LATEST NEWS & HAPPENINGS IN HACKNEY
F. COOKE IS BRINGING PIE & MASH BACK TO BROADWAY MARKET FOR ONE DAY ONLY
23rd September 2023Read more
For the scene that sums up Hackney today, just visit London Fields on any sunny weekend. It seems as if the whole world has decamped to this triangular patch of grass, chucking frisbees around, parading their dogs, and drinking endless cans of cider. Some people may have shunned London Fields due to it’s over-popularity but it’s still about as east London as it gets here – and it’s still nice to have a dip in London Fields lido.
At the southern end of London Fields is one of the city’s best streets, Broadway Market. Here you’ll find some classic pubs, The Cat and Mutton and the Dove, as well as shops, cafes, and restaurants. And on Saturday there’s the incredible – if incredibly busy – food market which is always worth a visit. The food scene in Hackney has definitely popped off in recent years, with some of London’s best restaurants calling the area home. The best Hackney restaurants include the epic vegan Chinese joint Facing Heaven, the Michelin-starred Behind, and the ever-reliable Morito.
There’s plenty more to things to do in Hackney including taking a show or a film at Hackney Empire and Hackney Picturehouse, and saying hi to the animals at Hackney City Farm. The cool kids are still hanging out in Hackney Wick, sinking pints at Crate Brewery and Howling Hops, although the famously arty community is getting more and more gentrified by the day.
Vegan Chinese spot Mao Chow has upped sticks and moved just around the corner – and become Facing Heaven in the process. And yes it’s still tiny, although at 28 covers, it’s double the size of the original spot. Despite the small size, it’s a fun vibe in there with brightly coloured yellow tables, black and white chequered floors, neon lights and a great soundtrack. Everything at Facing Heaven is still 100% vegan but founder Julian Denis has developed the menu to fuse Chinese dishes with his multicultural upbringing in LA, with Puerto-Rican, American and Portuguese twists shining through. Don’t miss the smacked cucumber, seaweed toast, dumplings in chilli oil made with ‘omnipork’,Chongqing cauliflower and the dan dan noods, and be sure to order a couple of MSG Margs to wash it all down with.
After winning a legion of fans in Islington for their Insta-worthy pastries – especially THAT bacon maple Danish – Pophams has now expanded to three sites, including one in Hackney and one in Victoria Park. As well as sweet pastries such as the nectarine and custard, and the exceptional almond croissant, there’s also savoury options like the rosemary and sea salt twist, and the now legendary Marmite & Schlossberger swirl. And just to prove they can do much more than just beautiful pastries, Pophams also has an evening menu at their Hackney bakery serving freshly rolled pastas such as pig cheek tortellini and nduja scarpinocc.
This small deli in London Fields sells a range of incredible independent brands and on-trend ingredients, from English hot sauce El Nino to Italian fish sauce to London Borough of Jam preserves. They’ve also got plastic-free items, freshly baked cakes and pastries and hot coffee.
They already had their indoor taproom, but in 2023 Five Points launched a new courtyard outside their Mare Street-based brewery. The al fresco bar is a huge 300-cover space where you can not only drink the brand’s own beer but also a range of cocktails and low-intervention wines. That’s not all, you can also grab a bite to eat from one of Five Points Courtyard’s indie food vendors. From The Ashes, a nose-to-tail concept created by two former Temper chefs, serves up their signature BBQ, while anoosh, founded by KERB alums Jack A. Fargher and Oli Stephen, dishes out their Mexico-meets-Middle-East tacos. You could easily spend the whole day here.
The Dumpling Shack team has opened a dedicated site to its spicy spin-off fried chicken concept Sichuan Fry (you can still get DS goodies here too). Sichuan Fry, which combines fried chicken and punchy Sichuan flavours, started life as a special menu item at Dumpling Shack in Spitalfields in 2020 before growing into a dedicated pop-up that resulted in two hours queues. Now at its perm home there are three different fried chicken sandwiches on offer – the Sichuan Classic spiced with Sichuan sauce and mala honey sauce; the Soy Garlic, with soy garlic glaze and garlic mayo; and the vegan Crispy Aubergine, with panko aubergine, honey mala sauce, Sichuan sauce & pickled cucumbers – as well as wings and tenders with various spice levels, and shake shake fries with a range of seasonings. HAWT.
