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East London’s most epic enclave of best bars, hip hang outs and outdoor courtyards has to be Hackney Wick. An industrial neighbourhood along the banks of the Lee Canal, Hackney Wick is packed full of street-art, pop-ups and waterside watering holes.
Affectionately referred to locally as Hackney Wicked, there are lots of bars and breweries in Hackney Wick – from the UK’s first tank bar at Howling Hops to some of the best pubs on the river in London, there is much to do (and drink!) at Hackney Wick
Here is our 2023 guide to all the best bars and breweries to visit in Hackney Wick, East London:
Hackney Wick bars and breweries
1. Howling Hops
Although there is a lot of competition in Hackney Wick now (there are another four or five bars and breweries with within spitting distance of Howling Hops), this is still one of the best brewpubs about.
Howling Hops Brewery and Tank Bar sells beer to thirsty punters straight from the huge tanks behind the bar, very much the centrepiece of the taproom. Howling Hops also have a small outdoor beer garden – perfect for summer day drinking (and frankly a Hackney Wicked way to spend an afternoon!)
Our top tipple is Howling Hop’s own house IPA (6.9% – nice!) – pair this with the amazing Sri Lankan curries and parathas from their in-house street food kiosk Kottu House.
Address: Howling Hops, Unit 9A Queen’s Yard, White Post Ln, Hackney Wick, London E9 5EN
2. Crate Brewery and Pizzeria
With a riverside beer garden and great views of the ever changing street art on the Hackney Wick canal, Crate Brewery has real character.
Set up in a old print works that used to produce everything from fake bank notes to jazz mags, this was one of the first breweries to open in the area, setting up shop in 2012, just in time for the London Olympics at nearby Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
For us, Crate Brewery’s interior is so-so but what makes this place so special is the outdoor setting and beer garden (just try not to fall into the canal), plus the pizzas here are epic. Tip – the toilets upstairs are so much nicer!
Crate is also hugely popular with cyclists and walkers, as most roads and paths around Hackney Wick seem to converge here from the Capital Ring trail, so do try and arrive early if you want to bag a coveted canalside spot.
Address: Crate Brewery and Pizzeria, Unit 7 Queen’s Yard, Hackney Wick, London E9 5EN
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3. Barge East
Credit where credit is due – Barge East are a bastion of the Hackney Wick drinking scene, continually investing in and evolving their set-up, with new additions and beer gardens constantly popping up around their near 100 year old vessel.
As the Barge East name suggests, this is a massive moored barge that attracts hundreds, with several areas available to eat and dine both aboard on the alfresco deck as well as on the banks of the canal.
A floating bar in Hackney Wick – how hip!
Address: Barge East, River Lee, Sweetwater Mooring, White Post Lane, Hackney Wick, London E9 5EN
4. Number 90 Bar
The burgers at Number 90 Bar are probably the best burgers and pub grub we’ve had in Hackney Wick. Combine this with the Number 90 Bar canalside terrace and oodles of offers like 2 for 1 cocktails on a Wednesday or 2 for 1 burgers on Thursday nights and you can see why this is one of the areas most popular bars in Hackney Wick.
We’d recommend you book Number 90 Bar in advance, especially if you want an outside terrace table in the summer months overlooking the Hackney Wick canal.
The interior feels like a Manhattan style loft set-up with a massive bar and various nooks and crannies to explore (the toilets are located upstairs, so you also get a cool birds eye view from the balcony).
The exterior of Number 90 Bar is adorned with street art synonymous with Hackney Wick and these are some of the most impressive murals in the whole Wick. In-keeping with the arty affair, you’ll find the Number 90 Gallery inside, a small collection of local artists and exhibitions that change regularly.
Address: Number 90 Bar, 90 Wallis Rd, London E9 5LN
5. Beer Merchant’s Tap
A cross between a craft beer shop and brewery taproom, The Beer Merchant’s Tap has a huge variety of beers on tap and in their chilled fridges (and we mean HUGE). They even have dedicated beer fridge types like one chiller just dedicated to dark beers!
The Beer Merchant’s tap also has a nice outdoor beer garden to boot – just look for the huge pink Delirium elephant (pretty sure no other Hackney Wick bar can boast that)
As well as ample indoor space, there is a small outdoor beer patio (often with a street food van) meaning you could happily spend a whole afternoon or evening here.
Address: Beer Merchant’s Tap, 99 Wallis Road, Hackney Wick, London E9 5LN
6. Lord Napier Star
The Lord Napier Star has finally returned to the Wick! Located in the iconic, local building recently known as ‘Shithouse to Penthouse’, the Lord Napier Star has been lovingly restored and reopenedafter years of neglect.
The Lord Napier Star is now a hip and hoppy hang-out in Hackney Wicked, with two floors of beautiful bar space and a stunning rooftop garden looking out over East London.
Opened in Summer 2021 and the latest addition to the Star Bars’ portfolio, the Lord Napier Star is a nice neighbourhood spot with the added bonus that the kitchen is currently run by KraPow, one of London’s top and most tasty Thai street food vendors.
