Hackney Restaurants and Places to Eat in Hackney

Barge East

An exceptional, yet accessible, haven for Hackney foodies where continental flavours collide without breaking the bank.

Casa Fofó is the baby of Italian head chef Adolfo De Cecco, who’s best known for his time at Pidgin, and is joined by alumni from his time here – sous chef Sam Coleman and chef de partie Giuseppe Pepe.

Eight courses are kicked off with a super-crisp potato cake finger with a spiced slice of pickled daikon and lardo, taken from a well-fed Middle White pig. The menu, which is tweaked daily, is Marie Kondo-esque minimal with only a few words to describe each finely tuned dish, making each arrival a pleasant surprise. casafofolondon.co.uk

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Click here to read our full review of Casa Fofó

A delicate grey bowl filled with an almond emulsion and monk's beard

This hyper-seasonal restaurant has a real commitment to sustainability with a zero-waste menu that uses ingredients from small farms, producers and foragers. The Daily Edit tasting menu changes to suit what is available. Clever cooking, including a risotto made with British Carlin peas, oat cream and oyster mushrooms, elevates dishes beyond the ordinary. Tasting menu £48pp; edit.london

Angelina, Dalston – for Italian-Japanese fusion

Sleek and buzzy. Angelina’s minimalist interiors include high ceilings, oversized pendant lamps, plenty of indoor greenery and wooden floors. Sit in dusky-toned chairs to eat, or perch at a counter surrounding the open kitchen and watch the chefs calmly at work. Simple yet refined Italian-Japanese cooking is the focus, and their dining concept is boldly simple: a 13-course sharing menu for £64. The menu starts with elegant fish and seafood crudités: Sicilian red prawns, dusted with roasted rice powder and drizzled with olive oil, has a lusciously soft, almost creamy texture, while rich tuna belly is pepped up by a zingy blood orange dressing. Sea bream with mirin is salty-fresh. angelina.london

Angelina, London E8: Restaurant Review

Pophams, London Fields – for pastries and pasta

The team behind the popular East London bakery has smartly moved its pastry skills into pasta territory for evenings in the London Fields branch. Don’t fret, bakes are still very much present, with hunks of fresh-from-the-oven sourdough to start, homemade caraway-flecked crackers to scoop up smoked trout pâté and a perfectly formed croissant apple tart, filled with buttery sesame compote, intricate slices of apple and a moat of vanilla custard. These baked delights bookmark the evening’s main event: a short selection of fresh, homemade pasta shapes coated, filled and topped with seasonal sauces. Favourites on our visit were casoncelli parcels filled with a white veal mince bolognese, tossed in butter, guanciale pieces and parmesan. Orecchiette are made with toasted sourdough flour, coated in chicken butter sauce as a vehicle for dinky chicken meatballs. Order a side of pan-fried and roasted Romana courgette sticks with a light coating of fine sourdough and sun-dried tomato crumbs. pophamsbakery.com/pasta

A plate of pasta, sliced courgettes and a glass of orange wine at Pophams pasta

Equal Parts, Hackney Road – for Italian aperitivo

Michael Sager has partnered with Matteo Vaccargiu to open an Italian aperitivo bar in a green tiled-fronted corner spot, a few doors down from the original Sager + Wilde wine bar. It’s an elegant yet unfussy space, with plenty of wood panelling, flickering candles and vinyl twirling on the decks. Perch at the window ledge to watch trendy passers-by or bag a spot at the bar to see the team shake and stir signature cocktails in front of an impressive line-up of amaros, aperitivo and bitters. The Flor cocktail combines fino sherry and olive oil vodka with Matteo’s elevated clarification of fresh tomato, basil, chilli and a tiny touch of garlic for a bright, fresh finish, alla liquid bruschetta to evoke the Sardinian coast. The Orange is a gluggable concoction of orange wine, Meletti amaro and pear and elderflower syrup, while the ACE makes a refreshing twist on the garibaldi combining carrot cordial, fresh orange juice, Campari and soda. A seasonal infusion makes its way into a trio of classics; on our visit a strawberry and fig leaf martini combo that brightened the negroni, sbagliato and americano. equalpartslondon.com

