Where To Eat & Drink In Clapton

East London’s food and drink scene has an exciting new hotspot – now even cooler in the foodie stakes than Hackney, Clapton is jam-packed with must-visit restaurants, Insta-bait cafés, stylishly refurbished pubs and late-night cocktail bars. Here’s where we’ll be nabbing a table…



So good it’s already made the pages of Vogue, this Japanese restaurant puts modern twists on traditional, home-cooked dishes. The menu boasts all the usual suspects – think melt-in-the-mouth sashimi; piping-hot karage (fried chicken); and succulent charred pork skewers – alongside inventive salads and their own unique sushi roll creations. Interiors-wise, it’s like a Pinterest board come to life, with brushed gold countertops, untreated wooden stools and delicate foliage atop the tables.

144 Clarence Road, E5 8EA

Visit UchiHackney.com

Sodo Pizza

If you haven’t yet tried the pizza at Sodo, you’re missing a trick. The Italian joint now has five sites across the capital, but Clapton was one of the first, following a successful pop-up at E5 Bakehouse down by London Fields. The setting is simple, but that’s not what diners come for – here, it’s all about the pizza, which Sodo take seriously. All the dough is fermented for 48 hours and then baked at super-hot temperatures so that it’s light and airy with plenty of sourdough tang.

126 Upper Clapton Road, E5 9JY

Visit SodoPizza.co.uk

Les Nénettes

A little gem of a French bistro, this is SL’s favourite spot in Clapton for petit dejeuner, dejeuner and dinner. Summer mornings call for Provencal-style eggs enjoyed on the outdoor terrace (you can pretend you’re in the Côte d'Azur), while come evening, dinner inside is a very different experience – all soft, shoegaze soundtracks, low-lit candles and intimate tables. Rustic small plates are the stars of the menu here – expect the very best French cheeses, charcuterie and fresh seafood – but substantial mains, including perfectly-cooked steaks, will please those who don’t like to share.

19 Lower Clapton Road, E5 0NS

Visit LesNenettes.co.uk

Yard Sale Pizza

Another cult London pizza joint, Yard Sale started off here in Clapton before demand saw it open several new sister sites. In this particular branch, there’s only a couple of tables – they focus on takeaway service – but if you can nab a spot (or are lucky enough to be a local) it’s worth it. Pizzas are wood-fired, with inventive toppings – the ‘TSB’, tenderstem broccoli, manchego cheese, pine nuts, garlic and olive oil – is an SL fave. And our top tip? Try the cheese and Marmite garlic bread. You won’t regret it.

105 Lower Clapton Road, E5 0NP

Visit YardSalePizza.com

My Neighbours the Dumplings

Serving up dim sum dishes in a fun, informal atmosphere, this dumpling house and sake bar is the first of its kind in Clapton. The décor is scuffed but darkly glamorous come night-time – all glowing multi-coloured lightboxes and lanterns – and the hand-crafted dumplings are almost pretty enough to frame. Classic siu mai and har gau are steamed to perfection, and team so well with the menu’s fresh and spicy salad selection. There are also plenty of veggie-friendly options, and an impressively extensive sake list which can also be enjoyed in the dedicated dive bar downstairs.

165 Lower Clapton Road, E5 8EQ

Visit MyNeighboursTheDumplings.com

Café Miami

Only a short stroll from Hackney’s Palm Vaults – dubbed ‘London’s most Instagrammable café’ – is Café Miami, another brunch and coffee spot that’s essentially just one big photo-op. From the blue-and-pink pastel tones to the heart-shaped sugar cubes, everything here is designed to please the Insta-crowd (and you’ll most likely catch a fashion blogger or two posing with their artistically presented avo on toast). Pancakes are a highlight here, with classic blueberry, bacon and maple for purists; Ribena compote and crème fraiche for the young at heart; and a gluten-free option for, well, you know…

24 Lower Clapton Road, E5 0PD

Visit CafeMiami.co.uk


Having first opened as a pop-up, this taqueria was such a hit, it’s now a permanent fixture on the Lower Clapton scene. Aiming to ‘keep it simple, keep real’, the restaurant’s menu is super-tight – expect tacos (the sautéed tilapia with root vegetable ‘slaw is a standout), tostadas, quesadillas and botanas (Mexican snacks), alongside the best Mexican beer, mezcal and margaritas (order the watermelon marg with chilli rim – heaven). The place has a real neighbourhood vibe – ideal for lively weekend evenings.

