Shoreditch in East London has fast become one of the UK capital’s hippest, trendiest areas. There’s a real buzz in the air in Shoreditch, with vibrant street art to be seen on every corner, a new eatery seemingly opening every five minutes and pop-up shops, galleries and food stalls pretty much every way you turn.
Shoreditch High Street overground station is your gateway to the district, from where you can be eating food from across the world, sipping a luxury cocktail or enjoying some great art within just a few moments.
Here’s our pick of the best places to head within a few minutes’ walk of Shoreditch High Street station:
Discover a pop-up world
Shoreditch is pretty much the global capital of the pop-up stall, and BOXPARK is the place to go if you want to experience the area’s latest temporary street food and fashion offerings for yourself.
The site is called BOXPARK because it’s made of boxes – disused shipping containers, in fact. These have been turned into retail units and food stalls, meaning it’s an affordable site for retailers, but an exciting, constantly changing place for both locals and tourists to visit.
Head to the Gift Box for quirky souvenirs to take back home, or visit Nordic Poetry to add some retro and vintage pieces to your wardrobe.
Eat some of London’s best chicken at the Chicken Box with your choice of marinade (barbecue, jerk, Thai, Cajun or rosemary) and sample a ‘zebra’ donut at Dums Dums Donutterie – plain and chocolate dough twisted together and covered in chocolate buttercream and ganache.
Sample Shoreditch’s hipster food scene
Outside of BOXPARK, you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to finding somewhere to eat. The foodie scene in Shoreditch is huge, with so-called hipsters flocking to the district to get their mouths around the latest trendy offerings, whether that’s a cafe selling only crisp sandwiches or ‘dirty’ burgers topped with pulled pork and served on a brioche bun.
One of the more unusual eateries to have popped up in Shoreditch is the Cereal Killer Cafe, which specialises in serving cereal and other popular breakfast items, such as pop tarts. Everything is made extra special though, with even the toast able to come covered in Malteser-flavour spread or popping candy.
There are dozens of types of cereal to choose from, as well as more flavours of milk than you knew existed. You can even order a cereal cocktail, such as the Miss American Pie, which features Applejacks, cinnamon Cheerios, whipped cream, digestive biscuits and custard-flavoured milk. Alternatively, dare to try Unicorn Poop, featuring Ricicles, party rings, marshmallow fluff, actual marshmallows and sprinkles.
Sip luxury cocktails
If a more traditional cocktail is what you’re after, head to the nearby London Cocktail Club. Here, you’ll find all the classics on the menu, such as the much-loved gin-based Bramble and the Espresso Martini.
If you’re feeling a little more daring, why not brave a Cheese and Pineapple Martini, a beautifully fruity drink served with half a Babybel, or even a Bacon and Egg Martini, which features smoky bacon-infused Jack Daniels?
Hunt for treasures
Just around the corner from Shoreditch High Street station is Brick Lane Market, which particularly comes alive on Sundays, the market’s main trading day.
Hunt for vintage clothing, second-hand furniture, leather goods and bric-a-brac from all over the world before stopping for a bite to eat at one of the many ethnic eateries that line Brick Lane itself.
This area became the home of a large Bangladeshi immigrant community in the mid-20th century, so much of the food on offer reflects this culture, with plenty of spicy curries full of flavour. Several traditional Jewish beigel (the original spelling before bagel) shops can also be found here.
Marvel at the local street art
Shoreditch is essentially home to the largest free art gallery in the whole of London, thanks to the sheer amount of street art and graffiti that can be found on the side of buildings.
You can of course wander around the streets yourself taking all of this art in, or you can join an organised street art tour, which will point out all of the most iconic pieces for you, including works by Banksy and other well-known graffiti artists.