These Hackney pubs are perfect for a treat out east.
The humble British pub: not simply a place to eat, drink, and be merry, but an essential part of our daily existence in the city. Luckily, there are fantastic pubs in Hackney with brilliant beer gardens, canalside vibes, fab Sunday roasts and tempting bottomless brunches — not to mention delicious beer.
But, for the best part of the last three months, they’ve been nothing but a fond memory. Since March 20, when Britain first went into lockdown, doors of the nation’s favourite boozing establishments have been locked tight to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
This weekend, however, that’s all about to change. Pubs have been permitted to open on July 4, with strict social-distancing measures in place.
New rules, as per the gov.uk site, mean pubs will, of course, be a little different to how we remember. They include:
- requiring use of table service where possible instead of ordering at the bar and assigning a single staff member per table
- encouraging use of contactless ordering from tables where available, such as through an app
- discouraging non-essential trips by staff within venues, such as between the kitchen and front of house, by using radios and other electronic devices to communicate
- encouraging customers to use hand sanitiser or handwashing facilities as they enter the venue
- providing clear guidance on social distancing and hygiene as people arrive on the premises, with signage and visual aids
Hackney is one of London’s only boroughs not to see a huge fall in the numbers of its beloved local pubs in the last 10 years — let’s keep it that way. Here’s some of the best spots in the borough. You might need to book ahead for most of these!
Pubs in Hackney Central
Walk through the colourful alleyway just past the Hackney Empire theatre on Mare Street and you’ll come out in The Old Ship Inn. You’ll come here for booze and come back for jerk chicken. This spot has been delivering throughout lockdown, and its doors will be open come July 4. According to their Instagram, they have a few spots left to book – as well as some first-come, first-served tables open on the day.
2 Sylvester Path, E8 1EN
Pubs in Hackney Downs
The Star By Hackney Downs is the ultimate East London bottomless brunch spot — and it’s also very reasonably priced at a £15 supplement with all the brunch favourites: bloody mary, mimosa, prosecco, juice, tea and coffee as well as gluten-free and vegan choices that don’t feel like the short straw. The Star is preparing for the opening weekend, by offering bookings at this link.
35 Queensdown Road, E5 8JQ
Pubs in London Fields
Many consider London Fields to be the beating heart of Hackney — and you don’t get more central than The Pub On The Park. Full of craft ales and atmosphere, The Pub on the Park has a ‘secret room’ for events downstairs – a bit like Narnia but through the women’s toilets instead of a wardrobe. This place attracts the hordes in the sunshine with its large terrace, so get down early to stake out your spot. Pub On The Park will be opening with a walk-in service this weekend, so be sure to grab your seats early if you plan to head down.
19 Martello Street, E8 3PE
Venture just to the south of London Fields, and you’ll reach the heady delights of The Cat and Mutton — a Broadway Market stalwart and purveyor of cosy old-world charm and good times in the form of DJs and live music. The Cat And Mutton opens this weekend, with a set of sensible guidelines for customers to follow. Pub-goers will need to book in advance to nab a seat here.
76 Broadway Market, E8 4QJ
Another historic Hackney pub and barnstorming good time, venture to the middle of Broadway Market to The Dove. The excellent Thai menu has gluten-free and vegan options — the ‘tofish’ and chips is a godsend and they’re proponents of Meat-Free Mondays. They have a film club, a raucous pub quiz and a selection of the finest Belgian wheat beers. The Dove will reopen its doors from 1pm on Saturday, with social-distancing measures in place, and restricted opening hours.
24-28 Broadway Market, E8 4QJ
A saunter over the Cat and Mutton bridge (named after the pub would you believe it) will take you towards The Virgin Queen. The interior is even more spectacularly historic than its mock-Tudor exterior — note the gorgeous carved fireplace, and panelled bar. Expect proper pub grub and craft on draught. The Virgin Queen opens its doors from midday this Saturday, and is also operating on a first-come, first-served basis.
94 Goldsmiths Row, E2 8QY
Pubs in Homerton
Easily accessible from the Overground, Homerton has a great selection of unique drinking spots. The Spread Eagle is London’s first completely, 100%, totally and utterly vegan pub. Yes, the food, drinks and even the decor are all plant-based and ethically sourced. Their Club Mexicana menu is colourful and delicious. As well as avocados, they’re also smashing their music offering with their own Soundcloud mixes available online. The Spread Eagle are taking bookings now.
224 Homerton High Street, E9 6AS
Another pub for music lovers, The Adam & Eve is just over the road from The Spread Eagle and has a fantastic menu with Rockadollar providing another fiendishly good Sunday roast. They hold pool tournaments every Tuesday and have a huge and covered garden area where you can enjoy watching sport. On the pulse musically, expect their DJs to play the everything from funk, post-punk, new noise, and obscurities to soundtrack your session. Don’t miss the L-shaped pool table, either! You can reserve your spot at The Adam And Eve right here.
