90 Amhurst Road, Hackney, London E8 1JH
Located on an unglamorous corner near Hackney Downs Station, the Pembury Tavern is a true locals’ pub and is for the most part free of the hordes of Hackney hipsters you find elsewhere. One draw is the real ale – they have several ales on tap from the Milton Brewery in East Anglia, including the popular Pegasus, and they host three beer festivals per year. The list of Scotch and Irish whiskies is impressive too, and there are more old-fashioned charms in the form of bar billiards, a pool table and wooden bench seating. There's a nod to 21st century Hackney in the authentic pizzas and surprisingly sophisticated Italian food that's also available.