Homerton area guide

Explore Homerton with Time Out's guide to the best restaurants, pubs and things to do in E9

Chatsworth Road © Kriss Lee

Homerton is one of those areas in London where you'll hear people muttering: 'oh, hasn't it changed?!', or: 'it's completely irrecognisable', or even: 'I remember when all this used to be fields' (which, incidentally, it did). Gentrification moves quickly in these parts. These parts being, broadly speaking - Chatsworth Road, Well Street, Morning Lane and their surrounding areas. 

E9 has definitely seen a whirlwind of change over the last couple of years. Once a rather down-at-heel destination, it now boasts a growing café scene, and pubs and restaurants aplenty. Bizarrely, it's also home to Hackney's first luxury fashion district (or 'hub' as they'd rather call it). Here's our pick of the best things to do, eat, drink and hunt down in Homerton.

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Restaurants in Homerton

Legs
Restaurants

Legs

Don’t like wine? Don’t worry. Legs, despite the in-joke-for-oenophiles name (the ‘legs’ are the vinous streaks down the inside of your glass), is so much more than a neighbourhood wine bar. It’s also a terrific place to eat, with a compact menu of small plates, each more brilliant than the last. At the helm is heavily tattoed, blonde-hair-pulled-into-a-scruffy-ponytail Magnus Reid: more surfer dude than chef and owner. If you can, sit one of the four stools of the ‘kitchen bar’, and ask for advice on the short but appealing wine list – his laid-back appearance belies the extent of his expertise and enthusiasm – then watch him work. Every dish is a delightful tumble of texture and taste: superficially simple but using bold, bright combinations that elevate them well past the ordinary. The peas – fat, fresh garden beauties over a verdant purée – shimmer alongside roasted pistachios, while extra depth comes from a parmesan nut butter and a final flurry of finely grated extra cheese that settles, like fresh snow, for a fleeting moment before melting away. There was a bowl of crunchy deep-fried potatoes with a foamy, crème fraîche with faintly chivey notes (it’s actually puréed burnt scallions), a hint of salt from plump pearls of cod roe and pepper from nasturtium leaves. It’s pretty much a signature dish: do order it. But the stand-out dish of the night – perhaps because it was during that rarest of British things, a balmy summer’s eve – was a dessert billed merely as ‘melon,

Time Out says
4 out of 5 stars
Users say
5 out of 5 stars
Brooksby's Walk
Restaurants

Brooksby's Walk

A wildly popular dining room above a Jack the Ripper pub in Shoreditch: how do you top that? By taking over the roof of a public toilet in Homerton, silly. Giorgio Ravelli and Jarrod Cooke, of Ten Bells fame, have moved into the former site of The Convenience for their new two-storey venture, Brooksby’s Walk. While latrines in the interior give the restaurant its quirk-factor, there’s nothing gimmicky about the first-floor roof terrace: it feels Continental on balmy nights, even if the view is of a busy Hackney road. As at any public lav, you can expect a queue at Brooksby’s Walk. The restaurant has already whipped up quite the local frenzy, and on our first visit we had to make do with a table indoors until one became available on the roof. Second time round, we booked. Food and drink continues that European vibe, with the wine list plucking affordable finds from the Loire and Piedmont. Dishes are intended for sharing – although these stunning plates are almost too good to share. Deep-fried squid (£8.50) came with vibrant heritage tomatoes and sumac seasoning. Grilled nectarines were dusted in gouda shavings (£5). Perfectly pan-fried plaice (£12) was served on a bed of ‘aubergine caviar’ (more like a veggie salsa, really) and caper agrodolce – a mushy-pea-coloured blob of sweet-sour sauce on the side. Medallions of pork-neck rib-eye with fennel (£13) came swimming in smoked-ham-hock butter – even though it’s delicious, you’ll need to order some bread on the side to see thi

Time Out says
4 out of 5 stars
Users say
5 out of 5 stars
Well Street Kitchen
Restaurants

Well Street Kitchen

A highly loved local café-deli that adds oodles of charm to the market street it resides in. The modest space contains a few chess-board-chequered tables to sit at and opens for breakfast and lunch daily, with weekend dinner openings throughout summer. As well as a cuppa and a croissant, visitors can sit down to a full English, breakfast baps, hearty brunches, soups, sandwiches and a few more adventurous specials. They also host the odd supper club here and there's always an exhibition by independent artists brightening up the walls.

Users say
5 out of 5 stars
Hatch
Restaurants Book online

Hatch

Venue says: “A creative cafe, bar and hub for independent businesses.”