We visited the Lord Napier Star early one Saturday afternoon and it was great to see such a vibrant and busy new pub rise phoenix-like in Hackney Wick after years of closure.
There is a good range of local and more mainstream craft beers on tap or in bottles including local East London favourite Five Points Brewery.
As it was a sunny day, we grabbed a table on the upstairs rooftop deck (360 degree views of the local area and an excellent way to see the street art from up high.
We tried several different Thai / inspired dishes including the eponymous krapow (spicy minced pork – as good as we tried in Bangkok), drunken noodles and a krapow burger with Thai fries (one of the best burgers we’ve ever tried).
A welcome addition to the Hackney Wick scene, the Lord Napier is a friendly place we will likely return to time and time again, to work our way through the various local lagers and amazing Thai street-food.
Address: Lord Napier Star, 25 White Post Lane, London E9 5EN
7. All My Friends
Some ‘friendly’ advice – get a brew with a view at All My Friends, a new bar (as at October 2022) from the brains behind Tottenham super club The Cause.
All My Friends is a much more laid-back affair, with an incredible terrace overlooking Hackney Wick and nearby Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park – for our money, this has one of the best terrace / bars views in Hackney Wick.
Upstairs, you’ll find a well lit bar area with an industrial feel with a terrace out front and at the rear, plus a DJ booth in the centre of the room. Pizza is available to order from local Tottenham taproom legends True Craft and Japanese okonomiyaki from Sho Foo Doh.
Beers on tap included local favourites like Mammoth Beer (who recently opened a taproom in Leytonstone) and Two Tribes.
Address: All My Friends, Unit 1, Hamlet Estate, 96 White Post Lane, London E9 5EN
8. Two More Years
Boasting possibly the best and most unobstructed views of the waterside in Hackney Wick (and Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park), Two More Years is one of the newest bars to open in the area, launching in Summer 2021 in the old Stour Space, with a ‘sustainable’ focus.
We visited on a sunny, Saturday afternoon and were lucky enough to bag a coveted spot on the floating dock / beer garden outside. Hackney Wick was in full swing and we got to witness numerous party boats and disco dinghies as we supped our craft beers on the pontoon (it can get a little choppy when a larger vessel goes past – all part of the fun).
We particularly enjoyed Two More Years and it is easily one our best bars in Hackney Wick – not only because of the fun and convivial atmosphere but because Two More Years has an incredible beer range, including many local breweries on tap and not just the usual commercial craft giants.
For instance, we tried a tangy AF tzatziki sour beer from South London based brewery Orbit. Indoors, there is a cavernous indoor bar and huge upstairs event space (but hey, it is all about the waterside deck for us).
Address: Two More Years, 7 Roach Road, Fish Island, E3 2PA
9. Old Street Brewery
Bethnal Green favourite ‘Old Street Brewery’ (given the name, we’re presuming they’ve moved before) now has a second hangout at Hackney Wick, adjacent to Howling Hops Tank Bar.
Boasting Infinite Bliss (well, a pint of), it is hard to miss Old Street Brewery’s car park beer garden as they’ve done a fantastic job with street art painted on the outdoor of a nearby building – you can’t miss it (literally) when visiting Hackney Wick.
Address: Unit 1 Queen’s Yard, Hackney Wick, London E9 5EN
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10. Here East bars and restaurants
Here, Here! Once a campus and media centre (built at the same time as the 2012 London Olympic game set-up), Here East in Hackney Wick is now home to several tech businesses and studios (in both the TV and yoga sense).
However, head to the front of HereEast by the canal and you’ll be greeted by green lawns full of people drinking beer, or sitting on one of the many terraces or outdoor beer gardens.
There are several Hackney Wick bars and restaurants to choose from all next door to each other so you should be able to find something for everyone if you are in a group, to satisfy even the fussiest eater (or drinker).
Our favourites include The Breakfast Club (brunch classics in a retro setting), Gotto Trattoria (Italian pizza and pasta), Four Quarters (vintage arcade and gaming machines with a bountiful beer of craft goodness) and Randy’s Wings (finger licking good chicken wings that would put the colonel to shame).
Address: Here East, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, 14 E Bay Lane, Hackney Wick, London E15 2GW
Another hip, Hackney Wick pub billed as a community cafe with a canalside terrace, Grow (next door to Number 90 Bar) is a fun place that is all about its outside setting, boasting a multi-level garden with views and local brews.
We last visited one Sunday afternoon and tried Grow’s Sunday Roast (delicious) as a guy performed with his drums on the floating stage barge outside – talk about beer and bongos!
Food (and beer) prices at Grow at very reasonable for the area and there are also several indoor areas if the weather is inclement. Busy as, Grow also hosts regular open mic sessions, live entertainment and has an environmental and sustainable ethos. If you are still feeling peckish as you leave Grow, there is a local bakery located in Grow Studios just as you leave the bar.
