London neighbourhood guide: Hackney

Many years ago, people would have raised an eyebrow at the idea of moving to the East London suburb Hackney. Now it’s home to one of the most thriving and fashionable postcodes London has to offer. In fact, it has seen the steepest price growth in house prices in London over the past 20 years.

But we’re not here to talk about the housing market of East London. You want to know what it’s like to live in the place where cultural diversity meets edgy innovation, where the streets are filled lip-smacking restaurants, world-class coffee haunts and bustling brunch spots that will leave you seriously spoilt for things to do.

Well, read on to discover about one of the most talked about places in London.

A bit of history

Before the days of beards, organic tote bags and spending £8 on homemade beans, Hackney was an area detached from central London living. The area was rich in woodland marshes which led to the Saxons naming it Haca’sey, meaning ‘raised ground marshland’. Later in the Tudor times, the area really began to really develop and it became home to many English gentry and nobility. Even Henry VIII decided to build a palace nearby.

Now, before you start thinking Hackney is like a backdrop from Downton Abbey, the eventual arrival of the railway led to a Victorian industrialisation of the area with new settlers, factories and jobs. Grand Georgian houses were replaced with terraced houses to house local workers.

Much of the history still remains but a lot of the housing was destroyed during the Second World War. The most popular choice of housing in Hackney now is post-war and new development. The mix of housing has resulted in a range of rental prices, as shown in our most recent survey:


Where is Hackney?

Hackney sits alongside the popular areas of Shoreditch and Hoxton on the East End of London. With both of these being key areas for design, media and advertising jobs, Hackney has become the first point of call for budget living for London’s young and ambitious creatives. In fact, our most recent survey shows 60% of Hackney flatsharers are under 30 years old.

Though it is one of the few zone 2 areas without any tube lines, you’ll still be pretty well connected with overground stations and bus routes, making Hackney a pretty comfortable choice.

Commuters often take the overground to Canonbury, to change for trains to Shoreditch and Liverpool Street, or Highbury & Islington for the Victoria line to Oxford Circus, Victoria and more. And those who prefer the bus, have the 48 to Liverpool Street and London Bridge, 55 to Oxford Circus, 106 to Whitechapel and 227 to Canary Wharf just to name a few!

Easyroommate is a leading flatshare platform for properties in Hackney, covering property in Stoke Newington (N16), Dalston (E8), London Fields (E8), Hoxton (E1), Haggerston (E2), Homerton (E5), Hackney Wick (E15) and Hackney Central (E5).

See our flatshares in Hackney here

A few places to… 

1. Eat

My Neighbours the Dumplings

If you like good atmosphere and the intimacy of small house party coupled with an underground cocktail bar and insanely satisfying selection of dumplings, then My Neighbours the Dumplings is for you. The family-run restaurant has all the best qualities of Dim Sum style eating – lots of small dishes to be shared amongst friends. The more people you go with, the more dishes to try. A perfect place for a housemate dinner!

165 Lower Clapton Road, Hackney, London, E5 8EQ

020 3327 1556

L’Antica Pizzeria de Michele

Anyone who’s seen the Julia Roberts classic ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ will remember the moment she sits blissed out in shabby Naples joint, L’Antica Pizzaria de Michele, declaring she’s having a relationship with a pizza. Now you can see what got Julia Roberts so hot under the collar as the Naples original has opened its first international branch in Stoke Newington. The chefs have even come across from Naples, making the experience even more authentic.

125 Stoke Newington Church St, N16 0UH

020 7687 0009

Broadway Market

Nestled in the heart of Hackney is something to satisfy all the senses. The popular shopping street, Broadway Market, spans from London Fields to Regents Canal. Bustling with organic food stalls, hearty brunch spots, gastropubs, local cafes and bakeries, the popular Saturday market is always a hot spot on the weekends.

E5 Bakehouse

If you’re passionate about pastry or a sucker for sough dough or in knead of some sweet treats, then you’ll love this homely east London bakehouse. The artisan bakery serves an array of breads, cakes and lunches all made from organic and locally sourced ingredients. They even do baking classes if you and your housemates really want to get involved.

395 Mentmore Terrace, London E8 3PH

020 8525 2890

 2. Drink


Image credit: thedalstonist

This rustic rooftop retreat is located only a stone’s throw away from Broadway Market. The lofty open space offers spectacular panoramic views of London with a fully licensed bar, café and mini pizzeria.

1 Westgate St, London E8 3RL

Ridley Road Market Bar 

Situated on the eponymous Ridley Road Market sits Ridley Road Market Bar. Whether you want to enjoy a couple of laid-back ginger mojitos and enjoy the tropical themed décor or dance into the early hours ‘Club Tropicana’ style, this vibrant and friendly haunt is the place to be.

49 Ridley Rd, London E8

Pub on the park

This buzzing boozer by London Fields always pulls in the summer crowd. With a solid selection of ales on pump and a kitchen headed up by esteemed chef and British cuisine connoisseur Andy Evans, it has all the trademarks of a top British pub.

19 Martello St, London E8 3P

3. Go

London Fields Lido

When the sun peeps out in London Fields, you won’t find locals racing to the coast. Take a walk around Hackney Lido and you’ll see them sprawled on the sun beds or having a dip in the Olympic sized heated outdoor swimming pool.  It even has its own café with all the toasties you can wish for. Holiday in Hackney anyone?

 London Fields West Side, Hackney, London, E8 3EU

Hackney Empire 

Photo credit: arthurloyd

From Charlie Chaplin to Stan Laurel, many of trod the boards of one of Hackney’s oldest buildings. Since opening in 1901, the grade II listed building has been a music hall, television studio, bingo hall before opening as a theatre in 1986. From high art shows to children’s comedy, a night in Hackney Empire is fun for all.

291 Mare St, London E8 1EJ

Clissold Park

Whether you’re an outdoor enthusiast or need to tighten the purse strings, Clissold Park’s 54 acres is a cheap and easy way of escaping the hustle and bustle of the city. Snake your way around the clear-cut paths to find a cute little zoo nestled in its centre with rabbits, goats and deer.

Want to look for a houseshare in Hackney? We don’t blame you!

With over 6000 rooms listed in Hackney and over 4000 flatmates looking for a room, we can help you find a Hackney houseshare that’s right for you. Start your move here. 


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