Admiring the Pacific Rim postcards and tiki mask, the wall covered in vinyl inner sleeves (Columbia, Decca, ‘race records’ pioneer Okeh) and a dresser of teacups that seems to have been stolen from a Victorian parlour, we were charmed by this addition to the welter of weeny cafés that have descended on all quarters of Hackney in the last few months.
The food and drinks here are inventive, though not flawless. Our flat white (the makings come from Broadway Market’s Climpson & Sons) seemed a bit long on the white, and we enjoyed the idea of a fig, gorgonzola and Parma ham toastie a little more than the execution – it was too heavy on the fig for the saltiness of the cheese and ham to really come through.
The Venezuelan sandwich was great – a generous mash-up of chorizo, morcilla, black beans, avocado and cheese – but a little soggy, perhaps because we ate it later as a takeaway.
Still, the cakes were a resounding success, whether the tooth-suckingly sweet crème fraîche and iced raspberry muffin, which was winningly served with a cake fork on an antique saucer; or an excellently moist Oreo brownie.
For the sweaty summer’s day of our visit, a mint and apple smoothie – recommended by the cheery young waitress – was a total winner.
Above all, it’s the atmosphere of this place that raises it above the competition. There’s the little bookshelf where Graham Robb’s Rimbaud biography sits alongside Charlotte Berney’s ‘The Fundamentals of Hawaiian Mysticism’, and there’s the ‘analogue library’, which means crackly blue beat or psych guitar LPs are played through a Pacific Revelator speaker at conversation-friendly volume.
Pacific Social describes itself as a ‘drop-out centre’ – we heartily approve of that lack of ambition.
|Venue name:||Pacific Social Club||Contact:|
8 Clarence Rd
|Opening hours:||Open 7.30am-7pm Mon-Fri; 10am-6pm Sat, Sun|
|Transport:||Hackney Downs/Hackney Central rail|
|Price:||Coffee for two with snacks: around £20|
|Do you own this business?|
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Average User Rating
4.9 / 5
- 5 star:13
- 4 star:2
- 3 star:0
- 2 star:0
- 1 star:0
Friendly environment, music quality, tasteful food + coffee during daytime and delicious okonomiyaki on evenings! Defo worth to try in lost in translation of Hackney..!
Stunning hidden gem. Coffee is excellent and highly individual interior, you need to be cool to even enter this place. Staff are very friendly and food is unique and delicious. So worth a visit, if only the opening times were a little longer.....!
Great coffee, great sarnies, great records and right attitude. They host a great monthly Japanese pop-up by Sho Foo Doh. Sick.
i dig this place for their originality, eccentricity & personality... the coffee making is top. rank and the scran is scrumptious!! thank you liam you rock! play on dude!
Really cool little place. The food is inventive and tasty, the coffe is great, the atmosphere is perfect and I don;t think you will find friendlier staff this side of London