Wondering Where to Go in Shoreditch?
Shoreditch is a part of town that has become ubiquitous with what’s new, what’s cutting edge – and what’s cool. It never stands still and that’s what makes it one of the most exciting areas of London to visit. It’s the go-to place for the latest bars, the hippest restaurants and the most beautiful coffee shops. Added to that, Shoreditch has a whole lot of cultural spots to visit too. Here’s our insiders’ guide to where to go, what to see and what to do in Shoreditch. And, of course, what to avoid . . .
Restaurants & Bars
There is no end to the incredible restaurants in Shoreditch. The area attracts discerning diners from all over and is often the chosen spot for new restaurants, as well as pop-ups, supper clubs and residencies.
At the upper end of dining, Mark Hix’s Tramshed and the basement Cock ‘n’ Bull Gallery (both pictured below) have become iconic destinations. With Damien Hirst’s ‘Cock and Bull’ towering above diners in this vast open space, it’s not just about the food, it’s an aesthetic experience too. For an extra special celebration that’s a cut above, there’s a private dining room here – Mark’s Kitchen Library. In the same vein, there is also The Clove Club – another high-end venue that quickly established itself as one of London’s top restaurants, as well as Beagle, nestled in a beautiful railway arch next to Hoxton station.
If good value for money is what you’re after, Kingsland Road is lined with popular Vietnamese restaurants churning out authentic, cheap food, and mostly with a BYOB policy. Most people in the area have plumped for one as a particular favourite, but we’ll let you try them out and decide for yourself…
For a post-dinner cocktail, Shoreditch is overflowing with quality options. Happiness Forgets is a tiny, intimate basement bar on Hoxton Square with table service and carefully crafted drinks that will blow your mind. Looking Glass Cocktail Bar (below) on Hackney Road is another winner for cocktail connoisseurs. There are plenty more options, far too numerous to list. In fact, you’d have to be walking around with your eyes closed not to stumble across a decent bar in Shoreditch.
Shopping & Ambling
Great Eastern Street, Shoreditch High Street and Curtain Road are all central thoroughfares of the area with an abundance of boutique shops, little cafes and art galleries. Being Shoreditch, there’s also plenty of great people watching to be done. Fashion and Shoreditch are an inseparable pair and there are some bold statements and incredible ensembles that perfectly demonstrate how this area spawned the hipster movement.
Meandering further into Shoreditch, Hoxton Square is an essential stop-off on your visit. This little hidden piece of greenery is bordered by restaurants and bars and is perfect for soaking up some sun and indulging in – yet more – eating and drinking.
Travel a little further on and you’ll hit Regent’s Canal. This has become a pretty busy thoroughfare for people just pottering around at the weekend, and with good reason. It leads you on a very beautiful route past little stalls set up on the back of barges, stopping off at the infamous Broadway Market, then running alongside one of London’s most beautiful parks – Victoria Park (and its surrounding pubs), and emerging in Hackney Wick alongside Crate Brewery, where you can rest your tired feet, try their pizza, sample a craft beer or two and watch the sun go down over the water. That’s pretty much a perfect day out in itself!
The V&A Museum of Childhood is a must-visit. The exhibits themselves are amazing, but the building is a huge draw too. It’s vast and architecturally impressive, and the perfect home for this off-the-beaten-track museum.
In addition, The Geffrye Museum (below) us an iconic almshouse building that explores homes and how people live. It’s a fascinating look at the last 400 years, and is set in beautiful grounds too.
Moving away from museums, Columbia Road flower market has a certain buzz about it that makes it another must-see attraction in the area. Opening first thing on a Sunday morning, it’s best to arrive as early as you can bear before hordes of people descend. It has managed to retain a certain authenticity, with regular traders there week after week, selling top-quality flowers. The street itself is lined with little shops and cafes once you’ve had your fill of flowers.
What to avoid
As with most areas of London now, avoid thinking that you will be able to stroll into any of the restaurants/bars without either booking or queueing. Shoreditch is a foodie destination for everyone, from across the city and beyond, so be prepared for busy, bustling restaurants and wait times.