London's Trendiest Neighbourhoods by bike: East & North EditionOct 09, 2023
London, a city where history and modernity collide, offers endless experiences to be discovered. Whether you're a city local or a curious traveller, there's a way to soak in the city's vibes at your leisure – exploring its trendiest neighbourhoods by bike.
Welcome to a journey where we pedal our way through the heart of London, uncovering hidden gems and basking in the diversity of cultures. In this blog we’ll be your tour guide; but we’ll also introduce you to a companion for this escapade – the Hummingbird bike. It's not just about cycling; it's about integrating it into your London lifestyle.
In this East and North edition, we'll focus on these captivating parts of the city. East, South, North, West – London awaits your discovery. From the artsy corners of Hackney Wick to the sophisticated allure of Chelsea, let's explore London's trendiest neighbourhoods.
Discover East London’s creative energy
East London, a dynamic and ever-evolving part of the city, is a vibrant blend of tradition and innovation. From Hackney Wick's historic streets to the energy of Dalston, this neighbourhood beckons explorers and trendsetters.
East London is more than a haven for creatives; it's a diverse destination. On a Hummingbird bike, you can effortlessly explore its cultural fusion, culinary delights, and hidden gems.
Cycling in East London is a breeze, especially with a Hummingbird bike. Now, let's dive into the unique neighbourhoods, from Hackney Wick's street art to Clapton's trendy cafes. Discover East London like never before, one pedal at a time.
Nestled along the banks of the River Lea, Hackney Wick is a haven for artists and urban explorers. Its industrial charm, vibrant street art, and eclectic vibe make it a must-visit in East London.
Here's some of our favourite things to do on a weekend in Hackney Wick:
Grab a coffee at one of our favourite spots
Located in Here East, Saint Espresso is your go-to spot for great coffee. They not only serve quality coffee but also sell coffee-related items like cups, gifts, and equipment such as v60 filters and aeropresses. Plus, they have a loyalty card that gets you a free coffee after your 10th purchase.
The Roasting Shed:
Situated near the Hackney Wick bridge, The Roasting Shed is a small takeaway coffee shop so be prepared for a short weekend queue for their delicious brews. Their focus is on serving great coffee, and it's a local favourite for a reason.
Take a bit at one of the many restaurants
Randy’s Wing Bar
Randy's is a standout in Hackney Wick's food scene. Their hearty American menu consistently delivers, and their award-winning wings are a must with flavours inspired by the world's cuisines, including chimichurri, jerk, gangnam and Kansas BBQ. It's a family-run restaurant with quality at centre stage.
Scoff's Grill is an unassuming Turkish restaurant that quietly serves some of the best food in the Wick. You'll find all the coal classics you'd expect, along with a selection of seafood and casserole dishes. Notably, the food here won't break the bank.
Silo has been a champion of sustainability for a long time. Its restaurant design starts with waste reduction in mind, and is now a zero-waste restaurant. They source everything from local sustainable farms and most items are made on-site. Their menu, including their exceptional ‘Siloaf’ bread, reflects their commitment to sustainability.
Keep yourself busy doing…
Discover the Area's Eclectic Street Art
Hackney Wick is a hub for artists and creatives, resulting in a vibrant art scene. Stroll and admire the intricate street art and graffiti that adorn the streets and walls, we recommend Bream Street, Fish Island, and Smeed Road for a constantly evolving display of stunning art.
Kayak Down to Crate Brewery
CRATE Brewery is a beer-pizza haven. Crafted from recycled railway materials, it offers a unique ambiance, unrivalled beer selection and some of East London’s finest pizzas. Adventurers, consider kayaking 5 km down London's oldest canal from Limehouse to Crate - maybe when the summer arrives.
Shop for Vintage Threads
Revamp your wardrobe with vintage treasures from the East End Vintage Clothing Store. Discover a variety of vintage gems at budget-prices, and you can even ‘fill a bag’ for a tenner! The store is in a converted warehouse, so don't expect a flashy interior.
Clapton, with its leafy streets and laid-back atmosphere, is the epitome of East London cool. It’s been an up and coming neighbourhood for a few years and it’s now firmly earned its title as one of East London’s trendiest neighbourhoods. Explore its cosy cafes, pockets of nature, and independent restaurants as you soak in its artistic ambiance.
