British, Modern Restaurants in Hackney
1. Pidgin British, Modern restaurant in Hackney 52 Wilton Way - E8
One of Hackney’s better-known culinary destinations, this unassuming little spot wins high marks from everyone who reports on it for our annual diners’ survey, on the basis of its “lovely tasting menu”. On the downside, “the space is small so feels crammed” and – given all the excitement that’s been whipped up over the years – the odd reporters find it “very good, but a mite underwhelming compared to the rave reviews”.
2. NEST British, Modern restaurant in Hackney 177 Morning Lane - E9
This “outstanding” four-year-old is an “engaging but cramped little venue” whose “absolute bargain of a menu” from co-owner Johnnie Crow (ex-Harwood Arms and Anglo), makes it “well worth the trip up to Hackney (booking essential!)”. The meal is structured around one type of meat each month – chicken, game, wagyu – to minimise waste, and “service is personal, enthusiastic and charming”. “You’re unlikely to find much better value in town, with some truly stellar dishes given the mid-range price-point”.
3. Hackney Coterie British, Modern restaurant in Hackney 230b Dalston Lane - E8
“Great value and unusual tasting menus, nice wines & lovely service” win all-round applause for this yearling in a Hackney Downs warehouse from Anthony Lyon (of Lyon’s in Crouch End). Head chef Giuseppe Pepe (ex-Pidgin and Marksman) is responsible for the seasonal, minimal-waste menu, and his “food is beautifully presented and served”.
4. Behind Fish & seafood restaurant in Hackney 20 Sidworth Street - E8
“Hackney’s newest foodie hotspot doesn’t disappoint” and “the passionate commitment of all involved shines through” at Andy Benyon’s year-old 18-seater, near London Fields. “Very friendly chefs serve you personally” at a counter overlooking the kitchen “allowing a view of the preparation of each course (it’s a bit like dining on the set of an episode of MasterChef: The Professionals)”. The focus is on fish and seafood, and “a succession of elegantly prepared dishes bring complex flavours to some of the most sustainable species on the market”, all adding up to a “superb” overall meal. Given its high quality, it’s not an overpriced venue at all: “you get amazing value on top of an amazing experience!”
5. Brat at Climpson's Arch British, Modern restaurant in Hackney Climpson's Arch, 374 Helmsley Place - E8
A “too-cool-for-school railway arch” and covered courtyard (“a great fun place on a sunny day”) provides the “quirky” setting for Tomos Parry’s “funky hang-out” in London Fields (a pandemic pop-up in 2020 that turned permanent). Staff are “casual but super-knowledgeable” and deliver “simple food cooked over fire” that’s often “fabulous” (“that turbot… Wow!”). But, while most reporters have found it “hard to pick fault the few times we have visited”, others feel it’s “interesting and trendy, but at a hell of a price for a glorified pop-up” or say “I really wanted to like it but came away underwhelmed by the food and the plastic tent (prefer the original)”.
6. Mare Street Market British, Modern restaurant in Hackney 117 Mare Street - E8
Funky chandeliers, plants and random artworks lend an eclectic and energetic vibe to the dining possibilities of this hiply transformed Hackney office block (nowadays a 10,000 square foot market), where you eat (the same menu) in either the ‘Open Kitchen’ or the ‘Dining Room’ (cosier, with a higher concentration of design pieces). An array of pizzas is a menu mainstay as is a selection of small plates and a few grills. It’s not a foodie destination, but can be “good value”.
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