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, 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

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.

Read Full Article


52 Boleyn Rd, London N16 8JP

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 just over 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.

Read Full Article


58 Dalston Lane, London E8 1PQ

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

If you’re up for spending big bucks and looking for a real shopping experience, head to LN-CC. Recently re-opened after a four-year closure, the shop’s various different rooms, including their iconic, 2001: A Space Odyssey-esque tunnel, have been reimagined by designer Gary Card. And, for the first time, you’ll be able to drop by on weekends without an appointment so you can browse womenswear and menswear pieces from major fashion houses like Alexander McQueen, Chloe, Burberry, and Prada alongside up-and-coming designers, plus luxury lifestyle and homeware items.


11-17 Stoke Newington Rd, London N16 8BH

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

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, a cocktail bar and a simple but effectivefood menu.


18 Ashwin St, London E8 3DL

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

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.


95 Kingsland High Street, London E8 2PB

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

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.

Read Full Article


390 Kingsland Road, London E8 4AA

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.

Read Full Article


95 Kingsland High St, Dalston, London E8 2PB

Voodoo Ray’s creates thin and crispy NY-style pizza, which comes 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 at the Dalston branch, which is open until 2am on Fridays and Saturdays, for when the munchies strike. Wash down one of the massive slices with a signature frozen marg.


24 Ashwin Street, London E8 3DL

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

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

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.


56 Dalston Ln, London E8 3AH

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

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.


Batch Baby, De Beauvoir Road, London

What was once a temporary passion project is now an award-winning multi-roaster speciality coffee shop open seven days a week. Batch Baby is serving up speciality coffee from all over the world on the border of Islington and Hackney. They celebrated their two-year birthday in late 2023 and were awarded the Grounds of Innovation award by BRITA UK. Stop by for great coffee, great food and great vibes.


510b Kingsland Road, London E8 4AE

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

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.


49 Ridley Rd, Dalston, London E8 2NP

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

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

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.


433-434 Kingsland Road, London, E8 4AU

The team behind Brilliant Corners, Giant Steps, and Idle Moments have continued their tradition of venues named after jazz albums with their latest venue, which is called “Mu”, after Don Cherry’s 1969 album. They’ve done a great job on the interiors, keeping some of the dark moody atmosphere of Rotorino (which was the previous occupant), but thoroughly smartening the place up with a wood-panelled curved ceiling, hanging globe lights, and sleek modern furniture. There’s a large bar and a performance space which is the heart of the room and the headline feature of the “Mu” experience. There’s regular live music every night, with a mixture of resident musicians and guests, with two performances each night. Alongside the music, you’ll definitely want to tuck into the Japanese-inspired food and drink. Go heavy on the snacks like the scallop skewers; beef tartare served with crisp toasted seaweed; fried aubergine and white miso; and fresh sliced yellowtail with yuzu and pomegranate.


20 Dalston Ln, Dalston, London E8 3AZ

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

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.


One of the best things to happen in 2020 was the refurbishment of Mangal II, swiftly turning it into our new favourite Turkish restaurant in Dalston, and one of our favourite spots in the whole city. Original founder Ali Dirik’s sons, Ferhat and Sertac, are now running Mangal II and they’ve bought the place bang up to date with a more concise menu, daily specials, and more variety – and there’s even natural wines too. We especially love the doner kebab, which they make from scratch in-house, the spicy ezme salad, the whole grilled fish, the aubergine, the mushroom manti dumplings, and THOSE sumac grilled onions. Basically we love it all, and brothers Ferhat and Sertac are some of the nicest, hardest working guys in the biz. If you want the best Turkish food in London, then look no further than Mangal II.


40FT is an independent brewery based in Dalston and the lovechild of four East London friends. This neighbourhood fave started brewing back in 2015 from two repurposed 20ft shipping containers, but London was thirsty for their brews and so they added a dedicated taproom (with both cosy indoor seating inside the containers which have been done out with wooden floors and tables, plus outdoor benches if you’re lucky with the weather) to their container collection. Their Hazy Pale Ale was brewed for Dalston Roof Park and this is exactly where we recommend it is drunk, but the Late Night Disco IPA and Deepest 10.5% Stout are also great thirst quenchers.


