When it came to finding the trendiest nightspots in London, many would head north to Camden and the multitude of quirky bars and restaurants.
While Camden remains a hugely popular destination for late night revellers there has been another part of the capital that has emerged as the new hipster’s paradise. This is Shoreditch. This corner of east London has gained quite a reputation in recent years as being the place to be seen.
Over the years, it seems to have overtaken Camden when it comes to all things hip. While some argue that this part of London may have had its day and that the trendy types were moving on. If you take a stroll down Shoreditch High Street or go to Brick Lane Market everything will point to the contrary.
Shoreditch is crammed full of quirky, rustic bars and a host of independent shops perfectly put together in a triangle of Old Street, Great Eastern Street and Shoreditch High Street. There is everything that any self-respecting, self-aware hipster could ask for.
Exploring Shoreditch London
The area is no stranger to controversy and publicity. This came in swathes when brothers Alan and Gary Keery opened the seemingly innocuous Cereal Killer Cafe. The breakfast-themed cafe sells a range of cereal from all over the world. While selling bowls of sugary cereal may not seem like a big deal, the cafe courted an abundance of media coverage.
Cereal Killer is just an example of the innovative and unique outlets that populate Shoreditch and make it the perfect destination for a weekend break. When visiting London, you can find yourself doing the same things and constantly pounding the pavement to queue up for the various attractions the city has to offer.
However, if you are looking for something a little different then hop on to the Tube to Shoreditch and see what this part of east London has to offer. It is the perfect location for a weekend of relaxing and unwinding so what is there to do?
Here is our concise guide to Shoreditch if you are looking for food, drink and generally good times.
Eat for less in Shoreditch
London is awash with some fine restaurants. You can pay extraordinary amounts of money for Michelin star plates of food is some of the best eateries in the capital. However, there are times when you want something that is quick and easy. Shoreditch is the perfect destination for this kind of grub.
There are a number of gourmet restaurants in this corner of east London but if you want something a little more rustic, Shoreditch has you covered. Ranging from a speciality hot dog from Big Apple’s street shop to the ambience of Antipoden-inspired cafe Ozone. There are a multitude of street food vendors where you can have your fill.
If you are looking for a slice of Asian cuisine then look no further than of Song Que on Kingsland Road in Haggerston. Just a short walk away from Shoreditch, Song Que is the place to go for authentic Vietnamese cuisine. While it may resemble a school canteen it has some of the best noodle soups you’ll find in London.
Sticking to the Vietnamese vibe and heading down to Old Street you’ll find Keu, a small but pretty deli and cafe. Operated by the team behind the nearby Cay Tre and Viet Grill, this speciality cafe offers a host of Asian-style baguettes. Choose from fillings such as ham terrine, spicy pork belly or even juicy Cantonese-style roast duck. All packed with a host of crisp vegetables.
If you’re looking for something slightly different from Asian cuisine and in a unique environment, then why not try Open Kitchen? Situated in the heart of Shoreditch on Hoxton Street, Open Kitchen is the training restaurant for Hackney Community College where students prepare all the food and drink as part of their vocational studies.
This really is the place to go if you are looking for some cheap eats, as long as you don’t mind being somewhat of a guinea pig. You can get a two-course meal for under £10, something that can be unheard of across the capital.
Alternatively, you can simply wander around Shoreditch till your heart is content sampling the variety of street food vendors that populate the area.
Fancy a tipple?
Alongside the restaurants and cafes Shoreditch has a cavalcade of wonderful bars and clubs that can ensure you take your evening into the early hours. East London is chock full of great ale houses and Shoreditch is no different, with everything from quiet, authentic pubs to the fashionable cocktail bars that have become the norm nowadays.
They say that you always get ripped off at least once when on holiday so be careful when ordering and check the drinks menu or you could be in for a nasty shock. Feeling you have overpaid for a couple of pints of beer or glass of wine can really put a dampener on an evening, so just keep your wits about you.
If you are looking for a traditional English pub with a bit of a twist then the Well & Bucket will be right up your street. Despite being closed in 1989, and transformed into a Chinese restaurant, this Bethnal Green Road pub has returned better than ever. It has a huge selection of craft beers, with as many as 18 on tap, along with a host more in the fridges.
There is an extensive cocktail menu while it can also serve a nice bit of grub if you’re feeling a bit peckish. It specialises in a range of oysters fresh from France and Scotland, as well as sliders galore, great to chow down on after jars of ale. All are priced fairly reasonably and will not break the bank.
Another triumph in the Shoreditch area is Water Poet. Tucked away off Bishopsgate and close to Spitalfields Market this a great little pub to kick back with a few beverages. A well situated beer garden makes an absolute-must on a particularly sunny day and the interior decor combines Chesterfields and church pews to school chairs and picturehouse seats.
Like the Well & Bucket, the Water Poet has an extensive beer and wine list with a number of limited edition beverages available. It also has a huge range of food options including a hog roast, summer BBQ and private dining menu.
See a gig in Shoreditch
Shoreditch has a whole host of gig venues across the area but none are better well known than the Old Blue Last. Dubbed by NME as “East London’s most notorious venue”, this musical institution has hosted some of the biggest names in music since opening its doors many years ago.
Since 2005, the Shoreditch venue has seen the likes of Arctic Monkeys, Amy Winehouse, Florence and the Machine, Mumford & Sons and Hot Chip grace its stage. It has long been a bastion for music lovers who are eager to see what could be the next big band to come out of the UK.
With a late license to 2am on Fridays and Saturdays, whether you are seeing a gig or attending a club night, it is the perfect place to end a night and party long into the evening.