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As Shoreditch‘s star began to fade in the late naughties, east London’s hipsters moved up the road to Dalston, slowly making it the city’s nightlife capital. Now with legendary spots such as Efes and Bardens gone, and Brewdog replacing Birthdays, some might tell you that Dalston’s dead, and although it’s changed a lot over the years, there’s still a whole lot of good stuff to keep you entertained.

For starters, Dalston has the best Turkish food in London, with countless kebab houses knocking out fresh kebabs all night long. The good food doesn’t end there: Madame Pigg, Jidori, Weino BIB, House of Momo, and Little Duck are some of our favourite places in the neighbourhood, offering an amazing variety of things to choose from.

Booze is in plentiful supply too, with everything from cocktail bars such as Three Sheets to craft beer bars and run down pubs. Don’t forget the Dalston Roof Park and The Karaoke Hole beneath Voodoo Ray’s either.

For film fans, the Rio is a special place. There’s been a cinema under various names on the site of the art deco, Grade-II listed Rio for over 100 years and it’s remained independent right up to this day. The two screens show a varied programme of new indie releases as well as regular double bills and classic matinees.

Not only does the Arcola Theatre put on a rich and varied programme, from new works and premieres to revivals and adaptions – the venue has seen everything from The Glass Menagerie to the Grimeborn opera festival – but it’s also one of the greenest venues in the UK thanks to solar panels, carbon-neutral heating systems and low energy stage lighting. And if you’re looking for somewhere to have a few drinks and throw some shapes, the bar stays open late on Fridays and Saturdays, and the music is always on point.


Weino BIB, Balls Pond Road, London, UK

Weino BIB started life as a pop-up serving wines from bags in a box, making them not only better for the environment but also cost effective too, which essentially means you get cheaper glasses of great vino. The wines are mostly natural and you can also bring your own bottle, which you can fill up from the boxes and kegs to take-home. The food menu which is put together with ingredients from the deli also available to take home and sourced from the best local suppliers – Cobble Lane and Dusty Knuckle to name just a couple. The creamy goose rillette, sobrasada with honey on toast and fresh burrata ravioli are all winners and there’s a build-your-own cheese board from the fridge – essential wine snacks. It’s a bit DIY inside but it works and feels a bit Parisian hipster, plus it’s cheap and you can stock up on your refills of the essentials during your dinner – milk, pasta sauces, juices the LOT.

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52 Boleyn Rd, London N16 8JP, United Kingdom

House of MoMo isn’t just great because they serve up some bloody good momo, oh no you can also get a bowl of dumplings and beer for less than a tenner. Whether you choose them steamed, pan fried, coated in a sesame creamy curry sauce or a spicy chilli sauce, you won’t be disappointed.

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480 Kingsland Road, London E8 4AE, UK

This neighbourhood restaurant serves seasonal British food from Chef Adam Hardiman who’s previously worked at various pubs in London. The menu changes daily, like some good looking meats and cheeses, plus plenty of epic sounding vegetable dishes like wild mushrooms with truffle and thyme and charred leeks, romesco and almonds. On Sundays it switches to an all guns blazing roast line up. The roast beef is nigh-on perfection, and comes with Yorkshire puds, carrots, parsnip puree, duck fat roast potatoes and some buttered greens just for good measure. Get a side of the truffled cauliflower cheese and your Sunday will be sorted.


58 Dalston Lane, London E8 1PQ, UK

L.F.Markey, known for its workwear-inspired womenswear, has its first perm shop in Dalston. The store looks the part with pastel powder coated industrial fittings, pink velvet curtains and mint tiles. As well as stocking the L.F. Markey collections, including those signature boiler suits, the shop also carries pieces from independent labels like YKRA from Hungary and Toasties from Paris.


18-24 Shacklewell Ln, London E8 2EZ, United Kingdom

If you’re up for spending big bucks and looking for a real shopping experience book an appointment at LN-CC. The designer store is like a maze and contains individual product rooms, a record store, cafe, gallery and club space. And when it comes to clothes expect the likes of Acne Studios, Raf Simmons, Vetements and Saint Laurent.


56 Stoke Newington Rd, London N16 7XB, United Kingdom

Online mag HUH. opened the doors to their first store in 2011 and it’s filled with pieces from Norse Projects, Samsoe & Samsoe, Folk, Ganni and Garment Project.


