On paper, Mare Street Market is a confusing place: a restaurant, café, wine bar and deli where you can record a podcast, buy a plant and shop for antique furniture. In reality though, it’s really just one big food hall-style dining room, with a couple of shops at the entrance and a café serving coffee and sandwiches by the door.
The Open Kitchen takes up most of the space – it’s big, vibey and beautiful, with communal tables, soft couches and greenery everywhere you look. Don’t veer off-track and end up eating at the slightly more formal Dining Room section (you’ll see it – the ceiling is covered in antique chandeliers). Though it’s lovely, the food is better, and cheaper, in the main area. The menu has something for everyone: burgers, salads, wood-fired pizza and loads of hearty, vegetarian-friendly options. The pumpkin gnocchi with brown butter and crispy sage is a must-try (it was creamy and delicious; the perfect winter comfort food), followed by a crispy vegetarian scotch egg filled with a moreish, spicy green dahl.
While you may not expect much from somewhere with the nerve to blatantly tick all the millennial boxes it possibly can, Mare Street Market turned out to be a truly lovely place to hang out – so vibey you could stay for hours without getting bored. Did I mention the massive beer garden? Come summertime, it will be heaving with people fresh from London Fields. I for one, simply cannot wait.