There was once a time when wine bars were the preserve of unimaginative tax accountants named Elliot, or your parents. They’re actually pretty cool these days, and Sager + Wilde is one of the best. Their second restaurant a few minutes from Bethnal Green station is housed in an old railway arch, and as well as an cosy ambience courtesy of flickering candles, there’s also a sneaky mezzanine upstairs and a terrace for the warmer months. The food’s good, with Mediterranean dishes that go great with wine - the mussels are excellent, and there’s a satisfying pasta with crab and chilli that has a proper kick. Head there for a relaxed session with friends, or for a date where intimacy is a good thing.
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Bistrotheque is a neighbourhood bistro set in an old warehouse, with art projected on the walls and an ambience best described as ‘trendy as fuck’.
E. Pellicci is an old-school classic in Bethnal Green. It’s warm and welcoming, and if you don’t get a Full English breakfast, you did it wrong.
The Camel is a great local pub that really comes into its own in the winter. That’s because they have a ridiculously long pie list.
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Lina Stores King’s Cross
A pastel-coloured retro deli, Lina Stores in King’s Cross serves great handmade pasta to eat-in - or to-go from their deli counter.
Emilia is part grown-up restaurant, part wine bar, and serves a whole lot of excellent pasta.
Macellaio RC Union Street
Macellaio serves incredible Italian-style steaks from Piedmont, and nice pastas, too. It’s definitely worth it for a splurge.
Suggested by our writers
Morito Hackney Road
The Spanish small plates, the wine and the mood lighting makes you want to be cool enough to hang out at Morito, Hackney Road, all the time.
Lorne is a modern British restaurant that’s the single best reason for visiting in Victoria. The wines are great, and the smoked eel dish is great.
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