About Time: You Discovered the Best Food and Drink Spots in Hackney WickBy Alicia Grimshaw
Adele was right, it does all happen down by the River Lea.
Having benefitted from the 2012 games hosted just over the river in Stratford, Hackney Wick has enjoyed a resurgence of late, and is now home to a rich tapestry of culinary delights and craft beer spots. Thinking about heading to east London? Here’s our favourite food and drink spots in Hackney Wick:
The Lowdown: Visit on a Friday or Saturday night, and you’ll be stalking the perimeter of the bar to try and snag a table, Crate Brewery in Hackney Wick is one of east London’s worst kept secrets. The up-cycled venue, usually filled with peak hipster everything, is festooned with kooky features (note: rusty old bed springs as eccentric light fittings, pallet benches and scaffold plank tables and the bar made of old railway sleepers).
Eat and Drink: While their own beers are brewed in their on-site tap room, the Crate Team also stock a wide range of beers sourced from breweries around the world. And if beer isn’t your thing, there’s an extensive wine list plus guest ciders. And when it comes to Crate’s pizzas, this isn’t your classic meat feast and pineapple and ham malarky – they topped their doughy bad boys with ingredients like sweet potato, mozzarella, stilton and crunchy walnuts; Middle Eastern lamb with mint; and dahl with Greek yoghurt and fresh banana slices.
Where: Unit 7, Queens Yard, Hackney Wick, London E9 5EN
The Lowdown: Howling Hops is the UK’s first dedicated tank bar, serving beer straight from their shiny, big ol’ tanks straight to the glass. A former industrial site, the minimalist space is vast; large German-style benches and long tables fill the hall, and there’s a smattering of tables outdoors. This no nonsense micro brewery, has a lovely convivial atmosphere, and when the sun hits everyone spills onto the banks of the River Lea.
Eat and Drink: Their extensive range of Howling Hops tipples are always available, and there’s a great range of varying flavours to sample. Beer can be bought by the pint or pitcher, and their tropical pale ale with notes of mango and pineapple is the ultimate summer drink. Food comes courtesy of the on-site burger shack, and it’s the perfect drinking food: juicy beef burgers, mac n’cheese, nachos and anything that’s deep-fried, really.
Where: Unit 9A Queen’s Yard, White Post Ln, London E9 5EN
The Lowdown: A day to night venue, No 90 Bar and Kitchen is a stunning, spacious canal-side bar and restaurant that has your every vice covered – whether that’s caffeine, alcohol, burgers or Yorkshire puddings. With an outdoor terrace, and an expansive indoor seating and dancing area, No 90 regular plays host to a number of events that celebrates the best local and international music, with Phonica Records, Rough Trade, Midnight Riot and many others as their resident DJs on Saturdays.
Eat and Drink: There’s everything here; from lazy weekend brunches (go for the breakfast burrito filled with scrambled eggs, chilli, beans salad, cheese, fries, bacon, house salsa and spinach) to their amazing homemade burgers (if you’re vegan, the roasted beetroot and spinach burger served on a turmeric bun with baby gem, tomato, onion marmalade, fire cracker sauce and pickled relish is the one ). And they’ve got plenty of deals too, like 2-4-1 burgers on Thursdays, and 50% off house larger and disco cider on Mondays and Tuesdays to help rid the start-of-the-week blues.
Where: 90 Wallis Rd, London E9 5LN
The Lowdown: A collaboration between Brilliant Corners (the restaurant/bar and music venue in Dalston), and the Analogue Foundation (international supporters of analogue sound and processes), Giant Steps is a 500 person capacity waterside terrace hosting live jazz performances, a rotation of top chefs and restaurants all cooking new menus, plus day parties on Saturdays and Sundays.
Eat and Drink: For some summer time liquid bangers, cocktails include the White Negroni with East London Dry Gin, Suze and Lillet Blanc; Ti-Punch, a muddle of J.M. Rhum Agricole, pure cane syrup and lime; and the Mezcal Margarita with Papadiablo Espadin, agave, lime and Shichimi. And for food, London eateries man the kitchen with their specially created BBQ menus. Morito and Brawn have already been cooking up a storm, and there’s plenty more chefs who are moving in over summer. See the schedule here.
