After two and a half years of living in East London, I certainly have a list of favourites restaurants, cafes and pubs where I love to go. Hackney has plenty of choice when it comes to food and drink. What I appreciate the most is that every palace has its own identity, far away from the chains that dominate central London.
You will find a beautiful atmosphere in every corner of the borough: in a renovated space of the high street, in a dismissed factory or under the railway’s arches. That’s what make East London special to me, finding a treasure in an unexpected place. The discoveries are endless.
For those of you not familiar with the area, I hope this guide will help you to enjoy Hackney more. When I travel there’s nothing I value more than the locale suggestions. However, if you live in East London I hope you will find here some great inspiration and feel free to share your thoughts and experience!
Love Gloria x
Violet is a tiny and lovely cake shop run by Claire, a successful food stylist and writer. The bakery-cafe opened in 2010 and it’s already an iconic place and a must if you’re looking for a delicious breakfast, cupcakes or cakes. A wonderful smell welcomes you as soon as you walk in and a homely atmosphere makes Violet a really special place. On the left, there are always two or three young women baking fresh cakes. So close to you that I always have the feeling that I’m standing in the middle of their kitchen. It’s amazing to see them at work, especially for someone like me completely unable to even make a Tiramisu! The ingredients used are always seasonal, organic and fresh. I either take a seat at the shop (I love the seats outside when it’s summer but they also have tables available on the first floor) or I ask for a takeaway. The wrapping packaging is lovely and perfect to bring to a friends’ home for an afternoon tea.
47 Wilton Way, E8 3ED London – Broadway Market E8, Saturdays
Rotorino. I already spoke about this restaurant on my Instagram and this is still among my favourite Italian-style restaurants. Lovely interior design, amazing ingredients and authentic Italian recipes. I usually order a starter like Caponata, then a main with pasta and a Cannolo for dessert. Last summer, I celebrated my birthday here together with @katamadewithlove and 2 amazing cakes from Violet! If you go during the weekend I suggest to make a reservation as Rotorino is becoming more and more popular!
434 Kingsland Rd, E8 4AA London
The Sunday roast is an institution in London and I embrace this tradition fully. I love it! If you’ve never had a Sunday roast before just make sure your stomach is well empty and ready to eat a big portion of food, especially if you head to the Clapton Hart. For you to understand how much I love this place I’ll tell you that I bring every single person here that comes to visit me in London. I really think this place is special and I’m sure it will leave beautiful memories for everyone. The space is incredible; back in 1722 this was the White Hart Hotel. My favourite roast is the vegetarian option.
231 Lower Clapton Rd, E5 8EG London
Crate Brewery is my first love of Hackney Wick and believe it or not, I drank the first beer of my life here! I used to hate beer but when I tasted Crate’s options I changed my mind completely. I kind of enjoy craft beers more than anything else now, which sounds really incredible considering I come from the land of Prosecco…Another reason for loving to spend my evenings at Crate is their fantabulous pizzas, I ALWAYS order the potatoes, sage and truffle oil pizza, absolutely the best ever! About this place, I also love the location: just by the canal, the walls all around are covered by beautiful graffiti art, the music and the vibe are always perfect!
Unit 7, Queens Yard, Hackney Wick, E9 5EN London
The 5 stars brunch is in Victoria Park at The Empress e9. You will thank me for this. The food is absolutely outstanding! The atmosphere is really pleasant and welcoming. The baked camembert with chutney is to die for and the baked duck egg, wild mushrooms and truffle oil is so delicious. You can check their full menu here http://empresse9.co.uk/menu/
I literally can’t wait to go back and try something else from their menu, I’ll see you there!
130 Lauriston Road, Victoria Park, E9 7LH London
The Lobster Bar is another gem of Hackney and it’s everything you expect from an East London restaurant. It opened last summer in an industrial building with huge windows and high ceilings in the area of London Fields. The menu offers many lobster dishes as well as oysters, octopus (amazing!) and squid. I also highly recommend to order one (or more) cocktails as the barman is extremely talented and you’ll be surprised by the deliciousness and presentation of every single drink!
205 Richmond Road, E8 3NJ London
Tramshed is always, for me, an amazing experience. As you all know I love being surrounded by art and this place just lets me enjoy incredibly good food facing a massive art installation made by the great, Damian Hirst. This is a really unique and rare place that you absolutely need to see! If you’re not vegetarian, please order the roast Indian Rock chicken as this is the perfect dish to share and it’s served in a very unexpected way.
32 Rivington Street, EC2A 3LX London
The Haberdashery is a tiny and cozy coffee shop in Stoke Newington where I like to go to when I’m around Church Street and it’s too cold outside! The Haberdashery has that beautiful power to warm me up instantly with its delicious almond tea and brownies. If you appreciate the retro style you will certainly love the mismatched vintage dishes in which the food and drinks are served and the original tiles from the victorian age on the walls.
170 Stoke Newington High Street, N16 7JL London
It was one of those Saturdays, hanging out in Broadway Market and my friend Marghe and I were looking for a tasty menu with vegetarian options. It’s always challenging to make a burger-lover (like me) happy and a vegetarian friend. We decided to go for El Ganso, a Tapas restaurant bar, and I’m so glad we decided to walk in! The place was well crowded but a lovely waiter found us a cozy table. Even though I love Jamon Iberico, I ended up sharing vegetables dishes and I enjoyed it a lot (please order the Padron Peppers, they’re amazing)! I love tapas and I love Spain! I can’t wait to go back and try some more (meaty) dishes from their menu.
59 Broadway Market, E8 4PH London
The White Rabbit is one of my local preferred restaurant. It is located in Dalston on a tiny street just by the Dalston Kingsland overground station. I just find this place perfect for a Saturday brunch. I love the chilled atmosphere, the light coming in from the huge windows and the architecture is clean but with a strong identity. Every dish is presented with a lot attention to detail and it’s delicious. I would also choose the White Rabbit for a business breakfast or dinner. I’m definitely enthusiastic to add this restaurant to my favourites list.
15-16 Bradbury Street, N16 8JN London
Update 07.01.2017: The White Rabbit has been replaced by Honest Burger. Not shore if they moved somewhere else 😦