The Dolphin is like that old codger at the end of the bar. Step in any East End dive and you’ll find him there – he is the life and soul of the place (albeit a slightly bedraggled one). Like him, the Mare Street pub has become the stuff of legend.
Battered furniture is offset by tiled wall murals, and the central bar still has that old-worldly edge. The outside seated area has its own bar and the adjoining cafe opens up on Fridays and Saturdays to accommodate the hordes of revellers that descend upon it.
East London hipsters are a given, but those fond of a tipple – or twelve – come in by the bus-load after 3pm. Music-lovers are also in luck, as it often holds free events showcasing upcoming talent – from acoustic guitarists to spinning DJs.
Best Bars tip: Get there between 11pm and midnight if you don’t want to queue for too long. Oh, and be prepared to sweat – those hipsters may be skinny but they don’t half ram them in.
— Millie Milliken, @milliemilliken