebabs, Mediterranean to Mexican, Thai to
Turkish, and a good Chippy.
Harringay Green Lanes
There's a McDonalds next to the station for those who like
'fast-food' offerings. Opposite in the re-vamped Arena shopping
centre, a Costa Coffee, with snacks and cakes, but if supermarket shopping
before catching your train, Sainsburys has a little cafe area with
hot drinks, snacks and buns until 8pm. Opposite
the complex road junction into the shopping centre is a classic
daytime cafe, the N4 Eatery,
at 351 Green Lanes.
However Green Lanes offers much much more, as the stretch
north of the station and railway bridge (towards Turnpike Lane)
is an ethnic foodies paradise. Many shops are piled
high with fresh fruit and veg, along with couple of breadshops and
Turkish patisseries. There's a wide selection of cafes and takeaways,
several sit-down restaurants with a strong bias towards real and
wonderful Turkish fare, a truly amazing selection of eating
houses! If you can't find something to delight your taste-buds,
give up! To wash your eats down, try the Old
Ale House, corner of Burgoyne Rd, which has up to
four guest ales, or the astounding high-Victorian gem, The
Salisbury further along Green Lanes, by St Ann's
Road. Fullers beers and guest ales on handpump; pricey but the ornate surroundings
are worth that bit extra.
The Standard across
the road is alas closed. Formerly one of the friendliest gig venues
in town, it saw many great gigs including occasional appearances
by visiting legends (eg Arthur Brown, Suzi Quatro, Wilko Johnson,
John Otway, the Electric Prunes) and local cult genius The Bevis
Frond. A 5/10 minute walk along Forest Road towards South Tottenham
brings you to the Ferry Boat,
an historic and agreeable pub (with garden) near the River Lea and
the reservoirs, which does real ale, good wines and food. And across
the road, a short way up Blackhorse Lane, is Rodis
Café a wonderful early-60s timewarp!
Walthamstow Queens Road
Go straight on out of the station down Exmouth Road, turn right
at the end, and the bridge under the Chingford line brings you to
the heart of Walthamstow Market. Turn left up the High Street and
within minutes you come to Manze's
Pie & Mash Shop - an unchanged piece of genuine
East End tradition from the no-nonsense food to the tiling-and-wooden-bench
interior. Turn right up the High Street and you come
to The Chequers, now transformed into a most excellent pub with
great beers, classy food, distressed-chic decor and
a lively atmosphere.
Leyton Midland Road
Turn right outside the station and a 5-10 minute walk brings you
to the William IV.
Ignore the "Wine Bar" bit on the sign - this is a proper
traditional Victorian pub which is also home to Brodies Brewery.
A wide selection of their wonderful ales is always available at
below-average prices, ranging in strength from the lightweight to
the kamikaze, plus guest beers, cider and perry. Theres also
a good menu. Carry on to the traffic lights, turn left, and The
Drum is across the road a small Wetherspoons
house (one of their oldest) and thus less cavernous and more characterful
than many of their other pubs. Guest ales and the usual good-value
Wetherspoons food range.
Leytonstone High Road
Leytonstone has up & come quite a bit in recent times (though
so far without becoming yuppified), and has quite a lot going for
it these days. Turn right outside the station, and a short walk
brings you to the Bell
Fullers London Pride plus usually a guest beer, and good
value food. Turn left outside the station, walk for 5/10 minutes
to the town centre and you reach the Red
Lion, now back to being a proper pub after many
years as Zulus nightclub. This massive, long-neglected pub
building has been stripped down and restored in traditional style,
making the most of the main bars grand scale and huge windows.
Wide range of real ales and interesting bottled beers (discounts
on ales for CAMRA members), plus gastro-style food and a buzzing
atmosphere. A major and very welcome addition to the local pub scene.
Whats Cookin, the justly-renowned roots/country music
club is located at The Ex-Servicemen's Club in Harvey Road (just behind the Red Lion) -
highly recommended for a great night out!
A bit further along you come to the
recently re-named and re-vamped in honour of Sir Alfred Hitchcock, who was born a little further back along
the High Road towards Stratford. A bit further
along across the road is the Walnut
Tree, a decent medium-size Wetherspoons with a good
range of real ales and food. Also at this end of town is the North
Star in Browning Road (turn right off the High Road
just before the Green Man roundabout) - an unspoilt little gem of
a traditional local in the old "village" part of Leytonstone,
with an ever-changing range of good real ales and a friendly welcome.
Star of India (near Green Man roundabout) has
been in business under the same ownership for many years and the
food is nothing less than delicious. It can get pretty busy even
on mid-week evenings which is always a good sign.
Actually situated at the north end of Forest Gate, this area was a beer desert for many years not any more!
Turn left out of the station, walk the short distance to Forest Gate Station, and just round the corner on
the right you'll find the welcoming oasis of the Forest Tavern. Formerly the Railway, this large pub building
was taken over in early 2013 by Antic (the same small company who took over and transformed the Red Lion in
Leytonstone) and stripped back to its basic structure before reopening with a mouth-watering range of real ales.
There is also a restaurant at the rear. In addition, just before you reach the Forest Tavern, the Fox & Hounds
has reintroduced real ale and offers a changing range of several beers at reasonable prices in a down-to-earth,
Turn left outside the station and you come immediately to the Barking
Dog – a cavernous Wetherspoons with guest
ales & food at competitive prices. Just beyond, across Wakering
Road is the Spotted Dog,
much bigger than it looks, it also has a lower level
and beer garden and does a range of food.
One change over the last few years has been the growth
of convenience store sized outlets of the major supermarket chains.
A number have sprung up near to stations and we will keep
members and friends posted through our 'Have Your Say' section.
Please let us know if you think a good shop has opened within
300yds of a station that sells, for example, reasonable sandwiches,
hot and cold drinks, fruit or other sundries for travelling snack
Also do let us know if you use any of the pubs or cafes, whether
or not you have a good experience, or we hope not a bad one. If
there were complaints, we would go and have a look ourselves if
possible. Happy eating and drinking!