Where: Swan Wharf, 60 Dace Rd, London E3 2NQ
Photo Credit: Silvia Gin
The Lowdown: Neighbouring Crate Brewery’s tap room, Mick’s Garage comprises of SHUK SHUK (a meat smoking food shack run by Berber & Q), Jarr Bar (the UK’s first kombucha and cocktail bar run by Jarr Kombucha), The Roasting Shed (a coffee roastery and cafe), and a multi-use event space which is used for just about anything: day parties, markets, supper clubs and special DJ performances.
Eat and Drink: Music plays a big role, but food is also at the heart of Mick’s Garage. In keeping with Berber & Q’s barbecuing ways, SHUK SHUK’s menu is full of spicy, smokey goodness. At the bar, there’s Jarr’s kombucha flavoured with ginger, fresh raspberry or passion fruit that’s magic straight, but even better in an Alfred Le Roy designed kombucha cocktail.
Where: 8 Queen’s Yard, London E9 5EN
What: Cornwall native, Tom Brown, opened his debut restaurant Cornerstone in Hackney Wick earlier this year, and it’s already gone down a storm. Having bagged the coverted ‘One to Watch’ award at the National Restaurant Awards, Cornerstone has gone from strength to strength, showcasing Tom’s style of simple, clean and produce-driven cooking.
Eat and Drink: The menu changes daily, but expect thoughtfully put together small plates like pickled Porthilly oysters, celery and horseradish; chicken liver croquettes with devilled mayonnaise; and octopus cooked in cider with an apple and lentil dressing. Count your lucky stars if there’s the famed chocolate mousse with peanuts, lime and stout on the menu.
Where: 3 Prince Edward Rd, London E9 5LX
Bottom Photo Credit: Cedar Film
The Lowdown: Grow have pretty much everything you could wish for under one roof: live music, art, community, an utterly delicious BBQ menu, reasonably priced drinks, and that view of the canal. This little hideaway is a cafe/bar with a sustainable ethos, bringing together people from the local community and beyond. Kick back with a beer in the sunshine, don your dancing shoes for a late-night boogie, or enjoy a leisurely Sunday lunch, Grow has it all.
Eat and Drink: Slow Fire London, headed up by Pete the Chef, are in charge of the menu, and it’s a mecca of Middle Eastern flavours combined with the best of British seasonal ingredients with BBQ and sharing mezes at its heart. Vegan and veggies are also catered for here; hummus, baba ghanoush, halloumi skewers, tabbouleh, and wraps are just some of the dishes on the menu.
Where: 98c Wallis Rd, London E9 5LN
The Lowdown: Canalside at Here East is an exciting East London development that showcases new restaurants, and street food heroes who have settled into their first bricks and mortar site. Whether you’re vegan, veggie, beer lover, or breakfast worshipper – there’s a menu to suit every taste and budget.
Eat and Drink: The best of the craft beer world meets Italian-American fare at Mason & Company, a craft beer bar and kitchen. Behind Mason and Company is Ed Mason, founder of Hackney’s Five Points Brewing Company, and Rachel Jones, founder of street food stall, Capish? Think deep-filled subs and pints. Over at Grotto, sister site to Soho Favourite, Mele e Pere, there’s plenty of pasta; Shane’s on Canalside focuses on seasonal British produce with foraging, freshness and quality leading the way; and for plant-based munch, Mother bang out acai bowls, healthy treats and breakfast bites.
Where: Here East, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London E20 3BS
The Lowdown: How could we forget about Pearl (you can’t really, as it’s situated under the whack off Hackney Wick sign). A cafe/bar/restaurant, Pearl has three power moves: coffee sourced from Allpress, an all-day menu bursting with seasonal bites, and a smashing selection of craft beers, sustainable wines and local spirits. Pearl is a proper local joint, with friendly staff, and reasonable prices to boot.
Eat and Drink: You can always rely on Pearl for your morning breakfast – their freshly baked pastries and homemade cakes are laid on the counter every morning, and for lunch, heartier dishes are available like peri per chicken, honey roast veg and feta salad, and braised brisket. Food is fresh, abundant, and wholesome. Dogs are welcome; encouraged in fact.
Where: 11 Prince Edward Road, East Wing Oslo House, London E9 5LX