Tucked just a stone’s throw away from bustling Hackney Central is Lower Clapton Road. This busy high street snakes through Hackney, and along it are some amazing finds. From some of the city’s best tacos to independent boutiques and an architectural gem, here are ten places to visit along Lower Clapton Road.
1. Umit & Son
Film enthusiast Umit Mesut has dedicated his life to keeping the art of cinema alive. His dark little shop, Umit & Son, is packed from floor to ceiling with everything from old projectors and vintage film posters to a lifesize Darth Vader. This shop is really a hidden gem that you certainly won’t want to miss.
2. The Elephant’s Head
The history of The Elephant’s Head goes back all the way to the 1890s when the pub was a celebrated local boozer. Since then, it closed and switched hands many times. In recent years, the space has served as an Irish pub, a bistro, and setting for a bizarre photo shoot. Now, it’s been restored to its former glory and brought back to life as The Elephant’s Head. It serves bottomless roasts, has many vegan and veggie options, and even boasts a strong menu of 90s-inspired cocktails.
3. The Round Chapel
You can’t take a walk down Lower Clapton Road without noticing the gargantuan Round Chapel. This beautiful building opened in 1871, created in order to accommodate Hackney’s Christian congregation. Today, the unusual chapel serves as arts & community centre, hosting neighbourhood events.
The second location of Dalston’s famed Del74 bar has opened on Lower Clapton Road. Like the original, this outpost serves up a variety of beers, margaritas and, of course, tacos. The best time to visit is undoubtedly at Taco Tuesday Happy Hour: tacos are £2 a piece, beers are £3, and margaritas are a steal at £5.
5. Kate Sheridan
East-End label Kate Sheridan stock incredible in-house designs, from womenswear and beauty to amazing Italian leather accessories.
6. My Neighbours the Dumplings
Run by Master Dumpling Chef Carol Lee, this is known far and wide as one of London’s best Dim Sum restaurants. With a variety of dumplings as well as a selection of home-cooked Chinese dishes, My Neighbours the Dumplings is a fantastic choice for a night out with friends. The free-flowing sake doesn’t hurt either!
7. The Other Side of the Pillow
The mysteriously named ‘Other Side of the Pillow’ is a little shop that specialises in vintage Vans. If you’re looking for some new kicks with vintage flair, this is the place. The shop also stocks the commemorative boxes from said vintage Vans, as well as old converse, apparel and more.
8. Lion Coffee & Records
Lion Coffee & Records is the place to go for your afternoon dose of caffeine and vintage rock. Aside from the lovely Allpress espresso, perfectly brewed on a La Marzocco machine, the shop stocks all sorts of records. Fitting as the owners are record producers themselves, and even served as manager for Florence + The Machine.
9. Wild & Wooly
The beautiful, gargantuan, knitted pumping heart in the window will immediately catch your eye when walking past Wild & Wooly. This charming shop sells everything you could possibly want to create your knitted treasures. Not sure where to start? Wild & Wooly also offer classes and workshop for knitters of every level.
10. Pages of Hackney
Last but not least, Pages of Hackney is an independent bookshop, stocking a wide variety of fiction and non-fiction titles. They often host events with authors, so keep an eye out!
Have we missed out your favourite spot along Lower Clapton Road? Let us know in the comments below. Plus, make sure you’re signed up to our weekly London bulletin to keep up with what’s new and exciting in London.[mc4wp_form id=”1182″]