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.
More spots in Bethnal GreenSee more
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’.
The Royal Oak
The Royal Oak is a gastropub on Columbia Road, great for avoiding the market crowds, drinking craft beers, and tucking into a roast.
The Laughing Heart
Looking for a late night hang close to Bethnal Green and Hackney? Trendy wine bar The Laughing Heart on Hackney Road has you covered.
More Italian spotsSee more
Saporitalia is a neighbourhood Italian spot that doesn’t look like much, but is actually excellent. Go for the pizza and veal chop.
The River Café
The River Café is a long standing classic London restaurant that literally wrote the book on tasteful, authentic Italian food.
Lina Stores is a solid pasta bar in Soho that’s perfect for a quick lunch, or a pre/post theatre bite.
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.
Tuyo is a Spanish-Mediterranean restaurant on Broadway Market, that’s excellent for a few plates of tapas and a spot of people-watching.
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