Fact: the brand new CRATE Walthamstow is, for many of us, the nearest streetfood market to Leyton and Leytonstone. Housed on the entire top floor of the 17 & Central shopping centre just off Walthamstow High Street (near the bus station), it is in fact the postcode’s second CRATE, after the success of the original over at St James’s Street station.
Excitingly, this new opening matches streetfood operators with local brewers, music, and cultural performances. There’ll be workshops, classes, book clubs, baby yoga, movie marathon nights, intimate comedy shows and panel discussions. And don’t miss both the permanent and rotating art and light installations in the community gallery, free and open all day.
For those that prefer their fun a little more competitive, there’s also a unique neon 9-hole indoor mini golf course. Cleverly, it’s inspired by the natural treasures in our borough, from Walthamstow Wetlands to Epping Forest, Hollow Ponds and Chingford Plains (tip: if you need a drink to steady your aim, you can order your drinks straight to your hand from the bar, using the QR codes at each hole.)
But CRATE Walthamstow is, of course first and foremost a streetfood market, so now, without further ado, let’s talk about eating and drinking.
CRATE WALTHAMSTOW: FOOD & DRINK
High Street Social is a new cocktail and craft bar supporting London-based breweries and distilleries, including Ravenswood Industrial Estate’s famous Pillars and Leyton’s Neckstamper, along with an extensive wine menu and range of non-alcoholic choices. The bar will also host live music, comedy, spoken word and more.
Yorkshire Burrito boasts an innovative take on the flavours of Sunday lunch: every burrito is stuffed with sage and onion stuffing, rosemary roast potatoes, spinach and their signature gravy with your choice of braised beef, roast chicken or cauliflower cheese. Tip: for a more formal meal on Sundays, there’s a sharer menu which gives you all the components you would find on a traditional Sunday plate.
Hanoi Kitchen is a familiar name to many of us East Londoners: run by husband-and-wife team Nigel and Paula Matthews, it balances hot, spicy, fresh and fragrant flavours garnished with lime, chilli, fresh herbs, garlic and ginger – the staples of Vietnamese cuisine. We’re talking banh mi, phos and deliciously crispy spring rolls: whether you’re vegan or carnivore, there are protein-packed options for everyone.
Carne Mexican’s founder Abraham grew up in Tijuana and Mexico City – two places at the very heart of Mexican culture. Knowing first hand that there are over a hundred ways to prepare the famous taco, Carne have mastered their iconic recipes with a signature dish of soft corn shell tacos. Plant-based diners will enjoy amazing veggie and vegan options too.
Nanny Bills has aced the UK burger scene with gravy-dipped burgers and hand-rolled croquettes. From their award-winning family butcher, native-breed beef is free-range, grass-fed and aged for a minimum of 35 days, using Himalayan Salt drying fridges to create the perfect flavoursome juicy patty. Whether you’re carni, flexi, veggie or vegan, Nanny Bill’s has got you covered.
This is Molo is about “fine dining at a street food level”, its menu capturing the taste of the sea. Our tip for your next date night is the sublime poached lobster rolls – we can personally vouch for these – but fried calamari and Maldon Rock oysters are tempting too. And let’s not forget the classic fish ‘n’ chips, either.
Central Kitchenis the second site from popular Walthamstow Village stalwarts Billy and Mel (The Kitchen) with freshly prepared sandwiches with handmade fillings, toasted croissants, inventive salads and seasonal soups. This is CRATE’s go-to brunch stop.
Dez Amore & Gran Tenero offer Neapolitan pizzas and authentic Italian pasta dishes made with the highest quality ingredients. Both provide gluten-free options with a variety of toppings for vegans and carnivores: with specialist equipment being imported from Italy, take a seat and be transported to little Italy.
Finally, Central Coffee Collective collaborates with East London Coffee Roasters to bring three different coffee grinds for you to choose from on every visit. Plus there are decaf options, loose leaf teas, smoothies and iced coffees, as well as range of pastries, savoury bakes, cookies and loaves of bread for sale.
CRATE WALTHAMSTOW is open Mondays (8am-10pm), Tuesdays and Wednesdays (8am-11pm), Thursdays-Saturdays (8am-11.30pm) and Sundays (from 10am-10pm). For more information visit the website here.
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