11-17 Stoke Newington Rd, London N16 8BH, UK

Evolutionary Arts Hackney, aka EartH, is a stunning new arts space from the team behind Village Underground. Once an ABC cinema the main building was left derelict for years only to be rediscovered, restored and relaunched in 2019 – both the theatre (with seating) and the concert hall (standing) now host gigs, poetry readings, DJ sets, talks and more.


11-17 Stoke Newington Road, London N16 8BH, UK

If, like us, you spent far too many long, late, drunken nights in Efes, Dalston’s preeminent Turkish pool hall, you’re in for quite a shock if you visit EartH Kitchen, a new restaurant which has taken its place inside the EartH venue. Upon arrival, it’s still a lot like Efes. Going up the stairs, the memories will come flooding back and then you’ll enter through those same double doors and…that’s where the similarities end. Gone are the pool tables, giant screen, gambling machines, and sticky floors and in their place are smart modern tables, white walls, and a cocktail bar. In the kitchen is Chris Gillard, former exec chef of the St. John group, and there’s definite hints of that institution on the menu with dishes like smoked mackerel with beetroot and horseradish, roast brill with celery and celeriac, and slow roasted lamb with turnips and a nice jus. Simple but effective is the order of the day.


18 Ashwin St, London E8 3DL, United Kingdom

Amidst the concrete jungle of Dalston is an escape from the masses. Dalston Roof Park is a music venue, a roof garden where you could be doing anything from raving to yoga to laughing at comedy on the plushly turfed lawn filled with flowers and palm trees. As well as street food, the cocktail bar is always in full force so you know the good times will be flowing all summer long. There is no lift however, so be prepared mentally and physically for those stairs.


Abbot St, London E8 3DP, UK

After operating out of a shipping container in a Dalston car park for a few years, The Dusty Knuckle bakery expanded to a corner of a brick building, albeit still in that same car park. It’s a small but nicely done space, with walls lined with bread and amazing looking pastries for you to takeaway. There’s also a big kitchen at the back where you can spy the bakers slapping out dough ready to go into the oven. What makes The Dusty Knuckle especially great is their support for young Londoners through their successful work experience and employment programmes. Plus they run regular education classes in food and baking that are delivered in schools and youth clubs.

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95 Kingsland High Street, London E8 2PB, UK

The peeps behind Dalston Superstore are responsible for dive bar The Karaoke Hole. Obvs karaoke plays a massive part here with disco balls and wind machines surrounding the stage so you can properly unleash your inner Beyonce…and yes, there’s a range of cocktails on offer should you need a little Dutch courage. And you won’t be the only ones stepping up to the mic as some of London’s best drag queens, including Just May, Little Jimmy Johnson and Dr. Sharon Husbands all host nights at The Karaoke Hole. Better break out the glitter and warm up those pipes…


68 Dalston Ln, London E8 3AH, UK

Little Duck The Picklery opened on Dalston Lane towards the end of 2017, run by the team behind Ducksoup and Rawduck (RIP). Like Ducksoup, the menu is chalked up on the blackboard daily and follows a similar seasonal, pared-back approach. A small team of chefs operate in the centre of the kitchen, while the walls are packed full of delicious looking pickled things in jars – the huge range of pickles and ferments that are all made in-house are used in a few of the dishes but are also available to buy and take home. Obviously the menus change quite a bit but we can defo recommend starting with a plate of those pickles and ferments and, if you see them, the sardines with wild onions and beef short rib ragu on fresh pasta. There’s a good list of approachable and affordable natural wines too.

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50 Stoke Newington Road, London N16 7XB, UK

Bringing the tropical vibes of the Caribbean to Dalston, Rudie’s serves a banging selection of Jamaican dishes and island inspired cocktails. The main attraction is the jerk, which is marinated for 24 hours and cooked in a traditional drum – just like they do in Jamaica. Whether you’re there for dinner or brunch, the jerk chicken is an absolute must, so soft, so juicy and so smokey, and you’ll wanna smother it in one of those homemade sauces. The jerk chicken burger is epic, so are the peppered shrimp (be warned, these are HAWT, so you’ll need a rum cocktail to cool off) and don’t miss out on the patties either.


