Why Hornsey Rocks – The Best Independent Hotspots – Gifted Local Ltd
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Why Hornsey Rocks – The Best Independent Hotspots

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Why Hornsey Rocks – The Best Independent Hotspots

Written by Dominique Woolf, from The Woolf's Kitchen

Helen asked me to write a blog about my local area, Hornsey. We had planned to get this sent out in March but then Coronavirus hit and the world changed. As things are slowly returning to a new normal, and local businesses need our help more than ever, we thought this was the perfect time to put a spotlight on the local area of Hornsey. 

Crouch End’s little sister Hornsey has certainly come up in the world in the many years I’ve lived here. More of a residential area than its counterpart, Hornsey is a mere stone’s throw from the greenery of Ally Pally and the kiddie haven that is Priory Park, yet also has a high street that boasts pubs, restaurants, cafés, a yoga studio and even a post office! As much as I enjoy a pootle around ‘Town’ (as I like to call Crouch End these days), I often don’t need to with such rich pickings on my doorstep. 

Harmless Store

Previously based in Wood Green, and now situated minutes from Hornsey Train Station, Harmless is not your average shop. With a strong mission at its core, this vegan, zero-plastic store already has a large following of loyal supporters. Come and refill your shampoos and washing liquids, as well as stock up on a whole range of other ethically sourced household products and foods.

Currently offering a brilliant click & collect service via the Harmless Store website.

 Harmless Store

Photo credit: David Mirzoeff

79 Tottenham Lane, Hornsey, London, N8 9BE; 07377322426

Visit Harmless Store website

Middle Lane Market

A fantastic recent addition to Hornsey, this little deli is a foodie’s paradise. The owners are ex-La Fromagerie, so there is a sensational cheese counter, along with a whole host of other artisan goodies like cured meats, fresh kimchi, marcona almonds and chocolate. And of course they are stocking my hot sauces :)

Pre covid, they ran various events such as fermentation workshops, and it also doubles up as a café and wine bar.  Things have changed and they're still going strong. Now they're offering an online delivery & refill service (N8 minimum spend of £40 and free delivery / rest of London minimum spend of £80 and free delivery) as well as a click and collect service. If you're in a N8 resident and shielding, there is no minimum spend. Customers are now allowed in the shop Saturdays and Sundays. Keep an eye on their website for more updates.

Middle Lane Market

226 Middle Lane, London, N8 7LA, 020 8348 7598

Visit Middle Lane Market website 

Tomo Pizzeria

A real local’s local, this family run pizzeria serves arguably one of the best pizzas in town, as well as a host of other tasty Italian dishes. Often booked up later in the week, its bustling but cosy atmosphere makes it one of my favourites.

They are taking the following additional steps to ensure they keep everyone as safe as possible: sanitising every table, all door handles, card machines, drinks making equipment, all surfaces touched by customers & staff. It goes without saying that they are constantly washing their hands. 

They are taking the following additional steps to ensure they keep everyone as safe as possible: sanitising all surfaces, all door handles, card machines, drinks making equipment, as well as regularly washing their hands.

Tomo pizzeria

88 Hornsey High Street, London N8 7NU, 020 8348 0099 

Visit Tomo's website

Intrepid Bakers

Located in the middle of Hornsey High Street, this café-come-bakery has a rather tantalising window display bursting with homemade cakes, pastries, breads and other delights. They also have a little garden out back with a covered play area for babies and toddlers – a complete find for parents who can relax, even for just a minute, while their kids entertain themselves.

Now offering grab & go, click & collect and deliveries, please check out their website for more information

Intrepid Bakers 

38 High Street, N8 7NX London, 020 8340 0787

Visit Intrepid Bakers website


If you love sushi, then you need to add Kimura to your black book. Predominantly a take-away (although it does have a couple of window seats), the quality is outstanding. It also sells a variety of Japanese groceries, sakes and pottery. I’ve been coming for years and e-commerce expert Anna Heneback also rates it highly.

Currently open for Telephone orders only from Tuesday - Sunday 12-5pm.

Kimura Hornsey sushi

167 Priory Road, London N8 8NB, 020 8340 4916

Visit Kimura UK website

Through The Woods

Very much a hidden gem, you’d be forgiven for walking past this British restaurant without blinking twice. Open just Thursday to Sunday evenings for one sitting, I had no idea it existed until I heard rumours. Word has clearly spread and with just 18 seats, you have to book well in advance. The plant focused tasting menu, with the addition of small amounts of high welfare meat, is driven by sustainability and quality ingredients. Vanessa Menendez-Covelo, a local acupuncturist, says the food is incredibly good and the service fantastic. Get me on that waiting list.

Currently offering a Feast for Two home delivery service every Saturday (if you order by 10am on Thursday via their website) with accompanying playlist and wine suggestions, with a limited sit in service on Saturdays as well.

Through The Woods

212 Middle Lane, London, N8 7LA

Visit Through The Woods website

Kiss the Koala

The newest kid on the block, Kiss the Koala, occupies the spot where Nati’s once was. They got the keys just as lockdown descended, but fortunately for us locals, have reopened with a drool-worthy brunch menu and stylish décor to match. Asian-influenced dishes like Korean chicken waffle, and buttermilk fried chicken bun with miso mayo and kimchi, sit alongside more usual brunch fayre such as eggs benedict - or more precisely, ‘ham hock benedict’ -and the good old English breakfast. Finish off with a homemade Kinder Bueno brownie (yes, really!) and you’re good to go. Welcome to Hornsey!

Kiss The Koala shop hornsey

163 Priory Rd, London N8 8NB, 0207 018 3680

Visit Kiss The Koala website 


Check out The Woolf Kitchen's sauces, currently stocked on Gifted Local.

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