These Hackney pubs are perfect for a treat out east.
The humble British pub: not simply a place to eat, drink, and be merry, but an essential part of our daily existence in the city. Luckily, there are fantastic pubs in Hackney with brilliant beer gardens, canalside vibes, fab Sunday roasts and tempting bottomless brunches – not to mention delicious beer.
Hackney is one of London’s only boroughs not to see a huge fall in the numbers of its beloved local pubs in the last 10 years – let’s keep it that way. Support Hackney’s pubs!
Pubs in Hackney Central
1. The Old Ship Inn
Walk through the colourful alleyway just past the Hackney Empire theatre on Mare Street and you’ll come out in The Old Ship Inn. You’ll come here for booze and come back for jerk chicken. 2 Sylvester Path, E8 1EN. More info.
2. The Spurstowe Arms
Located just off Wilton Way, the outwardly unassuming Spurstowe Arms is a lively yet cosy destination, brimming with historical decor – think stained glass, brass and taxidermy. A popular hangout for those who know. Go here for their great wine list and cocktails abound. 68 Greenwood Rd, London E8 1AB. More info.
3. The Cock Tavern
Neighbours of The Ship, The Cock Tavern is a reliable and central bolt-hole for lovers of craft ales and ciders, and home to the Howling Hops microbrewery. The Cock Tavern definitely has the smallest ‘beer garden’ in Hackney – possibly ever. 315 Mare St, London E8 1EJ. More info.
4. The Dolphin
Held in high in the affections of East London’s night owls, The Dolphin is renowned in local circles as the inevitable post-night-out night out. Don’t tell us we’re not classy. This is a place to dance the rest of the night away when you’ve had such a good night you don’t want it to end – it’s open ’til 4am on Fridays, Saturdays and (this is a bad idea, folks) Sundays. 163-165 Mare St, London E8 3RH. More info.
Pubs in Hackney Downs
5. The Star by Hackney Downs
The Star By Hackney Downs is the ultimate East London bottomless brunch spot – and it’s also very reasonably priced at a £15 supplement with all the brunch favourites: bloody mary, mimosa, prosecco, juice, tea and coffee as well as gluten-free and vegan choices that don’t feel like the short straw. 35 Queensdown Rd, London E5 8JQ. More info.
6. The Mermaid
If you’re a craft ale fan and in the E5 area, The Mermaid is the place to be. Cosy and dog friendly, this is a great date pub with a huge selection of beers and super friendly staff. 181 Clarence Rd, London E5 8EE. More info.
Pubs in London Fields
7. Pub On The Park
Many consider London Fields to be the beating heart of Hackney – and you don’t get more central than The Pub On The Park. Full of craft ales and atmosphere, The Pub on the Park has a ‘secret room’ for events downstairs – a bit like Narnia but through the women’s toilets instead of a wardrobe. This place attracts the hordes in the sunshine with its large terrace, so get down early to stake out your spot. 19 Martello St, E8 3PE. More info.
8. Cat And Mutton
Venture just to the south of London Fields, and you’ll reach the heady delights of The Cat and Mutton – a Broadway Market stalwart and purveyor of cosy old-world charm and good times in the form of DJs and live music. 76 Broadway Market, E8 4QJ. More info.
9. The Dove
Another historic Hackney pub and barnstorming good time, venture to the middle of Broadway Market to The Dove. The excellent Thai menu has gluten-free and vegan options – the ‘tofish’ and chips is a godsend and they’re proponents of Meat-Free Mondays. They have a film club, a raucous pub quiz and a selection of the finest Belgian wheat beers. 24-28 Broadway Market, E8 4QJ. More info.
10. The Virgin Queen
A saunter over the Cat and Mutton bridge (named after the pub would you believe it) will take you towards The Virgin Queen. The interior is even more spectacularly historic than its mock-Tudor exterior — note the gorgeous carved fireplace, and panelled bar. Expect proper pub grub and craft on draught. 94 Goldsmiths Row, London E2 8QY. More info.
Pubs in Homerton
11. The Spread Eagle
Easily accessible from the Overground, Homerton has a great selection of unique drinking spots. The Spread Eagle is London’s first completely, 100%, totally and utterly vegan pub. Yes, the food, drinks and even the decor are all plant-based and ethically sourced. Their Club Mexicana menu is colourful and delicious. As well as avocados, they’re also smashing their music offering with their own Soundcloud mixes available online. 224 Homerton High St, E9 6AS. More info.
12. The Adam & Eve
Another pub for music lovers, The Adam & Eve is just over the road from The Spread Eagle and has a fantastic menu with Rockadollar providing another fiendishly good Sunday roast. They hold pool tournaments every Tuesday and have a huge and covered garden area where you can enjoy watching sport. On the pulse musically, expect their DJs to play the everything from funk, post-punk, new noise, and obscurities to soundtrack your session. Don’t miss the L-shaped pool table, either! 55 Homerton High St, E9 6AS. More info.
