You might have known this spot previously as The Plough, but also maybe not, since it’s literally in the middle of nowhere East London. It’s a cool outdoor cafe and bar with a big terrace overlooking the River Lea, near Hackney Wick, and the obscure waterside location feels miles away from everything. Sure, you can see the Olympic Stadium behind the trees and sure, the river used to glow a weird radioactive green at night, but they’ve cleaned it up to the point that it’s actually a nice place to hang out with a few drinks with mates on a sunny afternoon. There are burgers and tacos if you get hungry, craft beers, and an air hockey table because you’re human and you like ripping into your mates. Be sure to check that there aren’t any football matches on the day if you don’t fancy being caught in a crowd of West Ham fans.
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The Chesham Arms
The Chesham Arms in Hackney has one of the best beer gardens in London, and they let you bring your Yard Sale pizzas in to eat.
P Franco is a Clapton wine shop that hosts guest chefs who serve stunning small plates to neighbourhood regulars. You want to be a regular.
Lanark Coffee is a tiny café on Hackney Road where you’ll want to become regular for the food as well as the atmosphere.
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Giant Robot is a street food/bar venue in Canary Wharf, from the same people behind Dinerama. It’s great for post-work drinks and something to eat.
Jackson & Rye
Jackson and Rye is easy, crowd-pleasing American food in Soho. It has your back when you forgot to make a booking for this weekend's group dinner.
Dirty Bones Carnaby
Dirty Bones is a New York influenced restaurant serving mostly mediocre American dishes, but the lamb topped fries are its saving grace.
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