Where To Eat and Drink in East London: Our Roundup of The Coolest Bars and Restaurants


We hate to have favourites, but east London might just be the coolest part of the city. Not only is it home to endless street art, vintage markets, pop-up events, art galleries and museums (we could keep going), but it’s also where you’ll find arguably the largest amount of amazing bars and restaurants.

Finding the best places to eat and drink in east London can be something of a mission. You’ve got rooftop bars with panoramic views, cocktail bars hidden down secret alleyways, Instagram-famous restaurants high and low and street food stalls serving up incredible dishes. Not sure where to eat and drink in east London? Read on for our favourite places.

The best thing about Netil360 is that it doesn’t matter whether you’re in the mood to eat, or drink, or both. Next door to Hackney’s Mare Street Market, Netil360 sits at the very top of Netil House and promises panoramic views of London with a drink in hand. Food here comes courtesy of local restaurants (currently incredible Venerdi Pizza), which is best enjoyed while admiring the city skyline around you. Netil360’s latest attraction is a rooftop Finnish sauna, which you can also book if you’re looking to step up your game when it comes to rooftop drinks and fancy something a little more stylish than a standard bench.

Tonight Josephine is where you’ll go to cheer up the mate who’s had a bad day, to start off an evening of birthday celebrations or simply because it feels like too long since you last visited. Happy Hour happens every day here in the happiest setting of neon lights and sparkly decor. It’s also home to the famous “Well behaved women don’t make history” sign that you’ve almost definitely seen all over Instagram. Tonight Josephine is brilliant for its energy, its huge cocktail menu and its delicious drinks that you’ll spend far too long deliberating over. Lively, funny and entertaining: you’ll never turn down a night at Tonight Josephine and you’ll never know where a night here will finish.

Got a few hours to spare in Stratford? Head to Roof East. In the mood to bring out your inner child? Visit Roof East. Think the idea of a drink in one hand and a baseball bat in the other doesn’t sound too dangerous? Roof East is your answer. Home to a huge range of interactive games as well as street food stalls, bars serving beers and cocktails and also a rooftop cinema, Roof East is the answer to your problems if you’re bored on an afternoon and want something to fuse childhood and adulthood at the same time.

There are three floors at Queen of Hoxton, which means it’s possible to spend a couple of hours on one floor and then head up to the next for a completely different experience. Widely known as one of East London’s best bars, Queen of Hoxton does it all. Think bottomless brunch to start the day, think a bright and airy rooftop for sunshine-filled afternoons in the city, think spacious ground floor with a range of DJs to party the night away to. Although you’d probably come here just for drinks, you can also head up to the rooftop for burgers – including one that’s deliciously vegan friendly.

Duck and Waffle is absolutely stunning. Set at the top of Heron Tower on the 40th floor, this all-day restaurant and brunch spot offers dining with a difference. Sure, you’ll need to book a table in advance here, but it’s worth it for the stunning views and the even more stunning food placed in front of you. Technically, the unique selling point of this East London restaurant is that it’s open 24/7, but the real secret comes from its spectacular weekend brunch menu. As the name would suggest, you’ll want to go for the waffles here, in a childhood-meets-very-suave-adulthood meal that you’ll never forget.

Boxpark Shoreditch has been an East London mainstay since 2011. These iconic shipping containers are home to a wide variety of street food stalls, independent fashion boutiques and bars. There’s plenty of options to tickle your taste buds or clench your thirst. From healthy açai bowls, to dirty burgers to kebabs to sweet treats. There really is street food for everyone here.

The Culpeper is one of those pubs you’ll walk into and immediately feel at home in its buzzing atmosphere. A spacious pub where you’ll almost definitely bump into someone you know, it’s the place to grab a pint and get comfy among its beautiful surroundings. The Culpeper has a little something for everyone, no matter what sort of occasion you’re coming for. There’s a rooftop and garden for your outdoors-only drinking occasions, the indoor pub for casual drinks (or rain) and a slightly more formal space downstairs where you can dig into traditional pub fare.

Ballie Ballerson started as a one month pop-up before its founders realised just how much the people of London loved throwing themselves around in a glowing ball pit with thumping music, Prosecco and bottomless pizza. And, when you put it like that, you can see why. Now, this famous ball pit cocktail bar is a permanent feature that’s often seen with long queues outside. Leave your valuables at home and wear comfy clothes: not only will you be stuffing yourself to the brim with delicious pizza, but you’ll also be wading through thousands of plastic balls at the same time.

Cult brunch spot Grind, with its minimalist designs, pink neon signs and to-die-for coffee, quickly becomes a firm favourite for everyone who visits. Come here for a chilled brunch, coffee date or solo work sesh with your laptop. Whatever brings you to Grind, you’ll be more than happy to sit yourself down with a latte and bite to eat while people watching around you. If you’re looking for vegan food in East London, you should definitely consider Grind – the vegan breakfast here is one of the best options on the menu. Come along for bottomless brunch to really take things to the next level.

Gloria is the kind of place that’ll wake up even the most tired of diners, with its eclectic decor, vibrant atmosphere and (almost) world famous cheese wheel pasta. This ’70s style Italian trattoria absolutely lives up to its reputation, with food that’s tasty, fresh and packed with flavour. Each dish comes served on a colourful plate that’s perfect for a quick photo or two and looks even better when paired with a colourful cocktail. Not sure where to start with the menu? The waiters here are not only charming and hilarious but can also give you top recommendations depending on your preferences.

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