Hackney restaurants and cafés

Whether it's a cup of coffee or a wine and dine affair, this trendiy east London borough has it all

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Britta Jaschinski

Hackney does an amazing line in cafés. Long White Cloud represents New Zealand, while Railroad is as eclectic as the area it serves. Catering for the carnivores is Argentinian restaurant Buen Ayre while lovers of Vietnamese fare head to Green Papaya. For a 'secret' dinner date, join the Bruncheon Club at a yet-to-be-disclosed location.

Think we've missed a great restaurant or café in Hackney? Let us know in the comment box below.

Buen Ayre

  • Rated as: 3/5
  • Price band: 2/4

Broadway Market’s atmosphere of laid-back revelry should make it the perfect spot for Buen Ayre, chef-proprietor John Patrick Rattagan’s attempt to bring casual Argentinian meat feasting to London. The layout is right – one small room, simply furnished, with the asado grill the focus.

  1. 50 Broadway Market, E8 4QJ
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Bruncheon Club

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Price band: 1/4

You don’t book a seat at this brunch-based twist on an underground restaurant, you ‘join’ the ‘club’. You don’t get your own table, you pull up a seat with five other guests. And instead of a typical restaurant setting, brunch is dished up in a spacious, elegant Hackney flat.

  1. a secret location, E8
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Climpson & Sons

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

There are two sides to Climpson, a tiny fixture in Broadway Market serving some of the capital’s best coffee. On weekdays, it’s a popular place for a hot brew in relaxed conditions, perhaps with a light meal or snack. On Saturday and Sunday, it’s a victim of its own well-deserved success.

  1. 67 Broadway Market, E8 4PH
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Counter Café

  • Rated as: 3/5
  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

A javelin’s throw from the Olympic Stadium across the canal, this delightfully thrown-together-looking joint behind artists’ studios seems a world away. Arrive for a late lunch and the lack of pies and salads could be excused by the admission that it’s more of a breakfast and brunch spot.

  1. Stour Space, 7 Roach Road, E3 2PA
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Long White Cloud

  • Rated as: 3/5
  • Price band: 1/4

The name comes from the Maori name for their country: Aotearoa, ‘Land of the Long White Cloud’, and generally suggests something more beautiful than a café on Hackney Road.

  1. 151 Hackney Road, E2 8JL
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Railroad

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Price band: 1/4

Initially winning acclaim for its brunch, this cosy spot on Homerton’s fast-gentrifying Morning Lane is now a local fave for lunch and dinner too. Gone are the open-mic nights, and in has come a sharpened focus on Railroad’s eclectic, homely dishes.

  1. 120-122 Morning Lane, E9 6LH
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Wilton Way Café

  • Rated as: 3/5
  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

This independently owned café isn’t just an island of calm for a steady stream of twenty- and thirtysomethings, it’s also the home of London Fields Radio, which is hosted from the corner of the room. As a result, some visits can be a little noisy.

  1. 63 Wilton Way, E8 1BG
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Green Papaya

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Price band: 1/4

Located halfway down Mare Street behind an apparently run-down façade, Green Papaya feels like a quiet club. It’s a charming little place: long-established, family-run, simple and well loved.

  1. 191 Mare Street, E8 3QE
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Violet Cakes

  • Rated as: 3/5
  • Price band: 1/4

Cupcakes have been popping up all over since Carrie and the girls Manolo-ed their way into Magnolia Bakery, NYC. For a few years, and in ever-growing numbers, Londoners don’t seem to be able to get enough of these little bites of nostalgia.

  1. 47 Wilton Way, E8 3ED
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Tre Viet

  • Rated as: 3/5
  • Price band: 1/4

With the welcoming feel of a brasserie, this large, bright, airy and cool dining room – the walls decorated with painted murals of Vietnamese scenes and the ceiling hung with paper lanterns – is a pleasure to visit.

  1. 247 Mare Street, E8 3NS
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LMNT

  • Rated as: 3/5
  • Price band: 1/4

LMNT wouldn’t be out of place among Covent Garden’s theatre-themed restaurants, thanks to its quirky decor rife with Egyptian and Roman imagery, tucked-away tables and soundtrack of operatic music. It certainly stands out in Dalston, though, and draws all sorts of curious diners.

  1. 316 Queensbridge Road, E8 3NH
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