Even if you’ve never been to Behind in London Fields before, you may well have heard of it – the restaurant made headlines back in 2020 when it won a Michelin star after being open for just 20 days, and it’s still going strong. The restaurant is set up around sweeping semi-circular bar surrounding an open kitchen, with 18 spots around the counter, each with a front row seat to watch the chefs prepare and serve the dishes. Behind is all about fish and seafood, sustainability sourced from across the UK via suppliers such as Broadway Market’s Fin & Flounder, with dishes including mackerel and kaki sorrel with prawn consomme; Cornish skate wing with onions, olives and sea lettuce; and gilt-head bream with girolles and a vin jaune sauce. We’d really recommend the wine pairing too for a special occasion treat that doesn’t involve journeying into central.
Craft brewery and bar Hackney Church Brew Co. has taken over two arches near Hackney Central, with one housing all the brewing gear and the other home to the bar and kitchen, with a large al fresco terrace. As well as fresh beer from the brewery tanks, the bar will also feature beer from around the world, and they’ve got a series of street food residents in the kitchen. Named after the nearby church, and with old pews in the bar itself, it’s a great little spot to sink some beers.
If you just catch a glance of WhiP as you walk past, you’d be forgiven for not realising it’s a hair salon straightaway. With a mix of second-hand furniture, plants, a set of decks and a stash of vinyl, it looks likes (a very cool) somebody’s lounge – it’s only the retro barber chairs that give it away. WhiP is an organic and eco-friendly boutique salon and they take the eco thing seriously, stocking vegan products from Evo and Oway, having refillable bottles for shampoos and only serving vegan bevvies.
A restaurant, bar, deli, coffee shop, liquor store, Stranger Than Paradise record shop, a Rebel Rebel florist, a podcast recording studio and a pop-up space…..Barworks’ Mare Street Market has got the lot, so you can pop in for brunch, a cocktail, a record, a wheel of cheese or a bunch of flowers.
Even though this park is generally full of hipster East Londoners, there are records of the area going back to 1540…so people really HAVE been going there before it was cool. As well as the park, there’s also a lido and Saturday food market. Dig in!
Silo (the world’s first zero waste restaurant) is housed in a space above Crate Brewery in Hackney Wick. Despite being in the loft an old warehouse, it’s a cosy room with a great vibe; grab a seat at the kitchen counter and you can watch the chefs at work and bask in the warmth from the grill. Unless you’re here for a quick bite and a glass of wine, we can definitely recommend going all in, sitting back, and enjoying the ride. The menu changes regularly but you’re always going to start with slices of bread, “the Siloaf”, and aged butter. Other highlights include a dish of smoked mackerel with sea buckthorn (one of the few non-veggie dishes), the king oyster mushroom with koji, and the amazing smoked potatoes with brown butter hollandaise. Desserts are ridiculously good too. Silo is incredible achievement both on and off the plate.
Broadway Market is one of London’s most popular and most hipster-tastic markets, running the length of the road of the same name. Head there on a Saturday to check out the stalls, which sell everything from antiques to fresh produce to street food – the likes of Deeney’s, Kolkati, and Hoshi Katsu Wraps trade there.
Part of Hackney’s skyline since 1901, there’s nothing past-it about the Hackney Empire. Hosting everything from comedy, drama, opera and of course, their infamous panto at Christmas, there’s definitely something for everyone to enjoy.
Open since 2011, the Hackney Picturehouse has quickly become a staple part of the community and screens everything from foreign films to mainstream offerings. There are four screens, as well as an all-day bar and cafe, so everything you need to while away an afternoon or two.
