If bars could be branded, No. 90 would be stamped with “Made in Hackney”. Confronting the bank of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, the former squat is a formidable component of the concrete jungle that is Hackney Wick. An antler-clad bar faces wood-panelled walls, multi-level seating areas and handmade tables. The team have had their work cut out, but the effect is that of an achingly cool Brooklyn warehouse.
Proving that this year’s Americana trend has reached the edges of our fine city, the menu successfully flies the stars and stripes flag, and anywhere that calls its cow Bad Ass Steak has our vote. Our favourite, however, is the truffled mac and cheese, topped with herb pangrattato – potentially the best we’ve had this year. It would be great shared between two and washed down with a couple of Pacificos. You won’t go thirsty here either, as the bar stocks some of our favourite beers – hello, Modelo – and the four house cocktails are served generously in sawn-off jars. Cigar-infused aged rum makes Welcome to Cuba the runner-up, but we could drink the gingerbread syrup-spiked Juleps all night long.
Aside from the amount of facial hair on show, this bar is refreshingly free of east London pretension and has such a chilled vibe that we reckon it’s one for the long haul.
Best Bars tip: Mid-week sees the Wednesday Night Sessions offering drink promos and live music. Also, nab yourself a bench on the canal-side terrace – No. 90 is more than vast enough to move in after sundown.
— Millie Milliken, @milliemilliken