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 14 January 2020

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. 

Venerdi

Venerdi

9 Chatsworth Road, 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
Del 74 Dalston

Del 74 Dalston

129 Kingsland High Street, 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
Mint Gun Club

Mint Gun Club

4A Brooke Road, London, N16 7LS

Tucked away in Stoke Newington, this teeny, tropical bar is a real treat. We love the bleached colour scheme and pineapple references, making us feel like we’re on holiday, but the menu has been crafted with care, too. This is evident in the quality and creativeness of the cocktails, particularly the Batida.
Bars
Perilla

Perilla

1-3 Green Lanes, Newington Green, London, N16 9BS

After one visit to Perilla you’ll wonder how you never knew about it before. The restaurant is awash with calming, neutral tones which - next to rustic wooden furniture and flickering candlelight - create an effortlessly cool ambiance. Positioned in Newington Green, this low-key neighbourhood restaurant uses classical European flavours as inspiration to create something fresh and modern.
£30 - £49
Modern European
SquareMeal London Top 100
The Prince Arthur

The Prince Arthur

95 Forest Road, London, 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
Angelina

Angelina

56 Dalston Lane, London, 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.
£30 - £49
Japanese
Italian
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
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
Les Nénettes

Les Nénettes

19 Lower Clapton Road, London, E5 0NS

With monochrome checkerboard tiles and rustic furniture, Les Nénettes is a little slice of Parisian chic, right here in London. Located in a lovely spot in Clapton, eating lunch (preferably a croque monsieur) from the outside terrace on a sunny day is heavenly, especially thanks to the grassy view of the park over the road. Come here for French classics and be prepared to indulge.
French
Jidori Dalston

Jidori Dalston

89 Kingsland High Street, London, E8 2PB

Jidori may sit on Dalston’s most hectic road, but inside you’ll find a peaceful sanctuary from the busyness outside. The neutral-toned decor with modern touches like architectural light fixtures creates a calm environment to allow you to focus on the food, which centres around chicken dishes in Japanese style. The name itself symbolises the restaurant’s pledge to only use the freshest ingredients (jidori is a type of free range chicken in Japan) and source locally, with an ever-changing menu.
£30 - £49
Japanese
The Empress

The Empress

130 Lauriston Road, 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
Martello Hall

Martello Hall

137 Mare Street, 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.
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
Voodoo Ray

Voodoo Ray's Dalston

95 Kingsland High Street, London, 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
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
Untitled

Untitled

538 Kingsland Road, London, E8 4AH

Part bar and part gallery, Untitled has a decidedly New York vibe about it. From the stretching grey concrete central table to the industrial lighting ahead, this place looks like it’s straight out of a design magazine. The menu looks pretty good too, with small plates of Asian-inspired cuisine like sea bass sashimi, yuzu and truffle oil.
Bars
Peg

Peg

120 Morning Lane, London, London, E9 6LH

This relaxed wine bar and restaurant is a great place for a first date thanks to its intimate size and informal feel. Pull up a bar stool at one of the minimalist tables, check out the extensive list of plonk and settle in for an evening of good fare and good vibes.
£30 - £49
Japanese
Wine Bars
Jolene

Jolene

21 Newington Green, London, N16 9PU

This cute and cosy eatery is a bit of everything: bakery, wine bar and restaurant. Perfect for a Saturday afternoon natter with pals, you can fill your boots with an abundance of pastries, pasta and small plates in an informal setting. The menu changes daily meaning there’s always something new to try – just check the Instagram page to find out more.
Under £30
French
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
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
Spanish

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