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Shoreditch, London, is arguably the city’s coolest area. Packed with street art, history, quirky bars and restaurants, vintage shops and great parties, it’s an unmissable place to visit during your time in London. Here are the coolest things to do in Shoreditch, London, from where to shop, to eating and drinking, and partying:
Shoreditch is well-known for its amazing collection of vintage shops, where you can find everything from vintage Levi 501 jeans through to dresses from the 1920s. There are also regular markets, selling flowers, trinkets, and vinyl records, along with many more items. Some of our favorites include:
East End Thrift Store: This is one of the area’s most legendary vintage warehouses. It’s packed with hand-selected vintage items and at around £10-£20 per item, it’s also one of London’s most affordable vintage stores. You can find fur coats, fun dresses, elegant suits and much, much more. It’s located near to Whitechapel station, or a 15-minute walk from Brick Lane.
Beyond Retro: Another converted warehouse close to London’s Brick Lane is Beyond Retro. The store is located in a former Victorian dairy warehouse and offers a treasure-trove of vintage clothes. It’s similar to East End Thrift in that you can find every type of vintage clothing you could imagine and the prices are reasonable.
Columbia Road Flower Market: On a Sunday, Columbia Road in Bethnal Green turns into an incredible color display of bright flowers and tropical green plants. The narrow, Victorian-era street is packed with flower vendors selling incredible displays of plants, flowers, and trinkets. It’s one of the best things to do in London on Sunday, and there are some quaint coffee shops to visit when it’s time for a rest.
Old Spitalfields Market: The market at Old Spitalfields has been running non-stop since 1638, making it one of London’s oldest. It’s close to Shoreditch High Street station in an indoor market square and is packed with vendors selling everything from vegan brownies, through to records, clothes, photos, and homeware.
Admire Street Art
Shoreditch is bursting with street art, and some of its walls are splashed in color year-round. While street art is always changing, some of the best places to visit are the graffiti-covered out-of-service metro cars in Great Eastern Street; Brick Lane and its colorful, surrounding alleyways; as well as one of Banksy’s satirical graffiti pieces on Rivington Street. Check out this guide to the best street art in Shoreditch for more inspiration.
Where to Eat
The list is endless of awesome places to eat and drink in Shoreditch, but here are the ones you shouldn’t miss:
Beigel Bake: This simple bagel shop is known as an institution in East London. Located on the historic Brick Lane, the bagel shop has been around for decades. The East End was home to a large Jewish community in the 19th century and while the community dispersed over time to North London, Beigel Bake still stands serving fresh, traditional Jewish Bagels that are perfectly soft with a crispy outer bake. Order the famous smoked salmon and cream cheese bagel, or the salt beef bagel. As it’s a 24-7 shop, it draws an eclectic mix of clubbers and taxi drivers taking a break.
Dishoom: East London is known for its Indian food after centuries of imperialism, and Brick Lane used to be known as “curry mile” thanks to its abundance of curry houses. Today you can get a decent curry at hundreds of restaurants in the East End, but one of our favorites is Dishoom, which offers Indian-Iranian food with a modern-day twist. Dishoom is styled on the traditional Irani cafes that used to exist in Bombay. It offers a menu full of Persian and Indian platters along with an exotic cocktail menu. Our favorite time to visit is for brunch, where you can order spicy eggs or a bacon ‘naan’ roll.
Dinerama: Street Food at its best, Dinerama is a market packed with small eateries serving everything from dumplings to wood-fired pizzas, Taiwanese steamed buns, Jerk chicken, and many more. It’s a good place to visit at any time of year — in summer it’s buzzing with people enjoying the sunshine with a beer and a bite to eat, and in winter they cover the market with a roof and install cozy heaters.
Bike Shed Motorcycle Club: If you don’t have tattoos on show here, you might feel a little out of place. Bike Shed Motorcycle Club is one of Shoreditch’s coolest restaurants. It’s a biker cafe with boutique shops, a barber shop, and plenty of leather jackets slung from chairs. They serve a great charcuterie plate to give you some fuel.
Paint the Town Red
The nightlife is unbeatable in Shoreditch, from traditional pubs through to roads full of grimey, hipster clubs, or elegant cocktail bars, there is something for everyone. Here are our favorites:
Queen of Hoxton: The famous Queen of Hoxton bar/pub is one of the area’s coolest spots. Located on buzzing Hoxton Square, the bar offers a rooftop terrace, weekly club nights, live music, and art installations. With club nights ranging from hip-hop karaoke to electro music, there is something for everyone.
Concrete: Located in the heart of Shoreditch, Concrete is known for its wild parties. Things get sweaty as everybody dances all night at parties such ‘queens of pop’ or hip-hop and R&B nights.
Barrio Shoreditch: This Latino-themed bar is full of fun flaming cocktails, eclectic interior, and Latino and reggaeton music blasting the speakers.
XOYO: XOYO is an institution for those looking for great parties with top DJs. Their music covers pretty much every genre and the building is always packed on weekends, so arrive early if you want to get in!
If you have more time to spend in London, check out our alternative 48-hour itinerary, where you can get off the beaten track, or if you’re looking for something more mainstream, check out the 10 best things to do in London.