Stoke Newington eatery voted favourite café by Gazette readers

Middle-eastern inspired restaurant and cafe 215 Hackney on Stoke Newington High Street is partnered

Middle-eastern inspired restaurant and cafe 215 Hackney on Stoke Newington High Street is partnered with WarChild UK and before the lockdown gave 20 per cent of its profits to the charity. Picture: Ferhat Elik - Credit: Ferhat Elik

The votes are in and Hackney Gazette readers have crowned a Stoke Newington eatery as their favourite café. 

Stoke Newington's 215 Hackney restaurant and café won the majority of votes (55 per cent), as part of the Gazette's celebration of Hackney's 2021 Hospitality Heroes for National Hospitality Day, which falls on September 18. 

The café, which used its kitchen to feed NHS workers for free during the pandemic, serves Middle Eastern dishes with an east London twist. 

It was founded by two best friends, Cemal Polat and Ali Kalkan, who grew up in Hackney and both attended Tyssen Primary School and Stoke Newington Secondary School.

215 Hackney owners Cemal Polat and Ali Kalkan have lived in Hackney for over 31 years. 

215 Hackney owners Cemal Polat and Ali Kalkan have lived in Hackney for over 31 years. - Credit: 215 Hackney

Cemal said after hearing the news: "It is amazing to know our locals have voted us to win such a lovely award."

He thanked "each and ever person who voted" for 215 Hackney and all that supported the business "during such difficult times".


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Adding: "We feel so proud and lucky to be part of such an amazing community in Hackney. Thanks a million."

215 Hackney serves Middle Eastern dishes with an east London twist. 

215 Hackney serves Middle Eastern dishes with an east London twist. - Credit: Kadir Gold

The Bread Station in London Fields and Dilara's Cafe on Morning Lane were shortlisted for the award.

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National Hospitality Day has been organised by four charities after a challenging 18 months for the industry, during which thousands of jobs have been lost, businesses have closed and owners forced to shut their doors for weeks at a time.

The restaurant and café got 55 per cent of the votes.

The restaurant and café got 55 per cent of the votes. - Credit: Kadir Gold

Now, the borough's eateries and drinking spots are back open and we're encouraging everyone to support them by booking a table on September 18.

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