390 Kingsland Road, London E8 4AA, UK

The OG Chick ‘n’ Sours in Haggerston, with the addition of a basement bar, is still going strong frying up those free range Somerset birds. The massive buns, including the Seoul Destroyer (fried thigh covered in a Korean glaze made with roast chicken fat, topped with kimchi and nacho cheese), are present and correct, as well as dishes like ssam style 1/2 fry and chicken toast – that’s “just like prawn toast but with chicken”. Cluck yeah.

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95 Kingsland High St, Dalston, London E8 2PB, UK

Voodoo Ray’s create thin and crispy NY-style pizza, which come by the slice or as a whole 22-inch whopper – you can’t go wrong with The Meat Is On or the Giorgio Moroder – and they do an after-midnight spesh for when the munchies strike. Wash down one of the massive slices with a signature frozen marg.


24 Ashwin Street, London E8 3DL, UK

Not only does the Arcola Theatre put on a rich and varied programme, from new works and premieres to revivals and adaptions – the venue has seen everything from The Glass Menagerie to the Grimeborn opera festival – but it’s also one of the greenest venues in the UK thanks to solar panels, carbon-neutral heating systems and low energy stage lighting. And if you’re looking for somewhere to have a few drinks and throw some shapes, the bar stays open late on Fridays and Saturdays, and the music is always on point.


36-38 Stoke Newington Road, London N16 7XJ, UK

Red Hand has got beer drinkers well covered, with a list that spans local brews to rare imports and cans to draught. They even have a load of big sharing bottles if you really wanna get stuck in. Wine and cocktail drinkers are also covered too, with a tight list of vino, classic cocktails on tap and a special G&T selection. And if you need to soak up all that booze, they very handily serve up cheese toasties.


450 Kingsland Rd, London E8 4AE, UK

Still London is a salon that’s better for your body and for the planet. Completely non-toxic and environmentally friendly, the products are the most gentle you’ll find on the market – even the gel polish won’t wreck your nails. Mani and pedi treatments use either Kure Bazaar 10-Free polish or Orly 12-Free gel polish – both brands are free from the whole host of the toxic chemicals usually found in nail varnish making them better for your nails and for the environment – and the salon also does facials too.


Dalston Works, Martel Place, London E8 2FR, UK

The Sadhana yoga and wellbeing studio offers a range of classes including Bikram, Vinyasa and Yin yoga as well as Sculpt (a high energy fusion of yoga, free weights and cardio) and Dynamic Body (a mix of yoga, pilates, ballet and contemporary dance), with something suitable for all fitness levels. As the original Bikram method of yoga is one of the Sadhana’s signature classes, the studio has been especially designed for it. The two spacious rooms feature the latest heating and humidity technology, so you can get a sweat on but the air stays fully oxygenated. There are also plenty of showers and a large chill-out area where you can relax after class.


56 Dalston Ln, London E8 3AH, UK

The menu at Angelina is a mash-up of Japanese and Italian food, which sounds more random than it is – don’t worry you won’t find sushi rice substituted for pasta. Instead, it’s combinations like creamy risotto topped with smoky unagi (eel), lightly tempura artichoke and fatty tuna crudo. There’s only two options when dining at Angelina; £38 for the tasting menu or £9 for the plate of the day and both change frequently. There’s a great list of cocktails served from the not so secret, no phones allowed bar – just head for the toilets and you’ll walk right through it.


The Factory, Shacklewell Lane, Dalston, London E8 2DA, UK

Discobarre offers classes set to house and disco music, mixing ballet, barre, contemporary dance, pilates and strength exercises so you can feel the groove and feel the burn. The studio is also be the official home of the Lotte Berk Technique, the OG barre workout and a fave of celebs back in the 70s and 80s, which Discobarre founder Sophia Ritchie is opening up to a new generation. And with other classes like Ballet Fitness, NRG Barre, the meditative Firm Feet, the inclusive Dance Church and more being taught at the studio, there are plenty of ways for you to break a sweat.


510b Kingsland Road, London E8 4AE, UK

Small and unshowy, Three Sheets is the kind of place you could easily walk past without a second thought. If you’re in the know though, it’s one of the best little cocktail bars in all of London. Founded by Max and Noel Venning, it’s all about classic cocktails given a modern twist, like the Shiso Miso (a take on an Old Fashioned) and the Almond Flower Sour. Simple but oh so effective.


