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London Area Guides Area Guides   |   Apr 21, 2014

Dalston London guide

Long before it was considered one of the 'coolest places in Britain', funky young creative types flocked to Dalston to enjoy the buzzing nightlife, vintage shops and quirky cafes. Check out our guide for the lowdown on eating, drinking, living and generally enjoying the best of this East End hotspot.

History of Dalston

Historical photo of Dalston Junction station in black and white depicting a street, people and a horse and cart Photo credit: www.opendalston.blogspot.com

Dalston was originally one of four small villages in the Parish of Hackney, and even housed a leper hospital during the Middle Ages. Like the rest of London, it gradually grew with urbanisation and industrialisation during the 19thCentury until it became a bustling suburb. Immigration from Jamaica, Turkey, Vietnam and Poland during the last century has made modern-day Dalston a bustling multi-cultural area.

Cost of renting in Dalston

Period houses in Dalston viewed through a manicured public garden Photo credit: www.homesandproperty.co.uk

The recent gentrification of Dalston (particularly in the run up to the 2012 Olympics, as Hackney was a host borough) means that prices have begun to rise rapidly but are still not as high as many other areas of London. Dalston has a variety of properties, from terraced buildings to modern skyscrapers, so there is a type of architecture for every renter. Prices are currently 8% above the London average, and rising by around 8% every two years.

Cheapest rent for a two-bed flat: £1,278 pcm

Most expensive rent for a two-bed flat: £3,420 pcm

Average Council Tax: £1000

Looking to rent in Dalston? Search for properties here.

Travelling from Dalston

Inside Dalston Junction Station, a view down on of the platforms Photo credit: www.lovingdalston.co.uk

Not only is Dalston just four miles from central London, it’s also well connected transport-wise. Although there is no tube station, there are multiple overground rail stations (check Dalston Kingsland, too), meaning that Liverpool Street is just a speedy 11 minutes away.


Tina Photo credit: www.londonrobstuff.blogspot.com

Tina, We Salute You

With a large communal table in the middle, walls covered in art and a delicious selection of homemade cakes, Tina is a second living room for many Dalston residents. Recently re-opened, it's now expanding into pop-up events, so get down there and see what’s going on! Oh, and it might just have the best name for a restaurant ever.

Address: 47 King Henry’s Walk, London, N1 4NH

Cafe Oto

Described by Italian Vogue as the coolest cafe in London, Cafe Oto doesn’t need much more of an explanation! Come here for new music, unusual drinks and a cutting-edge crowd.

 18–22 Ashwin Street, Dalston, London, E8 3DL

Hash E8
table and chairs in Hash E8 Credit: www.hashe8.com

An independent restaurant run by husband and wife, Hash E8 is a moder-day British dinner with more than a few tasty and greasy treats on the menu. Once you've treated yourself to breakfast, lunch or dinner, chill out with authentic cocktails and some top tunes. 

 170 Dalston Lane, E8 1NG

Mangal 2

Despite the fact that London offers pretty much every cuisine in the world, it’s not often that you come across a fantastic Turkish restaurant. Ignore the basic interior and pop in for authentic ocakbasi at a bargain price. You might even spot legendary artists Gilbert and George, who are rumoured to dine here every night.

 4 Stoke Newington Road, London N16 8BH

Sông Quê

Kingsland Road’s infamous Vietnamese restaurants make it hard to choose a favourite (there are so many it starts to feel like Hanoi!) but Song Que just pips the others to the post. It’s big, bustling, delicious and low-priced – and the pho is supposedly the best in London.

 134 Kingsland Road, London, E2 8DY


Lncc Photo credit: www.telegraph.co.uk


With a warmly-lit geometric wooden entrance, it’s immediately obvious that LN-CC is no ordinary luxury fashion boutique. Specialising in designer clothes, music and books, it also has a club space for private events, a gallery and a bar.

 18 Shacklewell Lane, Dalston, London, E8 2EZ

Pelicans and Parrots

A beautifully decorated shop full of homewares and clothes, this is the place to come to find a quirky piece for your flat. If you have any money left after viewing the shop’s delights, check out the rum shack underneath!

 40 and 81 Stoke Newington Road, Dalston, London, N16 7XJ

Beyond Retro

Beyond Retro Photo credit: www.beyondretro.com

The flagship branch of the famous London vintage franchise, Beyond Retro is hipster paradise of 70s dresses and 90s Adidas. Housed in a beautiful building and now with its own cafe, this is the ideal place to pass the afternoon in a retro time warp.

 92 -100 Stoke Newington Road, London, N16 7XB

Ridley Road Market

This traditional East End food market is a Dalston institution, and is widely rumoured to have been the inspiration for UK soap Eastenders. There are plenty of fruit and vegetable stands, a 24-hour bagel bakery, and even a Turkish supermarket. Food shopping will never be the same!

 51/63 Ridley Road, Dalston, London E8 2NP

Oxfam Dalston

While another Oxfam shop is nothing unusual, this one is whole different experience. Arguably the best in London, residents come to check out the new (often rare or designer) goods every morning, and it even has its own blog and twitter account.

 514-518 Kingsland Road, E8 4AR


Roof Park Photo credit: www.twentypercentextra.com

Roof Park

The roof of this former factory has been transformed into an amazing Astroturf event space, with pop-up bars, stunning views of London and a calendar full of cool summer events including outdoor plays and BBQs. It’s completely free to visit – just pop into the ground floor gallery and pick up a membership card.

The Print House, 18 Ashwin Street, London, E8 3DL

Rio Cinema

Fancy seeing a film somewhere other than the local Odeon? Check out Rio Cinema, an independent picture house showing a mix of new releases and old classics. They even sell homemade cake, cups of tea and normal portions of popcorn, making it feel like a cinema in your living room.

 107 Kingsland High Street E8 2PB

London Fields Lido

Lido Photo credit: www.hackneycitizen.co.uk

The perfect place to cool of on a hot summer day in the city, the London Fields Lido is an Olympic-sized pool that’s open all year round (and hopefully heated in the winter...). Facilities include a cafe, a large sunbathing deck, and you can even book swimming lessons if you want to work on your backstroke.

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