You’re going to need to fuel up for the day’s drinking, so start with this slap in the face of a breakfast at Duke’s Brew & Que: a BBQ omelette, stuffed with pulled BBQ pork and beef burnt ends and smothered in sauce and cheese. They have normal breakfasts too (for the weak). Alternatively, the Dalston Superstore do a cheap and cheerful brunch – stack of French Toast for £4.50 and a Bloody Mary will do us just fine.
Duke’s Brew & Que, 33 Downham Road, De Beauvoir Town, Hackney, London, N1 5AA // Dalston Superstore, 117 Kingsland High Street, London, E8 2PB
Get a little classy in the afternoon and head to L’Entrepot, from the people behind Borough Wines. It might be located next to a Tesco and a railway line, but once safely inside the rustic chic interiors, working your way through their ever-changing wine list, you’ll sure feel classy. They do delicious small plates of French food from steak tartare to globe artichoke, as well as more serious dishes like onglet and whole baked Vacherin Cheese.
230 Dalston Lane, London, E8 1LA
The Scolt Head is a most excellent boozer full of the most excellent people. They even have a resident friendly terrier, which gives it instant homey vibes. There are comfy sofas to sink into, pool tables, great food (sausage rolls and Scotch eggs come out at tea time) and a big patio for sunny days. Better yet, you can still get a pint of ale for £3, perfect for an afternoon drinking session.
107A Culford Road, London, N1 4HT
With seating space only, the super cute subterranean bar Ruby's gets packed out fast, so get in there early. The random bric-a-brac and peeling paint gives it a ramshackle Victorian drinking den vibe - the perfect spot to hole up with one of their cocktails served in milk bottles. In summer, head for pop-up bar Dalston Roof Park instead to admire the Hackney cityscape amongst the kitsch foliage with a cold beer in hand.
Ruby’s, 76 Stoke Newington Road, London, N16 7XB // Dalston Roof Park, The Print House, 18 Ashwin Street, London, E8 3DL
HOT DINNER DATE
If you’re on a hot date go to White Rabbit. Despite the warehouse look, the atmosphere is right and the modern European menu is impressive. Alternatively, cozy up at Jones & Sons. Finally, if tequila tickles your fancy, head to Viva. The cocktails are a bit fruity, but strong enough to be forgiven, and the Mexican tapas is tasty and cheap.
White Rabbit, 15-16 Bradbury St, London, N16 8JN // The Dolls House, 35 Hoxton Square, London, N1 6NN // Viva Tapas Bar, 2 Stoke Newington Road, Dalston, London, N16 7XN
Ridley Road Market Bar is a disco-dancing tiki hothouse of good vibes and tropical cocktails. Entry is free but it gets full quick. Take it up a notch at Dalston Superstore, where you’ll be partying with some smashed St Martin’s students to dirty bass lines in the dark basement. Finally, up the ante again at Alibi, the breeding ground for East End cool kids who come to dance to anything from dubstep to The Spice Girls. You’re packed in tight, so be prepared to party up close and personal.
Ridley Road Market Bar, 49 Ridley Road, Dalston, London, E8 2NP // Dalston Superstore, 117 Kingsland High Street, London, E8 2PB // Alibi, 91 Kingsland High Street, London, E8 2PB
When you’ve danced off your dinner, head to Voodoo Ray's. Grab a slice of NY style pizza from the counter (try the Cabbage Patch Kid, better than it sounds), and take a seat with the other midnight munchers. Wash it down with some frozen Margaritas from the slushie machine or craft IPA, and then brave the Dance Tunnel.
95 Kingsland High Street, London, E8 2PB
If you’re still going after 3am, your options start thinning out when it comes to free entry. Moustache Bar has a somewhat flexible closing time, which we appreciate, along with the Poundland prices, pumping bass and kids making out on the dance floor. Or try Efes, a genuine Turkish snooker hall, but somehow due to its late licence (always under threat), it has become an after-hours party place for Dalston hipsters. Expect dirty tunes from big screens and a lot of grinding. Sense of humour required.
Moustache Bar, 58 Stoke Newington Road, London, N16 7XB // Efes, 17B Stoke Newington Road, London, N16 8BH