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Dalston After Dark

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Where's good to go out in Dalston after a night on the Street Feast burger sauce? We asked the man who knows Dalston's dark places like the back of his club-stamped hand, Mark Wilding of Dalstonist.

Look, we wish you could spend the whole night at Street Feast too. The truth is, you can’t, because they can only stock so much booze and they want to go out as well. Luckily for you, Dalston isn't short of places to get a drink.

The Alibi is the original Dalston basement dive. It’s free entry every night and open ‘til the early hours. There are no listings, so you’re just going to have to take a risk and suck it up if you stumble into a Albanian klezmer night. Also, probably best not to ask for the wine list.

Obviously you’ve heard of Dalston Superstore. If this gay bar hadn’t opened five years ago, you probably wouldn’t even be in Dalston right now. And it still attracts one of the most diverse and debauched crowds in the area.

If you’re wondering why the bartender has a stupid hat and is moody as fuck, congratulations, you’ve found Birthdays. On the upside, they have good gigs and club nights, there is a decent soundsystem in the basement and you might bump into Harry Styles.

Ridley Road Market Bar, otherwise known as Wu’s, is possibly the best bar in Dalston and we’ll tell you why. Kitsch tropical decor, cheap beer, huge Ginger Mojitos for a fiver and a better chance of pulling than anywhere else. Get there before 10.30pm if you don’t want to queue.

Not everyone in Dalston is at art college and wants their drink served in a jam jar or watering can. If you’re after a touch of sophistication, head to Pelicans & Parrots, where you’ll find a beautifully decked out rum bar in the basement. Join the mailing list to find out when it’s open.

If you want want a proper nightclub, you need to go to The Nest or Dance Tunnel. Both are open until 4am at weekends and host line-ups featuring DJs you might actually have heard of.

Sometimes you just want to have a quiet pint in a cosy pub. But fuck that, this is the weekend and you’re in Dalston. The Three Compasses is the kind of pub that plays Queen and Dolly Parton back to back until 1am and doesn’t bat an eyelid when you order 20 Jagerbombs.

If you haven’t been to Efes before, prepare to wonder how this snooker club ended up becoming one of the most legendary venues in east London. Don’t worry about that. Just buy a Red Stripe then rock out to the chart R&B blasting from the TVs while you wait for a pool table.

Do you find yourself walking into bars and thinking: ‘This place could do with a lot more tie-dye and ukulele players’? Sounds like you’ve been waiting your whole life to discover Passing Clouds, which is well Rainbow Rhythms and is all the better for it.

It’s 4am, you’re stumbling down the High Street and even Efes has closed. Now’s the time to hit the dancefloor at Visions Video Bar. Yes, you are going to regret it. But at least the East London Line will be running again by the time you leave.

@Dalstonist

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Making shit happen and bringing the vibes.

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