· Time Out Love London Awards celebrate the capital’s independent businesses
· Londoners cast nearly 125,000 votes for their favourite local places
· The Awards help businesses raise their profile and reach new customers
· Four out of the five city-wide winners hail from North London

North, East, South or West? Londoners have always been passionate about their favourite district but according to the Time Out Love London Awards 2016, North comes out on top. The Awards celebrate the capital’s most loved independent, local businesses and this year, four out of the five citywide winners hailed from North London.

The Time Out Love London 2016 winners are:
· London’s Most Loved Café: Highness Café and Tea Room, Highbury
· London’s Most Loved Restaurant: Yard Sale Pizza, Hackney
· London’s Most Loved Pub: The Alma, Islington
· London’s Most Loved Cultural Venue: ArtHouse, Crouch End
· London’s Most Loved Shop: Cheeses of Muswell Hill, Muswell Hill

These five overall winners received the most votes of the 394 winning venues across 93 neighbourhoods. Londoners cast nearly 125,000 votes, making this year’s Awards the best turn-out to date since the launch in 2014. Giving the capital’s independent, local businesses the recognition they deserve and helping them raise their profile is the mission of the Time Out Love London Awards.

Sarah Bartlett, CMO of Time Out Group, commented: “Once again our Time Out Love London Awards prove just how passionate Londoners are about their favourite local places. Whether it’s a family-run café, brilliant boozer or a cheese shop, Londoners have voted in their hundreds and thousands to ensure their most loved hidden gems get the recognition they deserve.

Since 1968, Time Out has been dedicated to discovering and championing the best of the city and supporting independent local businesses has always been very close to our heart. Their spirit, creativity, dedication and the soul they give to a city is invaluable – they make a big city feel like home and without them, London would be a different place.”

The five 2016 Time Out Love London Award winners

Proving that Londoners are mad about delicious cakes, Highness Café and Tea Room triumphed in the ‘London’s Most Loved Café’ category. Located in Highbury, Highness Café won locals’ hearts with welcoming smiles, lots of charm and mouth-watering baked treats, served on vintage china. ‘Great British Bake Off’ worthy, co-owner and pastry chef Nes Goksu prefers “to feed people”, with her guests treated like family. It’s these places that are the beating hearts of big cities like London, making it feel homely.

The Awards saw a hugely diverse range of places to eat nominated; from high-end Michelin-starred restaurants to family-run takeaways, all inspire a sense of passion amongst London’s hungry masses. It was Yard Sale Pizza in Hackney though that picked up the highly competitive ‘London’s Most Loved Restaurant’ title. Serving up fresh pizza in either 12 or 18-inch stone-baked rounds, prepared with 48-hour double-fermented dough, it’s not just the pizza that delights its local fans, the friendly staff and jazz-funk soundtrack make the restaurant a fun place to hang out as well. There’s even a celeb from a well-known 70s band who orders regularly, using his pizza alias ‘Michelangelo’.

Friendly Islington boozer The Alma won the hotly contested ‘London’s Most Loved Pub’ title. The Alma is not only home to lots of loyal regulars and its very own pub dog, Buster, it’s also decorated wall-to-wall with movie posters and memorabilia. A British menu is served up from its own kitchen daily, whilst the bar is well-stocked with both local and imported craft ales. The live music and the quiz is of legend locally, keeping those in the neighbourhood coming back for more.

The Time Out Love London Award for ‘London’s Most Loved Cultural Venue’ is a broad category with winners across theatres and music venues to museums and art galleries. Picking up the overall prize for an incredible third year in a row, Crouch End’s ArtHouse came out tops. The two-screen independent venue in a former Salvation Army Hall is a firm favourite with locals, not just for its carefully picked screenings and socially conscious programme, but also live music, dance and comedy.

Whether it’s searching for a vintage party dress, fancy canine accessories or second-hand folk records – London is brimming with shops that deliver great quality and personal service. Proving that London is a city of foodies, Cheeses of Muswell Hill won the ‘London’s Most Loved Shop’ Award. This family run business boasts one of London’s finest cheese collections, with over 220 varieties, drawing in customers from all across the capital. There is even a disused bomb shelter that was converted into a maturing room. Championing small cheese producers and with a dedication to buying from farms direct, it’s every Londoner’s cheese, chutney and biscuit heaven.

The Time Out Love London Awards 2016 were supported by Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London and the Mayor’s office.

Visit www.timeout.com/lovelondon to see the full list of Love London Award winners.