Hackney hacks: What are the top things to do in Hackney, London?

In ages past, Hackney was a tranquil retreat sought after by Medieval Royals for its lush marshes and enchanting woodlands. But today, it’s a thriving hub of diversity, artistry, and nightlife that pulses with energy 24/7. 

This guide is your passport to unlocking the soul of Hackney in all its glory. From its dynamic social housing neighbourhoods to the edgy spirit that still courses through its veins, Hackney is the epitome of modern London

Do you want to know more? Well, let’s decode the essence of Hackney’s allure and discover the best things to do in this eclectic neighbourhood. 

Explore the street art of Shoreditch

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Location: Along the streets of Shoreditch, London, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 7834 088533

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Shoreditch is like an open-air art gallery, and you don’t need a ticket to enter. The streets are adorned with an ever-changing canvas of graffiti, murals, and installations. 

Here, you’ll find works by renowned street artists like Banksy, Shepard Fairey, and Stik. It’s like a who’s who of the street art world.

And once you wander through Shoreditch, you’ll encounter thought-provoking pieces that touch on politics, culture, and the human experience.

Savour coffee at Dark Arts Coffee 

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Location: 1- 5 Rosina St, London E9 6JH, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 8986 5182

Website

Dark Arts Coffee oozes that Hackney spirit. It’s nestled in a warehouse, giving it that raw, urban charm. You’re getting an authentic London experience.

They’re like the mad scientists of caffeine, roasting their beans with unparalleled precision. They craft unique blends with names like “Rogue Wave” and “The Unbeliever”.

Coffee is great, but it’s even better when paired with scrumptious brunch offerings. Dark Arts Coffee has a menu that’ll make your taste buds dance. Avocado toast, anyone?

Party like never before at Oslo Hackney

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Location: 1A Amhurst Rd, London E8 1JB, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 3553 4831

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It’s not just the name that’s Scandinavian: the venue’s sleek design and Nordic-inspired cuisine add a touch of sophistication to your night out.

If you’re a music enthusiast, you’ll appreciate Oslo’s commitment to impeccable sound quality. And for a more relaxed experience, head up to their rooftop terrace. You can sip on cocktails, enjoy the view, and bask in the London skyline – it’s like a mini-vacation within your night out.

Visit Victoria Park 

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Location: Grove Rd., London E3 5TB, United Kingdom

Contact:  020 8985 5699

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Victoria Park is a slice of history nestled in the heart of East London. It was one of the first public parks in the world, opening its gates in 1845. That’s nearly two centuries of lush, green beauty.

Amidst the urban hustle and bustle, Victoria Park offers a serene escape. You can stroll along the meandering pathways, take in the lake’s tranquillity, and forget you’re in one of the world’s busiest cities.

Explore the Viktor Wynd Museum

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Location: 11 Mare St, Cambridge Heath Rd, London E8 4RP, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 8533 5297

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Ever heard of dodo bones, mummified fairies, or a jar containing the world’s smallest penis? Well, you’ll find them all here. 

Beyond the oddities, the museum showcases contemporary art and installations. It’s a collision of the past and the present, creating a unique artistic experience.

And unlike the massive museums in London, Viktor Wynd’s museum offers an intimate setting. You won’t be lost in a sea of tourists, instead, you’ll have a chance to truly absorb the eccentricity of the collection.

Sip cocktails at Nightjar

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Location: 129 City Rd, London EC1V 1JB, United Kingdom

Contact: [email protected]

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Once you’re in Nightjar, and you’ll be transported back to the glamorous days of the Prohibition era. This speakeasy-style bar oozes 1920s charm with its dim lighting and vintage décor.

Nightjar’s cocktail menu reads like a work of fiction. Ever tried a drink with absinthe, truffle honey, and black cardamom smoke? Now’s your chance, mate!

And unlike bustling, overcrowded bars, Nightjar offers an intimate setting. You can actually hold a conversation without shouting, making it perfect for a date night or catching up with friends.

Dine on Middle Eastern cuisine at Berber & Q

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Location: 338 Acton Mews, London E8 4EA, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7923 0829

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Berber & Q serves up an array of Middle Eastern mezze dishes. Think smoky aubergine dips, crispy falafel, and vibrant salads bursting with flavour.

