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Talisa Dean 20/04/24


The Best Restaurants In Dalston

The Best Restaurants In Dalston | Only the good stuff

Now that Shoreditch is the new Soho and Hackney is the new Shoreditch, Dalston has taken its rightful place in line as the new Hackney.

What does that mean? Well, in short, a whole lot of very good, very creative, envelope-pushing restaurants. You’ll find everything from an energetic ’70s-led taqueria (with a disco ball in the toilet) to a cutting-edge Modern British spot that only serves tasting menus. And they’re just the beginning.

Find our list of the best restaurants in Dalston below…

CREATIVE LIVE FIRE-COOKING: ACME FIRE CULT

Acme Fire Cult

Image credit: Steve Ryan

Acme Fire Cult – brought to you by fire-cooking heavy weights Andrew Clarke (St Leonards) and Daniel Watkins (er, St Leonards) – is a smokey den of deliciousness, conveniently housed next to 40ft Brewery (which happens to be one of our favourite craft breweries in London). Turn up with a group of mates and you can sit and feast on everything from BBQ’d bavette (perfectly balanced with ancho koji and pickles) to coal roasted leeks with pistachio and romesco, washed down by a cold, keg-fresh beer. Or three.

Details: Abbot Street Car Park, Dalston, E8 3DP | Book here

LAID BACK ROMANCE: OREN

oren restaurant dalston

Oren is the debut restaurant from expert Israeli chef Oded Oren, a stripped-back, effortlessly cool kind of place where everything from the food to the playlist is on point. Dishes include the likes of smoked aubergine with barrel aged feta, octopus salad with sweet Romano peppers and fish koftas in a spicy Chraime sauce. All of which you can wash down with a short but carefully considered wine list curated by aficionado Zeren Wilson (who’s advised some of London’s top eateries including Kiln and Smoking Goat).

Address: 89 Shacklewell Lane, Hackney, E8 2EB | Book here

AN UNLIKELY BUT OH-BOY-DOES-IT-WORK CULINARY CROSSOVER: ANGELINA

Angelina Dalston

Angelina’s head chef Daniele Cefore (previously of Bocca di Lupo and Café Murano) is clearly a big fan of Japan – so much so that he’s torn up the rule book and blended it with his native Italian cuisine in this, his debut restaurant in Dalston. The outcome is sushi pizza two omakase set menus (ten or four courses, plus an optional Italian wine pairing) that include cross-cultural creations like hazelnut granita doughnuts, veal and red Sicilian prawn tartare tagliolini, kombu-cured seabass and hamachi with fresh cacao puree and elderflower, all in a sleek monochrome setting that pays homage to both countries.

Address: 56 Dalston Lane, E8 3AH | Book here

A REJUVENATED CLASSIC: MANGAL 2

Mangal 2, best restaurants Dalston

The old Mangal 2, as in, the pre-2020 one, may have been arguably the most popular Turkish restaurant in London and had been so for nigh on 20 years when founder Ali Dirik’s sons Ferhat and Sertaç took over from their dad. Still, that didn’t stop the two from completely modernising the menu. Any pitchforks from the original loyalists have been firmly put back in the tool shed though, considering the likes of line-caught Cornish mackerel (with green tomato ezme), lame kofte and sourdough pide are now coming hot off their signature ocakbasi grill. 

Details: 4 Stoke Newington Rd, London N16 7XN | Book here

AUTHENTIC MEXICAN: CORROCHIO’S

corrochios dalston

Corrochio’s, Dalston’s wonderful little regional Mexican spot hidden within a subterranean cocktail bar, has just gotten bigger.

Four times bigger.

And no, they haven’t upgraded from a single barstool to a whole kitchen table, they’ve moved right up to the street level and taken over a massive space with room for over 120 taco-addicts – and even more on the terrace outside. On the menu you’ll find  Mexican regional specialities, weekend brunches and plenty of cocktails, and it’s all deliciously on point.

Details: 70-74 Stoke Newington Rd, London N16 7XB Book here

STELLAR PUB GRUB: THE PRINCE ARTHUR

prince arthur dalston

Yes, elegant sage butter ravioli counts as pub grub when you’ve got a chef like Joe Couldridge in tow. The Prince Arthur’s becoming legendary for its resident chefs – it’s where Hot4U cut its teeth before becoming Papi, and now they’ve got a former Leroy and Hawksmoor chef on the pans. Joe’s menu is a roll-call of grown up gastro fare: bavette steak with gentleman’s relish, calf sweetbread tagliatelle, fermented scotch bonnet with butter corn bread, and chocolate cremeux with brandied cherries. If you’re looking for a good roast in Dalston, make a beeline for his heaving platters of chicken, beef or pork collar (with a lovely squash filo pie for the veggies) served with rarebit cauliflower cheese.

