Dalston is often dubbed “hip”, “trendy” and “up and coming”, but it’s the sort of thing you have to see to believe.
We were pretty overwhelmed by the sheer number of things to do here, even if it is mostly just edgy, hipster dive bars. But we love a bit of edge, so that’s okay with us.
This bar, titled Untitled (irony at it’s finest), is modelled on Andy Warhol’s Silver Factory in New York. Covered in tin foil and constantly rotating local artwork, this bar is regularly frequented by artists and creatives, naturally. On the first Sunday of every month, Untitled shows off its incredible tasting menu to a few lucky diners. The dishes are always visually beautiful and wildly creative, and each menu comes with a complimentary cocktail from Tony Conigliaro (supposedly dubbed the Heston Blumenthal of cocktails).
If you’re interested in their event this coming Sunday, get your tickets here.
538 Kingsland Road, E8 4AH
2. Ridley Road Market Bar
A cosy, tropical dive bar in the heart of Ridley Road Market. Enjoy a signature £5 ginger mojito or tuck into a pizza from Slice Girls, all within a colourful, party atmosphere. The cocktails are cheap, the vibes are great, and the interior is wonderfully shabby chic. A top night out. 10/10.
49 Ridley Road, E8
3. Tina, We Salute You
Named after a glamorous 60s model, Tina, We Salute You is a beautiful, white-walled café with fantastic coffee and constantly revolving murals from local artists. The cakes are all homemade, which is apt since the owners started off selling them at a stall off Brick Lane, and they cook up an excellent breakfast.
47 King Henry’s Walk, N1 4NH
4. Dalston Eastern Curve Garden
This community garden has been created along the old Eastern Curve railway line that used to link Dalston Junction with the goods yard and the North London line. Now it’s a lovely green space dotted with wooden benches and a pavillion for events such as yoga and live music.
13 Dalston Lane, E8 3DF
Ruby’s is a once secret, now wildly popular underground drinking den, with good beer, good wine, and good times. Hidden away in a former Chinese takeaway spot (called Ruby House 3, funnily enough), you’ll find this wonderfully quirky cocktail bar with 60s-style interior and tons of character. And fun fact: they were the original hipsters to serve cocktails in milk bottles.
76 Stoke Newington Road, N16 7XB
6. Brilliant Corners
This dim-lit bar-cum-Japanese restaurant is based on Japan’s jazzy coffee shops and–pretty appropriately–it’s named after the iconic jazz album from Theolonious Monk. As well as playing an impressive library of jazz records and hosting various poetry nights, book launches and film screenings, they also serve up some amazing Japanese small plates and drinks using only fresh, organic produce.
470 Kingsland Road, E8 4AE
7. Dalston Roof Park
Fantastic hot wings from Far Out Food, plenty of shelter in case of misbehaving weather and lots of colourful graffiti create the right vibes for the perfect summer evening. Relax on colourful deck chairs and admire epic views across London, all with a drink in hand from the Tiki Bar.
18 Ashwin St, London E8 3DL
8. Rio Cinema
One of the few independent Art Deco cinemas in London, the Rio has been around for many, many years. It mostly shows foreign and indie films, although you might catch a mainstream movie every once in a while. The architecture is beautiful, the auditorium boasts plush red velvet seats and, of course, long red curtains reveal the screen before the movie begins. See what’s on here.
107 Kingsland High Street, E8 2PB
A humble yakitori restaurant named after a special breed of free-range chickens, Jidori is a bloody lovely place for fried chicken — not the greasy, Kentucky-fried kind, but rather the Japanese, served-on-a-skewer kind. The yakitori (which literally translates to ‘fry chicken’) menu is accompanied by an excellent list of cocktails and craft beers.
89 Kingsland High Street, E8 2PB
10. Rudie’s Dalston
The food here is no joke, but it is jerk. And it’s arguably the best in London. The menu is full of all sorts of Jamaican classics, including curried goat, jerk pork belly and ackee & saltfish. At the weekends, Rudie’s jump on the brunch wagon, serving up brunch staples with a Caribbean twist, e.g. the Full Jamaican with jerk lamb sausages and boiled green bananas. Plus, bottomless rum punch if ya fancy (which you obviously will).
50 Stoke Newington Road, N16 7XB