130 Kingsland High St, London E8 2LQ

If you’re after somewhere that offers more that just a bed, head for one of these 124 apartments in the heart of Dalston with interiors just as vibrant as the neighbourhood itself. Staying at Kingsland Locke also means having run of their social spaces, including a co-working lounge, coffee shop, workout studio and microbrewery. Drinks from German Kraft Brewery and Jim & tonic, and food from Le Bab? Check us in. The whole place is inspired by the local surroundings and we bet you feel like a proper Londoner after settling down here.


He’s spent time at Louie Louie and running his own residency at Borough Wines in Kensal Rise and now Israeli chef Oded Oren has his first solo restaurant on Shacklewell Lane. It’s a cosy space with just 35 covers, and a few stools at a small bar. It’s definitely nailed that buzzy neighbourhood restaurant vibe – it’s always packed and the music’s always loud, so it’s got a nice lively feel. The food is inspired by his home city of Tel Aviv, so you can expect dishes like Jerusalem mixed grill; monkfish ‘chraime’ & hand rolled cous cous; chargrilled hake kebabs & sheep’s yoghurt; and freekeh-smoked green wheat with Westcombe dairy ricotta & fresh herbs, and Zeren Wilson has curated the wine list, whic features some fantastic organic/biodynamic bottles and at not too scary prices.


Prick, run by Gynelle Leon, is London’s very first boutique dedicated to cacti and other succulents. As well as offering plants in all shapes and sizes, Prick also sells a range of ceramic pots, including their own terracotta ‘Prick Pots’, plus plant-related books and accessories. All in all, Prick sounds rather succulent to us…


76 Stoke Newington Rd, London N16 7XB

A slice of Mexico has come to Dalston as Ruby’s has got a brand new kitchen and bar. Corrochio’s, run by chef and cocktail wizard Daniel Corrochio (who actually used to run Ruby’s and has worked with founder Tom Gibson at his pub The Bluecoats in Tottenham as well) is tucked away across from the main bar at Ruby’s and it’s a proper intimate spot – real basement vibes with a bar at one end, a fireplace on the wall and a little water fountain in the middle. Daniel’s menu combines authentic Mexican dishes, with recipes inspired by his mother featuring lesser-known Mexican ingredients. The dishes change fairly regularly but there’ll always be a handful of tacos to choose from, made with excellent corn tortillas. In fact, the tortillas are so good that you’ll defo need to order the guac and totopos too so you can try the crispy versions as well. The drinks list features a range of tequila, mezcal, sotol and raicilla as well as inventive cocktails like the Mezcalita and the Monarca but they shake up a mean marg too for those who want to keep it classic.


117 Kingsland High St, London E8 2PB

Dalston Superstore is a multitasker – it’s a queer bar, club, gallery, cafe, performance and community space, all wrapped into one. By day, there are drag brunches, queer art exhibitions and Essential Vegan cooking up burgers and sandwiches in the kitchen. And by night, regulars like Uncontrollable Urge collective and Femme Fraiche take over as the Superstore transforms into a club/performance space, pumping out disco, electro, techno and house tunes until 4am.


Listening bars and audio-focused restaurants have gone through a renaissance in London but Dalston’s Brilliant Corners was one of the first to do it, opening way back in 2013. The Kingsland Road spot specialises in Japanese small plates, live jazz and DJ sets. The sound system is world class and there are always expert selectors passing through, so music fans are in for a treat. The food and drink offering is just as good, with izakaya-inspired plates like tuna maki, beef tataki, tofu korokke with miso aioli, chicken karaage and sashimi moriawase with ponzu on the menu, complemented by mezcal margs, miso highballs and natural wines.