13. The Gun
The Gun the place to be scene and not herd (sorry), also boasts an impressive menu with The Gravy Social in the kitchen. Be quick though, their roasts sell out faster than most can even read a menu. It’s small and cosy, does a fantastic bloody mary, and is a popular haunt for that millennial crossover of football and experimental music fans. 235 Well St, Homerton, E9 6RG. More info.
Pubs in Clapton
14. Elephant’s Head
15. Windsor Castle
With a plethora of pubs on offer, Clapton is an ideal location for a pub crawl. A stroll up Lower Clapton Road will take you past the spooky cocktail and gastropub, The Elephant’s Head (43 Lower Clapton Rd, E5 0NS) and the spacious Windsor Castle. (135 Lower Clapton Rd, E5 8EQ)
16. The Clapton Hart
With beautifully curated decor and high-ceilinged rooms with an air of Instagrammable charm, The Clapton Hart is a pub you can easily spend hours in. Their main meals are reasonably priced for the area with their most expensive at £12.50 for grilled lamb chops. Complete with a quiz on Tuesdays and a large beer garden! 231 Lower Clapton Rd, E5 8EG. More info.
17. The Elderfield
For a more local pint, look no further than The Elderfield with its cosy, wood panelled and plant-lined interior, friendly vibe and lively quiz. Nestled conveniently between Chatsworth Road and Lower Clapton Road this pub is ideal for a post-market pint. 57 Elderfield Rd, E5 0LF. More info.
18. The Crooked Billet
If your quest to discover Lower Clapton Road’s finest watering holes doesn’t end at the Lea Bridge Roundabout, you’re in for a treat with The Crooked Billet. With one of the largest beer gardens in the area, the Billet has deck chairs, bowls, ping pong and a baseball-style Camden Hells seating terrace, this is the ideal place to catch up on sport and spend a great afternoon with pals. 84 Upper Clapton Rd, E5 9JP. More info.
19. The Chesham Arms
Nestled in quaint residential streets between the National Trust’s Sutton House and Morning Lane, The Chesham Arms is a symbol of victory for local pub fans – It was saved as an Asset of Community Value by a grassroots effort to protect it from threat of – you guessed it – ‘luxury apartments.’ You can get Yard Sale pizza delivered right to your table inside or outside. And evening pub-goers will be pleased that the garden at the rear is a particularly good sun trap. A great Sunday location you can take your dog to. 15 Mehetabel Rd, E9 6DU. More info.
20. The Royal Sovereign
For a ‘proper pub’ that’s all about good times and good craic, The Royal Sovereign is a fine choice. Affectionately dubbed The Sov, the vibe is irreverent, unashamedly local and unpretentious. If you don’t have a good time here, there’s not much hope for you. 64 Northwold Rd, E5 8RL. More info.
21. The Anchor and Hope
Another for the ‘proper pub’ category, The Anchor and Hope is a no-frills east London boozer next to the canal overlooking Walthamstow Marshes. Bring cash – you have been warned. This is definitely not a craft pub, but packs a great atmosphere to watch the sunset from. 15 High Hill Ferry, E5 9HG. More info.
22. The Princess of Wales
Not to be neglected is the also-canalside The Princess of Wales. This family-friendly pub offers film screenings, hearty meals, and an outdoor area overlooking the canal – a perfect spot to refuel after a walk in the nearby marshes. 146 Lea Bridge Rd, E5 9RB. More info.
Pubs in Dalston
23. The Prince Arthur
For a Sunday roast you’ll be hankering after for weeks to come, you can’t do much better than The Prince Arthur. Brought to us by the team behind The Chesham Arms, this pub is unpretentious, cosy and friendly for kids and dogs. You’ll find a tidy selection of craft ales, with the bar supplied by Forest Road Brewing Co. While away a quiet afternoon here with a board game and good company. 95 Forest Road, E8 3BH. More info.
24. The Hand of Glory
Part of Dalston’s JaguarShoes Collective, the Hand of Glory prides itself on its history and is decked out with local artists’ work depicting British folk culture. Expect gigs, DJ sets and diner-style food. 240 Amhurst Rd, E8 2BS. More info.
Pubs near Victoria Park
25. The Approach Tavern
South of Victoria Park, The Approach Tavern is the ideal transition from park to pub, with the promise of a lovingly-created meal at the end, complete with crafty and traditional beers. For a rain-safe outdoor spot, The Approach has a covered beer garden at the front with benches and a screen perfect for watching live sport. It’s dog-friendly too! 47 Approach Rd, E2 9LY. More info.
26. The People’s Park Tavern
Another one of East London’s biggest and best beer gardens, The People’s Park Tavern has a lot to offer. In addition to its truly massive and colourful garden area complete with Plonk Golf course, they run immersive experiences and have their own brewery. If that wasn’t enough, they do bottomless brunch, live Sunday sessions, a pub quiz and a free weekly open mic night. 360 Victoria Park Rd, London E9 7BT. More info.
27. The Lauriston
The Lauriston is another Victoria Park local. Laid back and lovely, The Lauriston plays host to regular karaoke night debauchery, quizzes and top notch pizza (gluten-free bases are available at a £2 surcharge). 162 Victoria Park Rd, London E9 7JN.