If you’re living in Hackney, you can expect to call one of the city’s most in-demand areas “home” while enjoying a raft of entertainment options on offer. Designer fashion stores, hotspot cafés and artisan food joints line the streets in this East London enclave.

Hackney has come a long way from being one of London’s least desirable boroughs. In just two decades, it’s transformed from a rough neighbourhood to the capital’s mecca of innovation and creativity.

Here are a few of the best places to visit if you're living in Hackney.

Hackney Empire

An iconic landmark in Hackney, the Hackney Empire is a theatre that was originally built in 1901. It was renovated a few years ago and now puts on everything from plays to classical music concerts and comedy clubs.

A range of famous comedians have performed at the venue, such as Frankie Boyle, Lenny Henry, Jo Brand and John Cleese. The Grade II-listed building is a sight to behold and stands out from the crowd thanks to its distinctive looks.

Find at  291 Mare St, Hackney, London E8 1EJ
Phone no: 020 8985 2424
Email: [email protected]
Follow @HackneyEmpire

Crate Brewery

Crate Brewery epitomises modern Hackney. Its a bar set in an old factory in Hackney Wick that manages to be trendy while keeping things low key. As a microbrewery, Crate provides a range of beers to cater to different taste buds.

The bar enjoys a riverside location next to the River Lea and is an ideal spot during the warmer months. As well as fantastic beers, those living in Hackney can tuck into stone-baked pizzas — whether you're sitting outside or enjoying the recycled décor inside.

Find at Unit 7 Queen's Yard, Hackney Wick, London E9 5EN
Phone no: 020 8533 3331
Email: [email protected]
Follow @CrateBrewery

London Fields

London Fields is the spot where those living in Hackney head for a picnic, summertime stroll or brisk autumn walk. The park has been going strong since the 13th century and is one of Hackney's most recognisable places.

If you’re visiting London Fields, take time to admire the Flower Sellers statue or go for a dip in the heated lido. There’s also a cafe, just in case you feel like grabbing a hot brew after a peaceful stroll in one of south-central Hackney’s finest parks.

Find at London Fields West Side, Hackney, London E8 3EU
Phone no: 020 8356 3000
Follow #londonfields

Morning Lane

There's so much to do on Morning Lane in Hackney that it's unfair to pick only a couple of activities. It's home to a range of upmarket boutiques, such as Matchesfashion Hackney, as well as eateries like vegan junk food joint Temple of Hackney.

Morning Lane is quintessential modern-day Hackney with its foodie spots and its trendy cafés such as Brew for Two. Hackney Walk is the biggest draw on Morning Lane, however. The designer outlet has a range of fashion stores for you to discover the latest looks.

Find at Morning Lane, Hackney, London, E9 6ND
Follow #morninglane


Voted as 2017’s best restaurant by The Observer, Pidgin is a small space (just 29 seats) that packs a mighty punch when it comes to creativity. The menu changes weekly, meaning you can always expect something new at this Hackney hotspot.

In fact, the restaurant hasn’t repeated a dish yet and is always cooking up something new in the kitchen. Expect exotic ingredients in your meals and a laid-back atmosphere too. Pidgin isn’t just one of Hackney’s finest restaurants; it’s one of London’s.

Find at 52 Wilton Way, Hackney, London E8 1BG
Phone no: 020 7254 8311
Email: [email protected]
Follow @pidginlondon

E5 Bakehouse

With this being a guide to Hackney, it's only right that one of the best bakeries in town is organic. E5 Bakehouse is a major hit with all those living in Hackney, thanks to artisan methods and local organic products.

The bakery sits inside a spruced-up railway arch and is home to a small committed group of bakers, chefs and baristas who provide top-notch treats for those living in Hackney and beyond.

Find at 395 Mentmore Terrace, Hackney, London E8 3PH
Phone no: 020 8525 2890
Email: [email protected]
Follow @e5bakehouse

Stour Space

Hackney is routinely voted as one of the most creative neighbourhoods in London. So it will come as no surprise to learn that there are so many cultural and creative spaces in the area. Stour Space is one of those spaces and is set in a  once-abandoned building.

Located right by the canal, Stour Space is split into several artists' studios and performance spaces. It's a creative community hub that works with locals and stages exhibitions, performances and even yoga.

Find at 7 Roach Rd, Fish Island, London E3 2PA
Phone no: 020 8985 7827
Follow @stourspace

Hackney Picturehouse

You’ll find East London’s biggest screen at Hackney Picturehouse, the de facto place to watch the latest flick. This grand cinema is located right in the heart of Hackney, and has movies galore from summer blockbusters or art house films.

A café bar is on hand, whether you’re watching a film or not. Relax and grab a bite from the kitchen from options that include locally-sourced ingredients. Or just enjoy a hot brew or quick drink before settling down for the latest showing.

Find at Hackney Picturehouse, 270 Mare Street, London, E8 1HE
Phone no:  020 3287 9112
Email: [email protected]
Follow @hackneypicturehouse

The Breakfast Club Hackney Wick

As an award-winning neighbourhood café, The Breakfast Club Hackney Wick servers up a range of your favourite breakfasts. Lose yourself in a pile of pancakes or chow down on a good ol’ fashioned English breakfast.

And then there’s the extensive range of desserts, just in case you have a sweet tooth that needs satisfying. The Breakfast Club is one of London’s favourite morning institutions — to the point that people flock here for breakfast at all times during the day.

Find at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, 29 East Bay Lane Canalside Here East, London E15 2GW
Phone no: 020 3866 4111
Follow @thebrekkyclub

Broadway Market

There are markets galore in Hackney, but Broadway Market is a firm favourite with the locals. The Victorian street market takes place every Saturday and has a number of stalls that server up treats like Vietnamese ice cream and vintage fashion items.

There’s plenty of history to Broadway Market, and it’s even made its way onto the big screen for movies like David Cronenberg’s 2007 film, Eastern Promises. It’s also rumoured that the market partly inspired everyone’s favourite TV show, Eastenders.

Find at Hackney, London, E8
Email: [email protected]
Follow @broadwaymarket

Living in Hackney

There’s a layer of cool that comes with saying that you’re living in Hackney. From an edgy, rough area to a creative hub big on community, Hackney is fast becoming one of London’s most sought-after postcodes.

Living in Hackney promises to offer plenty, whether you’re an aspiring artist or simply want a fun place to live.

Although we don't have any homes available in Hackney itself, we do have apartments at Dressage Court in nearby Bethnal Green.

Mark Flint


Mark is a regular contributor to the Essential Living blog and shares all the latest news and sourcing the very best content for our customers.