A wooden bar with three shelves of Italian aperitif bottles behind

Sune, Broadway Market – for eclectic small plates and natural wines

Sommelier Honey Spencer and her partner Charlie Sims have curated hospitality experience from restaurants across the world to open their own place in Hackney. There’s a real neighbourhood-style buzz to the contemporary space, with a striking terracotta light installation casting a warm glow across the gnarled dark wood tables, prints of fresh produce and sweeping counter with floor-to-ceiling wine racks behind. Honey showcases natural wines, with plenty by the glass, from orange Czech pet nat to fresh Georgian Tsolikouri and South African Syrah. The menu is eclectic and bold, rotating dishes such as crisp potato cake topped with guindilla, anchovies and espelette pepper, sea bass crudo slivers in a vibrant borscht vinaigrette and the signature grilled pork chop bathing in a bisque-style prawn and lemongrass sauce, best paired with whipped brown butter emulsion spooned over pink fir potatoes. Head chef Michael Robins plays with his Canadian heritage in a homage to Montreal’s L’Express, where chefs meet after service for DIY beef tartare and croque Monsieur hybrids. At Sune, he tops a crisp, cheesy toastie with dairy beef tartare for a truly indulgent interlude between courses. sune.restaurant

A table at Sune Restaurant laid with a carafe of orange wine, a wine glass, a bottle of red wine and three plates of food – one pasta, one chips topped with a fried egg and one lamb fillet

From The Ashes at Five Points Courtyard – for next-level BBQ

BBQ legends Martin Anderson and Curtis Bell have a new home in Five Points Brewing Co’s expansive outdoor area beneath the railway arches. The succinct menu of smoker stars includes crisp beef brisket tacos, legendary ‘nduja doughnuts and brioche buns stuffed with smoked pork, garlic mayo and pickles. Meat-free options are equally excellent – floppy flatbreads doused in zaatar to scoop up sweet squash hummus and grilled hispi cabbage slathered in vegan ‘nduja and tahini yogurt. If you can’t decide what to order, the chef’s BBQ platter gives a taste of three meats and sides (loaded fries and bacon-adorned lettuce wedges) for £55. fromtheashesbbq.co.uk

A man cooking meat on a smoker at From The Ashes BBQ

Bambi, Netil House

Drama comes in many forms, not least a well-crafted DJ set. As well as whip-smart sharing plates from chef Henry Freestone (think cauliflower cheese arancini, marinated courgettes and whipped feta, roast chicken with focaccia and green sauce), this music-led bar and restaurant comes complete with a lush vintage sound system. On Friday and Saturday nights, guest DJs curated by scene legend Charlie Dark take diners on a deep-dive into their treasured collections. Plates around £8-26; bambi-bar.com

A selection of food and drinks served on a light wooden table

EartH Kitchen, Dalston – for small plates and culture

It might feel as if you’re en route to a trendy Hackney gig, as you climb the stairs to EartH (or Evolutionary Arts Hackney to those cool cats in the know). And if you carry on, you will – there’s comedy shows, music, club nights, theatrical performances, flea markets and more. But take the first door into the former foyer of this hidden art deco cinema and you’ll come across the newly opened EartH Kitchen.

There’s a decent list of small plates and larger main courses to choose from, depending if you’re hitting and running before a show or settling in for the night. The plates are easy eating, focussing on a few good, seasonal ingredients jazzed up with a bit of kitchen magic. There’s veg (wild garlic soup), and fish (smoked mackerel with beets, watercress and horseradish), pork chops and confit duck, but the offal’s where it’s at. This is St John alumni, after all.