If you’re looking to spice up your lunch, Caribbean Kitchen is the place to go. They serve up a range of Caribbean classics, including jerk chicken, jerk pork, ackee & saltfish and curry goat, and they don’t skimp on the portions either…a box of jerk chicken, rice & peas and salad will set you back a fiver and will defo fill you up, and their jerk burrito is a monster too. Vegans are also covered at Caribbean Kitchen thanks to their Ital menu…the chickpea and sweet potato curry is bangin’.
e5 is an artisan bakery in the centre of London Fields (literally, it’s right under the station) which specialises in sourdough and rare, specialty breads. As well as being able to buy a loaf there, the bakehouse doubles as a cafe, serving toasted sarnies, soups and stews. They also do classes so you can learn how to make your own.
There’s another new addition to the Patty & Bun empire as their London Fields site takes up residence at a bigger, better spot on Richmond Road. Inside you’ll find long communal tables, a bar shaking up happy hour cocktails and art clinging to the exposed brick work. You’ve also got outdoor seating for when the sun is (eventually) out. All the P&B classics are on the menu and the kitchen churns these out at an impressive pace. If you’re new to P&B it’s one of the best burgers around, medium rare in a brioche bun crammed with all kinds of good stuff.
After learning his trade under Nathan Outlaw, both in Cornwall and in London, Tom Brown launched his first solo spot, Cornerstone, in 2018. It’s seafood-focused, with sharing dishes like trout pastrami; hake kiev; raw mackerel with lime pickle, coconut yogurt and crispy garlic; marinated squid with black pudding, blood orange and a brown butter dressing; and ox tongue served with salt cod, tomatoes and gremolata. There are strong links with Cornwall both through the sourcing of the fish and a partnership with Cornish distillery The Wrecking Coast who created a bespoke gin exclusively for the restaurant.
For any of you that have been to Viktor Wynd’s Museum of Curiosities you’ll know it’s quite the err…curious place. Hackney’s world famous emporium of bizarre collectables houses everything from mummified skeletons to taxidermy is now not only a place to see, but also to eat. Allow us to elaborate. The museum is now home to a restaurant offering an exciting new menu of feasting platters and exotic game burgers featuring the likes of zebra, camel, ostrich and kangaroo. Yikes, sorry Skippy. Fancy the place to yourself? Then hire the entire museum for private dining and indulge in the luxury-feasting menu that includes oysters, foie-gras and pheasant terrine. They certainly don’t do things by halves over at Mr Wynd’s. Wash it all down with some house cocktails inspired by the museum’s inventory and you might just have yourself London’s most fantastical, but wonderful night out.
So The George and Dragon is dead. Yes, sad times indeed. But there’s no need to lie in mourning because after a facelift and quick move a mile up the road, it has been reborn as The Queen Adelaide. Many of the best bits of the old joint – the life-size figures, the paintings, the horse’s head, the staff – have made the move over to the former strip club, meaning not too much has changed. Late licence, lots of tunes, and a crazy crowd…what’s not to like?
Behind This Wall has set up shop in a basement located at the end of Mare Street, serving up seasonal cocktails, like white mezcal negronis and cucumber & pickle juice margs with black salt lava rims, wines, and beers along with bar snacks (and you can order Yard Sale in). With a clean design running throughout the space and an epic hi-fi system, BTW looks pretty sophisticated for Mare Street. Best get Behind This Wall then…
Less known than it should be, The Hackney Museum is a great example of diversity among the local community as many of its exhibits tell the story of how people from all over the world have made London their home. Star exhibits include the ‘Hackney Hoard’, a collection of double eagle coins unearthed in a Hackney garden, a propaganda sheet from Nazi Germany and a sculpture made by a child from Sierra Leone.
Vegan fried chicken. Yep – it’s a thing. The “chicken” is actually made from seitan, which is wheat gluten deep-fried and seasoned just like the real thing. You can get it as a chicken burger, a wrap, wings and as a two-piece with fries, and they even do gluten-free nuggets too. Trust us, vegan or not, this meatless joint is worth the visit.
Eat, drink, shop – with 1.2 million square feet in London’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, Here East is a place for all your needs. You can find everything from coffee shops to street food to craft beer here thanks to the likes of Gotto Trattoria, Randy’s Wing Bar (we recommend going Gangnam style here), The Breakfast Club, and F45.
