Shoreditch – an area that’s probably undergone more of a makeover in the last 20 years than anywhere else in London. It used to be known – pretty much exclusively – for its curry houses and bagel shops. Don’t get us wrong, we still love it for that, but it has so so so much more to offer now…
Often bemoaned for it’s trendiness, celebrated for it’s densely-packed creative community, and now chock-a-block full of restaurants, fashionable outfitters, entertainment venues, and bars, Shoreditch has become a central destination in its own right. Its development has shifted London’s gaze eastwards in a way that will surely effect the city’s social geography for decades to come. Here are our 10 things to do in Shoreditch…
Rich Mix | 35-47 Bethnal Green Road, E1 6LA
This independent venue provides a rich mix (see what we did there) of the arts including dance performances, live music, art shows and film screenings. If you’re into ‘world culture’ in different mediums, film festival seasons, being surrounded by arty types without the pretence – then you’ll be in your element. It’s a buzzing creative hub which is a registered charity and we can’t get enough of it.
Dishoom | 7 Boundary Street, E2 7JE
If you’ve ever walked through the centre of Shoreditch by Great Eastern Street and wondered ‘Why is there ALWAYS a queue and what is it for?’ – it’s Dishoom. This ridiculously affordable no-bookings restaurant specialises in Indian food from Bombay and hasn’t had a single bad review from even the toughest food critics. The Shoreditch branch was the first one and it’s now expanded to Kings Cross and Soho but it’s not a ‘chain’. It serves no fuss street food in an upscale environment and people are happy to queue up to 2 hours to get in. On the menu are delights such as spicy lamb chops, lamb boti kabab and masala prawns. They also do a breakfast menu serving their signature ‘Bombay Omelette’ and the ‘Naan Breakfast Roll’. Go, and go hungry.
Bounce Shoreditch | 241 Old Street, EC1V 9EY
Just 80 yards east of Old Street roundabout, the new venue houses 17 bespoke ping pong tables, as well as a beautiful private room with three tables for those who want seclusion. Not just about ping pong, it also has an ultra-modern, open-plan restaurant with a traditional 25-foot pizza counter, serving the finest in traditional Italian pizzas, alongside a delicious selection of antipasti, canapés and more. Its innovative menu features high-quality food sourced from the finest British and Italian suppliers. Bounce’s glamorous bar also sits amongst a field of ping pong tables, with cocktail menus developed by award-winning mixologists.
Street Art | Various
Shoreditch is probably the only part of London where its street art is more celebrated than it is complained-about. In fact, people from all over the world travel to see the works of immensely-talented street artists plastered on Shoreditch’s walls and buildings – there are even tours for it. It’s a feast for the eyes which truly depicts the vibrancy of London life. We even run a photography class especially created to capture its beauty.
Queen of Hoxton | 1-5 Curtain Road, EC2A 3JX
This bar and club hosts djs, live music, installations and a cool crowd – with a reputation that deservedly precedes it. The best bit is its wonderful rooftop which has a regular programme of food and drink pop-up installations. Most recently they laid on a cosy fairy-tale theme for the winter, not to mention alfresco film screenings and barbecues in the summer. They’re big on immersive experiences which will leave you wanting more.
The Nightjar | 129 City Road, EC1V 1JB
Every year this intimate underground cocktail bar always makes it to the ’50 Best Bars in the World’ list and we can see why. This gem started the speakeasy trend that most bars in London are now following and it’s the original bar which specialises in molecular cocktails. It’s the Willy Wonka of cocktail bars so if it’s just a cosmo or martini you want, then its not the place for you. Listen to live jazz music whilst sipping on fun concoctions served in the most ridiculous way. Booking is strongly advised.
Spitalfields Market | Horner Square, E1 6EW
This covered market has been on the site for 350 years and is known for providing the public with fashion, arts and crafts and food. You’ll find independent labels and vintage clothing, alongside a plethora of quirky and not so quirky goods. There is defenitly something for everyone, it’s the Portobello Market of the East.
Shoreditch Town Hall | 380 Old Street, EC1V 9LT
This Town Hall features 8 main spaces with over 60 individual rooms spread across 48,000 sq. ft. Here you’ll find a range of programmes all year round from live performances such as modern theatre and dance shows. It is also the perfect venue for events such as conferences, film shoots, corporate dinners and exhibitions. If you get the chance to catch a show here, just go – the surroundings are breathtaking.
Brick Lane | E1 6PU
Brick Lane is a diverse area in Shoreditch mostly known for its endless number of superb curry houses and 24 hour bagel shops which London’s fashionistas either love to hate or hate to love. However, delve a little deeper and you’ll also find flea markets, food markets, the street art photography tour we mentioned earlier, unique stores and independent cafes.
Andina | 1 Redchurch Street, E2 7DJ
A Peruvian restaurant inspired by Peruvian ‘picanterias’ – a family-run, traditional, community restaurant serving local people all day long. Dishes include Quinoa Burguesa (quinoa burger, coriander, papaya, mint, kiwi yogurt & huacatay sauce), Cachete y Merluza (ceviche of cod cheeks, hake, spring onion & blood orange, in a lime & limo chilli), Chupe (prawns & black quinoa chowder and more. Over half of the menu is suitable for vegetarians.
CITY ACADEMY VENUES IN THIS AREA…
Old Diorama Arts Centre – for London Street Photography
Our Venues – for all types of Dance Class
Dutch Church – for Tango Classes and the City Academy Singers choir