A white plate sits against a dark blue background. On the plate are piece of wood pigeon, creamy hummus, pomegranate seeds and mint leaves

Cornerstone, Hackney Wick – for date night

Cornerstone – named after chef/owner Tom Brown’s favourite Arctic Monkeys track – opened in April 2018 in trendy Hackney Wick. Just minutes from Hackney Wick Overground, the restaurant is the first from Cornish Tom, who has worked for Rick Stein and most notably Nathan Outlaw (check out Nathan’s guide to cooking fish here). After making a name for himself in his home county, he worked as head chef of Outlaw’s eponymous restaurant at The Capital Hotel in Knightsbridge, which was awarded a Michelin star after only one year of opening.

Aside from its similar penchant for fresh fish, though, Cornerstone is a far cry from Tom’s previous. Here a menu of plates designed for sharing are affordably priced between £5-15 (£45 for the chef’s choice of eight). You can eat at the bar, which wraps itself around the open kitchen in the middle of the restaurant, sat across from the chefs or at one of the minimalist tables. And there’s a short, international and mostly low-intervention wine list, with lots available by the glass, some stellar home-infused cocktails, and a bespoke Cornish house gin, too.

Raw Orkney scallops with a minty salsa verde

Koya Ko, Broadway Market – for Japanese udon noodles

Tucked away off buzzing Broadway Market, Koya’s casual, friendly little sister follows suit from noodle bars found in Japan’s train stations, with a tachi-gui (standing-while-dining) element alongside seats for customers to slurp bowls of springy udon and tuck into donburi rice bowls. Pop in for the famous English/Japanese breakfast of hot udon topped with egg, bacon and butter soy mushrooms, or traditional neba-neba breakfast rice bowl with fermented soy beans, pickled seaweed and okra and onsen tamago egg. After midday, there’s crunchy chicken kara-age with spring onion sauce and steaming bowls of udon in dashi broth. Try new menu additions, such as slow-braised beef shin on hot noodles slathered in chilli oil, the KO salad of cold udon with pickled aubergine, and plenty of mini-don rice bowls to enjoy on the go. koya.co.uk

Plates of udon at Koya Ko

Duke of Richmond, London Fields – for French gastro pub vibes

A thoughtful restoration, including cool painted floorboards, calming accents of olive and cream on the walls, blue leather banquettes, and varnished wooden tables, make for a modern pub setting. Relaxed, a little bit rowdy (as all good pubs should be) and suitably stylish for its Hackney locals. The menu might be continental in its leaning but all of the dishes feel at home in their British pub setting – think seasonal giant vol au vents, rib cap burgers with confit shallots, roquefort, bearnaise sauce and fries, and tart au citron. Seafood shines – try super-light Cornish crab soufflé, sea trout with wild fennel and Cornish crab chip butties. thedukeofrichmond.com

Crab and chips brioche burger at Duke of Richmond.

Little Duck The Picklery, Dalston – for casual small plates

Dalston’s Little Duck The Picklery is no ordinary restaurant. Describing itself as a “fermenting kitchen, eatery and wine bar”, this third venue from the same team behind Soho’s Duck Soup and Hackney’s Raw Duck centres round one large, family-style kitchen table from which head chef and proprietor Tom Hill preps and cooks a carefully curated selection of seasonal small plates, guests only an arm’s length away. Drinks and dishes are scrawled on blackboards and change each week. For breakfast, expect the likes of beef and lamb sausages with garlic yogurt, flatbreads and pickled tomatoes, masala-spiced scrambled eggs, and shiitake mushroom oats. For lunch and dinner, the Mediterranean-skewed plates linger around the £8 to £11 mark and pack serious flavour. Start with a gut-friendly daily pickle or ferment (like a kimchi or kraut, for as little as £2.50) then move on to the plates proper. littleduckpicklery.com

Click here to read our full review and try Little Duck The Picklery’s recipes for yourself at home

Fried Courgette with Agrodolce Sauce

Morito, Hackney Road – for Cretan small plates

With polished concrete floors, a striking, horseshoe, marble-topped bar, pops of colour and Instagrammable mirrored fish-scale tiles, Morito feels very much at home in Hackney. The open kitchen is headed by co-owner Samantha Clark and head chef Marianna Leivaditaki. Formerly at Moro, Marianna grew up in Crete and developed her feel for ingredients in her family’s fish restaurant. At Morito she makes exceptionally-sourced produce shine. Buffalo butter that smacks of the farm in Thessaloniki where it began life and the headiest za’atar from Istanbul make the breadbasket irresistible.