HWDK looks the bomb, with bright white walls, clean lines and a black ceiling. It’s a smart place with an arty edge though without the pretentiousness, you’re made welcome and your experience there is important.The man behind the magic of all this is Ki, who spent many years working in fashion with his Hurwundeki label, clients of which were none other than Gilbert & George, Kate Moss & Pete Doherty. With his speciality being 30 minute haircuts, its the perfect place to drop in for a quick wash and a cut – and leave chuffed with your new ‘do.
After popping up all over town, Night Tales has finally settled down with a perm spot in Hackney Central. Taking over two railway arches by the overground, it’s got a 300-capacity nightclub, a cocktail bar, a Japanese garden complete with day beds and a waterfall feature, NT faves Sons of Slice serving up the pizza, and a whole host of DJs hitting the decks.
A New Tribe brings together homeware and lifestyle items produced by independent designers and small brands from Morocco, Japan, India, the UK, the US and beyond. Every item they select to sell has been chosen because of its beauty, ethos and the care that goes into its creation. If you’ve been hunting for a rare Moroccan rug (A New Tribe’s speciality), a new and unusual scent, or you’re looking to deck out your home with unique accessories, this is the place.
When it comes to chippies in the capital, Sutton & Sons is definitely up there with the best. With its award-winning fish & chips available in Islington and Stoke Newington as well as Hackney, the menu also features the likes of oysters, moules marinere and crab on toast plus Mrs Sutton’s homemade pickles and desserts.
After finding success with Oldroyd in Islington, Tom Oldroyd took on the Duke of Richmond in Hackney, turning what was The Richmond back into a boozer, with a separate dining room area. The food is Anglo-French (though it changes) meaning you’ll get dishes like Cornish crab souffle, entrecote a la bordelaise, and ratatouille Provençal with cow’s curd & garlic bread. There’s a French wine list to choose from, but it’s still at pub at heart, so there’s a lot more booze to keep you going.
For over twenty years Hackney City Farm has been providing fun days out for kids both big and little. And who says fun can’t also be educational? There are a whole host of animals on the farm, including donkeys, pigs, goats and guinea pigs. You can also buy produce supplied by the animals at the farm shop!
It doesn’t look like much from the outside but that’s all part of the charm of this boozer. There’s a big horseshoe bar and some trippy paintings on the walls – what’s that banana one all about? It’s a fave with Hackney locals, especially on the weekends, thanks to the decent pub grub menu and the atmosphere is always on point too.
The original Sager + Wilde wine bar on Hackney Road can be credited with kickstarting a new breed of wine bars across London. It’s still one of London’s best, dark and cosy with a great selection of wines by the glass at non-ridiculous markups. As well as being a great place to discover and drink new wines, they also knock out one of London’s best cheese toasties, plus charcuterie and other nibbles. One of our all time faves.
NT’s probably doesn’t jump out as a rum bar and well it’s not really, but it does have a surprisingly good selection behind the bar – we’re talking 30+ bottles and they shake up a mighty fine Piña Colada. And with bangin’ views, it’s perfect if everyone else you know hates rum.
Climpson & Sons have been roasting beans in London for years, so it comes as no surprise that they serve up one of the best cups of coffee in town. It’s a chilled out spot during weekdays and you won’t be able to resist ordering a pastry too!
What once was once the trendy, hipster London Fields pub now stands Martello Hall. An all new singing and dancing cocktail bar and restaurant with their own brand gin distilled on-site, handmade in the US by John Chapple, called Nicola and it makes their fine Martello Gin. You’ll find her on their back bar. This place is set over three floors with an airy and modern with an industrial feel…you know the drill, exposed brick, lots of rusty looking metal. Alright, enough gasin’ just order at the bar, thank you.
