Where To Be A Hipster In London

Will Noble
By Will Noble Last edited 17 months ago
Where To Be A Hipster In London

Can we just say this off the bat: we like hipsters. Hipsters are integral to London. Some of our best friends are hipsters. We've occasionally been told we're hipsters (we're not). We've been to most of these places and would recommend them. If you're already a hipster you'll already know about a lot of these. Which is why we've also dished up ahead of the curve alternatives.

Hipster games

Golf a la hipster. Photo: Matt Brown

At the time of writing, it's hip to play Buckaroo while sipping an earl grey. That may not be the case by the time we've finished writing this paragraph, but hey ho. While it's in vogue, head to The Library Pot in Richmond (yes, Richmond can be hip too) or Draughts in Hackney, where games include Bushwhackin' Varmints and Lords of Waterdeep: Scoundrals of Skullport.

Crazy golf has found a lot of love among the hipster community; navigate your balls through old washing machines at Junkyard Golf, or go putting on a Peckham rooftop car park.

There's a bar downstairs with Knightrider on loop

Arcade bars PimpShuei, Meltdown London and The Four Quarters serve up a headily hip cocktail of craft beer and Street Fighter II. The latter's Peckham branch has a speakeasy which serves 'Father Ted' cocktails, and has been known to play Knight Rider on loop (inspiring you to drink a few Father Teds). Or you can always go axe-hurling in Whitechapel. We think that's still hip.

Be ahead of the game: Do Moby Dick crazy golf in Chadwell Heath or Jurassic Encounter Adventure Golf in New Malden instead. Another hunch of ours: homing pigeons are going to be a thing. Just you wait.

Hipster eats

Cereal Killer Cafe: they've outlived many other faddy pop-ups

That's right, we said eats. And let's begin with breakfast eats. While pop-ups vanish as quickly as Coco Pops turn the milk chocolatey, Cereal Killer Cafe is still going strong. Be as snooty as you like; they're obviously doing something right (the combination of uber rare Japanese cereal and old He-Man videos, at a guess).

According to our food and drink writers, the smell of smoked meat from Berber & Q draws in hipsters from far and wide — along with a 'we sometimes do/sometimes don't take reservations' policy. Oh, and this hip cauliflower dish:

Sweet-toothed hipsters will be found indulging in a Crosstown Doughnut or fighting a losing battle with a vegan freakshake at The Canvas (which also has a adult ball pit, for added hipster kudos).

Be ahead of the game: at some point, someone's going to figure out you can essentially have bottomless brunch at Wetherspoons for £20 a head. At which point the hipsters will be queuing out of the doors everywhere from the Putney Rocket to the Barking Dog.

Hipster drinks

Breaking Bad inspired drinks at ABQ

By their very nature, lots of cocktail joints are somewhat hipster. A real hipster bevvy, then, must be especially niche. Negroni in a car park? Hmm. Old fashioned in a 1930s detective agency? Pah. Go to Black Rock, where you drink whisky from a 185 year-old-oak table.

ABQ, meanwhile is a Breaking Bad-themed bar, where you spend two hours in the back of an RV, 'cooking up' cocktails.

Good hipsters drink at Redemption

If you're not in the mood for booze, it's got to be a beet-o-tini mocktail at Redemption, or a coffee in any push bike-related cafe that's going.

Be ahead of the game: put down that cocktail and get ye to a micropub in Sidcup. The beer is cheap, fresh, and if you take a phone call, your iPhone might end up nailed to the wall.

Hipster boxes

Photo: Mark Pearson

As much as hipsters loathe to be put in boxes, they spend a lot of their time in actual boxes. Shoreditch's Boxpark is probably a bit passe for today's hipster, and they're more likely to be found scoffing frozen yoghurt in a box in Croydon's Boxpark, while getting their ears around some grime. Otherwise, it's Ghanaian food, Basque brunches and weaving workshops at Pop Brixton.

Be ahead of the game: the hippest set of stacked boxes right now is The Artworks Elephant, hidden away behind Elephant and Castle station. This mini community is home to tattooists, jerk chicken and jiu jitsu classes.

Hipster makeovers

Frock Me! at Chelsea Town Hall

A tricky one, this. For every hipster that shops in Hub or Albam there's one that gets kitted out at the Frock Me! Vintage Fashion Fair, and another who gets their togs from the charity shops along Streatham High Road. Unlike a Breaking Bad cocktail, it's not an exact science, OK.

To us, all tattoo parlours look hip (told you we aren't hipsters), so yeah... go to one of those. As for haircuts: men can get a 'Lumberjack', 'Arctic Explorer' or 'Captain Valet Deluxe' at branches of The Valet. Hipster girls may want to look into membership at Chez Stephan, a hairstylist that doubles up as a wine club. Oh la la.

Be ahead of the game: Wimbledon car boot sale? We don't know. Leave us alone.

Hipster clubs

The Double R Club at Bethnal Green Working Mens Club. Photo: gh0stdot

After a hard day hipstering (?), you just want to sit back and relax among a dead zoo of taxidermy. You can do so at King's Head Members Club... provided you're get the go-ahead from the committee. There's more taxidermy, plus life drawing, absinthe tasting and life drawing at The Last Tuesday Society.

Bethnal Green Working Mens' Club is a front for some of the hippest happenings in London, including the monthly Double R Club, where Twin Peaks fans eat cherry pie and watch nightmarish burlesque. Oh yes, and the building's got a Banksy on the side.

One sip of this stuff and you'll be a raving hipster. Photo: Magic Pea

South of the river, the Bussey Building has fast become a hipster stalwart, thanks to rare groove funk and soul nights, gallons of Red Stripe, and more art students than you can shake a £20,000 loan at.

Be ahead of the game: isn't it obvious? Hipsters are going to start frequenting actual working mens' clubs, like Penge & District Trade Union & Social Club. Whitbread Trophy Bitter will go up to £6 a pint, just you wait and see.

Last Updated 15 August 2017