Spending a day in lively district Dalston

London characterizes a lot of cool neighborhoods where trendy young creatives settle down to enjoy the vibrant nightlife, vintage shops and quirky cafes. We already visited a number of them, such as Tooting, Peckham and Brixton. But another area that certainly should not be missed in this list is Dalston, a lively district in East London in the borough of Hackney.

Dalston is known for its fancy bars, vintage and music venues and is considered one of the ‘coolest places in Britain‘. Immigrants from Turkey, Caribbean, South Asia and other countries make Dalston one of the most multicultural districts of London. Enough reasons to visit this vibrant place and explore the best spots of the hood.

Ralf and Lara walking over Kingsland High Street.

Tina, We Salute You
The second living room of Dalston, where the locals like to sit together and take place at the large communal table in the middle of the room surrounded by walls full of art. A perfect place for a coffee with homemade cake or to nip a fancy cocktail. Regularly pop-up events take place, so keep an eye on the agenda if you are in the area. – Address: 47 King Henry’s Walk, London, N1 4NH

This hangout on Kingsland High Street is pretty much THE party location in East London. Day or night. Dalston is a neighborhood where many gay and lesbian people live. Superstore is a home base for many of them, but hospitable to everyone (even children). DJs – usually local and well-known from the scene – turning groovy sounds while the friendly staff serves delicious poached eggs, coffees and cocktails around lunchtime. – Address: 117 Kingsland High St, London E8 2PB


Cafe Oto
If you love music, than you have to visit this cafe. While having a drink you can watch live performances which are held weekly. The Italian Vogue once described this café even as the coolest in London. –  Address: The Print House, 18-22 Ashwin St, London E8 3DL

Despite the fact that London offers almost every culinary kitchen in the world, it is not often that you come across a fantastic Turkish restaurant. In Dalston there are certainly many that we would like to try out. Ignore the basic interior and take place to taste the authentic ocakbasi. Great favorite with the locals! – Address: 34 Stoke Newington Rd, London N16 7XJ

Turkish restaurant Cirrik.

Sông Quê
Besides Turkish restaurants, Dalston also has many Vietnamese restaurants. Because their are so many on Kingsland Road it’s difficult to choose a favorite. But the locals claim that Song Que is a big hit. There is a cozy atmosphere and the dishes are very tasteful against a good price.
– Address: 134 Kingsland Rd, London E2 8DY

Ridley Road Market Bar
A cozy, tropical bar in the heart of Ridley Road Market, where you can enjoy a ginger mojito and a home-made pizza. The setting is colorful and festive and the interior wonderfully shabby chic. If you fancy a night drinking cocktails, then you definitely have to visit this place. – Address: 49 Ridley Rd, London E8 2NP

Ridley Road Market.

online webshop is already a big favorite with us because of its specialized designer clothes and gadgets. But a visit to the store is of course even better. If you’re in Dalston and a big fan of design, music and books, then you should walk in. Besides a shop they also offer a club room for private events, an art gallery and a bar where you can have a drink. – Address: The Basement, 18-24 Shacklewell Ln, London E8 2EZ

Pelicans and Parrots
A beautiful shop where you can browse for hours between new and used home accessories and shelves full of vintage designer clothes. – Address: 40 en 81 Stoke Newington Road, Dalston, Londen, N16 7XJ

Pelicans and parrots.

Oxfam Dalston
Whenever we visit a new neighborhood, I always want to have a look in one of the many charity shops. The Oxfam store in Dalston is certainly one to keep an eye on. Very popular among the residents who come here almost every morning to catch the pearls. – Address: 514 Kingsland Rd, London E8 4AR

Beyond Retro

If you’re a vintage lover you should definitely visit this place. Housed in a beautiful building, this store offers a wealth of vintage clothing from the 70s, 80s and 90s. Please note that the collection is huge, take you’re time.
– Address: 92-100 Stoke Newington Rd, London N16 7XB

Lara walking through the clothing racks of Beyond Retro.

Ridley Road Market
Dalston is a very multicultural society, which becomes clear on the traditional East End Food market. A popular destination where residents of Dalston like to do their shopping. From vegetables, fruit, fish and meat to wigs, phone cases and clothing. Like you’re walking on a local market in the Caribbean. – Address: 51/63 Ridley Road, Dalston, London E8 2NP

Ridley Road.

Dalston Roof Park
The roof of the Bootstrap Company (housed in a former paint factory) has been transformed into an event space, with a pop-up bar and a beautiful view over London. During the summer months there are regularly organized events including barbecues and performances. Entry is free and accessible via The Print House on the ground floor. – Address: The Print House, Ashwin Street 18, Londen, E8 3DL

Lara walking next to the former paint factory which is now house to the Bootstrap Company and Arcola Theatre.

Arcola Theatre
The Arcola Theater, founded in 2000 by artistic director Mehmet Ergen and executive producer Leyla Nazli, is one of the most respected art locations in England. It’s now located in Dalston and is also housed in the former paint factory on the Ashwin Street. – Address: 24 Ashwin St, Dalston, London E8 3DL

Dalston Eastern Curve Garden
This place is a real hidden gem in the area. Tucked behind the hectic crossing of Dalston, you will find a green oasis where residents settle for a juice or coffee from the adjacent café. Fresh products come directly from the garden, which is maintained by the local population. The garden also provides workshops in the field of gardening and handicrafts and is a perfect place to visit with children. – Address: 13 Dalston Ln, London E8 3DF

Walking through the Dalston Curve Garden.

Rio Cinema
If you’re you a true film lover and prefer visiting a smaller cinema with a low-threshold atmosphere then you have to walk in at Rio Cinema. This independent film house offers a mix of new releases and old classics. Incidentally, a great place for a delicious cup of coffee with a slice of homemade cake. – Address: 107 Kingsland High St, London E8 2PB

London Fields Park
This is the only park in Dalston and even if it’s not very big it’s stil ideal for a walk and for children to play. If you prefer a larger park, then you could visit the Victoria Park in the nearby South Hackney neighborhood. It is reasonably close to Dalston – only a few hundred meters to the East. – Address London Fields Park: London Fields West Side, London E8 3EU / Address Victoria Park: Grove Rd, Bow, London E3 5TB

Lara playing in a little playground.

London Fields Lido
When you’re visiting Dalston on a hot summer day, then don’t forget to bring your swimsuit and towel with you. The London Fields Lido, is the perfect place to cool off on a hot day in the city. If the temperature doesn’t make a difference, you can still visit the Olympic pool, since it’s open all year round. – Address: 

Watching the Dalston Lane Mural which was painted in 1985. This piece is a grand memorial to one of London’s greatest mural artists.

Dalston is definitely a bustling neighborhood, where you can experience a lively day and nightlife. The area is very favorable to the center and has something to offer for everyone. Despite the somewhat raw spots, Dalston is already well under development. This can be traced not only to the current program, but also to the striking mix of architecture, from terraced houses and industrial warehouses to modern skyscrapers. It’s fascinating to see how fast less attractive areas in London transform in the most popular districts of the town. And there are still many more of them who will follow.

For more information about Dalston and the adjacent districts please refer to the website of Hackney Council.

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