Dalston Neighbourhood Guide

Photo credit: Rio Cinema

Dalston is the ultimate mix of skinny jeans and well-groomed beards, tailored suits and slicked back hair, established communities and young renters. It’s got a buzzing nightlife and plenty of property types to entice buyers and renters alike. 

Way, way back in the history books (we’re talking Middle Ages now), Dalston started out as a small village. Changes in the economy and industrial sectors over the 19th century attracted immigration from the Caribbean, Turkey and Vietnam – making it an exciting, eclectic and foodie-heaven destination. As with most East London areas, Dalston has had a makeover in recent years and has quickly established itself as the place to be if you like late nights, drinks with friends or dinner at one of its numerous Turkish restaurants. 

The arrival of London Overground has also made Dalston one of the most sought-after neighbourhoods for young people climbing the property ladder and city workers looking for a quick commute. Housing types are wide and varied; from Victorian terraces, converted warehouses, social housing and an ever-growing stock of new homes. This is a great place for renters moving into shared homes, creative types looking for fun and quirky places to work and to just immerse yourself in East London life. 

Transport Links:  

Dalston Junction and Dalston Kingsland (both London Overground): City 6 minutes approximately. West End 16 minutes approximately. Stratford International 17 minutes approximately.

City 22 minutes approximately. West End 21 minutes approximately. Stratford International 18 minutes approximately. 

Well-connected bus routes throughout and Santander cycle stands. 

Our pick of Bethnal Green’s top spots:

Caffeine Kick:

Allpress: If you want to do more than just slurp your coffee, pop into All Press to see the magic of the coffee roasting process. Hand-picked beans, friendly baristas and a lot of space; this is a great spot to spend your day. 

Subtitles Cafe: More than just your typical café, this spot serves coffee with a helping of culture – foreign films and vinyl records to be precise. They’re always hosting an interesting event, so plan your visit with enough time to experience coffee and cinema.

Reilly Rocket: This Aussie-owned café is a true treat. Super tasty food and meticulously made coffee which has been locally roasted make this a great place to fuel your body and enjoy your morning caffeine fix. 

Proper Boozer:

Brewers Bar: Based in an old Georgian butcher’s shop, Brewers Bar has quickly established itself as local’s favourite hangout. Make sure you plan ahead though –  it’s so cool, it’s only open four days a week! 

Shaklewell Arms: If you like going to gigs and you love a pint of cold frothy beer, here’s your top spot. Plus, if you have a penchant for a hot dog, this really is the best pub in Dalston.

The Three Compasses: Put your beer down and pick up a Food Circus burger – these guys run the kitchen in this boozer and the food is not only delicious, it’s high quality and very reasonably priced.

Going Out Out:

Dalston Superstore: Fancy a bit of disco? How about some soul or funk? This awesome bar/café has got it all, plus cocktails. Open till 2.30am, there’s art and food too.  

Silk Stockings: Delicious cocktails, bar snacks and fun-filled bottomless brunches – must we say more? 

Three Sheets: Opening in 2016, this is a neighbourhood bar with an awesome array of drinks and high quality meat and cheese nibbles.

Ray's Bar: These guys describe themselves as a “dreamy subterranean cocktail dimension”, we can’t really think of anything as glamorous to say! 

Tickle Your Tastebuds:

Mangal 1: It might be a kebab restaurant, but oh my, it’s so so much more. Authentic, chargrilled Turkish foods – this place is definitely for meat eaters.

Jidori: When authentic yakitori comes to East London, it would be totally crazy not to fill your belly with locally sourced ingredients and Japanese flavours. Just go.

Furanxo: Artisan food shop by day, aperitivo and wine bar by night. Don’t know what an aperitivo is? You’ll just have to visit this Dalston Lane delight to find out.  

House of Momo: This restaurant was kept secret for many years by locals and foodies alike. Why? Well the Nepalese dumplings are basically the tastiest things ever, the location is tucked away and this tiny place is always packed so getting a seat is no easy task. Really delicious thalis, amazing value.

Let’s Do Brunch:

Hash E8: Hungover? Get yourself to Hash E8. Want breakfast all day, every day? Get yourself to Hash E8. Open till 4pm seven days a week.

L’Atelier DalstonCoffee, cake and really cool kids. The menu is awesome, the staff are eclectic. It’s very East London. 

Tina We Salute YouArt adorns the walls and avocado smash decorates your sourdough bread. This place opened in 2009 and has opened a second branch in the Olympic Village. Go hungry and go curious.

Wild And Free:

Dalston Eastern Curve Garden, Dalston Roof Park, London Fields. 

Culture Vulture:

Rio Cinema: A Grade II listed independent Art Deco cinema with a history stretching back over 100 years, it’s well worth a visit just to see the building alone. 

Arcol Theatre: Described as “locally engaged and internationally minded”, this is an intimate fringe theatre located in a former paint factory.

Doomed Gallery: A photography and visual exhibition space supporting local students, community collectives and professional photographers and visual artists. 

Shop 'Til You Drop:

Ridley Road Market: A little piece of Hackney history, this market has been around since the 1880s. Open every day apart from Sunday, stock up on all your fruit and veg and enjoy hunting for bargains.

Beyond Retro: Vintage clothing for miles and miles, you can spend hours browsing the racks for clothes, shoes and accessories. 

LN-CC: Described as an “innovative retail concept”, this place doesn’t just sell clothes, it oozes coolness and creativity. For an alternative shopping experience and a unique interior, this is luxury shopping but not as you might expect.