The star of the show is their grilled meat. From succulent lamb shawarma to smoky harissa chicken, the flavours here are nothing short of extraordinary. And that’s not even mentioning the tender, slow-cooked brisket that falls apart at the slightest touch.

Pay a visit to Hackney City Farm

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Location: 1a Goldsmiths Row, London E2 8QA, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7729 6381

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Get ready to make some furry, feathery, and woolly friends. From fluffy lambs to friendly goats, the farm is home to a delightful array of animals that will melt your heart.

Hackney City Farm is an educational hotspot too. You can learn about sustainable farming practices, where your food comes from, and the importance of animal welfare.

And if that wasn’t enough, admission to Hackney City Farm is free! It’s a budget-friendly way to escape the city and enjoy some greenery.

Watch a film at the Rio Cinema

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Location: 107 Kingsland High St, London E8 2PB, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7241 9410

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Built in 1915, Rio Cinema is one of London’s oldest cinemas, boasting that old-world charm that makes you feel like you’ve stepped into a bygone era.

With its Art Deco design and vintage signage, going here is like stepping onto a movie set from the golden age of cinema.

Unlike some cramped cinemas, Rio Cinema offers spacious and comfortable seating, ensuring you can sink into your film without worrying about legroom.

Enjoy a day at the Museum of the Home

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Location: 136 Kingsland Rd, London E2 8EA, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7739 9893

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The Museum of the Home, formerly known as the Geffrye Museum, has been a fixture in Hackney since 1914. It’s like a time machine that takes you on a journey through London’s domestic history.

The museum tackles thought-provoking themes related to home, identity, and belonging. It challenges you to explore your own connection to the concept of “home”.

See the St. Augustine Tower

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Location: St. Augustine’s Tower, London E8 1HT, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 8986 0029

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The St. Augustine Tower wears the crown as the oldest building in Hackney. That’s over 700 years of history packed into its stone walls.

Once you’ve climbed the narrow spiral staircase (beware, it’s a bit of a workout), you’re rewarded with breathtaking panoramic views of Hackney.

Inside, you’ll find displays that delve into Hackney’s local heritage. From medieval artefacts to tales of the tower’s role in the community, you’ll leave with a newfound appreciation for the area.

Marvel at the Sutton House 

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Location: Sutton House, 2 and 4 Homerton High St, London E9 6JQ, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 8986 2264

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Sutton House is a Tudor treasure right in the heart of Hackney. It’s a rare survivor from the 16th century, and it’s like taking a step back in time to the days of Henry VIII.

Beyond the house, you’ll discover a hidden courtyard, a tranquil oasis in the midst of the city. It’s the perfect spot to relax and soak in the historic atmosphere!

And rumour has it that Sutton House is haunted. So, if you’re feeling brave, you might just have a ghostly encounter while exploring its historic halls.

Satisfy your sweet tooth at Violet Cakes

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Location: 47 Wilton Way, London E8 3ED, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7275 8360

Website

Let’s start with a dash of royalty – Violet Cakes was chosen to create Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding cake. Yep, that’s the level of deliciousness we’re talking about here!

At Violet Cakes, they believe in the magic of simplicity. Their treats are made with high-quality, seasonal ingredients that burst with flavour. No frills, just pure deliciousness.

Attend a comedy night at The Bill Murray

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Location: 39 Queen’s Head St, London N1 8NQ, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7502 7151

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Comedy often comes alive at night, and Bill Murray delivers on that front. It’s the perfect spot for a post-dinner, late-night dose of humour.

The best part is the budget. Bill Murray offers comedy gold without burning a hole in your pocket. It’s where you can enjoy world-class comedy without the world-class price tag.

Try various street foods at Bohemia Place Markets

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Location: Bohemia Pl, London E8 1DU, United Kingdom

Contact: N/A

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If your taste buds are yearning for a world tour but your passport’s gathering dust, there’s a scrumptious solution right in the heart of Hackney – the Bohemia Place Markets. 

