where you need to eat right now
The Laughing Heart

When you meet Charlie, the proprietor of The Laughing Heart. Your heart will laugh. He's joyous, tall and hospitable like a Tolkien character and all he wants to do he says: "is serve people salty grape juice with delicious food that goes well with it." It is a wine bar with great smaller plates designed to share, novel it is not, but the influences the kitchen takes from almost anywhere is. It feels like someone has travelled the world and lost their passport in Hackney, forced to stay and survive with whatever means necessary. Ask Charlie what to drink, order what you think sounds delicious with an extra serving of brown crab butter, and smile. The upstairs is where the real fun is, and grabbing a spot by the bar looking out over Hackney Road is lovely.