Bronze Award

SquareMeal Review of Lagom

Bronze Award

London does beer and food extremely well, but we struggle to think of a better symbiotic pairing in the city than Lagom and Hackney Church Brew Co. The brew pub sits underneath the railway arches at Hackney Central, and as you enter, you’re immediately greeted by the clatter of cheerful east Londoners, glugging their way through a hefty beer offering. Around the back you’ll find Lagom and chef Elliot Cunningham manning a fierce plancha and wood grill, cooking up burgers, steaks and some bold veggie dishes.

Lots of restaurants are carefully engineered to keep you at arm’s length, but Lagom invites you right into the fray, sitting so close that smoke blooms from the grill and seeps into your clothes. Every few minutes, Cunningham’s whippet rouses from his bed in the corner and wanders over to check on you. Orders come thick and fast and, though constantly busy, the team still has time for a chat with regulars who show up for a quick smash burger and some crispy potatoes.

We’re not surprised Lagom has regulars because that smash burger is extremely good - a hogget and boar patty gets smooshed across the plancha for maximum crust, before being wedged into a classic squishy burger bun with a deft smudge of mustard and vinegar slaw. The grilled chicken sandwich is good too - again the equation is fairly simple, allowing the excellent meat to shine.

There are very solid vegetarian options on the menu too, whether it’s smoked mushrooms dressed in punchy salsa verde, or a delicious celeriac burger with tartare sauce. The menu changes often, as Cunningham and team will often get top quality odds and ends from suppliers, passing on the relative savings to the customer. On our visit, that meant there were a few fantastic bone-in sirloins available from Grassroots Farm, which Cunningham cooked to order over a wood fire.

Atmosphere, great cooking, all backed up by excellent beers - Lagom has the lot, and is well worth the trip out to east London.

Good to know

Average Price
££££ - £30 - £49
Cool, Fun
Food Occasions
Dinner, Lunch, Sunday roast
Alfresco And Views
Beer garden, Outside seating
Special Features
Counter dining, Vegetarian options
Perfect for
Birthdays, Celebrations, Special occasions


Lagom serves up quality meats smoked in-house and grilled on an open fire. Located under the arches inside the Hackney Church Brew Co pub, the former warehouse turned community space and taproom sees throngs of East London beer drinkers and foodies venture beneath the railway tracks to sample local beers and barbecue plates.

As a definitive nod to the building's history and location opposite St Johns church, the interiors are decorated in industrial fashion with steel framed glazing, soaring rafters church pews, and communal benches. Outside benches make an ideal spot for summertime catch-ups and satisfying pints. After dark, vaulted ceilings, timber beams, and painted black brickwork conjure fantasies of upturned boats and Scandinavian feasting halls filled with friendly chatter and woodsmoke – in reality, it’s not dissimilar.

Inspired by Elliot Cunningham’s Swedish roots, Lagom is named after the philosophical Swedish term meaning ‘just enough’ - indicating satisfaction rather than a measure of sufficiency. Lagom began life as a pop-up - touring festivals and food markets offering smoked meats, sandwiches, and burgers - before taking up residency at Bohemia Place. Provenance is key for Cunningham who ensures that the farms, butchers, and suppliers are duly noted under each menu item. After all, these relationships guarantee the quality of ingredient-led dishes and help avoid passing rising costs onto loyal regulars.

Favourites on the Lagom menu include smoked chicken, slow-cooked and bronzed on the grill, and served with burned lemon. Also on offer are glistening lamb loin chops with a green sauce. The menu changes frequently and the specials board has previously featured the likes of baby back ribs, smoked brisket, and fried chicken. Meat isn’t the only option. For those looking for more balance, there is a selection of ember-roasted vegetable dishes such as grilled asparagus, marinated tomatoes, smoked mushrooms, and perfectly crisped potatoes with garlic aioli.


Do I need to book?

Booking is advised, you can book via the website.

Helpful? 0

Who is behind the restaurant?

Elliot Cunningham is the head chef and owner.

Helpful? 0

Lagom is featured in


Hackney Church Brew Co, 16 & 17 Bohemia Place, Hackney, London, E8 1DU

020 3795 8295 020 3795 8295


Opening Times

Mon Closed
Tue Closed
Wed 17:00-21:00
Thu 17:00-21:00
Fri Closed
Sat Closed
Sun Closed
All day
Mon Closed
Tue Closed
Wed Closed
Thu Closed
Fri 12:00-22:00
Sat 12:00-22:00
Sun 12:00-22:00


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020 3795 8295 020 3795 8295

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