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Across the Zones: Zone 2 – the up and Comers

In the first of our ‘Across the zones’ series, we focussed on the London restaurant openings located at the heart of the capital, driven by top-down investment by larges estates.

Here, we’ll expand our analysis to areas situated in London’s Zone 2. We will see how independent operators are clustering to transform the identity of an area. In turn, this generates a social buzz and further encourages high-end commercial leisure and restaurant operators to invest in these up-and-coming destinations.

Dalston is swiftly becoming Shoreditch’s successor


In our Zone 1 feature, we mentioned Shoreditch in East London – a trendy and now well-established hipster spot for creative and young professionals. Moving east again, Dalston is swiftly becoming Shoreditch’s successor.

With a recent influx of young creatives and artists, Kingsland Road is home to some of the best nightclubs, bars and restaurants in London. Popular venue Birthdays rotates through premium burger operators like current residents Lucky Chip, while DJ and pop-up restaurant veteran Carl Clarke has recently launched Chick ‘n’ Sours – his first permanent restaurant venture on the district’s most famous street.

With a Turkish heritage, the area is the number one destination for an authentic kebab, and on 1st August, MC Motors will host ‘Abera Kebabra’ a pop-up celebration of London’s best kebabs.

With plenty of old industrial property, Dalston should be the ideal candidate for any prospective festival, pop-up or party. If you own a warehouse property in Dalston, speak with one of our London leisure property experts about how you can increase its market appeal.



Research suggests that two-thirds of 25-35-year-old Londoners live north of the Thames. However, a number of South London areas have recently proved themselves to be popular destinations for the leisure and restaurant markets.

Brixton is one such area. With an influx of young professionals moving into the area to take advantage of the excellent travel connections (trains, buses and Victoria line), independent operators are driving a culinary revolution in the heart of the local community.

New artisanal coffee shops like F. Mondays and Federation Coffee are proving popular concepts with locals. They also have the advantage of being small operations, making them more affordable property investments for new restaurateurs.

Brixton’s significant Caribbean population is also well represented, with old favourites like Negril on Brixton Hill, and Fish, Wings & Tings in the ever-popular leisure destination Brixton Village attracting custom from across the capital.

This blending of cultures and cuisines is what makes differentiates Brixton, and has led to an influx of high-end operators like Wahaca, boutique concepts like Champagne-Fromage and trendy, American-style restaurants like Electric Dog and Honest Burgers selling US cuisine using stellar ingredients to an audience hungry for premiumised informality.

Stoke Newington

Until recently, we wouldn’t have recommended North London’s Stoke Newington as a potential market for high-end leisure or restaurant property.

However, waves of movers settling in the area as a result of its closeness to trendy, arty locations like Shoreditch and Dalston, along with fast access to Islington and Central London have established it as a prime commuter destination.

This has resulted in a clustering of independent estates that are beginning to transform the area. N19 is also home to a large Turkish population, meaning many of the restaurants – old and new – are full of Turkish/Mediterranean flavours.

On Stoke Newington Road you’ll find the popular restaurant 19 Numara Bos Cirrik, Stoke Newington High Street is home to Testi, and on Stoke Newington Church Street you’ll find The Blue Legume.

New additions to the independent scene include El Olivo, a classic tapas bar which prides itself on its locally baked, warm bread, and The Jolly Butchers, which the Londonist rates as one of the Capital’s finest Sunday roasts, suggesting that the local market is responsive to new culinary ideas. This makes it a prime investment spot for those looking to open a restaurant in a not-yet-crowded market.

This is only a small sample of the exciting new and existing restaurants in up-and-coming Zone 2 locations. If you have been inspired and would like to consider your own restaurant property investment options, speak with one of our highly experienced London restaurant property experts today.

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