The menu is similar to that of the first Morito with tapas, mezze and larger plates at lunch and dinner, but with new dishes, too – made-to-order Moroccan breads for breakfast, homemade halloumi with pickled za’atar, and kid mechoui with goat’s curd, preserved lemon and harissa. morito.co.uk

Click here to try Morito’s dinner party recipes yourself

filo pastry with strawberries

Pidgin, Hackney Central – for neighbourhood vibes

Pidgin is the permanent venture of James Ramsden and Sam Herlihy, the team behind supper club The Secret Larder. The four course menu changes weekly, and uses seasonal, carefully-sourced produce. Potato sourdough and butter is followed by two small dishes – pork fat and peas, and octopus and apple with peppery nasturtiums and a creamy almond milk dressing. Beef picanha (the most prized cut in Latin America) from grass-reared, dry-aged Yorkshire Longhorn cattle was beautifully soft, and accompanied by rich and earthy flavours of coal-roast beetroot, sweet carrots and an intense jus. Pidgin G&Ts are made with homemade tonic and served with a large slice of pink grapefruit and a dash of black pepper for a punchy finish while The London Fields cocktail was like a vodka-spiked green juice. pidginlondon.com

Octopus at Pidgin

The Dusty Knuckle, Dalston – for cakes and bakes

Looking for a bakery in Hackney? The Dusty Knuckle is a social enterprise café and bakery with a conscience, according to co-founder Max Tobias. “The idea was that we would start a bakery that could provide employment experiences to young people at the margins of society.”

Max and chef Rebecca Oliver quit their jobs and launched The Dusty Knuckle from a shipping container in 2014. After three successful years it moved a few metres to a new permanent home opposite. It also runs regular bread-making classes and has ambitious plans to run a youth training academy in the future. thedustyknuckle.com/dalston

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The Dusty Knuckle, London E8

Sager + Wilde, Hackney Road – for unusual wines and date night

At this casual but romantic neighbourhood wine bar, huddle up in around candlelit tables, or prop yourself up at the industrial iron grate bar and soak up knowledge from the chatty staff while getting a closer look at rare bottles displayed on the rack along the back wall. The small but thoughtful wine menu covers lesser-known regions and quirky categories such as crisp and refreshing whites from Austria and bold reds from Hungary, with a dedicated section to ‘skins’ wines (orange wines from Sicily, Alicante and beyond, find out more here). Other than wine, they offer on-trend white port and tonic or punchy, refreshing bergamot negronis, as well as a selection of craft beers As well as continuing the unctuous cheese toasties (with Neil’s Yard Dairy cheese and Bread Station sourdough), a selection of seasonal small plates has been added to the menu. sagerandwilde.com

Click here to read our full review of Sager + Wilde

Sager + Wilde Hackney Road Wine Bar Review

Crate Brewery, Hackney Wick – for beer and pizza

If you love beer and you love pizza, Crate Brewery in Hackney Wick is the best place to visit. The stone-baked pizzas are topped with unusual ingredients including a veggie Kashmiri dal and a middle eastern lamb. As you’d expect, beer is a real focus. Each week there’s a selection of guest bottles from a fruity brown ale to a dark Indian pale ale as well as regular casks and kegs of zingy lemon gose, velvety Crate stout and a crisp Crate cider. cratebrewery.com

Click here for the best places to eat pizza in London

Words by Laura Rowe, Mark Taylor, Ellie Edwards, Alex Crossley, Clare Maguire

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