55 Homerton High Street, E9 6AS
The Gun the place to be scene and not herd (sorry), also boasts an impressive menu with The Gravy Social in the kitchen. Be quick though, their roasts sell out faster than most can even read a menu. It’s small and cosy, does a fantastic bloody mary, and is a popular haunt for that millennial crossover of football and experimental music fans.
235 Well Street, Homerton, E9 6RG
Pubs in Clapton
With beautifully curated decor and high-ceilinged rooms with an air of photogenic charm, The Clapton Hart is a pub you can easily spend hours in. Their main meals are reasonably priced for the area with their most expensive at £14.50 for beef rump. Complete with a quiz on Tuesdays and a large beer garden! The Clapton Hart will operate with a booking and walk-in service.
231 Lower Clapton Road, E5 8EG
For a more local pint, look no further than The Elderfield with its cosy, wood-panelled and plant-lined interior, friendly vibe and lively quiz. Nestled conveniently between Chatsworth Road and Lower Clapton Road this pub is ideal for a post-market pint. The Elderfield will be open this Saturday.
57 Elderfield Road, E5 0LF
If your quest to discover Lower Clapton Road’s finest watering holes doesn’t end at the Lea Bridge Roundabout, you’re in for a treat with The Crooked Billet. With one of the largest beer gardens in the area, the Billet has deck chairs, bowls, ping pong and a baseball-style Camden Hells seating terrace, this is the ideal place to catch up on sport and spend a great afternoon with pals. The Billet will open for the public to swig some beers from 11am on Saturday.
84 Upper Clapton Road, E5 9JP
Nestled in quaint residential streets between the National Trust’s Sutton House and Morning Lane, The Chesham Arms is a symbol of victory for local pub fans. It was saved as an Asset of Community Value by a grassroots effort to protect it from the threat of—you guessed it—‘luxury apartments.’ You can get Yard Sale pizza delivered right to your table inside or outside. And evening pub-goers will be pleased that the garden at the rear is a particularly good sun trap. A great Sunday location you can take your dog to. You’ll have to wait a little longer for this one, however. The Chesham Arms opens its doors from August 1.
15 Mehetabel Road, E9 6DU.
For a ‘proper pub’ that’s all about good times and good craic, The Royal Sovereign is a fine choice. Affectionately dubbed The Sov, the vibe is irreverent, unashamedly local and unpretentious. If you don’t have a good time here, there’s not much hope for you. You’ll be able to enjoy it once again this weekend.
64 Northwold Road, E5 8RL
Another for the ‘proper pub’ category, The Anchor and Hope is a no-frills east London boozer next to the canal, overlooking Walthamstow Marshes. Bring cash — you have been warned. This is definitely not a craft pub, but packs a great atmosphere to watch the sunset from. The Anchor And Hope will be open from midday, this Saturday.
15 High Hill Ferry, E5 9HG.
Not to be neglected is the also canalside Princess of Wales. This family-friendly pub offers film screenings, hearty meals, and an outdoor area overlooking the canal — a perfect spot to refuel after a walk in the nearby marshes. This one also returns a little later, opening its doors on July 20.
146 Lea Bridge Road, E5 9RB
Pubs in Dalston
For a Sunday roast you’ll be hankering after for weeks to come, you can’t do much better than The Prince Arthur. Brought to us by the team behind The Chesham Arms, this pub is unpretentious, cosy and friendly for kids and dogs. You’ll find a tidy selection of craft ales, with the bar supplied by Forest Road Brewing Co. While away a quiet afternoon here with a board game and good company. This spot will open from midday on Saturday, and you can read their statement here.
95 Forest Road, E8 3BH
The Pembury Tavern is a cheery boozer in the heart of Hackney. Boasting 22 beer taps, mouth-watering New York Neapolitan pizza and a mean Sunday roast, this a great hangout that ticks many boxes. Book your table for The Pembury Tavern here.
90 Amhurst Road, E8 1JH
Pubs near Victoria Park
South of Victoria Park, The Approach Tavern is the ideal transition from park to pub, with the promise of a lovingly-created meal at the end, complete with crafty and traditional beers. For a rain-safe outdoor spot, The Approach has a covered beer garden at the front with benches and a screen perfect for watching live sport. It’s dog-friendly too! Bookings can be made in time for this Saturday.
47 Approach Road, E2 9LY
Another one of east London’s biggest and best beer gardens, The People’s Park Tavern has a lot to offer. In addition to its truly massive and colourful garden area complete with Plonk Golf course, they run immersive experiences and have their own brewery. If that wasn’t enough, they do bottomless brunch, a lovely woodland-themed afternoon tea, live Sunday sessions, a pub quiz and a free weekly open mic night. Get all the details on their July 4 opening right here.
360 Victoria Park Road, E9 7BT
The Lauriston is another Victoria Park local. Laid back and lovely, The Lauriston plays host to regular karaoke night debauchery, quizzes and top-notch pizza (gluten-free bases are available at a £2 surcharge). The Lauriston plan to open for bookings very soon for the July 4 opening, according to their Instagram.
162 Victoria Park Road, E9 7JN