87 Lower Clapton Road, E5 0RN

Visit TacosDel74.com

Dom’s Place

A staple in the Clapton community since 1974, this family-run restaurant specialises in juicy, flavour-packed Turkish wraps – made from fresh ingredients sourced daily and packed with a choice of sumptuous salads (we really rate the ‘Sumakli’ – red onion, parsley, sumac and pomegranate vinegar). There’s plenty of modern twists on the menu too, including their bestselling vegan doner kebabs and halloumi fries, all served up in a minimal, airy space.

199 Lower Clapton Road, E5 8EG

Visit DomsPlaceLowerClapton.co.uk


This is where you’ll find the best coffee in Clapton, Hackney and even beyond – if you’re a fan of dairy-free milk options, that is, as this café is completely vegan. Lele’s serves breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and weekend brunch in a cosy light-filled space – think superfood-packed yoghurt pots and salads, hearty full English fry-ups (still vegan, of course), ‘cheesy’ toasties and an array of vegan patisserie delights.

50 Lower Clapton Road, E5 0RN

Visit LelesLondon.com/


The Windsor Castle

This huge Victorian pub, dating back to the 1840s, is almost unrecognisable from its old self – every inch has been spruced up, from the on-trend moody paint tones and fresh flowers on the horse shoe-shaped bar, to the long list of local craft beers and sustainably-sourced menu (innovative small plates are ideal for bar-hoppers, but this is also the place to come for a Sunday roast). There’s also a fairy light-filled outdoor area for those sunnier days and balmy summer nights.

135 Lower Clapton Road, E5 8EQ

Visit TheWindsorCastleClapton.com

The Elephant’s Head

Formerly French spot The Bonneville, this Lower Clapton bar has been restored to its Victorian glory – taking back the name of the building’s old boozer, The Elephant’s Head. Interiors have a down-at-heel decadence – you must push through a thick velvet curtain to enter the bar, which is all low lighting and stripped walls, filled with burgundy banquettes, candelabras and an original stained-glass ceiling. The food is well worth a sample here, but it’s cocktails from the back-lit bar that take centre stage – choose from unique creations like the ‘Mezcal Julep’, with jalapeño, cucumber, basil and agave, and a dedicated menu of inventive Bloody Marys, made with locally produced hot sauce.

43 Lower Clapton Road, E5 0NS

Visit ElephantHackney.com

Clapton Hart

Dating back to the 18th century, this cavernous pub reopened as the Clapton Hart back in 2012 after months of renovation. Many of the building’s original features remain, and it has a sort of haunting beauty inside – arched doorways lead to room after room; secret cubbies are hidden away for enjoying a cosy drink in; some walls and wooden furniture are stripped, others are painted jewel tones and reupholstered in velvet; and it’s filled with taxidermy, old telephones and vintage books. There’s also a decent-sized beer garden outside, with plenty of picnic benches.

231 Lower Clapton Road, E5 8EG

Visit ClaptonHart.com


The coolest cocktail spot on the block, Blondies’ name appears to have been inspired by its owners – stylish sisters and peroxide fans, Verity, Sharmaine and Rochelle Cox. There’s a real dive bar feel here (you’ll likely spot East London’s hippest smokers perched outside in the early hours), and the music is eclectic, spanning live metal bands to heavy techno DJs. The drinks list is short and sweet, with classic cocktails alongside their own unpretentious creations (try the grapefruit margarita) plus a rotating range of craft beers and Borough Wines.

205A Lower Clapton Road, E5 8EG

Visit BlondiesBar.co.uk

The Crooked Billet

This is one of those rare London pubs that feels like it’s been picked up from the countryside and air-dropped down in the capital. Yes, there are the local craft beers and ubiquitous sharing plates, but the menu is unpretentious – think cider-glazed ribs, Cornish mackerel with smoky grilled veg and a seriously decent Bloody Mary. Inside is sleek thanks to the 1950s wood-panelled walls, but with plenty of rustic touches. Then, there’s the huge rear garden – stretches of decking and grass with a ping pong table, blue-and-white striped booths and a number of seaside-style deck chairs. Needless to say, it gets packed in summer.

84 Upper Clapton Road, E5 9JP

Visit E5CrookedBillet.co.uk

Fashion. Beauty. Culture. Life. Home
Delivered to your inbox, daily