The Spurstowe Arms
69 Greenwood Road, E8 1AB
0207 923 3115
AKA: The one you're going to be glad you booked a table at
The deal: Look, there's people way cooler than you serving behind the bar. And drinking by the bar. But get over them and you've got an always-packed out, friendly local boozer where most of E8 seem to congregate, come the weekend. The excellent kitchen produces high-end British pub food, best taken with one of their bloody marys out in the beer garden, or huddled in the corner with a big glass of house red.
The food: Yes, it's gastro food, but the menu is one of the standalone reasons to dine here. Food is carefully sourced and expertly prepared with little twists that take it way above other pubs' pie-and-chips offerings. For starters, go big with clams, Serrano hams and Oloroso sherry (£8.5) or perhaps if it's in season, English asparagus with poached egg and parmesan shavings (£6). You're going to want to give the razor clam linguine a go next (£12) - robust, fiery and satisfying, or their classic chunky 8oz rump steak with fries and Bernaise sauce (£16.5). Still got room for more? Finish with a varied and super-tasty cheese board, oatcakes and quince jelly (£8.5).
Signature dish: The Sunday roast, but a special mention goes to their ever-impeccable focaccia bread
The chef: Martin Hurrell
When to eat: Saturday afternoon. A slap-up lazy lunch, a drink or two. You'll definitely be finished by ooh, about 4pm? Cut to: stumbling out at midnight.
Damage to pocket: With mains around £15, you're looking about £30 a head for the full shebang and a glass of wine.
File under: Great with mates, hangover-buster