Users say
5 out of 5 stars
Book online
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Bars and pubs in Homerton

Adam & Eve
Bars and pubs

Adam & Eve

Would you believe it? Homerton’s become a fashionable drinking destination. In fact, you could even plan yourself a little E9 pub crawl, stopping off at the Plough, the Gun, the enduring Elderfield, the Jackdaw & Star and this recently reopened pub. It’s massive: you could bring your pals, their pals and everyone they know on Facebook and there’d still be room to use the pool tables. The pub was rebuilt in 1915 with inimitable wartime sobriety, resulting in an understated space largely untouched by the varied fashions of the following century. There’s a strong Cornish connection: meat, fish and veg arrives from the south-west daily, before being used in superior pub dishes. Our burger was pepped up with a sharp sweetcorn relish, a specials board listed autumnal bacon chop with sauerkraut and a bowl of pickled veg included mini carrots, almonds and cucumbers. There’s a happy hour, which offers selected pints, house wines and bloody marys at £3. Drinks are a Hackney/Cornwall combo too, with real ales from the Atlantic coast as well as the grubby heart of Hackney (Five Points pale ale, £3.90 a pint). Fortunately, that’s where the Cornish connection ends – outsiders are made welcome and it doesn’t take hours to get there. Plus it’s doubtful anyone has a second home in Homerton, up-and-coming though it may well be. 

Time Out says
3 out of 5 stars
Users say
5 out of 5 stars
Machine No. 3
Bars and pubs

Machine No. 3

Machine No 3 is a Hackney launderette-turned-cocktail joint, so when, on approach, we noticed that the windows were steamed up, we had high hopes for an atmosphere as pounding as our very own clapped-out washer-dryer. Yet when the door swang open, it revealed just a couple of regulars at the bar and a slightly lost-looking pair of ramblers nursing half-pints in the corner. It’s a shame that Machine No 3 finds itself perched on the corner of a busy junction on the Homerton backstreets: not an area offering a huge amount of natural footfall. Fortunately, their Twitter feed tells a different story of lively gigs, themed events and DJs at the weekend pulling in punters until 1am. We can only assume we picked a quiet night. Beyond this, it’s a sweet space with a community feel – you can order kebab fodder from the Turkish next door or Italian from Well Street Pizza down the road. Old reclaimed furniture doesn’t offer much comfort, but should at least get the patrons moving; there’s certainly ample space for a makeshift dance floor. The cocktail list makes appealing reading, with monthly themed drinks deals and a roster of three craft beers on draught in support. Sadly, a Smoke and Orange (whisky, cinnamon syrup, orange, bitters, £8.50) didn’t quite live up to expectations – not as ballsy as billed and very sweet on the palate. The Elderflower Wash (£8) was easily knocked back though, frothy from egg whites and pleasantly heavy on the gin. And when it’s party time, you probably w

Time Out says
3 out of 5 stars
Users say
4 out of 5 stars
Jackdaw and Star
Bars and pubs

Jackdaw and Star

This Homerton pub is from the company that also runs The Star of Bethnal Green. They stock craft beers including two from the Camden Brewery as well as the even-more-locally-brewed Five Points Pale Ale; there is also a short cocktail list. The food menu, courtesy of permanent resident Sugar Shack, showcases slow-smoked meats shredded and served in multi-layered 'stack' sandwiches with vegetables and dressing. Other dishes include burgers, Sunday roasts and a few vegetarian choices.

Users say
5 out of 5 stars
The Gun
Bars and pubs

The Gun

The Gun is that rarity in London: a ‘proper pub’. Though it was gussied up by new owners in 2014, its uncovered original signage remain evocative of the proper boozer it doubtless was for a goodly chunk of its existence. Don’t be put off though - it’s still an authentically local place to stop by for a couple of pints, with friendly staff and justly famous jerk chicken croquettes. Thanks to a peculiarity in the licence, you’re allowed to take beer home in a 1.5 pint bottle; before you do, settle in and order two-thirds of a pint of the local Five Points Pale Ale or others from a strong London selection: Beavertown, Redemption, Weird Beard (more generic beers, there to keep the old locals happy, are also available). With fair prices and a shiny new roof terrace, the Gun is certainly worth a shot.

Time Out says
4 out of 5 stars
Users say
5 out of 5 stars
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The perfect weekend in Homerton

Watch: The Castle Cinema
Cinemas

Watch: The Castle Cinema

A boutique film house, originally opened in 1913

Users say
5 out of 5 stars
Explore: Hackney Marshes
Things to do

Explore: Hackney Marshes

An immense green space full of canals and wildlife

Users say
5 out of 5 stars
Shop: Chatsworth Road Market
Shopping

Shop: Chatsworth Road Market

Fruit and veg, posh breads, homemade cakes and bric-a-brac

Users say
5 out of 5 stars
Sip: 46b Espresso Hut
Restaurants

Sip: 46b Espresso Hut

Blink and you might miss this great coffee spot

Users say
5 out of 5 stars

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