It’s been a decade since Dalston was London’s coolest neighbourhood. Now a familiar story of rising rents and venue closures has forced London’s creative scene down to Peckham, and in Dalston, posh wine bars have cropped up to replace shuttered nightclubs (RIP Visions, The Alibi and Efes). But that’s no reason not to stick around: this multicultural area is still packed with fun nights out, delicious (and very affordable) food and bargain buys. Dalston’s main drags, Kingsland High Street and Ridley Road, serve as two of the main shopping streets for the diverse borough of Hackney, and its strong Turkish community makes it one of the best places in London to get a kebab, a haircut or a hammam scrub. And that’s before you even start exploring the area’s residential backstreets, dotted with great pubs and cafés. Read on for our guide to Dalston’s best bits, and get to grips with an area that’s a glorious blend of London’s many tastes and characters.
How do I get to Dalston?
There’s no tube here, but two Overground stations – Dalston Junction and Dalston Kingsland – run trains west to Islington and Camden, and south to Shoreditch and Whitechapel. Bus links are also plentiful.
What else is nearby?
To the west of Dalston you’ll find the chichi Islington neighbourhoods of Newington Green and Canonbury. Hackney Central and London Fields are to the east, while south lie canalside Haggerston and pretty De Beauvoir. As you head north, the neighbourhood gradually shades into Stoke Newington.
Map of Dalston:
Time Out tip:
For a total contrast to chaotic Kingsland High Street, take a walk down Wilton Way or Shacklewell Lane: two cute little thoroughfares running east from Dalston. They’re positively villagey.
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