Area Guides, City Life, Moving

Eastern Promise: Lyvly's Guide to Dalston

July 8, 2019 - Read time 5 mins

Dalston: East is best

If you haven’t heard of it, you’re missing out. Situated in North East London in the borough of Hackney, Dalston is a lively, up and coming neighbourhood with all kinds of fun to be had. It’s made up of a mixture of 18th and 19th century terraced houses and modern council estates, all merging to make a wonderfully diverse population. The 2011 census showed that 14,727 people lived in Dalston, and the average age is around 30.


What's the story? 

It’s thought that the name comes from Deorlaf’s tun, which means Deorlaf's farm. He was a local landowner. 


It started as one of four small villages within Hackney, and was even home to a leper hospital during the 1200s! Over time it developed from an agricultural hub to a more urban area, taking the shape of a suburban village by the mid-1800s. 


The 20th century saw an entertainment boom here and five cinemas popped up within less than half a mile. One is still going strong. The independent Rio cinema is a Dalston institution and well-known for its regular film festivals. 


Getting around

Dalston’s connected to the rest of London by the Overground network, and there’s three stations; Dalston Junction, Dalston Kingsland and Haggerston.


All of these are in Zone 2, but you can connect to Zone 1 underground services at Hackney Central, Highbury or Islington.


You can check how long it’ll take to get to your office with our handy travel times below. The Overground runs every 8 minutes, so you needn’t worry about missing your train.

What’s it going to cost me?

Dalston’s a popular area to live in, and the rental prices reflect this, costing on 8% more than the rest of London. A 1-bed flat would set you back around £1500 per month, while a 2-bed could have you looking at £2000, and a 3-bed can be £2800 upwards per month.



What is there to do in Dalston?

There’s a bunch of cool stuff to see and do in Dalston, ranging from St Mark’s Church if you’re interested in Victorian architecture and religion, to the German Hospital that was originally designed purely for Dalston’s German-speaking community, for the history fans.


There’s also the Rio Cinema, a Grade II listed Art Deco cinema with a 100-year history. Or, if you’re really looking to catch the Dalston vibe, the Dalston Music Festival, which has been going since 2015. It happens every July and really involves the whole Hackney community, with acts playing in venues all over the area the borough.


There’re also a few cool spots to check out nearby, including a Clown museum and gallery, and Ridley Road Market, which has been around since the 1880s and is a source of amazing fruit and veg, with the produce on offer reflecting the diverse community.


With so much to do here, it’s a good thing that Lyvly is on hand to take care of all of your bills and monthly expenses. We handle your council tax, energy bills and that all-important internet. You’ll spend less time on life admin and more meeting the like-minded people living in your new community.


Local institution Rio cinema


For a rundown of everything you need to know about moving to London, check out our guide.


Check out our Dalston rooms 

Lyvly's insider guide 

We asked Lyvly alumni Stef, one of our founding members in the area, to give us some tips on how locals do it in Dalston.


Where insiders eat

Brunswick East serves a cracking Aussie dish if you’re looking for something a little different, or Cafe Route for a great Mediterranean brunch. The Dusty Knuckle Bakery, is a place you're gonna want to get to early to avoid disappointment. It gives you time to try everything as well, which is exactly how I like to do it. 


The Dusty Knuckle bakery


Where insiders go to unwind on the weekend

I’d hit Jones & Sons for a Sunday roast. The chicken for two is delightful, hit them up for extra gravy, because there's nothing worse than a and they stayed open late just for us once, so they’re super accommodating.


For some peace and tranquility, and a bit of an escape from the urban sprawl, I love The Dalston Eastern Curve Garden.  It's an amazing project, run by local volunteers and such a serene little corner of Hackney. Try the pizza, go to yoga events and always go for the live music!


Dalston Eastern Curve Garden


Where insiders work out

Sadhana Wellbeing for Yoga lovers, or Moreno Boxing for some serious boxing technique lessons. Otherwise, Blok in Shoreditch is a good all-rounder. 


Where insiders cut loose

The Dalston Superstore is an awesome LTGBQ+ bar and totally fab every time. Pamela’s always has a vibe, and Ruby’s is well worth a visit. It’s beneath an iconic cinema sign and even has midweek jazz.

There’s also the LNCC for luxury shopping if you want to cut loose with your bank balance or the Karaoke Hole for drag karaoke - never fails to be a laugh.



Dalston is a really exciting and diverse part of north east London. There's always a new venue to check out, a band playing that you can discover before your mates and really interesting chefs and restaurants moving into the area. Our Dalston community is really vibrant, with more than 20 members in the same building. 


To see if you want to join them, click here to check out our gorgeous properties on offer.


If Dalston doesn't feel like your kind of town, there's plenty of other options. Have a look at our guide on where to live in London.

What’s your true cost of living?

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