The team behind P. Franco have a history of opening brilliant places to eat in unassuming places. This is the original – a wine bar in a one-time Chinese takeaway in Clapton that was so successful it spawned sister restaurants in Broadway Market (Bright) and outlet-central Morning Lane in Hackney (Peg). At the beginning of the week, swing by for a glass of something clever and bar snacks – but we’d swing by on a Thursday–Sunday, when resident cook Meedu Saad (head chef at Kiln) is firing up the kitchen until Sunday 27 March 2022. Other recent guest chefs have included Two Lights alum Chase Lovecky and Smoking Goat’s Ben Chapman, so the level of cooking here is worth seeking out whoever happens to be at the helm. Go for the wine, stay for the food. Sarah James

Price range: £££

Address: P Franco, 107 Lower Clapton Road, E5 0NP
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50. F.K.A.B.A.M, Highbury Corner

Loud music. Loud decor. Loud food. This tiny restaurant on Highbury Corner has a big personality. After closing for an extended period over the lockdowns of 2020 and 2021, what was once Black Axe Mangal opened as F.K.A.B.A.M (Formerly Known as Black Axe Mangal) in autumn 2021. Despite the name change, Lee Tiernan is still at the helm, overseeing a £45 menu that changes weekly based on what’s good. That might be flame-grilled lamb, crispy rabbit, squid ink flatbreads or melty short ribs cooked over the fire, all served in a sharing style. A vegetarian or vegan menu is available for plant-based diners, but you’re really here for the smokey chunks of meat – and that’s okay. Sarah James

Price range: ££

Address: F.K.A.B.A.M, 156 Canonbury Road, London N1 2UP
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