The Ultimate Guide To London’s Coolest ‘Hood

If you think that Walthamstow is just the birthplace of cult ‘90s boy band E17, you would be wrong. Affectionately referred to as “Awesomestow” by its residents, this borough has stealthily acquired a kick-ass array of dinky restaurants, pubs, and vintage fairs to get seriously excited about. So, join us at the end of the Victoria Line at this once-overlooked corner of East London. And prepare to join the cult.
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Slide1Café Bonito
We drop into this café for one reason and one reason only. The Spanish hot chocolate. Thick, dark, and luxurious, we can’t think of anything better to restore our flagging energy levels that a cup of the sweet stuff. Oh, and did we mention they sell churros too? Yum. Their menu changes daily, but that’s fine with us. An absolute Stow treat.
Café Bonito, 162 Wood Street, London, E17 3HX.

Blackduke & Cashman
Want to trick out your flat with some decor that is a little out of the usual? Look no further than Blackduke & Cashman. This boutique specialises in mid-century modern British and Scandinavian pieces for your living space. And for those of you less than local, you can buy a whole range of light fittings, desks, and cool storage solutions from their online store.
Blackduke & Cashman, 83 Grove Road, London E17 9BU. Open Friday to Sunday with viewings available by appointment other weekdays.

Wood Street Indoor Market
Vintage shopping is a little like a never-ending treasure hunt and in this indoor market, you’ll need to get stuck in and embrace the chaos. Here you’ll find antiques, collectibles, vinyl, accessories…and everything else inbtween. Make a note to check out Gigi’s Dressing Room for vintage clothing treats, Forsaken Dreams for art deco era furniture, Hypstz for retro vinyl, and the Wood St Soap Company handmade bath products.
Wood Street Market, 100 Wood Street, Walthamstow, London, E17 3HX.

Walthamstow Marshes
Get in touch with nature and explore the marshes of Walthamstow by bike or by foot. Covering approximately 90 acres, it’s one of the last examples of semi-natural wetland in London. Walking along the marshes can be surreal and beautiful, but we love it all.
Walthamstow Marshes, Lea Bridge Road, Leyton, E10 7QL.

Arts & Crusts Café
Sweet local café is a secret hideaway spot for E17 locals filled with fine coffee and artisanal breads (ready to buy at the weekends). The eatery also exhibits local art and upcycled homewares—everything from pop art doodles to industrial cakestands. Drop by for breakfast, light lunch, or a bit of culture.
Arts & Crusts Café, 19 Victoria Road, Walthamstow, E17 4JT.

The Salon
The Salon was founded by Paul Miller, whose client list runs as long as your arm wtih A-list celebs (Kate Moss, Twiggy, Christina Aguilera, and Joanna Lumley) after working in the film and fashion industry for over 25 years. We recommend looking no further next time you need your barnet taken care of. Decent prices, a range of Philip Kingsley products, and a relaxed, comfortable atmosphere make this a local salon with a lot of class. Look out for a glimpse of the salon dog!
The Salon, 74 Beulah Road, Walthamstow, E17 9LE (Closed on Sundays).
slide2-1 Eat 17
This restaurant is the jewel in the crown of E17. Known for its infamous bacon jam (seriously, it has its own Twitter account: @E17BaconJam), this Walthamstow Village staple is an absolute dream. We guarantee the Eat17 bacon jam cheeseburger will change your life and its brunch menu is pretty unreal too. Smoked chorizo beans on toast with poached egg and shaved parmesan anyone? You may have to roll us home.
Eat 17, 28-30 Orford Rd, London E17 9NJ.

L. Manze’s
The best pie and mash in London. There, we’ve said it. The Manze family emigrated to London in 1878 from Italy and founded 14 pie and mash shops across the city. This high street spot was rebuilt in 1929 and still stands today. A green and gold house of tradition amongst the off-licenses of the High Street, L Manze’s is a perfect place for a spot of comfort food on a gloomy day.
L'Manze's, 76 High Street, Walthamstow, London E17 7LD.

The Hornbeam
This cute café invites its patrons to volunteer in providing food and services for the establishment. Now that’s an ethos we can get behind. The café serves solely vegetarian meals created by locally sourced, organic produce. There are even organic cocktails! Our fave being the Vegan Vampire which is made with gin, apple juice, and shaken with freshly squeeze beetroot, and a dash of lemon. We could do with a glass right about now.…
The Hornbeam, 458 Hoe St, Walthamstow E17 9AH.

Village Kitchen
Village Kitchen is the place to come for a proper Sunday roast. There is an abundance of choice, (lamb, beef, salmon, chicken, pork belly, and veggie) plus the portions are generous. We mean it too, think giant Yorkshire puddings, which will make last night’s hangover a distant memory. If you’re looking to shake things up a bit, they also offer kangaroo steak! We recommend you book your table ASAP.
Village Kitchen, 41 Orford Rd, Walthamstow E17 9NJ.

The Nags Head
Fancy a pint? We think The Nags Head fits the bill for our new favourite local. Perfectly spacious with indoor and outdoor seating (plus, a heated garden for the winter months). It serves traditional pub grub, brilliant jazz nights and quirky cat décor. What more could you ask for?
The Nag's Head, 9 Orford Rd, Walthamstow Village E17 9LP.

William Morris Gallery
Britain’s only gallery dedicated to the arts and crafts movement, the WMG is a must-see for Stow residents. Modest, simple and lovely, the rooms of the artist’s former Georgian home are filled with stained glass, lavish embroidery, ceramics and metal works. You’ll be far from the stuffiness and crowds of larger galleries. We recommend you diarise a trip in October for Giles Deacon’s upcoming exhibition there.
William Morris Gallery, Lloyd Park, Forest Rd E17 4PP.