From Korean BBQ to Venezuelan arepas, these markets are a melting pot of flavours. Whether you’re a spice enthusiast or craving something sweet, there’s a dish here to satisfy every craving.

Plus, Bohemia Place Markets are often accompanied by live music, and crafts stalls, creating a lively and artistic atmosphere.

Relish delectable Japanese and Italian dishes served at Angelina

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Location: 56 Dalston Ln, London E8 3AH, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 3771 7958

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Angelina is where East meets West in the most delectable way possible. Imagine savouring the umami-packed goodness of sushi while your fork dives into a plate of creamy pasta. Yep, you can get that here!

And Angelina’s cosy yet stylish interior creates the perfect atmosphere for a memorable meal. Whether you’re on a date night or catching up with friends, the ambience sets the stage for an unforgettable evening.

Shop sustainable clothes at 69b Boutique 

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Location: 69b Broadway Market, London E8 4PH, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7682 0506

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69b Boutique is all about reducing the fashion industry’s carbon footprint. That means when you shop here, you’re making a statement for a greener planet.

The boutique curates a collection of clothing from ethical brands that are committed to fair wages, eco-friendly materials, and responsible production. It’s guilt-free shopping at its finest.

Move to the rhythm all night long at Night Tales

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Location: 14 Bohemia Pl, London E8 1DU, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 3976 9605

Website

From pulsating electronic beats to groovy disco tunes, this place’s lineup caters to every musical palette. You can hop from one genre to another, dancing your heart out all night long.

Plus, Night Tales often collaborates with local artists and creators, adding a touch of culture to your night out. You might stumble upon art installations, live performances, or pop-up shops amidst the beats.

And one thing you can count on at Night Tales is variety. They frequently switch up themes and events, so every visit feels fresh and exciting.

Explore vintage vinyl at Love Vinyl Records

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Location: 5 Pearson St, London E2 8JD, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7729 8978

Website

Whether you’re hunting for a rare jazz gem, a rock classic, or a funky disco track, Love Vinyl has your back. Their collection spans genres, and you’ll discover hidden treasures you won’t find elsewhere.

If you’re an audiophile craving that warm, analogue sound, vinyl is your holy grail. Love Vinyl offers an array of well-preserved records that will make your ears sing with joy.

Indulge in a 4-course dining experience at Pidgin

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Location: 52 Wilton Way, London E8 1BG, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7254 8311

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Pidgin emerged in 2015 with a deliciously simple yet groundbreaking concept: a weekly menu transformation that never circles back to the same dish. 

What originally kicked off as a modest four-course affair has since blossomed into a grand multi-course tasting spectacle, thoughtfully complemented by exquisite wine pairings in one of London’s cosiest and most intimate dining spaces.

Each week, their menu undergoes a remarkable metamorphosis, ensuring that no flavour is ever revisited. This commitment to culinary creativity has solidified Pidgin’s reputation as a must-visit destination in Hackney

Try artisanal ice cream at Hackney Gelato

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Location: Victoria Park, Old Ford Rd., London E9 7DE, United Kingdom

Contact: You may contact them here

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Meet Sam and Enri, two Italians with a shared passion for food that fate finally brought together. Born in Italy, they both had an early love affair with flavours and a penchant for getting delightfully messy while indulging in their culinary adventures.

Together, Sam and Enri embarked on a gelato odyssey, learning the secrets of the craft from master gelatieri in Italy. Armed with knowledge and a suitcase filled with Bronte Pistachios, they returned to London ready to turn their gelato dreams into a reality.

Fast forward to today: Hackney Gelato’s sorbets are refreshing dairy-free delights that are just as creamy and flavorful as their traditional counterparts.

Enjoy a performance at Arcola Theatre

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Location: 24 Ashwin St, London E8 3DL, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7503 1646

Website

Arcola Theatre is a pioneer in the world of drama, constantly commissioning and premiering exciting, original works. They also shine a spotlight on rare gems of world drama and breathe new life into classic productions.

Beyond the footlights, Arcola’s international program champions diversity and challenges the status quo. It’s a cultural bridge that brings people together from all walks of life, attracting over 65,000 enthusiasts through its doors each year.

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