Hackney Residents' Guide

The London Borough of Hackney spans across East and North London and is where diverse culture meets edgy art

East London’s place to be 

Hackney is where flavoursome foods and homemade brews live, where eco-conscious millennials brunch, drink, shop and get inspiration. Hackney’s shops and markets sell temptation by the truckload, from vintage fabrics and designer must-haves to rare meats and artisan bread.

There are flavours to savour from its lip-smacking restaurants, vibes to take in from an abundance of drinking holes and world-class coffee to enjoy from the many eclectic and charming coffee shops in Hackney. Quirky, scruffy, sleek or hip, you are seriously spoilt for things to do in Hackney.


From Australian-inspired brunches at Brunswick East to El Ganso, a simple and wonderful Spanish tapas café in Broadway Market, Hackney has cuisine from all over the world.

Marcelo Sánchez Cabrera, a well-known Spanish chef, sources high-quality ingredients and provides clients with an authentic Spanish dining experience. Choose from the tapas menu, which includes a large selection of tapas.

On weekends, white tablecloths and a pianist serenade the Bistrotheque, which offers sumptuous dining for groups. Head chef Blain Duffy’s oddly crafted seasonal meals offer exquisite and distinct French themes with fish, meat, vegetarian, and vegan options.

On Hoxton Square, The Frog Hoxton focuses on zero waste and sustainability in its food operations. The menus change constantly, but their signature dishes – cheese doughnuts and chicken butter – remain constant.

coffee shop counter


The Star by Hackney Downs

This bar, located on the outskirts of Hackney Downs, is a local favourite.

Farr’s School of Dancing

Every weekend, this huge, quirky bar hosts weekly comedy nights, basement poetry slams, and late-night dance, making it a Dalston institution.

Cat and Mutton

This pub, which dates back to circa 1729, is one of Hackney’s most well-known and popular hangouts.


artwork on the side of a building in hackney


The Victoria Fountain, also known as the Baroness Burdett Coutts Drinking Fountain, is one of Victoria Park’s most iconic landmarks. Thousands of people flocked to Syliva Pankhurst’s Suffragette demonstrations. Historic England designated the fountain as a Grade II listed building in 1975. The fountain was renovated in 2011 and restored to its former grandeur, however, it is no longer operational.

Another of the most impressive sights was a Chinese pagoda, built in 1847. Chinoiserie was all the rage in Queen Victoria’s reign as China was opening to the West. The Pagoda was purchased for display in Victoria Park and originally stood on an island in the centre of one of the park lakes.

Between Victoria Park, Hackney Marsh, and the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park is Hackney Wick. The area has been transformed into a hotspot for young creatives who enjoy the variety of bars and eateries as well as the village atmosphere.

hackney garden with tall green trees and grass


The Dalston Roof Park is open seven days a week and offers a diverse range of activities, including tabletop games, quiz evenings, and cocktail-making lessons, as well as one-off community and charity events and music.

A creative space beside the canal, Grow is an intimate venue that hosts frequent events that celebrate many musical genres, cultures, and interests.

canal in hackney


For nearly 170 years, Victoria Park has been a haven of relaxation, recreation, sports, and celebrations. The park, dubbed ‘Vicky Park’ by locals, features wild and open spaces, a lake, and an outdoor activities centre. Next to the park is Victoria Park Village, a lush hidden gem with a genuine sense of community.

The Clash famously performed here in 1979 as part of Rock Against Racism, and more recently, All Points East is the event of choice. Many young couples and families dwell in the enormous Victorian houses in the region, which are in the catchment area for highly coveted schools.

The Hertford Union Canal, which stretches for 2 kilometres, is a popular walking and cycling route.

hackney park bench


Hackney residents are privileged to have access to some of London’s top markets right on their doorstep. Hackney also has a diverse range of independent stores, making it a hipster shopping paradise.

Broadway Market, which runs from Hackney Central to Regent’s Canal, is a renowned food market that sells a wide range of food, drink, and locally produced high-quality ingredients. On a Saturday, head to Broadway Market for some ethnic taste sensations, such as Russian appetisers from Zakuski, Eastern Mediterranean dips from Baba Souks, and fresh veggies from French delicatessens, L’eau à La BoucheOff Lansdowne Drive, London Fields, E8

fresh fruit and vegetables

… more markets

Netil Market is a smaller version of Broadway Market with creative stalls and street food options. Shop homemade ceramics and eco-friendly soaps, delicate jewellery and glasses before tucking into a vegan pizza. 13 – 23 Westgate Street, London Fields E8 3L

Victoria Park Market is not a traditional farmers’ market but a produce market where locals and visitors can buy fresh organic ingredients. Located in the pedestrianised area between Bonner Gate and Gore Gate, the stalls in the market house an astounding range of food. From Vietnamese grilled chicken salads to beef bourguignon burgers, it is a perfect spot to try a new dish or indulge in an old favourite. London, E2 9JW

fresh pasta and tomatoes