Here are some top picks for your day in Clapton:
Coffee fix at one of these gems
Housed in Clapton's old tram depot, Tram Store boasts reclaimed parquet flooring, distressed brick walls, and an abundance of indoor plants, the perfect brunch setting. While enjoying a delicious coffee, you can grab a bite from their menu which includes a robust vegan selection.
At the end of Chatsworth Road, right by Millfields Park, this independent coffee shop is a buzzing hotspot. Grab a quick coffee to go; they use beans from East London roaster Dark Arts Coffee, or take your time to savour brunch with views of the park.
Fuel up on delicious food
107 (formerly P Franco)
This wine shop has a wall adorned with bottles and a vibey communal table. You can grab a bottle to take home, or stay for some top-notch grub. Despite having just two induction hobs, P Franco hosts a variety of talented chefs who serve seasonal small plates. It's earned a well-deserved reputation as one of London's best restaurants. The friendly and knowledgeable staff are happy to assist you in finding the right bottle, without any pretentiousness.
Lucky & Joy
Run by former Morito colleagues, Lucky & Joy is a charming spot offering regional Chinese cuisine. The pastel-coloured lighting and simple decor let the food shine. With a paper menu and pencil in hand, select your choices and dishes will arrive as they're ready. Don't miss the chilli-laced smashed cucumbers and the surprisingly delightful turnip cake.
Explore local markets or independents for unique finds
Chatsworth Road Market
Chatsworth Road market, once a bustling hub in the 1930s, had up to 200 stalls operating 4 to 5 days a week, spanning the entire street. Over the post-war years, the number of stalls and market days dwindled until it closed in 1990. Thanks to persistent efforts by local residents and traders, the market made a triumphant return in 2010 and has been running weekly since June 2011. Today, it stands as a beloved Sunday market, serving the local community and steadily expanding.
Nestled on Chatsworth Road, Triangle Store embodies a straightforward idea – conscious consumption. They offer a lovely range of items available both in-store and online, covering homeware, kitchenware, accessories, and more.
Tottenham, an up-and-coming neighbourhood in North East London, is a testament to the borough's rich cultural heritage and its ever-evolving urban scene. From its bustling markets to historic landmarks, Tottenham offers a diverse range of experiences that reflect the dynamic spirit of London's East End.
Uncover the hidden gems of Tottenham:
Grab a bite to eat
Pasero is a restaurant that suits everything from family breakfasts to evening get-togethers. During the day, it’s packed with people grabbing coffee and pastries. In the evening, cosy up at the orange-tiled bar for a modern European-inspired experience with small plates like smoked cod's roe choux bites and roasted squash with whipped gorgonzola.
Chuku's is a place where the atmosphere is lively, the playlist is on point, and the menu offers Nigerian tapas with bold flavours. Their hits-only policy means every dish is a winner, from the rainbow egusi bowl with chewy yam dumplings to the crunchy caramel kuli kuli wings and the tear-worthy beef ayamase. It's a love story.
Sip down a pint with friends
Beavertown Corner Pin Pub:
Beavertown's Corner Pin Pub, near Tottenham Hotspur's stadium, is a vibrant spot with Beavertown beers, a lively atmosphere, and a unique player's tunnel entrance. Enjoy pub classics, including a cheeseburger, chips, and craft beer.
Pressure Drop Brewery:
Pressure Drop Brewery's Tottenham taproom opens on weekends, offering their own beer selection indoors and in the outdoor beer garden. It's dog-friendly and often hosts guest food stalls like Chicken & Gochu Korean fried chicken.
Dalston, the beating heart of East London, is a hub of creativity and nightlife. Its edgy character and a blend of cultures create an electrifying atmosphere, perfect for urban adventurers.
Explore our favourite places to visit in Dalston:
Enjoy a foodies haven
Dalston's beloved Mangal 2 has had a makeover, elevating its classic Turkish grillhouse to high-end dining. The food, always excellent, has become more refined while remaining indulgent. You'll find delights like palm-sized sourdough pide and cull yaw kofte, complemented by a touch of grilled apple.