The first in-person shop of its kind, big. is dedicated to showcasing conscious beauty products at its flagship location in Victoria Park Village. There are plenty of cult brands on sale at the shop, some you may already recognise, including the likes of Mirror Water, Votary, Haeckels, Pelegrims, Sans[ceuticals], Horosoaps, Salt & Stone, Wild Source and The Seated Queen. As well as promoting the use of sustainable and cruelty-free skincare and wellness products, big. has designed its first bricks-and-mortar site to be totally circular by incorporating furniture made from discarded plasterboard (the most frequently wasted product in London), panels made from algae biomaterial, fixtures grown from mycelium (mushroom) biomaterial and more.
Whether you want a burrito and a margarita or some more inventive Mexican dishes, Caldera is the place to go. The Mare Street spot serves up all the classics like nachos, quesadillas, enchiladas and tacos – the baja fish tacos are particularly good, chunky pieces of fish with a smokey kick, though you do have to eat them quick or risk the filling dropping out. And if you go by during the day, they do a £5 burrito lunch offer. It’s also worth trying out some of the other, more inventive plates; the mole-miso marinated lamb cutlets are insanely moreish and you will find yourself gnawing at them to get every last bit of flavour off. You’ll also find yourself scraping the pot of dulce de leche dip that comes with the churros and that’s ok too.
The main thing you need to know about Crate is that it does brilliant beer. But it also has a brilliant canalside location on the River Lea, a vibey space where you can also get absolutely banging pizzas. What’s even better is that you can head on over across Queen’s Yard to Colour Factory for a full-on food market, or for fancy wining and dining, you’ve also got SIlo in the space above the brewery. Basically, Crate is your one-stop shop for a food-forward night out. And now back to the beers: the brewery does all the usual culprits, and pretty well, too. We’re big fans of both the Citra Sour and the Cider. OK, OK, so it’s not a beer, but it’s worth it, OK?
Five Points brews its beer in East London, and has a stable of East London pubs to match. The Pembury Tavern is an absolute classic – with some of London’s best pizza (shhh it’s our secret) from Ace on the menu to boot – while the Mare Street Tap Room (in the yard at Five Points’ warehouse) is the ideal spot for summer sipping. Which is lucky, because it isn’t open in winter. The brewery has a two sister pubs in Leeds, too. Leeds! Who care about Leeds? We’re more interested in Five Points’ beers, which are pretty dang good. The Pale and the XPA are the most commonly found in the wild, but the brewery has much more up its sleeve: a Railway Porter, a Best, a JUPA, a Micro Pale and more.
Howling Hops opened Hackney’s first brewpub, The Cock Tavern on Mare Street, back in 2011. And that’s a claim to fame if we ever heard one (the pub also went on to win an award for its pickled eggs). Their motto is ‘brew interesting beer’, and this is exactly what they do, with unfiltered, unpasteurised, vegan brews. Howling Hops lists no less than 80 brews on their website, and that’s just the most recent releases. But before you take a deep dive into this almost never-ending list, the brews you need to look out for are the Tropical Deluxe and House IPA, which are the ones you’ll probably find most often around London – and for good reason, as they’re both deeeelicious. For a wider selection, head to Howling Hops’ Tank Bar in Hackney Wick, where you’ll get to try the brewery’s beer fresh from the tank. Thirst quenching.
Being the OG 100% Vegan pub in London means the Spread Eagle have a lot to live up to. Thankfully, the food continues to be top notch and what’s decent is that they change their menu regularly in order to make the most of foraged and seasonal ingredients, with naughty veggie burgers being a menu mainstay from Head Chef Jamie Hetherington, who is at the helm of the vegan menu. Of course, their drinks (and interiors) are fully plant-based too and their rotating cocktail list is not one to miss. In warm weather they’ve got a space out back and one tip we’d give you is not to miss out on one of the best Sunday roasts in London, which you will find here, or you’ll regret it.
Part of the booming scene of sustainable spots in the city, EDIT landed in Hackney with a plant-based, hyper-seasonal menu and carefully considered interiors. Named after the restaurant’s intention to cut out the overproduced, unnecessarily wasteful and single-use, EDIT aims to replace environmentally harmful practices with “the regenerative, the harmless, the natural and the wild”. To make up their daily changing menu, the EDIT team sources ingredients from small-scale farms, foragers and independent producers who use regenerative and minimal intervention methods with an emphasis on local produce. Expect a selection of modern British vegan dishes best paired with some of their low-intervention and local wines, beers and ciders.
