Where to eat in Stratford: subtle sophistication

Wondering where to eat in Stratford? Well, you’ll be glad to know there’s an abundance of great choices. There are too many for us to talk about in one go, so here are just some of the best places to eat in Stratford if you’re looking for sophisticated or fine dining options in East London.

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The newest of restaurants open in East London, Haugen is something quite different. Based in IQL’s grand three-floored timber Pavilion, this is D&D Group’s latest East London venture. The alpine-inspired restaurant and bar is stylishly sumptuous – think ‘hygge’; with fur blankets in outdoor areas, roaring fires, warm wooden hues and some of the most stunning views in London. 

We recommend the Fondue (cheese or chocolate) and exploring Haugen’s extensive cocktail list. A large dose of sophistication for what is, a reasonably casual, dining experience. 

A self-described “Restaurant, Cocktail Bar and Wine Cave”, Darkhorse serves up a range of Spanish and Italian inspired small and main plates. Food-wise, classic flavour combinations enjoy a twist or two. We particularly enjoy the roasted hake and the warm English asparagus side.

If you’re looking for a good selection of beverages – we think Darkhorse is one of the best restaurants in East London. The wine list is extensive, well selected and the bar is well stocked. The cocktail list features some classics which can often be hard to find, try a 30-day aged Negroni or a ginger sidecar.

Formans Riverside restaurant boasts views of the Olympic Stadium and Stratford. Formans are the producer of London’s only protected product, London Cure Smoked Scottish Salmon and their menu showcases just how good it is. How many restaurants in East London can say that?

For those searching for somewhere to eat in Stratford that offers a more traditional menu, Formans is a must. The smoked salmon starter is impeccably executed, the wine list features only award-winning English wines, and on West Ham game days you can enjoy the Smoke & Bubbles brasserie menu for a special twist to your day at the football.

Not quite Stratford but in neighbouring Hackney Wick, Cornerstone is one of East London’s few restaurants with a Michelin Star. 

Best suited to those who really appreciate fine dining (as well as seafood) the menu here changes depending on the produce available. The tasting menu comes in at a very reasonable £65 per person, with wine pairings also available for an additional £65 per person. 

The chef, Tom Brown, is an alumnus of Nathan Outlaw (perhaps why Seafood is a recurring theme) and you can watch the chefs in action, given that the open kitchen sits right in the heart of the restaurant. 

You’ll find Gotto Trattoria in nearby Hackney Wick, on the banks of the River Lea. Think of it as a little slice of the Italian Riviera, featuring homemade vermouth and a menu overspilling with seasonal, Italian ingredients.

The menu is small yet perfectly formed. A range of classic, homemade pastas accompanied by simple sides and classic “dolci”. If you fancy brunch at the weekend, you can enjoy poached eggs on sourdough with asparagus and rocket from 11am – 4pm.


One of our neighbours, The Cow at Westfield features a staple English pub menu, with oodles of class. Brunch and Light Bites are served from 11am – 4pm, there’s a range of classic mains, sumptuous steaks and Sunday Roasts that are better than Mum’s.

The beverages are just as British as the menu, with gins being a major feature as well as ales. Throughout the summer you can sink into the spritzer menu – drinks that are crying out to be sipped in the sun, alfresco.

There it is. Our round up of the best restaurants in if you’re wondering where to eat in Stratford and looking for something with a little sophistication.