Best restaurants in Hackney

Hackney is a foodie’s wonderland. The borders of arguably London’s coolest borough stretch right from sleepy, leafy Stoke Newington, all the way to the hustle and bustle of Shoreditch and The City – and let us tell you, there’s a lot of eating to do in-between. Thanks to the wonderfully diverse communities of east London you will find every cuisine, as well as every type of atmosphere and concept. Whether it be a tiny, low-lit Italian deli (perfect for that first date), a cool, pop-up cocktail bar that none of your friends have ever heard of, or a sprawling, light and airy industrial restaurant, Hackney has got it all.

Updated on 23 January 2024

Hackney has always been a melting pot of cultures and creativity – and it’s something that serves the area well when it comes to food offerings. You might now associate it as the place where fashion designers and creatives have made their home, but this all stems from a history going back hundreds of years. As one of the poorest parts of the city, immigrants originally moved here first, turning areas like the famous Brick Lane into a vibrant, foodie gem and starting a legacy of unique restaurants serving cuisine from all over the globe. We love that you can find some of the most experimental restaurants created in Hackney, with eye-catching décor, Michelin starred menus and open kitchens that feel more like theatre than grabbing a bite to eat. But alongside these are traditional pubs with roaring fires, Victorian features and a menu boasting the likes of bangers and mash. Whether it be Mexican quesadillas oozing cheese, wood-fired Italian pizzas, Asian fusion or cocktails and nibbles, these are the best restaurants in Hackney. 

The Empress

The Empress

130 Lauriston Road, Hackney, London, E9 7LH

With exposed brick walls and buckets full of quirky charm, The Empress is one of Hackney’s finest pubs. The menu is classic British gastro fare and changes seasonally but it’s always full of goodies like mussels with cider, bacon and fries or pork belly, creamed potato and savoy cabbage.
£30 - £49
Gastropub
The Prince Arthur

The Prince Arthur

95 Forest Road, Dalston, London, E8 3BH

Original Victorian features, dark wood panelled walls and plenty of nooks to get cosied up in make this local boozer the perfect London pub. Combine that with a roster of live music, an impressive supply of board games and an 'anyone’s welcome' attitude, and The Prince Arthur could become your new haunt for post-work drinks.

Pubs
Cafe Cecilia

Cafe Cecilia

Canal Place, Hackney, London, E8 4FX

Café Cecilia is a fashionable all-day joint serving breakfast, lunch and dinner throughout the week, although beware - it’s only open in the evening on Fridays and Saturdays. Owner and head chef Max Rocha draws on his Irish heritage to bring the likes of breaded oysters with pickled cucumber, and Guinness bread ice cream to lucky diners.

£30 - £49
British
SquareMeal London Top 100
Behind

Behind

20 Sidworth Street, Hackney, London, E8 3SD

This entirely chef's table restaurant comes from Andy Beynon, an ex development chef for Jason Atherton, so you can rest assured you’re in good hands here. You can expect each of the eight courses to showcase sustainable produce in new and creative ways, and there’s also a wine pairing for those who are so inclined.

Over £80
Fish
One Michelin star
SquareMeal London Top 100
Ruby

Ruby's Bar & Lounge

76 Stoke Newington Road, Dalston, London, N16 7XB

Ruby’s, as it’s affectionately known by locals, is considered a Dalston institution. Find your way inside and you’ll be met with sultry lighting, mismatch vintage furniture and a whole lot of charm. The cocktail and nibbles menu changes seasonally, but you’ll find all the classics on there, too.

Bars
Venerdi

Venerdi

9 Chatsworth Road, Homerton, London, E5 0LH

The easy going feel of this local Italian makes it an obvious venue choice for a get together with friends. The informal décor and fantastic customer service create a friendly atmosphere, and that’s before you’ve even tried the food. Since its opening, Venerdi has vowed to serve up only the most authentic fare, so everything from the pizza to the cocktails is like a taste of Italy.

£30 - £49
Pizza
Italian
Angelina

Angelina

56 Dalston Lane, Dalston, London, E8 3AH

Take a trip down Dalston Lane (a hot spot with local Hackney foodies) and you’ll find Angelina, a very chic, very cool Japanese and Italian fusion restaurant serving up experimental fare. Family-owned, there’s real heart to this place which only opened early 2019. In other words, get in there first and impress your mates by being the first to know about this must-visit gem.
£50 - £79
Japanese
Italian
Papi

Papi

1F, Hackney, London, E8 3DQ

Papi is all about delicious, zero waste food and carefully sourced natural wines. You’ll find it tucked away down one of Hackney’s backstreets, with low-lit lighting to entice you in, and friendly faces ready to welcome you.