This traditional, family run business based in Hackney takes pride in serving the very best quality fish, shellfish, crustaceans, and anything else from the sea. Fin & Flounder work with fishermen from Scotland and Cornwall as well as using only the best merchants from Billingsgate fish market, and they’ll prepare anything just how you like it.
Oslo, a restaurant and live music venue located in the old Hackney Central train station, but it’s not just another new, live music skanky pub, oh no this place is the dog’s bollocks with regular gigs and club nights. Downstairs in the restaurant the decor is pretty swish with cool lighting, wooden tables and plenty of space. The Hackney fave has also re-vamped its menu, with food from Arepa & Co.
If you’re a fan of all things vintage furniture, get AELFRED on your radar. The 300-sqft space in Hackney Wick holds the city’s largest showroom for mid-century Danish, Swedish, Norwegian and Finnish furniture and home accessories. They’ve got everything from bookshelves and sofas to tableware and copper cookware, priced at as little as £15 to no more than £2500, and are constantly finding new stock to add to their carefully curated collection. Now you’ve got a new way to live out your Scandi lifestyle dreams right here in London.
A butcher shop by day and neighbourhood restaurant by night – Hill & Szrok specialises in local produce, supports the British farming industry and champions a whole carcass approach to butchery. Chop down to Broadway Market for top quality, seasonal produce.
Oh Vicky Park how we do love you. Not only does it play host to some of the best festivals in the capital but it’s home to the Pavilion Cafe (great for a top notch breakfast), a model boating lake and a new weekly farmer’s market on top of all the green space. It may always be full of joggers and sunbathers but the place is so big you’ll never feel crowded.
Morito is the little sister to Moro, the Exmouth Market restaurant run by Sam and Sam Clark. The original is a tiny place that’s right next door to Moro, with a second and bigger site opening on Hackney Road in 2016. Although not solely Spanish (the menu draws influence from the Eastern Med and North Africa as well as Spain), the menus feature tapas classics like tortilla & aioli, jamon iberico, padron peppers and grilled chorizo alongside dishes like arroz negro with cuttlefish, roast pork belly with quince, and Malaga raisin ice cream, plus a strong Spainish wine list with sherries and vermouths.
Bang on the corner of Broadway Market, the Cat & Mutton gets busy quick but with plenty of beers on tap plus wines and cocktails as well as great pub grub, it’s not hard to see why. They keep you entertained too with a weekly pub quiz and DJs on the weekend. If you can’t find a space by the copper bar, head upstairs to the spacious Other Bar.
Three friends teamed up to sail De Hoop (a 114 year old Dutch Barge) from Holland to East London’s Hackney Wick, and after mooring up along the canal they’ve converted it into a floating restaurant and canal side garden which seats a whopping 300 people. Their menu focusses on street food classics, like buttermilk fried chicken burgers; bacon and sage scotch eggs; deep fried apple tart; and roast beef buns, with locals East London Liquor Co, Beavertown and Three Choirs supplying the brews and cocktails. Whether it’s brunch, lunch or sometime in the evening, get yourself aboard.
From supper clubs in his kitchen to pop-ups across East London to a restaurant on Mare Street and now to a permanent spot just off the canal in Hackney, Gabriel Waterhouse’s The Water House Project has been on quite a journey. It’s latest iteration is less a restaurant and more a dining experience – there’s one sitting every Wednesday – Saturday night with one nine-course tasting menu and low-intervention wine pairing on offer, meaning the whole room is served at the same time. The menus change seasonally but always showcase the refined modern British style that Gabriel and his team have developed over time, so you can expect dishes like chicken liver & blackcurrant jammie dodger; St Austell mussels with preserved lemon & fermented artichoke; hen’s egg with smoked haddock, ratte potato & mustarf; Sutton Hoo chicken with morels & wild garlic; and apple, celeriac & calvados.
23rd September 2023Read more