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This small, trad corner pub doesn’t look like much from the outside but inside it’s cosy and congenial, with a young and invested management offering proper pub hospitality translated into 21st-century terms, Hackney Road style. Which means the pub quiz is on fashion, the crowd is young and craftsy, the chandeliers are confected out of old bottles and events may include the occasional barter evening, when punters can negociate payment by goods on the proprietors’ wishlist.

Drinks run the gamut from the standard megabrewery lager via a short wine list to three real ales, which last time we were here included St Peter’s Golden and a (slightly cloudy) Sharp’s Doom. Drinks specials, such as ‘nude martinis’ are posted to facebook. There’s a menu of good modern but hearty food that’s reliably tasty, and a wicked Sunday lunch.

Venue name: Marksman
Address: 254 Hackney Rd
E2 7SJ
Opening hours: Open 11am-midnight Mon-Sat, 11am-11pm Sun
Transport: Tube: Hoxton Overground

Average User Rating

2.3 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:1
  • 4 star:0
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:1
  • 1 star:2
1 person listening
Michael P

Went here for a Sunday roast last weekend after a friend had read dazzling reviews. It probably the worst roast dinner I have ever had. The portions were very small. My roast beef was like chewing an old boot - completely overcooked. The chicken was full of bones. And the vegetarian option was a mean slither of a cheese and potato pasty, served with a couple of carrots, that made Gregg's look like gourmet - yet it cost £12! My friend who ordered it thought they had made a mistake and sent a children's portion it was so measly. After eating because we were starving we complained. At first the manager offered to pay for one of our rounds of drinks but eventually gave us a third off (though it still worked out at £16 each). The excuses were variously that the establishment was under new management, the kitchen was being refurbished and that our high expectations from contributed to the disappointment (!). The staff were pleasant and courteous, but this is definitely one to avoid if you are after a good roast dinner. 


Unfortunately not impressed. I've had better, and am not a fan of 1.5 hour turn around for Sunday dinner (table of 6). Half food cold the rest steaming hot. No veg gravy for the veggie roast available but still charged when friend asked for a little more for theirs. One of the staff was very friendly the rest were tepid at best. Will not go back if I can help it.


I recently visited this pub for Sunday lunch with two friends having heard several recommendations but ended up being very disappointed. The "discretionary" service charge is apparently far from discretionary. I asked the waitress to remove it from the bill explaining that we wanted to decide on our own tip. At which point she demanded to know why several times. I explained that I wasn't happy with the service and she stormed back then continued remonstrating and raised her voice to the point that she was shouting at me in this busy bar. In the course of her tirade she mentioned that she had been really busy all day, that she had started at 11 that morning, and that we were "lucky" to get a table - I fail to see how this is relevant to the service we received. I asked to speak with the manager and he was at least good enough to refrain from shouting at me but did not apologise or it seems try to calm down his irate staff member. I'm sure not everyone has this experience here but I will certainly not be returning. I suggest that they either remove the "discretionary" suggestion from their menu or adjust their prices to reflect the actual cost and pass on to their staff accordingly. Certainly they should try to employ people with more realistic understanding of what customer service entails.


Great pub. Great crowd. Food is delicious and menu changes. They have an actually great Bloody Mary. I have searched all over London for a good one and theirs is great.