£50 - £79
Modern European
British
SquareMeal London Top 100
Lagom

Lagom

Hackney Church Brew Co, Hackney, London, E8 1DU

Tucked around the back of Hackney Church Brew Co you'll find Lagom, where founder Elliot Cunningham knocks out some fabulous, smokey barbecue and burgers. Lagom's philosophy is dead simple, just great quality produce, lots of fire, smoke and heat and dishes kept simple but delicious. The smash burger is a knockout (especially alongside a few beers) but the regularly changing menu means there's something new to try everytime you visit.

£30 - £49
Barbecue
Cornerstone

Cornerstone

3 Prince Edward Road, Hackney, London, E9 5LX

The open kitchen, which is plonked right in the middle of the restaurant at Cornerstone, is a little bit like being at the theatre. Watching the chefs (who are led by the talented Tom Brown) cook up a storm is not only exciting, but works aesthetically with the industrial-style space and adds wonderfully to the overall atmosphere.
£50 - £79
Fish
One Michelin star
St John at Hackney Brewery

St John at Hackney Brewery

16-17 Bohemia Place, London, E8 1DU

This place has three incredibly unique USPs which we think will be enough to get you through the door, and keep coming back for more. Firstly the brewpub’s name points towards its admiration of the parish that sits across the road, and how it aims to create a warm, welcoming community feel for its guests. We also adore the striking features of its arched home, and that they brew their own beer on site.
Bars
Faulkner

Faulkner's

424-426 Kingsland Road, London, E8 4AA

Could this be the best fish and chips in London? Faulkner’s certainly thinks it has what it takes. The restaurant has been going since 1980 and prides itself on its loyal customer base and place in the community, attracting folk from all over London to try its award-winning fare.
£30 - £49
Fish and Chips
Del 74 Dalston

Del 74 Dalston

129 Kingsland High Street, Dalston, London, E8 2PB

From the rotating glitter ball to the DJ spinning records on the restaurant floor, there’s a vibrancy and fun that makes Del 74 more than just somewhere to eat. The menu is stereotypical Mexican with cheesy quesibilias, steak-filled tacos and margaritas reining supreme. Come here for a raucous meal with friends and stay after you’ve dined to enjoy the vibe.
Under £30
Mexican
Silo

Silo

CRATE Brewery, Hackney, London, E9 5EN

Not only can you get first class food at Silo, but it’s also the world’s first zero waste restaurant, so you can enjoy it all completely guilt free. From fermenting leftovers to finding eco-friendly delivery methods for suppliers, there’s nothing half hearted about the team's approach to helping the planet.

£50 - £79
Modern European
SquareMeal London Top 100
Lardo

Lardo

The Arthaus, Richmond Road, Hackney, London, E8 3NJ

Who doesn’t like authentic Italian food in an effortlessly stylish setting? Lardo in Hackney Central mixes industrial lighting with a truly tasty menu, loaded with small plates like pan seared squid with gremolata, potato, endive and pangrattato and innovative pizzas like wild mushroom, duck egg and taleggio.

£30 - £49
Italian
Voodoo Ray

Voodoo Ray's Dalston

95 Kingsland High Street, Dalston, London, E8 2PB

Between East Londoners, Voodoo Ray’s is a thing of legend. At this fluorescent-lit pizza joint you feast by the slice, two of which equals a whole 11 incher, such is their impressive size. There are eight different flavours to choose from and a killer cocktail menu, too.
Under £30
Pizza
Pidgin

Pidgin

52 Wilton Way, Hackney, London, E8 1BG

Pidgin famously has served a different tasting menu every week since it opened in 2015, and never repeats a dish twice. The result is a quite astonishing commitment to creativity and originality, and the restaurant has solidified a reputation as one of the best in Hackney, despite the fact that you literally never know what you're going to get. 

£50 - £79
International
Escocesa

Escocesa

67 Stoke Newington Church Street, London, N16 0AR

After reading about the dwindling interest in the UK for Scottish seafood which was causing prime catches to be passed onto the Spanish market, an LA-based Glasgow native had the romantic notion to return home and show diners what they’d be missing. After teaming up with some fantastic Spanish chefs, this is exactly what happened, resulting in Escocesa which serves up the best of both worlds.

£30 - £49
Tapas
Spanish
Martello Hall

Martello Hall

137 Mare Street, Hackney, London, E8 3RH

With its distressed interiors and colonial décor references, Martello Hall has a palpable charm that will keep you coming back again and again, whether it’s for its generous bottomless brunch or mouth-watering pizzas. Stand out flavour combinations include the Smokey Bandit with smoked pancetta and potato, truffle taleggio, mozzarella, lemon and sage and the Green God with roast squash, beetroot and broccoli, mozzarella, pistachio pesto, ricotta and kale.

£30 - £49
Modern European
Tapas

Why not take a few steps north and see what Islington has to offer? 

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