107 Kingsland High St, London E8 2PB, UK

There’s been a cinema under various names on the site of the art deco, Grade-II listed Rio for over 100 years and it’s remained independent right up to this day. The two screens show a varied programme of new indie releases as well as regular double bills and classic matinees.


4 Stoke Newington Road, London N16 8BH, UK

There are a lot of mangal spots in Dalston but we suggest making a beeline for Mangal 2. The restaurant’s famous (and excellent) Twitter account may have closed and it may not stay open as late as some of the other Turkish restaurants in the area, but the kebabs are always on point and Gilbert & George still love it.


49 Ridley Rd, Dalston, London E8 2NP, UK

A bit tropical, a bit shabby chic, decor a little bit like an old office/lodge right down at the back, Ridley Road Market Bar is the definition of relaxed vibes. The booze is cheap (the five quid ginger mojitos are particularly good) and the music will get you throwing some shapes – be warned, it can get hot on that dancefloor.


7 Stoke Newington Road, London N16 8BH, UK

It was one of the first boutique salons to set up shop on Kingsland Road and the OG Blue Tit is still one of the best. Like all the other Blue Tits, it’s got a very strong look – with a whole wall of picture frames, an original fireplace, vintage furniture and exposed brick, it’s definitely more-is-more. Whether you’re after the chop or want a whole new colour, your hair is in safe hands here.


72-76 Stoke Newington Road, London N16 7XB, United Kingdom

Once Dalston’s best kept secrets and now a bit of a legend, Ruby’s is the perfect place to grab a few cocktails. And if you wanna get your dancing shoes on, they open up their lounge at the weekend to spin the disco tunes. It’s retro vibes all round and a great place to let your hair down.


Hackney Downs Studios, 17 Amhurst Terrace, London E8 2BT, UK

Re:Store, set up by Megan Adams, who herself made a resolution to use less plastic, is open in Hackney Downs Studios with no single-use packaging on site. You can bring your own containers or buy some in the shop, and fill up on wholefoods, nuts & seeds, herbs & spices, tea, coffee, oils, vinegars and household cleaning products. As well as working with local suppliers like Mission (coffee beans roasted in Clapton) and Ombra pasta (from Bethnal Green), the store also stocks a range of lifestyle products like Elephant Box food containers, Chilly’s water bottles and Georganics dental items. Tupperwares at the ready.


20 Dalston Ln, Dalston, London E8 3AZ, UK

With a cafe, an urban farm and a co-working space, Snackbar packs a lot into its three storeys on Dalston Lane. At the top there’s a co-working space for people in the food and drink industry, with an urban farm created in collaboration with FARM:Shop in the garden space. In the cafe, decked out with formica tables and flooded with light, owner Freddie Janssen cooks up a globally-inspired breakfast-brunch-lunch menu, using produce from local suppliers like Neal’s Yard, Growing Communities and Dusty Knuckle. Here you can tuck into the likes of kimchi blue cheese toasties, rice bowls with pickled daikon and egg yolk, egg and chorizo breakfast tacos, kaya toast soldiers with onsen egg and mortadella banh mi baps…yes, this is not a normal cafe.


Kingsland Rd, Haggerston, London, UK

Can’t make it to Mexico? Just head for Hacha instead. Run by luxury tequila ambassador for Diageo, Deano Moncrieffe, and named after the axe used to cut agave pinas, Hacha serves a changing range of 25 tequilas, mezcals and other lesser-known agave spirits. If you really want to get into the nitty gritty of agave, the bar offers single serves of each of the bottles on the list and tasting flights, complete with flavour enhancers. The cocktails are all fairly classic with a little Hacha twist. The Mirror Margarita is the bar’s signature serve. It tastes exactly like a margarita but it’s completely clear so it looks just like water – some Willy Wonka shit right there. The Hacha Tommy’s Margarita (blanco tequila, rosemary smoked lime and pistachio agave syrup) is also excellent and dangerously drinkable, and the Mexican Highball (reposado tequila, mezcal and soda) packs a punch, with a smoky finish coming courtesy of the mezcal. With a relaxed atmosphere and some knockout drinks, Hacha is a great neighbourhood joint and definitely one of the best places for tequila and mezcal in town.