Address: Grow,Main Yard, 98C Wallis Road, London E9 5LN
12. The Hangar Bar at Hackney Bridge Kitchens
Next door to HereEast and a short sprint from Olympic Stadium, this outdoor courtyard is the latest hip hang-out in the area, nestled on the banks of the River Lee. It is relatively new with many spots still to be rented(it opened in spring 2021), and during the day it is home to various offices, co-working spaces and a couple of coffee shops and independent retailers.
Inside is The Hangar bar, plus a large mezzanine and seating area with several permanent street food kiosks serving a range of cuisine such as Japanese gyozas, vegan Vietnamese, South Indian, Filipino barbecue and more.
On a weekday (Monday to Friday) from 3pm-7pm, Hackney Wick’s Hangar Bar has a 2 for 1 drink offer on house beers, wine, single spirits and selected cocktails.
For the best spot, grab a space on the bright yellow balcony (the terrace) that overlooks the canal and neighbouring waterside Hackney Wick bars.
Address: Hackney Bridge Kitchens,Units 1-28 Echo Building, E Bay Lane, London E15 2SJ
13. Rule Zero
Bringing a mix of board games and beer, Rule Zero is a canalside bar and Hackney Wick hang-out where you can eat, drink and (role) play ‘til your heart’s content.
The first rule of Rule Zero is to have fun and with a top floor dedicated to table gaming (from Scrabble to Snakes and Ladders), it isn’t hard to be ‘won’ over.
There is also Sub Zero, a basement Hackney Wick bar and club which plays host to live events such as comedy nights, jazz and film screenings. The bars are fully stocked, from cocktails to craft beer and food is also available, including vegan options.
Best of all, Rule Zero has cityscape views of nearby Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park so you’ll feel like a true contender no matter what game or drink you enjoy.
Address: Rule Zero, 4a Roach Road, Fish Island, London E3 2PA
14. The Lot
2023 UPDATE: The Lot is permanently closed
Think you’ve done ‘the lot’? You possibly haven’t as Hackney Wick’s HWK has opened a new outdoor courtyard for 2021, entitled ‘The Lot’, after trialling other outdoor set-ups and sound systems in previous years.
Hosting DJ sets, live performances and music events, the alfresco terrace also has a huge bar and BBQ kitchen set-up. Handily, it is also the closest bar to Hackney Wick station if you fancy a late night drink before catching the train home.
Address: The Lot, 29/31 White Post Lane, Hackney Wick, London E9 5EN
15. Colour Factory
The Colour Factory is a legendary music and events venue that is always one of the most loved local hangouts in Hackney Wick. As well as an indoor space, the Colour Factory bar has an alfresco beer garden in the daytime, with street food vendor options offering burgers, vegan hog roasts and Greek wraps,
When first arriving, the Colour Factory is quite a good place to start your beer crawl from Hackney Wick Station, starting here then literally circling the car park, where you’ll find Crate Brewery, Howling Hops Tank Bar and Old Street Brewery all within 30 seconds walk.
Address: Colour Factory, Unit 8a, Queens Yard, Hackney Wick, E9 5EN.
16. Pearl Hackney Wick
Pearl in Hackney Wick is an absolute ‘gem’ (sorry / not sorry!) of the food and drink scene, popular with the brunch and lunch set. You know you’ve arrived (and so easy to find) as a huge ‘Hackney Wick’ sign greets you, high on the roof-top of a neighbouring apartment building.
Like Crate Brewery, Pearl is housed in a former industrial warehouse, and has retro interiors. Word has it that Pearl also does the best cocktails in Hackney Wick. Like any good Pearl, make sure you polish one off on your next trip to the Wick.
Address: Pearl, East Wing Oslo House, 11 Prince Edward Rd, Hackney Wick, London E9 5LX
17. White Post
Situated on the banks of the River Lee, The White Post is a coffee shop by day and a bar / arts and event space by night. This casual affair has an excellent outdoor patio directly overlooking the water, making a perfect spot for people watching.
Feeling hungry? The popular dish at the White Post specialises in an epic range of Pieminster pies (Blue Moo anyone) with lashings of mash, gravy and mushy peas (vegan options are also available). We also like the fact they have a nice of local craft beer on tap, courtesy of Hackney Brewery (we tried the Unicorn IPA – alas it wasn’t rainbow coloured).
Next door to the White Post, you find a retro second hand clothing store and various art spaces – and if you approach The White Post from Hackney Wick Tube, you might recognise that the alleyway entrance covered in street art doubled for New York in the recent Wonder Woman 2 / 1984 movie.
Address: White Post, 92 White Post Lane, London E9 5EN.
18. The Lock Inn
Overlooking the Lee Canal, surely this is the best named, punny pub in Hackney Wick?
A recent addition to Here East, The Lock Inn is an Italian inspired local pub run by three brothers which specialises in pizza plus hearty pub fare like burgers and Sunday roasts.
You can also get quizzical every Tuesday night at the Lock Inn, with the weekly pub quiz starting at 7.30pm.
Address: The Lock Inn, 26 E Bay Lane, Hackney Wick, London E15 2GW
We hope you thought our Hackney Wicks bars, breweries and pubs guide was (Hackney) Wicked. If we’ve missed anything or any new Hackney Bars in 2023, please let us know…
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