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Written by Mae Bristow - 20 October 2023

Our selection of the best Hackney Wick bars

Hackney Wick, the area of East London dominated by old factories and warehouses now covered in graffiti and converted into industrial flats, brewery taprooms, canal-side bars, and cafes.

It’s all too easy to make your way out of Victoria Park along the canal and into Hackney Wick. It’s brilliant on a sunny day when you can sit outside on a deck or the roof of a canal boat, and when the sun goes down it’s a great place to dance and drink.

There have been quite a lot of new-build flats going up in the area, but the heart of Hackney Wick just about retains that old-world feeling – it’s just adapted to the 21st century to create a blend of both worlds.

We’ve got breweries, canal boat bars, and a bar-cum-record shop for you, all on the list of our favourite Hackney Wick bars.

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people at all my friends in hackney wick london
cocktails at all my friends in hackney wick london

1. The bar with the best hi-fi sound system: All My Friends

Hackney Wick, London

All My Friends is all about music, plain and simple. DJs spin their collections on a custom hi-fi system delivering more intimate living room-style sessions rather than that club feel we’re used to at The Cause (the same great team is behind All My Friends).

The ground floor is home to a record shop, stocking everything new and used from electronic to rare disco finds. Between the record shop, bar, and DJ sets, All My Friends manages to be that rare place that’s both chill during the day, and great for spending the night in.

We’ve enjoyed everything from a couple of afternoon pints to a heavy night soundtracked by great tunes. It’s a top pick and worth the trip to Hackney Wick if you don’t live there.

deck seating at two more years in hackney wick london
exterior of two more years in hackney wick london

2. The Hackney Wick bar for a cocktail and a boogie: Two More Years

Hackney Wick, London

Located on the River Lea, and with a gorgeous tree-lined deck for a beer garden, we’d be remiss not to add Two More Years to our list. We don’t know what we like more: dancing late into the night at the weekend or sipping cocktails river-side.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Two More Years occupies a vast industrial warehouse, it makes the most of the space by being a top-class bar and music venue. It also means there’s plenty of room for all that dancing.

There are DJ sets every weekend and the DJs have a penchant for all things electronic, House, and Disco, and we’re big fans of this. It’s our pick for an early-evening and late-night place. In the early evening, go outside, sit at a candle-lit table on the deck, and late at night, go inside and dance underneath the disco ball.

interior of beer merchants tap in hackney wick london
beer garden at beer merchants tap in hackney wick london

3. Beer, cheeseboards, and charcuterie: Beer Merchants Tap

Hackney Wick, London

Beer Merchants Tap is one of several craft beer joints in Hackney Wick. With 20 keg taps, 2 cask pumps, and a motherlode of 500+ bottles and cans from top breweries, it's a beer lover's paradise.

Set in an old brick warehouse, the inside is actually a little more polished than industrial. Outside, there’s a spacious beer garden set with long tables and benches that’s quite the sun trap in the afternoon.

To complement all your beer, the Beer Merchants Tap offers cheese boards with cheeses from La Fromagerie, charcuterie boards with meats from Crown & Queue, a cold counter selection from Happy Belly and Brays Cottage as well as regular food pop-ups. All this goodness under one roof, it’s almost like they don’t want you to leave.

interior of old street brewery in hackney wick london
drinks at old street brewery in hackney wick london

4. Beer, beer, and more beer: Old Street Brewery & Taproom

Hackney Wick, London

Old Street Brewery & Taproom is brought to you by a band of drunken misfits – their words – looking to bring you American-style craft beer. Are we still in Hackney Wick, Toto? Yes, let’s unpack this a little.

The Hackney Wick bar is clearly nowhere near Old Street, it’s just around the corner from the Overground, but its founder Adam was living in Old Street when he started his business, hence the name.

Second, said Adam is originally from the US which is why his brewery and taproom showcases the best of American-style craft beer brewed in London. The brewery is home to beers with great names such as Vlad the IPALer and Herculade Sports Beer, as well as an ever-evolving mix of expertly crafted experimental beers.

exterior of the lord napier star in hackney wick london
beer garden at the lord napier star in hackney wick london

5. The only pub in Hackney Wick: The Lord Napier Star

Hackney Wick, London

Hackney Wick is full of bars and brewery taprooms in old warehouses, but the Lord Napier is an honest-to-goodness pub. Well, it is covered in graffiti and its interior is highly contemporary, but the building has always been a pub, and that’s what counts.

