A Story of Home Dalston Area Guide

Just a short time ago Hackney was the poorest borough in the UK, and Dalston was the poorest neighbourhood in Hackney. Fast forward just 30 years and Dalston is one of London’s coolest neighbourhoods and has been for a decade.

Stylish cocktail bars have popped up to replace scruffy nightclubs, but that’s no reason not to hang around. This multi-cultural area still has lots to offer, delicious and very affordable food, bakery’s serving crusty bread and coffee to wake you up after a night on the tiles.

Kingsland High Street and Ridley Road, are the two main shopping streets, Ridley Road hosts a daily fresh food market and attracts customers from all over London, and Dalston’s strong Turkish community makes it one of the best places to get a traditional ocakabsi kebab, hammam scrub or haircut. And that’s before you even start exploring the area’s backstreets, which has great pubs (Try The Hand of Glory’s Aperol Spritz and prawn burger) and cafés. Hackney Downs is also located on the edge of Dalston, so it has green open spaces covered too.

Here is the SoH. guide to Dalston.


Down a graffitied side road off Kingsland High Street, Dusty Knuckle sells seriously good sourdough. Not only does it employ young people from difficult backgrounds as the bakers, it also serves delicious sandwiches, pastries, salads and coffee. You could if you wanted, stay here for the whole day, the fret containers and warehouse offer a great back drop to watch the locals. We will talk about 40ft brewery later on as even for Dalston first thing is too early for a pint of craft beer.

Dusty Knuckle, Abbot St, Dalston, Hackney, London E8 3DP


Located in an old joinery factory on Dalston Lane, Allpress Espresso Roastery and Cafe serve great coffee and the whole process is on show for you to enjoy while you have your morning brew, oh and the sandwiches are delicious too. The building itself is spacious and radiant with natural light. Sitting outside on the terrace is a daily delight for the Dalston Hipster crowd.

Allpress Espresso Roastery and Cafe, 55 Dalston Lane, Dalston, Hackney, London E8 2NG


Jones & Sons is a classic British restaurant & cocktail bar. This amazing space features an open kitchen, 11-metre Carrara marble bar top and an original rose wood 1950s Poul Cadovius ‘Royal System’ shelving unit as the bar display. There is a choice of traditional British, vegetarian and vegan options, sweet and savoury. Make sure you book in as their famous bottomless brunch fills up weeks in advance.

Jones & Sons, Stamford Works, 3 Gillett Street, N16 8JH


There has been a cinema on this prominent corner since the Kingsland Palace started showing silent films in 1909. More than 100 years later, the striking Art Deco Rio Cinema is still one of the best independent cinemas in London. After a successful fundraising campaign, it opened a smaller second screen at the end of 2017 and both show a mix of Hollywood hits, arthouse, classics and documentaries.

Rio Cinema, 107 Kingsland High Street, Dalston, Hackney, London E8 2PB


The homes of east London must have one of the world’s most dense concentration of cacti per square mile. To feed the growing demand, boutique plant shop Prick has sprung up selling a small but stylish array of beautiful spiky little critters, terracotta pots, plant food and cute cacti-related books, cards and pens.

Prick, 492 Kingsland Road, Dalston, Hackney, London E8 4AE


Located in the heart of Hackney, Madame Pigg is a purveyor of seasonal British food from Chef Adam Hardiman. Madame Pigg opened in November 2018 and is located on Kingsland Road. Since then, Chef Hardiman has been serving both quality interpretations of classic dishes and seasonal inspired British dishes.

Madame Pigg, 480 Kingsland Road, Dalston, Hackney, London E8 4AE


One of the new businesses that has cheered up a the once run down strip of Dalston Lane, Little Duck – The Picklery is a kitchen and wine bar that’s big on brining. The restaurant space doubles as the team’s pickling workshop where they make seasonal ferments and rustle up cocktails with a kick of drinking vinegar. Eating here feels like you are in your dream kitchen.

Little Duck – The Picklery 68 Dalston Lane, Dalston, Hackney, London E8 3AH

“You could if you wanted, stay here for the whole day, the fret containers and warehouse offer a great back drop to watch the locals”


High Water, joining the Original Sin and Ruby’s, is a cocktail bar surrounded by traditional mangals and trendy nightspots. Some in London are beginning to describe it as a ‘bartender’s bar’, meaning not just a place where off-duty service staff drink, but somewhere the industry approves of due to the particular sophistication of what its serves. High Water is now an established stop-off on the Dalston/Stokey strip.

High Water, 23 Stoke Newington Road, Dalston, Hackney, London N16 8BJ


All the farmers at the Growing Communities Farmers Market are either organic or biodynamic, making this the only UK farmers’ market where that’s the case. All the stallholders making processed foods are encouraged to source their ingredients from the farmers who come. So not only do you get delicious food but you’re also supporting small, sustainable farms almost all from within 60 miles of London.

There is a wide selection of excellent produce, including, butter, cheeses, yogurt, eggs and meat from sustainable family farms. Fresh fish sustainably caught in the English Channel, hand-made breads, cakes, chocolates and much much more.

Growing Communities Farmers Market, St Paul’s Church, Stoke Newington, N16 7UY


The Vortex Jazz Club is a small not for profit jazz club. As a volunteer-led jazz club it has been given the accolade of being one of the world’s best and has even been singled out by the prestigious Downbeat magazine as one the top 150 jazz venues in the world.

Vortex Jazz Club, 11 Gillett Square, Dalston, London N16 8AZ