Whilst the rest of Hackney has hurtled towards gentrification, one stretch, which by rights should be super posh by now, remains pretty rough and ready, making it interesting and discoverable. Sandwiched between the Highbury end of Islington on one side and the start of Stoke Newington on the other, the bottom of Green Lanes takes you from Clissold Park to Newington Green and has some nice places between all the empty premises and boarded up windows.
There are some good local restaurants like Beyti, Adana and Canli Ballick which have been drawing people in for years but beyond that it’s the new places that catch the eye. A café called T&Shop, a clothes shop called Bee’s Sneeze with a beautiful old-fashioned wood panelled interior, the Green House work place, another café called Tangerina, and two good pubs in The Leconfield and The Monarch.
At the corner of Green Lanes and Petherton Road (with its superb, popular upmarket restaurant Primeur) is a great grocery called The Green Lanes Larder. It sells a lot of the same brands as nearby organic chain Health Foods but a lot cheaper and with a more interesting mix. Masses of fresh veg line the shelves, fresh bread is delivered daily, a library of real ales surrounds one entrance and there’s coffee and pretty much anything you might want which is good for you. The staff are really friendly, the shelves are never empty and they’re constantly trying new lines so you’ll be surprised by what’s in their fridge or in front of the counter. It must be one of London’s best corner shops.