It has a ground-floor bar and the Blue Bar upstairs as well as a roof terrace with great views of all those converted warehouses and industrial new-builds. It’s located just around the corner from Hackney Wick Overground; fair warning: be wary of going during West Ham home games, as the pub is a favourite pre-match meet-up and can get a little packed.

interior of rule zero in hackney wick london
people at rule zero in hackney wick london

6. Fancy a board game with your drink? Head on over to Rule Zero

Hackney Wick, London

May we present to you the Hackney Wick bar for when the gang is feeling up for a good old friendly competition over drinks. Rule Zero has an impressive collection of board games and tabletop games that make for a rather wholesome night – minus the drinking, that’s probably not wholesome.

Rule Zero is a reminder that there are other things to do besides drink and dance, that it’s fun to find out just how competitive your pals are and reveal to them what a sore loser you are – we didn’t mean that, we’re sure you’re great at games.

Another industrial Hackney Wick setting, Rule Zero is super spacious and an ideal spot for brunch, lunch, or a cheeky afternoon pint and a game of cards. It may not be as wild as some of the other places but between games, live music events, and cocktails it holds its own in the Hackney Wick bar scene.

interior of howling hops brewery in hackney wick london
interior of howling hops brewery in hackney wick london

7. Yet another Hackney Wick brewery: Howling Hops Brewery and Tank Bar

Hackney Wick, London

It may be another brewery but it is the only tank bar in Hackney Wick. Located near the Overground in Queen’s Yard, Howling Hops has earned its way onto our list for bringing in new beers weekly and pouring beers straight from the tank.

Available by the pint, ⅓ pint, ½ pint, and ⅔ pint measures or in 4-pint pitchers, that’s a lot of beer straight from the tank. For those friends who aren’t into their beers, Howling Hops is still a certified Hackney Wick bar serving cider, wines, and spirits. We’d also like to give honourary mention to the Sri Lankan street food-inspired menu dreamt up by Kottu House.

interior of the milk float in hackney wick london
cocktail at the milk float in hackney wick london

8. The cosy canal boat with a rooftop: The Milk Float

Hackney Wick, London

Chances are you’ve walked past the Milk Float while walking along the canal. It’s hard to miss the folk sitting on the roof terrace having a beer or a cocktail – yes, even in winter, they’ve got heaters up on the roof.

Inside the boat’s cabin, tucked under its low ceiling, ​you’ll find small bar tables with candles and seats with hand-knitted blankets thrown over the backs – the kind of blankets your grandma used to knit. It’s the epitome of cosy, the cocktails are great, and the burgers are filthy good.

You can hire the deck, the cabin, or both for a party or special event and because it’s a canal boat, it’s the ideal size for events more on the intimate side with a capacity of 60 – engagement party or pal’s birthday party. We’ll never get tired of being somewhere when we get the whole place to ourselves.

interior of no90 bar in hackney wick london
people in no90 bar in hackney wick london

9. The bar for that wild night or private party on a canal boat: No90 Hackney Wick

Hackney Wick, London

It’s hard to miss No90 Hackney Wick, nothing about the place is nuanced. The bar is covered in murals, located canal-side, and is usually banging their tunes day and night. Step inside and it’s hard to miss their giant disco bar overhead, and it has to be big, that industrial space with its high ceilings is massive, great for parties and events.

Wanting something a little bit smaller? No90 has you covered – they have a 30 ft canal boat parked on the canal available for private hire with a capacity of 20 for private dining, 80 standing, and during summer, 60 up on the roof for dancing.

Beers, burgers, cocktails, it’s all good at No90, and we like that there’s plenty of room to dance and that people actually do. Go in the afternoon if you want something a little more relaxed, but if you’re looking for something a little more wild at night, this is your spot.

interior of the lock inn in hackney wick london
interior of the lock inn in hackney wick london

10. No lock-ins at The Lock Inn but still a great Hackney Wick bar

Hackney Wick, London

The Lock Inn along the Lee River Navigation is a no-fuss, no-bother kind of bar. The three brothers who opened the place also run the restaurant next door, they wanted to create a space for Hackney Wick locals and they’ve done just that.

The Lock Inn focuses on great drinks from wines to cocktails to tap takeovers, and quality bar burgers and pizzas – you always know it’s going to be good when the menu is small and simple as there’s no room for errors.

Located in a newer building, and not in the typical Hackney Wick warehouse, the Lock Inn is a breath of fresh air with its relaxing atmosphere and live music, and we love that they appreciate a good cocktail as much as a craft beer.