Details: 95 Forest Road, London E8 3BH | Book here

KILLER SARNIES: THE DUSTY KNUCKLE

The Dusty Knuckle

Slip down Dalston’s Abbot Street and you’ll find yourself at the Dusty Knuckle, a shipping container bakery turning out some of the best sandwiches in London. These bad boys are thick, crusty crowd-pleasers stuffed full of everything from marinated chicken thighs and nduja charred corn to glazed cauliflower, kimchi, and fried egg. And that’s before you spot the freshly baked cakes and pasties, loaves of sourdough; and wood-fired pizzas, all of which are also very much worth your dough.

Address: Abbot Street, Dalston, E8 3DP | No bookings

WATERSIDE DINING: TOWPATH CAFE

Tables at Towpath Café are like gold dust in the summer, and if you’re lucky enough to get one you’ll see why. This little canal-side café spills out from shuttered arches onto the towpath itself and serves everything from spectacular brunch dishes to delicious, loosely modern British small plates come the evening.

Address: 42 De Beauvoir Crescent, London N1 5SB | No bookings

INVENTIVE TASTING MENUS: THE SEA, THE SEA HACKNEY

The Sea, The Sea Hackney is so good they named it twice, and, much like its West London counterpart, it’s part fishmongers, part restaurant. They take in daily shipments of swimmers fresh off the day boats, then descale, fillet, and occasionally dry-age them before sending them to some of London’s top kitchens. Including their own. That’s where chef Leandro Carreira puts together his highly inventive tasting menus, served up at their beautiful aquamarine chef’s table…

Address: 337 Acton Mews, E8 4EA | Book here

NATURAL WINES AND FERMENT-FOCUSED FOODS: LITTLE DUCK THE PICKLERY

Little Duck The Picklery: a fermenting room, wine bar and restaurant in Dalston brought to you by the same folks behind the delightful Ducksoup in Soho. Upon entering you’ll be warmly welcomed into what feels like a well-stocked country kitchen, to feast on a daily-changing menu of seasonal small plates, all of which have been designed with with house-made pickles and ferments in mind. The restaurant is open breakfast through to dinner so dishes move from the likes of poached peaches and ricotta on sourdough to charred mackerel, pickled nectavigne and dill, all of which you can enjoy alongside either one of their drinking vinegars, or – if you’re in the mood for something a little stronger – one of their many bottles of top-notch natural wine.

Address: 68 Dalston Lane, E8 3AH | Book here

BEAUTIFULLY CRAFTED MODERN BRITISH: PIDGIN

pidgin - restaurants in Dalston

If you’re wondering how a Dalston restaurant tackles fine dining, head to Pidgin – a tiny, tasting-menu only modern British venue where guests all feast on the same four dishes, for £49 a head. Exactly what those dishes are changes weekly, and never in their entire existence have they served the same one twice. So if you fall in love (which is likely), you needn’t worry about getting bored. Instead you’ll be forever delighted with the likes of beef, beetroot, shiso, and whiskey or mussel, leek, sake lees, and wasabi (most dishes also have a slight Asian twist) all of which are plated to perfection and served alongside an equally impressive cocktail menu or decently priced wine pairing.

Address: 52 Wilton Way, Dalston, East London, E8 1BS | Book here

FUN BRUNCH: SNACKBAR

Snackbar

Image credit: Sam Harris

Time to break up with avo & poached eggs. Pickling whizz and comfort food queen Freddie Janssen devotes her brunch menu at Snackbar to mouthwatering plates from across the globe – try the Singaporean version of dippy soldiers with kaya toast and onsen egg; or bust a hangover with the kimcheese croissant, oozing with melted Montgomery cheddar. Ready to hit the sauce again? Get it with an Irish coffee slushy.

Address: 20 Dalston Lane, London E8 3AZ | Book here

LATE-NIGHT PIZZA SLICES: VOODOO RAYS

Voodoo Rays Dalston

Dalston is jam-packed full of great places to go out: Brilliant Corners, Ridley Road Market Bar, and Servant Jazz Quarters to name a few. So it’s only right that it also has this late night pizza joint serving NY-style pizza slices until the early hours. Stroll into Rays any day of the week – until 1am on both Fridays and Saturdays – and you’ll find everything from their Hot Mix 5 (pepperoni, jalapeños, red peppers, mozzarella, and tomato) to the Queen Vegan (artichoke hearts, green olives, red onion, sun-blush tomatoes, and both red and green sauce). If you’re in the market for booze they’ve also got plenty that too – beer, wine, and a handful of classic cocktails, including their signature frozen margaritas. Alternatively, you can keep it PG with a soft and a couple of scoops of gelato for dessert.

Address: 95 Kingsland High Street, Dalston, London E8 2PB | No bookings

TEQUILA-FUELLED FUN: DEL 74

Del 74 Dalston

Del 74 is the kind of place that has a disco ball in the toilet – where the tacos are cheap (and delicious) and margaritas are served by the jug. There’s a happy hour every day, including all night on Tuesdays and it’s not unusual to find the wacky silver-haired owners pouring complimentary mezcal shots directly into the mouths of enthusiastic punters. Naturally, with this being said, it’s one of the best Mexican restaurants in London. We dare you not to have a good time.

Address: 129 Kingsland High Street, Dalston, E8 2PB | Book here

 


Looking to make an evening of it? Swing by the best pubs in Dalston