Diddy's Is The Quintessential Hackney Bar

Diddy's ★★★★★

Diddy's Is The Quintessential Hackney Bar Diddy's 5

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Photo: Edmund Dabney

There has never been a bar more Hackney than Diddy's... and we mean that as a compliment.

Diddy's is dressed in pastel colours and large verdant plants. The people in there on a Wednesday night are young (us included), wearing trendy clothes (ok, maybe not us), with the haircuts to match (definitely not us). An adorable black staffy calmly wanders around like he owns the joint, a job he's got the right levels of friendliness for. This is peak Hackney in 2019. And there's nothing wrong with that.

Onto the drinks. These cocktails don't hide the fact that they're boozy. You won't mistake whatever liquid fills the stylish glass in your hand as a fruit juice. These drinks are alcoholic and they're not ashamed of it. Take the mezcal sour. Delightfully draped on top is the egg white foam, beneath which lies a classy world of spirit, syrup and lemon juice. It's simple and all the better for it.

Photo: Edmund Dabney

There's a small bar-food menu on offer in the evening: olives, nuts, a most excellent burrata (ideal for sharing) and, best of all, customisable cheese toasties. We got kimchee in ours, to add a kick comparable to that in our drink. The serving's generous, but we were compelled to leave our plate spotless. Missing out on some of that crispy cheese wasn't a risk we were willing to take.

There is one regard in which Diddy's bucks the trends, or at the least the perceived trends, of Hackney. The prices. The place strives to stay affordable — no cocktails are more than £9, and a small glass of wine comes in a steal at £3.50. Plenty of bars around London that will charge you twice as much for drinks half as good. But you don't need to think about them, now you know about Diddy's.

Diddy's, 69 Mare Street, E8 4RG

Last Updated 13 September 2019