Acme Fire Cult
Acme Fire Cult, next to 40FT Brewery and Dusty Knuckle bakery, is a lively outdoor-ish hangout that combines fire-cooked food with a rock 'n' roll soundtrack. The concept is simple and sustainable, with the brewery and restaurant collaborating to utilise beer by-products in ferments and hot sauces. The menu shifts with the seasons, focusing on vegetables, making this a BBQ spot suitable for everyone.
Grab a cocktail with friends
For exceptional cocktails in Dalston, head to Three Sheets. This cosy spot serves coffee and sandwiches by day and transitions to serious cocktails in the evening. The menu offers drinks in the one, two, or three sheets variety, featuring new twists on old favourites, like the earth martini with beetroot. It's a small space, so booking ahead is a smart move.
Located at the Haggerston end of Kingsland Road, Hacha is an unpretentious bar home to the mirror margarita – a delectable feat of alcohol alchemy. Sip on two or three, but be cautious; they go down easily. Balance it out with seabass tostadas, beef tacos, or whatever the kitchen has in store.
Hidden gems; green oasis and vintage finds
Beyond Retro, London's vintage clothes superstore, boasts a well-edited collection of secondhand fashion. It's a vast vintage warehouse that's particularly exciting during its clearance sales. They also have an on-site café.
Dalston Eastern Curve Garden
A hidden green oasis, Dalston Eastern Curve Garden stretches along a former railway line. This social enterprise features a café and a pizza oven, making it a perfect place to relax amidst the shrubbery. Additionally, they host seasonal events, such as the annual Halloween pumpkin display.
The charms of diversity: North London
North London seamlessly blends history and modernity in its diverse neighbourhoods. From Islington's energy to Camden's charm, this borough offers a wealth of cultural experiences.
It's a hub of inspiration, where historic landmarks coexist with trendy cafes and boutiques. With a Hummingbird bike, explore at your own pace.
We'll guide you to the best coffee spots, top restaurants, unique shops, and natural escapes in each neighbourhood.
From Crouch End's literary vibes to Islington's bustling energy, North London is a world of its own. So, gear up, hop on your Hummingbird, and join us on a two-wheeled journey through North London's trendiest neighbourhoods. Discover hidden gems, savour local flavours, and immerse yourself in the captivating tapestry of this unique part of the city. Pedal through North London's streets, one neighbourhood at a time.
Islington, in North London, exudes an air of sophistication with its Georgian architecture and boutique shopping. Explore its charming streets, theatres, and eateries for a taste of refined London.
Enhance your Islington itinerary with our top-pick locales:
Explore local markets and indulge in theatre
Islington Farmers Market
Islington's longest-running farmers' market on Chapel Market offers a variety of fresh produce. You'll find favourites like Perry Court Farm's fruits and vegetables, Nigels' Lettuce and Lovage salads, Chegworth Valley' apple juice and fruits, seasonal flowers from Grange Nursery, fresh pasta, dairy products, baked goods, organic and free-range meats, poultry, eggs, seasonal fish, and more.
The Almeida, a small 325-seat theatre, won the London Theatre Year Award 2018 at The Stage Awards. It showcases a mix of classic and contemporary plays, some of which transfer to the West End. Previous productions include Tennessee Williams' "Summer and Smoke," "The Twilight Zone," and "Ink." Tickets range from £10.00 to about £50.00, offering good value for a small theatre.
Feast at one of the many restaurants
Highbury's renowned Italian restaurant effortlessly combines delectable food, excellent service, and affordable prices. Trullo is celebrated for its exceptional pasta, like the pappardelle with slow-cooked beef-shin ragù, as well as dishes from the charcoal grill. The menu also features delicious fruit tarts. An extensive all-Italian wine list complements the restaurant's quality.
Named after a song by The Strokes, 12:51 offers a flawless dining experience with a fusion of new-British cuisine and Scottish/Caribbean influences. Chef James Cochran's creations are intricate yet balanced. You can choose from five or eight-course tasting menus, and the £28 Sunday lunch is a decadent affair.
Sip on classic cocktails or natural wines
69 Colebrook Row
Known as 'The bar with no name,' 69 Colebrook Row is a hidden gem in Islington. The bar exudes chic vibes, boasts a small but stylish space, and serves outstanding cocktails that stand out from the rest.
