Common Ground is a relaxed neighbourhood cafe situated in Finsbury Park, offering a casual dining atmosphere. Unlike other neighbourhood cafes, this is more of an eating-spot than a working-spot (you won’t be able to use your laptop or table on certain days).
Food - 8/10
Ambiance - 8/10
Service - 8/10
Value for Money - 4/10
Common Ground is an upmarket feature to the Finsbury Park and Stroud Green area. It operates a vegan and vegetarian friendly menu. The menu is in fact quite diverse, but simple at the same time: I’ve never seen a “Jungle Curry Bowl” be offered next to Waffles, or Porridge! All in all, I counted about nine items on the entire menu. You do get the staple meal of all brunch spots: smashed avocado toast but Common Ground have added their touch by putting on some uncommon ingredients (like Hazelnut Dukkah or feta cheese.
I went for the Marylyn Monroe Waffles on my visit. I have to say that they looked delightful – and they tasted pretty delightful, but it was awfully short lived. Compliments to the chef for putting such effort into the design of the plate and the creation of the meal but ultimately, it’s one of those things that’s over in six or seven bites. Now that wouldn’t be a big problem, but for the price. The Waffles were around £11 and while they were lovely, it felt over too quickly. And this wasn’t specific to the Waffles either, my friends who also ordered felt their meal was over very quick. Common Ground is perhaps best known for its coffee. On my trip I went for the latte, even though I am not the biggest coffee person around here. For me, coffee often comes across as very bitter or too strong, but I found my latte here reasonably smooth, and creamy. Unfortunately though, at £2.40 a pop I felt that the coffee was, just like the food, a little over-priced.
Common Ground is certainly a nice cafe, with some really nice food aethestic that anyone can appreciate; their interior design is also top notch and very comfortable and laid back, but you do need to order two plates of food to get your fill here.
One of Common Ground’s other strong points is its location. Situated just a stones throw away from Finsbury Park, you’ll certainly have enough to do after your sit down meal. I would time my visit to Common Ground at around late spring / early summer, when the sun will be out and you can have a nice meal indoors and then have a nice walk around one of London’s more underrated parks.
The park offers a variety of options, including the option to rent a gondola and take a spin around the local pond. Outside of the park, there is also the Gillespe Nature Reserve walk, which spans from Finsbury Park to Arsenal’s Emirates stadium. On the other side of the park though is the Park Land Walk, where you can take a quiet walk around some disused forest trails. There is certainly a lot to do in London!