Your ultimate guide to one of East London's most underrated hoods, Clapton



bad denim It might have a fitting room shaped like a vagina and wallpapered with flamingos, but Bad Denim takes one thing very seriously...denim. The boutique is a labour of love, after spending 10 years developing and producing jeans for the likes of Victoria Beckham and MiH Jeans, the owner of Bad Denim, Erin McQuinn is on a mission to find you the perfect jeans. Hand selecting every pair in store, she only stocks the best fabric and cuts around.

82 Lower Clapton Rd, E5 0RN -

Hackney Downs Hackney Downs


The Vincent comes from the guys who used to run the Sebright Arts and it's an all-dayer done right. From coffee and pastries in the morning to slow-cooked ribs on Sundays, they do it all and THAT buttermilk fried chicken burger is the bomb. With alfresco dining on the terrace and craft beer aplenty, it's the perfect spot to sink a few beers too.

2 Atkins Square, Dalston Lane, London, E8 1FA -

Hackney Downs

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belli Rolling hair, beauty and vintage into one, Belli Fuori sees owner Gio bring her Italian style and influence to Clapton. Involved in the industry since she was very young, six years old in fact, Gio has an old school family approach and that means getting to know their clients. The prices are decent and the shop also offers a range of beauty treatments and massages. With a love of art, Belli Fuori provides a space in the salon for independent artists changing every three months. The handpicked vintage clothing? It all comes from Italy and you can find some gems there. More than just a salon isn’t it?

44 Chatsworth Road, E5 0PL -



BLOK is not your average gym. For one thing, it’s housed in a converted Victorian tram depot. And for another, it’s got a gallery and a bone broth bar. Split into two studios, with all those lovely industrial design features left in, BLOK is a place to train hard and build up your fitness skills. The instructors want you to feel inspired, not just sweat hard and leave, although you most definitely will sweat hard. The classes range from the intense MMA and Primal Movement to the restorative Barre and Yin Yoga, so you’re sure to get a thorough workout. The identity was brought together by property developer Ed Stanbury and fashion photographer Max Oppenheimer who have managed to create this very cool luxury concept fitness space. And once you’re done working on your bod, you can exercise your mind with a look at their evolving exhibition space.

38-40 Upper Clapton Road, E5 8B -


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blondies neon Hidden away down an old alley way you’ll find Blondies, a dingy dive bar. Set up by four blonde sisters, the super chilled space shakes up a selection of classic cocktails with a twist, along with some cheap beers and borough wines. With a mysterious history, the bar sits in a WW2 bomb site and more recently an old money store, which explains all the interesting fittings and fixtures. After nine near death experiences building Blondies, the sisters have put their blood, sweat and tears into making this one of the most fun hangouts in Clapton.

205A Lower Clapton Rd, E5 8EG -



BLUETITLOTI Since opening in Clapton, Blue Tit have spread their wings all over town. But this salon has a very different feel to the rest of ‘em with founder Perry taking inspiration from his travels to build the salon. All the furniture comes from antique markets, reclaim yards and the parquet floor even came from eBay. Bringing the best of both worlds with a couple of vintage armchairs and an open fire upstairs, it’s like you’ve stepped into someone's cosy living room, but then downstairs you can find their swishy curved photographic studio. All about the experience, you won’t just be getting a bloody good haircut or colour at Blue Tit, but beer, snacks and probably some new friends too.

121 Lower Clapton Road, E5 0NP -

Hackney Downs Hackney Downs

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brahms Brahms and Liszt might get you pissed, but it’s anything but your normal offie. Specialising in mezcal, expect the unexpected with plenty of weird and wonderful spirits on offer, from local gins to rare whiskies. With a fill-your-own wine AND cocktail stations, there’s really no shortage of booze here. And if you wanna pop in for a bottle of the hard stuff make sure you take full advantage of their try before you buy policy... But if you’ve got time to stick around, you really don’t wanna miss their tasting room, where you can even take a masterclass. Not to do things with a glass half empty, Brahms & Listz will literally do anything to make your day better and will even pull the rug from under their feet if that’s what you want. That’s right not just the liquor, but every single thing in the shop is up for grabs from the furniture to the art. So who knows what you’ll go home with.

10 Chatsworth Road, E5 0LP -



From a single-screen cinema in 1913 to a bingo club to a warehouse to a snooker hall to that top bit of Eat17, the Castle Electric Theatre on Chatsworth Road has enjoyed more extreme makeovers than most, and now it’s coming full circle. Ash and Dee from Pillow Cinema are the ones turning back the clock, and after an epic crowdfunding campaign, where they smashed through their original £45,000 funding goal AND their £55,000 stretch goal, The Castle becomes a cinema once again. More than 50 years since the last film was played, it’ll be screening a range of new releases and cult classics.

64 Brooksby’s Walk, E9 6DA -



clapton craft Tom and Will, the guys behind Clapton Craft, just want you to be able to drink your fave beers, whenever you want, wherever you want. How nice is that? Celebrating all the great local brews from London and the rest of the country, plus some of the best international bevs, Clapton Craft sells beer by the bottle and by the growler...that’s a 31/3 litre container FYI, straight from the keg. And their nifty filling system keeps it fresh for up to six weeks, though we highly doubt anyone’s managed to leave beer undrunk for that long. Whilst the beer is the star attraction, the brand’s bear logo runs it pretty close in terms of popularity. Designed by Tom’s housemate Natassia and inspired by Wojtek, the beer drinking, WWII Polish Army soldier bear, it’s spot on. Bear merch and growlers full of beer, pretty bloody cool if you ask us.