Humble Grape offers a refreshing, unpretentious approach to wine. The menu features informative and humorous descriptions, making it easy to navigate. The atmosphere is relaxed, and the staff is friendly and knowledgeable, ensuring you find the perfect wine without any hint of condescension. Don't miss 'Tasting Tuesdays,' where you can enjoy four mini glasses of wine for £16.25, with a different theme each week.
Camden, a world-renowned neighbourhood in North London, is synonymous with alternative culture. Its markets, live music venues, and canalside walks offer a unique blend of eccentricity and charm.
Experience the charm of Camden with these suggested hot spots:
Explore the most iconic market in the world?
Camden Market is a vibrant microcosm of London's charm, offering quirky clothing and cool accessories that stand out from typical high street fashion. Comprising various markets, including Camden Lock Village, Inverness Street Market, The Stables Market, and Buck Street Village, they each offer something unique but are conveniently close to each other. Exploring these markets for hidden treasures can easily occupy an entire day. Don't miss the boutiques at the market, especially "Everything 5 Pounds" for affordable style and Time Tunnel Vintage for retro fashion.
Discover intricate street art
Camden's artistic flair extends to its streets, adorned with captivating street art. Join one of the guided tours or use our Camden Street Art Guide to seek out the best pieces. Camden North hosts several striking works, including pieces by renowned street artists. Some artists remain anonymous, while others go by nicknames like Bambi. For example, the artist behind Amy Winehouse's portrait on Camden Road is known only as a female artist.
Get that caffeine buzz
The Fields Beneath Vegan Cafe
If you're searching for a top vegan cafe in Camden, The Fields Beneath is your go-to. It offers both great food and coffee made from scratch, emphasising eco-friendly produce. Their coffee selection rotates, so you can savour different beans with each cup. If you're not in the mood for coffee, they also offer a selection of natural wines that complement their vegan offerings.
The Coffee Jar
For a relaxed cafe experience, The Coffee Jar is a must-visit. With friendly staff and rustic decor, it exudes a cosy ambiance. Their excellent coffee is sourced from the local Monmouth Roastery. Whether you're a coffee enthusiast or just looking for a pleasant place to catch up with friends or go on a date, their brews won't disappoint. Don't forget to explore the tempting pastry selection at the counter – it's a treat for the eyes and the taste buds.
Crouch End, nestled in North London, is a leafy oasis with a village-like feel. This neighbourhood has firmly been on the rise in the last couple of years, now awash with independent shops, green parks, and plenty of independent cocktail bars and restaurants to keep you occupied.
Discover the culinary delights and hidden gems of Crouch End:
Tuck into mouth-watering food
Les 2 Garcons
Enjoy authentic French cuisine at Les 2 Garcons in Crouch End. Head Chefs Robert Reid and Jean-Christophe Sowik, with experience from top kitchens, craft elegant dishes highlighting scallops, snails, hake, duck, and mushrooms. Their wine list is exceptional.
Lyon's is Crouch End's renowned seafood restaurant. Housed in a former butcher's shop, it features a bright interior with original green and white tiles. Try the soft-shell crabs and oysters, with options like caviar or dill mayo. Non-seafood options include duck breast with cherries and crispy shallots.
Experimental cocktails with tasty eats to suit
Little Mercies is a top-notch cocktail bar in Crouch End by the creators of renowned London bars i.e. the previously featured Three Sheets. Expect quality experimental cocktails like the passionfruit negroni and pink lotus martini. Little Mercies also doubles up as one of our favourite restaurants in the area. Don't be fooled into thinking their talents end at some of the most delicious cocktails in London. No. The food is equally as impressive.
Shop in the many independent high-street stores
This men's boutique on Crouch Hill offers well-crafted clothes, accessories, shoes, and grooming products. They emphasise niche designers and independent labels, with much of the stock made in the UK. Run by former DJ and music producer Murray Clark.
Cassius & Coco
Cassius & Coco: Discover woven baskets, ceramic platters, and paper lampshades from around the world. Unique finds and brands. Like the Slowdown Studio rug – a rabbit hole of discovery. If you have a passion for one-of-a-kind treasures, this is your playground. Cassius & Coco takes you on a global journey of eclectic patterns and textures, offering a shopping experience that's anything but ordinary.