Shoreditch Area Guide

Though recently acquiring a reputation for the kind of hipster nonsense much maligned by the incurably unhip, Shoreditch retains its allure as a go-to destination for those seeking to experience London’s most unique culinary offerings and cultural experiences. Located just east of the City, it is famous for its vibrant café culture, thriving arts scene, and for housing London’s booming tech sector in Old Street’s Silicon Roundabout.

As a neighbourhood it is shaped by the cross-fertilisation of tech-savvy start-up culture, the artist’s enclave, and Banglatown. This clash of civilisations has resulted in some intriguing urban geography. Vivid street art sits alongside towering commercial office blocks, and pop-up street food vendors merely doors down from the Bengali curry houses of Brick Lane. Whatever it might be that piques your interest, chances are you will find it in Shoreditch.

Food & Drink in Shoreditch:

  • Brick Lane:

The undisputed epicentre of south Asian cuisine in Europe, any curry lover worth their weight in turmeric has made a pilgrimage to the balti houses of Brick Lane. Eager vendors line the street to pitch their spicy wares to revellers, hoping to coax the crowds in for a vindaloo. Though you might experience understandable incredulity at the fact that every other establishment is furnished with a banner proclaiming it to be Curry House of the Year, the quality is consistently high. Our personal favourite is a restaurant called Cinnamon, which does a house special lemongrass chicken that can’t be beaten.

  • Shoreditch Boxpark:

Constructed entirely from stripped and refitted shipping containers, Boxpark represents one of the most unique dining experiences in East London. Offering traditional street market fare in a modern pop-up setting, there are currently 18 different food and drink vendors to choose from inside its corrugated metal walls.  Whether you prefer pasta or pies, Boxpark has you covered. We recommend The Athenian, where a souvlaki wrap jam-packed with Greek meats, halloumi and chips will set you back a mere £7.50.

  • Brick Lane Beigel Bake:

Open 24/7 since 1974, Beigel Bake represents the enduring culinary legacy of Shoreditch’s erstwhile Jewish community. Though the Yiddish street signs and kosher butchers are no longer as prominent as they once were, Beigel Bake’s iconic beigels (not to be confused with its American cousin, the bagel) still sell in their thousands every week. Whether you prefer salmon and cream cheese, or their famous succulent salt beef with a healthy dollop of fluorescent yellow mustard, Beigel Bake is your one-stop shop for late-night kosher treats. It even meets the exacting standards of our own famously discerning Head of Product, Nadav!

Culture & Leisure in Shoreditch:

While the influx of tech start-ups means that some of the more anarchic creative spaces have made way for corporate campuses and millennial office workers, gentrification has scarcely dented Shoreditch’s bohemian credentials. Below is our shortlist of some personal favourites from members of the Home Made team.

  • Rich Mix Cinema

More than just a cinema, Rich Mix is Shoreditch’s independent cultural centre, with exhibition/performance spaces and a café/bar housed alongside its silver screens. It offers screenings of all the latest releases, but also hosts lectures, live music, film festivals, poetry slams, and visual arts exhibitions from both established and up-and-coming performers. It’s a true community-run creative hub for both artists and audiences alike.

  • Rough Trade East

Located inside the Truman Brewery on Brick Lane, Rough Trade East is the flagship UK store of one of Britain’s most iconic independent record labels (the label that gave the world the Smiths, the Libertines, and Belle & Sebastian among others). It’s a store that encourages visitors to engage with the communal dimension of record shopping, with lively in-store performances and expert recommendations there to supplement an evening of spirited crate-digging. Whether you’re after the newest releases, a treasured deep cut, or an evening of cheap live music, Rough Trade East has something for you.  

  • Nomadic Garden

Formerly a derelict lot sat between two railway lines, an army of local volunteers have transformed the space into a makeshift village using little more than their initiative and salvaged building materials. Despite the absence of virtually any advertising, the social project thrives. Both residents and visitors enjoy heading off the beaten track to enjoy the quirky graffiti, pop-up bars and cafes, and abundant relaxed vibes. Its continued success is a testament to the DIY creative ethos of the local community.

  • Ballie Ballerson

At London’s premier (well... only) ball pit bar, for just £7.50 you can find yourself transported back to those halcyon childhood days spent at your classmate’s birthday party at the local soft play. Located a short walk away from Old Street Station, Ballie Ballerson is a bar and ball pit boasting an impressive one million balls. It’s both deeply silly and uproariously fun, and we guarantee you and your mates will have hours of laughs. Trust us, you’ll be ballin’ (sorry).

Is it For You?

Shoreditch is a great place to be for young professionals, particularly if your niche is in tech, media, or the arts. If your office/studio/co-working space is based in Shoreditch or the City, you will enjoy an easy commute and feel right at home in bars and cafes populated by like-minded peers.

Transport

Tube:

Central Line: Liverpool Street

Circle: Aldgate, Liverpool Street

District: Aldgate East, Whitechapel

Hammersmith & City: Aldgate East, Liverpool Street, Whitechapel

Northern: Old Street, Moorgate

Metropolitan: Aldgate, Liverpool Street

Overground: Shoreditch High Street

Train:

National rail services from Liverpool Street station, Old Street station, and Moorgate station.

Bus:

Route 8: Bow Church to St Giles High Street. Board at various stops between Shoreditch High Street and Liverpool Street to get to central London via Holburn.

Route 26: St Mary of Eton Church to Waterloo Station. Board at various stops between Shoreditch High Street and Liverpool Street Station to get to Waterloo via the City.

Route 35: Shoreditch to Clapham Junction via The City and London Bridge.

Route 47: Shoreditch to Newquay Road via The City and London Bridge.

Route 135: Moorfields Eye Hospital to Crossharbour. Board at Old Street station to get to Canary Wharf.

Average Rental Price

1 Bed: £2,121 pcm

2 Bed: £2,809 pcm

3 Bed: £3,719 pcm

4 Bed: £3,395 pcm

Author image

Jess Brookes

Operations Associate at Home Made