CITY GUIDE LONDON: 8 Things to Do in Hackney Wick

Hackney Wick

The formerly industrial area of Hackney Wick has become a haven for artists and hipsters, who flock to the area for cheap studio space in disused warehouses. They’ve also brought with them a handful of shabby chic cafes, industrial style bars and an abundance of street art. It’s worth spending a day exploring the area to get a taste of the raw, authentic, yet rapidly gentrifying East London. Here’s where you should go in on your day out in Hackney Wick.

View this post on Instagram

#hackney as fuck #coffee #hipster

A post shared by Jonathan Pam (@pamster_gram) on

For breakfast – PEARL

A real gem of the Hackney Wick area, PEARL is an independent cafe which is perfect for breakfast, with pastries freshly baked every morning, plenty of Allpress Espresso roasted coffee, and an eclectic brunch menu served until 3 pm.

View this post on Instagram

#tb to the Hackney Hipster Hangout

A post shared by Yasemin Ozdemir (@yaz_ozdemirx) on

For some culture – Street Art Hunting

Thanks to its artist population and post-industrial atmosphere, Hackney Wick is a haven for street artists, who bring colour and political commentary to the streets. Don’t miss works by Sweet Toof, Broken Fingaz and Neoh. We like this guide by Inspiring City, which gives a good overview of some of the best pieces to go looking for.

For lunch – Mason & Company

Take things canal-side at Mason & Company with Italian-American grub from live-in street food operator Capish?, and an array of 20 UK craft beers on tap to wet your whistle. Think a chunky steak braciole sandwich finished off with tiramisu doughnuts – yes, please!

For an afternoon pick-me-up – Routes Coffee @ Thingy

The owners of Routes Coffee spent years travelling and exploring the people contributing to the coffee industry, all the way from the farmers to the roasters and distributors. Now they are using their expertise in their own coffee shop and pop-up coffee van. Pop in for an espresso blend or matcha latte to the sound of the jams in Thingy recording studio next door.

For a souvenir – Vinyl Pimp 

Climb up the rickety stepladder and ruffle through the shelves of used vinyl records in Vinyl Pimp. You can probably find just about any record in any genre somewhere in their extensive collection. A Sex Pistols vinyl is the perfect East London souvenir!

For a boozy tour – CRATE Brewery Tour

Hackney Wick’s resident source of beer is the CRATE Brewery, which produces some of the East End’s finest craft brews. For £15 per person, you can get a tour of the brewery, and get up close and personal with the process of brewing and bottling – and yes, beer tasting is included.

For dinner – Gotto Trattoria

Gotto, a family-run trattoria by the River Lee Navigation, is a neighbourhood staple. They serve a seasonally inspired menu of antipasti, pasta and main dishes, from burrata with tomatoes and basil to aubergine parmigiana. The dishes are simple, delicious, and delightfully Italian.

For a drink (or more than one) – White Post Cafe

When you walk into this bar through a graffiti-covered entryway, you might be a little confused as to where you stepped into: White Post Cafe is part workspace, part cafe, part bar. The space is eclectic, with mismatched salvaged furniture and a plywood podium that regularly hosts live bands and DJs. And yes, there’s a stocked bar and even coffee & cakes during the day.

We hope you find this little guide to Hackney Wick useful – happy exploring! When you’re done discovering Hackney Wick, head over to neighbouring London Fields – we’ve got you covered there too. Did we miss out your favourite place? Tell us off in the comments below – or you know, feel free to tell us how awesome this article was. Whatever.

Download the KOMPAS app for free at to discover more amazing places in London and 5 other cities.

If you liked this article, check out…

KOMPAS Insights: What to Do in London Fields 

KOMPAS Insights: What to Do in Peckham

Your Alternative London Bucketlist