120–122 Morning Lane, Hackney, London E9 6LH
A cute little café/restaurant and bar with an epic view of trains sweeping into Hackney Central. Square Mile coffee is served in pretty pottery cups created by the owner’s mum, and the decor is minimal, scruffy and cool. The menu is international – with dishes such as labneh with roast delica pumpkin, and Vietnamese sandwich with slow-cooked spiced pork and pickled vegetables – and overall the food is very high quality and reasonably priced. A range of beers takes in James Boag’s, from Tasmania, and The Kernel Pale Ale, from, er, south of the river. There’s a small bookshop selling literary fiction and cooking titles, plus they run an open mic night and smallscale arts events.