97 Lower Clapton Road, E5 0NP -

Hackney Downs Hackney Downs


clapton heart The Clapton Hart is a proper East End boozer, dating all the way back to the 18th century. Having its ups and downs over the years, the pub has taken on several identities and even survived a fire. From trading as a stagecoach inn to a nightclub, The Clapton Hart was brought back to life in 2012 by owner Anthony who was determined to bring the boozer back to its former glory. With Hackney Brewery, Beavertown, Saltaire and Pressure Drop all on tap, beer is at the heart of this pub. No decent boozer is complete without a good selection of home-cooked food and some bangin’ roasts and luckily, you’ll find  both here. Filled to the brim with rickety furniture, hollow pianos and old sewing machines, the pub has a real vintage feel. Whether you’re enjoying a pint in their sunny beer garden or cosied up by the fire with a board game, it’s like a home from home.

231 Lower Clapton Rd, E5 8EG -



darling and gold In what once used to be an old pie and mash shop you’ll find Darling & Gold, a vintage boutique. Bought to life by Holly and her husband, who share a love of all things interior, the shop takes inspiration from mid-century Scandinavian style and is overflowing with antiques and reclaimed homeware. Selling anything and everything from a 1950s pommel horse turned into a bench to organic locally produced body scrub to leather handbags and even some undies, it’s a proper little treasure trove.

20 Chatsworth Road, London E5 0LP, United Kingdom -



EAT17 Not just a supermarket, this family run SPAR sits inside an art deco masterpiece where a mass of colourful bouquets take you through florists Rebel Rebel and into the convenience store. The famous Eat17 Bacon Jam can be found here; that’s onion jam having a love affair with smokey bacon. SPAR also has its own burger bar with CRATE Brewery on tap and serves up the epic Eat17 cheeseburger. There’s a refillable wine station too as well as your daily essentials. Possibly the world's poshest SPAR - in Clapton? What would your granny say.

64-66 Brooksby’s Walk, Homerton, E9 6DA -


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records edited Lion Coffee & Records is all about, you guessed and records. Set up by Chris Hayden (Florence and The Machine’s drummer), Mairead Nash (Owner of Luv Luv Luv & Hate Hate Hate Records) and Lee Rigg, the space does a lot more than what it says on the tin. With a whole host of in-store gigs, art exhibitions and even the odd supper club on the bill, you’ll be roaring for more. Plus there’s all sorts of exciting exhibitions from artists donning the walls...this place is drenched in rock ‘n’ roll.

118 Lower Clapton Road, E5 0QR -

Hackney Downs Hackney Downs


neighbour dumplings My Neighbours The Dumplings is an intimate, simple space that serves up handmade dumplings and home-cooked Asian dishes. Making waves running a pop-up in Hackney, this is their first permanent home with informal interiors and shared communal tables. The crispy prawn wontons are addictive, Shumai are the signature (and rightly so) and if you luck out and there’s belly pork on the specials menu when you visit be sure to order it. Besides the food, you can also find Chinese teas and sake on offer.

165 Lower Clapton Rd, E5 8EQ -

Hackney Downs Hackney Downs


triangleLOTI With care and passion in bucket loads, design-led lifestyle store Triangle is all about bringing independent and local designers together. The brains behind the shop, Matt, Tory and Mary, all have backgrounds in different aspects of design. Going above and beyond the trio regularly visit vintage markets in Belgium and Holland and have called upon their friend, jewellery designer Karin Andreasson to create a unique collection for the store. Stocking everything from glassware and textiles to handmade jewellery and vintage furniture, each item has been handpicked, so you’ll never see the same thing twice in this place. Like a little treasure trove, you’ll leave feeling inspired and probably want to redesign your whole home.

81 Chatsworth Rd, E5 0LH -



YARD SALE PIZZA A Yard Sale Pizza is kneaded in everyone’s life. After kicking things off with Macaulay Culkin doing a set at their opening, Yard Sale set the standards high. But leaving their dough to prove for 24 hours and cooking out their tomato sauce on the pizza to deepen the flavour, they definitely aren’t ones for cutting corners. Whether you wanna dine-in or take-out these handmade beauties are straight outta Clapton and thrown out as 18-inch sharers or 12-inch pizzas. From the regulars to the guest pizzas, whether you’re holy over your pepperoni or all over the squash, Yard Sale is where to get a pizz’a the action.

105 Lower Clapton Road, E5 0NP -

Hackney Downs Hackney Downs

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The Mermaid has been a boozer for a long ol’ time, over 100 years to be precise, and has now been taken over by Graceland, making it a sibling to The Kings Arms in Bethnal Green and The Earl Of Essex in Angel. Taking its name from an old tavern in the area, The Mermaid has 20 taps of beer, and serves up proper Sunday roasts and brunch.

181 Clarence Road, London E5 8EE, United Kingdom -

Clapton Hackney Downs Hackney Downs

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waffles-loti Once an Italian coffee shop and ice cream factory and more recently a much-loved local caff, Jim’s is the oldest cafe on Chatsworth Road. After first opening its doors in the 60’s, the cafe has reopened and now serves up bangin’ breakfasts, lunch and dinner. Staying true to its heritage, the owners have restored the 196os decor and expanded into the old ice cream factory at the back. Taking every detail into consideration, Jim’s bake their own sourdough, muffins and pastries, serve up a range of homemade juices and even cure their own bacon.

59 Chatsworth Road, E5 0LH -


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