Check out the best bars in Hackney Wick

We've put together the best bars in Hackney Wick for you to find and book. From activity bars for a corporate day out to cosy pubs to swanky cocktail bars, Hackney Wick is full of amazing bars for you to explore. Take a look at all our bar venues in Hackney Wick. Alternatively, tell us exactly what you need and we'll make sure the very best Hackney Wick bar venues respond to your enquiry.

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Guide to hiring bars in Hackney Wick

Hackney Wick, located in the heart of East London, is a dynamic and culturally rich neighbourhood known for its creative energy, artistic spaces, and lively atmosphere. If you're planning an event, celebration, or simply a night out with friends in this vibrant area, hiring a bar can be an excellent choice. This guide will take you through the essential steps to find the perfect bar for your occasion in Hackney Wick, whether it's a birthday party, corporate event, or a casual gathering.

Define Your Event:

Before you embark on your journey to find a bar in Hackney Wick, it's crucial to clearly define the nature and purpose of your event. Are you organising a casual hangout, a milestone birthday party, a corporate gathering, or a special celebration? Knowing the type of event you're planning will guide your search for the ideal bar.

Online Platforms:

There are an endless amount of websites that will provide you with a rundown of the best bars in Hackney Wick. It can often feel overwhelming to search through these sites. That’s why at HeadBox we work with the best venues and will circulate your event details directly to them. You’ll hear back from trusted venues that have availability and cater to your event. If only it was always this easy.

Budget Planning:

Setting a budget for your event is a fundamental step. Hackney Wick offers a wide range of bars with varying price points, so understanding your budget will help you narrow down your options and make your planning process more efficient.

Location Matters:

Hackney Wick is a neighbourhood with distinct areas and vibes. Do you want a bar close to Hackney Wick Overground station, nestled by the canal, or situated in the heart of the creative hub? The location can impact the accessibility of your event for your guests.

Capacity and Space:

Consider the number of guests you expect to attend your event. Hackney Wick bars come in various sizes, so it's crucial to choose one that can comfortably accommodate your group. Pay attention to the availability of indoor and outdoor space.

Amenities and Services:

Determine the amenities and services you need for your event. Some bars in Hackney Wick offer private rooms, sound systems, outdoor terraces, and in-house catering. Be sure to inquire about specific services like cocktails, food options, and event planning assistance.

Ambience and Theme:

The ambience and theme of a bar can significantly enhance your event's atmosphere. Decide if you want a rustic, industrial setting, a sleek modern space, or a bohemian atmosphere. Hackney Wick boasts bars with diverse decor and styles, so choose one that aligns with your event's theme.

Alcohol Selection:

Bars in Hackney Wick offer a wide variety of drink options, including craft beers, signature cocktails, and fine wines. Ensure the bar you choose has a drink selection that suits your guests' preferences.

Entertainment Options:

If you plan to include entertainment in your event, check with the bar about the availability of live music, DJs, or other performance options. Some venues have in-house entertainment, while others offer flexibility for bringing in your own.

Licensing and Regulations:

It's crucial to understand the licensing and regulations associated with hiring a bar in Hackney Wick. Some bars may have specific rules about closing times, music volume, and other event-related factors.

Reservation and Booking:

Once you've found the perfect bar for your event in Hackney Wick, contact them as early as possible to secure your reservation. Popular bars can get booked quickly, particularly on weekends and during peak seasons.

Hiring a bar in Hackney Wick, London, offers you the opportunity to host a memorable event in one of the city's most vibrant and creative neighbourhoods. By following these steps and planning, you can ensure that your event is a resounding success. Hackney Wick's diverse range of bars and venues provides something for every occasion and taste, so start your search to find the perfect spot for your celebration or gathering in this artistic corner of the city.

Frequently asked questions

Bars in Hackney Wick can host a variety of events, including birthday parties, corporate gatherings, weddings, private celebrations, and more. The type of event you can host depends on the specific bar's facilities and policies.

It's advisable to book a bar in Hackney Wick as early as possible, especially if you have a specific date in mind. Popular venues can be booked several months in advance, so securing your reservation ahead of time is a good practice.

The cost of hiring a bar in Hackney Wick varies depending on factors such as the size of the venue, the day of the week, and the amenities and services offered. It's essential to establish a budget and discuss pricing with the bar to ensure it aligns with your financial plans.

Many bars offer entertainment options like DJs, live music, or the use of their sound systems. Some venues may allow you to bring in your own entertainment, so it's important to discuss your preferences with the bar's management.

Some bars in Hackney Wick offer outdoor spaces, such as terraces or garden areas, that can be utilised for events. If you are interested in an outdoor setting, inquire about the availability of these spaces and any weather-related contingency plans.

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