A growing food scene in the far east of London has thrown up some unusual and tasty new ventures
When the likes of Old Street and Hoxton started smartening up a few years ago, few would have thought Bethnal Green, Hackney, London Fields, Walthamstow and Stratford would all have experienced gentrification to some degree. Inevitably, Leyton and Leytonstone have become swept up in this.
Which is good news for greedy people as usually at the vanguard of such a phenomenon are foodie people setting up businesses. Now Leyton and Leytonstone has become a mini-mecca for eateries, much to the delight of the locals.
Among them is Mora, an understated Sardinian joint serving authentic dishes not usually served by the humdrum menus of mainstream Italians. Melanzane, burrata Pugliese and octopus salad adorn a left of centre menu and the joint has been described as “sensational” by the Evening Standard.
Another newcomer is Little Saigon, a welcome addition to the area serving zingy, fresh Vietnamese food in a bright, modern laidback space avoiding any far eastern clichés.
Oven East serves up Turkish cuisine and sticks to the classics, lamacun, kebab, meze, but also has a special pizza menu. Something for everyone.
You can try the Yard Arm for something a little different too – a cool little deli run by a young couple who have set up a little bar/hangout at the back.
Wine merchant Wine To Go has been thinking a bit leftfield too, bringing to Leyton the Italian tradition of Vino Sfuso, giving people the chance to fill up bottles of takeaway wine.
Leyton Technical is a grand boozer in the old Leyton town hall that is beautifully kitted out and does a-cut-above pub grub. The same group own the Red Lion too, and obviously know their beer. Genuinely cool pubs .
Marmelo is a quirky little restaurant run as a passion project by a woman who specializes in preserves and whips up brekkies and lunches and occasional roasts. It has limited opening but has a loyal following. Check it out!
And if this is all getting too much, we haven’t mentioned classy boozer the Leyton Star, with burgers by We Serve Humans, much-loved old school Turkish joint Anatolia, the bonkers Northcote Arms, authentic Portuguese restaurant Oceano – featuring live Fado singers – and Deenys café, newly opened by the haggis toastie street food veterans.
And this is only the start. Maybe the big chains will pitch up when the area is proper buzzing. Isn’t it time you checked out the Leytons, before it’s too late?