With last week’s announcement of the opening of Dalston’s first Starbucks, EastLondonLines have sought refuge in the large number of locally run coffee shops in the area. After hours of enjoying coffee, organic vegan fat and wheat free cakes in cafes decorated by exposed bricks; these were the five that lingered as particularly enjoyable experiences.
With the colourful mix and match of old furniture, old jukebox playing Motown tunes and potted plants in the windows, this café looks like a grandmother’s summerhouse. The menu has a variety of toasted sandwiches and cakes in all shapes and for most diets. But the most wonderful thing about this café is Swedish owner, Tanya Carson, who knows almost everyone who comes through the door. There is also an outdoor area where you can sit and bask in the sun, while observing the wide range of people trotting to and from the art studios down the road.
You should come here for the great atmosphere and the toasted sandwiches.
1 Middleton Road, London E8 4BL
Monday to Friday: 7am-6pm
Tina, We Salute You
This café is one of the older coffee shops in the Dalston area, but none the less a fantastic place to hang out. Being named one of the best coffee shops in the UK by the Guardian a few years back, it has a large number of regulars and gets quite busy around noon when it becomes a hub for local mums. As a regular you get your name on the wall and the amount of coffees you buy marked in stars, which gives you a discount and the pleasure of someone knowing your name. In common with many of the other cafes in the area Tina’s regularly hosts impressive art exhibitions. On their website you can track old exhibitions and get a sneak peek of the current one.
You should come here for the interesting art and to get your name on the wall.
47 King Henry’s Walk, London, N1 4HN
This is a little café located next to Oxfam and a friendly Internet café on Kingsland road. Being one of the newer coffee kids on the block, it is missing one or two regulars to occupy the very comfy looking armchair in the corner. However as soon as you get a chat with the lovely cafe owner, Mark Weldon, you will definitely find your way back. Betty’s is equipped with a delightful tiny courtyard that is perfect for spending a long autumn afternoons with one of Betty’s home baked cakes, a locally roasted coffee, a book, friends or a laptop. With Saturday’s ‘Dalston Trash Market’ happening right outside it’s door, the location could not be better.
You should come here for the lovely personnel and the nice courtyard.
510b Kingsland Road, Dalston, London, E8 4AE
Monday to Friday: 8am-8pm
Motorcycle Reilly Rocket Café
It may be true that bikers only drink Budweiser and care mainly about speed and oil, but a new breed seems to be hanging out at the Reilly Rocket Café in Dalston. Located behind the Suzuki Showroom on Kingsland road, you can admire the shiny motorcycles through the glass door while you drink your double espresso. At Reilly Rocket, they take pride in great coffee and beautiful leather décor. There is also a very comfortable leather beanbag where you can dream about life on the road, as you sip the heart shaped foam on your coffee. They also have a great motorcycle blog with photos of vintage motorcycles, videos and motorcycle related events.
You should come here to broaden your horizon and sit in the leather beanbag.
507 Kingsland rd, e8 4au
Monday to Sunday: 7am-4pm
Wilton Way Café
This café is the home of London Fields Radio and cuddled in between London Fields and Graham road. The cafe’s interior is designed by the local design duo The Dog and Wardrobe. There is a radio studio in the cafe; so of you are loud enough you might be able to hear yourself on one of their radio podcasts. The café is a great addition to Wilton Way, which has become a cosy miniature high street. But most importantly they serve great coffee from the local roasters Climpson & Sons.
You should come here for the coffee and if you fancy getting on the radio.
63 Wilton Way, London E8 1BG