London's Cultural Guide

So you’ve never been to…Big Jo, Hornsey Road N7

The people behind Westerns Laundry and Primeur have another smash North London hit

Age: Oh, a year or so.

Where exactly is it? On a less likely stretch of N7: Hornsey Road.

OK. So what goes on there? It’s a bakery, cafe, bar and restaurant rolled into one ground floor of a Barbican-style 1960s apartment block.

What should I eat? Pizza by the slice, for around £7 a pop: it sounds steep, but it is filling – best was the creamy leeks, with potato and parmesan, while more trad offers didn’t disappoint, either: tomato, sausage meatball and fennel had the edge over the classic marguerita.


Big Jo
N7 destination: Big Jo. Pic: SE

Anything else? Don’t miss the small plates, especially: golden roasted carrots, creme fraiche and a strewn green sauce was delicious, while raw cabbage was expertly paired with anchovy, garlic and a pile of grated salted ricotta: umami paradise.

The interior: discuss. Industrial is the theme – a big oven, pendants, and touches of Sicily in the tiling and rustic design features (great toilets too). It was so busy on a Friday lunchtime that, unannounced, we had to eat at the slither of the counter; a little precarious. Book upfront for a window seat overlooking the unlovely but urban road.

And what do I drink? A teeny negroni – no more than 50mls – is £7, while wine is the now expected mix of natural offerings.

Big Jo
Golden roasted carrots, creme fraiche. Pic: SE

What’s the service like? Lots of staff: an instant hit, unsurprising when it’s the baby of the mighty Westerns Laundry off Holloway Road, and pioneering Primeur in Canonbury.

Do say: ‘Let’s share the small plates. And then get a couple of slices after.’

Don’t say: ‘I haven’t booked, but have you got a table right now?’

Find Big Jo at 318-326 Hornsey Rd, Finsbury Park, London N7 7HE

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