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The Top Bars and Pubs in Hackney

Punters spill out onto the pavement in the sun at London Fields pub the Cat & Mutton
Punters spill out onto the pavement in the sun at London Fields pub the Cat & Mutton | © Jenny Matthews / Alamy Stock Photo
Hackney’s quirky character and hip reputation is best experienced by night, in one of the neighbourhood’s many great bars and pubs. Whether you’re after a New York-inspired dive bar or a bustling beer garden, Hackney has the watering hole for you.

The Viktor Wynd Museum of Curiosities

Museum
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Viktor Wynd Museum of Curiosities, Fine Art & Natural History, London, UK - Jun 2017
Explore oddities and artefacts at The Viktor Wynd Museum of Curiosities | © Tom Harrison/Solent News/REX/Shutterstock
The bar at this cabinet of curiosities features a lengthy cocktail menu, with a whole section devoted to absinthe. It’s not a place for the easily spooked, though, as it is stacked with an eccentric collection of items, which range from the absurd to the macabre. Downstairs you’ll find mummies of cats, human skeletons, preserved animals, dodo bones and many more fascinating objects – all arranged in a deliberately haphazard manner. Once you’ve had your fill, head upstairs for the project artichoke or shrunken head cocktails (far more appetising than they sound) surrounded by yet more oddities.
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Sun:
12:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Wed:
12:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Thu:
12:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Fri:
12:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Sat:
12:00 pm - 10:00 pm

The Star by Hackney Downs

Pub, Pub Grub, $$$
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This pub on the edge of Hackney Downs is a true local favourite. Its whimsical decor includes big, colourful murals, a central bar shaped like a fairground carousel and, of course, a huge, lit-up star. With local DJs taking over the decks on weekends and regular get-togethers – including group “singarounds”, where participants take in turns to sing or play a song – this is a venue with community at its heart.
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Sun:
12:00 pm - 11:00 pm
Mon:
4:00 pm - 11:00 pm
Tue:
4:00 pm - 11:00 pm
Wed:
4:00 pm - 11:00 pm
Thu:
4:00 pm - 11:00 pm
Fri - Sat:
4:00 pm - 1:00 am
Sat - Sun:
11:00 am - 1:00 am

Farr's School of Dancing

Bar, Beer, Wine, $$$
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This spacious, quirky bar is a Dalston institution, with weekly comedy nights, basement poetry slams, and late-night dancing every weekend. It’s located in a former 1930s-era dance studio and spread across two floors, with the downstairs bar reserved for dancing and upstairs offering a more relaxed vibe.
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Sun:
12:00 pm - 11:00 pm
Mon:
4:00 pm - 11:00 pm
Tue:
4:00 pm - 11:00 pm
Wed:
4:00 pm - 11:00 pm
Thu:
4:00 pm - 12:00 am
Fri - Sat:
4:00 pm - 1:00 am
Sat - Sun:
12:00 pm - 1:00 am

Cat and Mutton

Cocktail Bar, Gastropub, Pub, European, British, $$$
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The Cat and Mutton in Hackney, London
The Cat and Mutton in Hackney, London | © Clara Copley / Alamy Stock Photo
This venue, dating back to around 1729, is one of Hackney’s most famous and popular watering holes. Downstairs is a traditional pub while the top floor, reachable via a spiral staircase, is a plush cocktail lounge and restaurant. It underwent a revamp a few years ago, which saw the shabby chic decor updated with exposed brickwork, vintage mirrors and mismatched furniture in keeping with the aesthetic of its Broadway Market surrounds. It also serves up a mean Sunday roast (book ahead to avoid a long wait), and its prime position opposite London Fields means it’s always buzzing – particularly on a summer’s day.
More Info
Sun:
12:00 pm - 11:30 pm
Mon:
12:00 pm - 11:00 pm
Tue:
12:00 pm - 12:00 am
Wed:
12:00 pm - 12:00 am
Thu:
12:00 pm - 12:00 am
Fri - Sat:
12:00 pm - 1:00 am
Sat - Sun:
10:00 am - 1:00 am

Meal service:

All Day

Atmosphere:

Relaxed

Ruby’s

Bar, Cocktail Bar, Restaurant, French, American, German, Belgian, $$$
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Located under a retro cinema sign that frequently features different slogans, this dimly lit basement cocktail bar in Dalston is the perfect place for a romantic date. The bar is 1920s-themed with distressed walls, antiques and reclaimed furniture. In classic hipster fashion, its ever-changing menu of tasty cocktails are served in original 1940s milk bottles and old tin cups, and there are also plenty of craft beers on offer.
More Info
Wed:
6:30 pm - 12:00 am
Thu:
6:30 pm - 12:00 am
Fri - Sat:
6:30 pm - 2:00 am
Sat - Sun:
6:30 pm - 2:00 am

Off Broadway

Bar, Mexican, $$$
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Busy street in front of newly opened Off Broadway bar at Broadway Market, a market in Hackney, East London, United Kingdom, October 29, 2017. ()
Head to Off Broadway bar on Broadway Market for a taste of NYC in East London | © Gado Reportage / Alamy Stock Photo
Modelled after a bar in New York’s East Village, this place has recreated a slice of the Big Apple right on Broadway Market. The red walls and curved bar give this small but cozy venue a welcoming, neighbourhood dive-bar feel. With live jazz downstairs and friendly staff serving delicious cocktails and Mexican street food, Off Broadway is a great combination of East Village meets East End.
More Info
Sun:
1:00 pm - 12:00 am
Mon:
4:00 pm - 12:00 am
Tue:
4:00 pm - 12:00 am
Wed:
4:00 pm - 12:00 am
Thu:
4:00 pm - 12:00 am
Fri:
1:00 pm - 12:00 am
Sat:
1:00 pm - 12:00 am

People’s Park Tavern

Pub, European, Pub Grub, $$$
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People’s Park Tavern in Victoria Park has one of the best beer gardens in London. The colourful outdoor space, which has plenty of seats beneath strings of twinkling lights, is always bustling, and the in-house microbrewery produces some delightfully original beers. Previously known as the Britannia, this pub is a must-visit during those long summer nights. There’s crazy golf, BBQs, quiz nights, music and board games to keep you entertained.
More Info
Sun:
12:00 pm - 12:00 am
Mon:
12:00 pm - 12:00 am
Tue:
12:00 pm - 12:00 am
Wed:
12:00 pm - 12:00 am
Thu:
12:00 pm - 12:00 am
Fri - Sat:
12:00 pm - 2:00 am
Sat - Sun:
12:00 pm - 2:00 am

Meal service:

All Day

Atmosphere:

Casual

Number 90 Bar and Kitchen

Bar, Pub Grub, $$$
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Housed in a huge, striking building is this bar/restaurant/gallery hybrid, an achingly cool venue in the heart of Hackney Wick. Its sizeable outdoor terrace sits directly on the canal, while inside, live music and DJs spinning everything from disco to electro attract a hip young crowd.
More Info
Sun:
12:00 pm - 11:00 pm
Mon:
12:00 pm - 11:00 pm
Tue:
12:00 pm - 11:00 pm
Wed:
12:00 pm - 11:00 pm
Thu:
12:00 pm - 11:00 pm
Fri - Sat:
12:00 pm - 1:00 am
Sat - Sun:
12:00 pm - 1:00 am

Need some grub to soak up the booze? Check out our list of the best restaurants in Hackney.