Lisson Grove has come a long way since Eliza Doolittle, the main character in George Bernard Shaw's play Pygmalion, declared that "it wasn’t fit for a pig to live in.” Traditionally this was a neighbohood for poor, immigrant workers and their families.
Then Abbey Road came into public awareness thanks to the Beatles' famous album cover and it started to attract more artistic people to the area (even though Abbey Road doesn’t fall within Lisson Grove borders). It has remained a center for the arts and theater. Several bars and coffee shops have performance spaces and there are some art galleries here and there. Church Street is a local favorite; you'll find antiques stores, shops, and local artisans selling their wares, and during the weekend it hosts a large market on the weekend.
Most of the people who live here are single or couples, though there are more and more families with children coming into the area. This neighborhood isn't on the radar of the trendy set at this point so it's largely ungentrified; this makes it affordable for people who want to spend more on living instead of on housing. Real estate overlooking the canal that cuts through Lisson Grove is a bit more expensive, however. When looking for housing, make sure you walk around town at different parts of the day so you have a good feel for the neighbohood.
There are some great dining and nightlife options here, including some local institutions that attract locals and tourists alike. One example is The Seashell Restaurant, which has been around for 40 years and is acclaimed as one of the best fish and chip restaurants in town. For more options head toward Edgware Road, which separates Lisson Grove from the neighborhoods of Maida Vale and Paddington.
The City: 4.2 miles / 20-45 minutes by car / 30 minutes by transit / 35 minutes by bike
Canary Wharf: 7.5 miles / 30-65 minutes by car / 35-40 minutes by transit
Southwark: 5.2 miles / 25-55 minutes by car / 30 minutes by transit / 35 minutes by bike
Westminster: 2.8 miles / 10-25 minutes by car / 30-35 minutes by transit / 20 minutes by bike
Shoreditch: 4.1 miles / 20-40 minutes by car / 35-50 minutes by transit / 35 minutes by bike