Where to Eat & Drink in Shoreditch: Casual Restaurants, Cafes To Work In & Trendy Bars
SHOREDITCH, LONDON is what Brooklyn is to New York – a super cute, trendy and significantly gentrified neighborhood where young professionals and hipsters have taken over. It’s a haven for those who prefer a casual restaurant over a fancy one and for those who want to feel right at home in their local coffee shop before meeting their mates out at a trendy bar.
My first time stepping foot out of a London airport was earlier this year to cover Field Day Festival for Music Festival Wizard. Because of the absurd hours I was staying awake for the festival, I wasn’t going to see much of London on this trip. So I chose just to explore the neighborhood I was staying in, which wasn’t a problem at all in a place like Shoreditch.
Walking down the streets is an activity within itself. Everywhere you turn there’s a different, wildly colorful piece of street art to admire.
Unfortunately, my computer played travel partner for most of my time in Shoreditch. I was behind on projects so much of my time was spent hopping from coffee shop, to restaurant, to another coffee shop and then to the occasional bar. Which LOL, let’s be honest. Eating and drinking are two of my favorite pastimes (I just mean drinking coffee of course Mommm).
Coffee Shops and
Trendy Bars in Shoreditch
While writing this post, I realized almost all of these establishments double or triple in function. They all serve in some capacity more than just a coffee shop, restaurant or bar. So it proved sorta impossible to categorize them as just one or the other.
But I think that’s what I loved about Shoreditch. The casual vibes meant you could be sipping on coffee with your laptop open, while the next table could be grabbing a pint and quick meal.
Budget Tip: I learned of a new app called Dusk (currently only working in London, Liverpool and Manchester) that allows you to redeem one free drink a day at a specific featured bar for that day. Hollaaahhhh!
Bean & Wheat
They go by a name describing exactly who they are, a coffee and beer shop. A place where you can order a delicious brunch and coffee while taking a few craft bottles of beer to-go.
I ordered their version of a fried egg and avocado on toast. But after a seemingly far too long of time to get my order out, the manager came over and apologized for the delay.
However, instead of just offering an explanation for the delay (the printer messed up, didn’t send my ticket back), he says in a slightly posh/slightly East London accent,
“Let’s play a game. I’ll flip this coin and if it lands on the side of your choosing you can select a free beer or free coffee. What do you say, coffee or beer?”
I stalled, ermmm I mean it’s only 11am. I should probably go with the coffee but…
He flipped the coin and I yelled out, “Heads!”
This is the moment I realized the power of a coin flip. If you can’t decide what you want, flip a coin. It doesn’t matter what side it lands on. When you see that little piece of metal spinning right in front of your eyes, you’ll know the answer you were hoping for all along.
So, I took the beer. And thoroughly enjoyed it. Oh and how could I forget! It was honestly one of the best fried egg and avocado on toast that I have ever eaten. 10/10 would recommend to everyone and their visiting Grandma.
Long White Cloud
Bless the two women who were behind the counter when I arrived, tired, hungry and just wanted lunch in my belly. I arrived just after they stopped serving food for the day (they stay open selling coffee later in the day).
I think they saw the look of extreme hanger in my eyes and offered to make me a sandwich off the menu.
I’m fairly certain I remember saying something like, “Honestly, whatever you want to make works for me.”
And let me tell you, THIS WAS ONE OF THE BEST SANDWICHES I HAVE EVER EATEN! I mean just look at this beaut ↓
This is definitely one of those, ‘wait are you a restaurant, cafe, maybe a pub or possibly just someone’s living room?’ sort of places. Here you can work, grab a coffee, eat breakfast or late lunch, catch an art exhibit, drink a craft beer or order a cocktail of your liking.
Super close to where I was staying, Raw Store is a small organic market for groceries, local produce and small household products. They also have a bakery and coffee shop in the front offering a free banana for every coffee purchase (hello quick and easy breakfast on the go).
I went for the coffee but stayed for the pasta. In a cruel attempt to keep you gaining weight in Shoreditch, you can see them making the pasta right through the window on the street.
This is one of those super Instagrammable (is this an actual adjective now?) places. But only because it absolutely should be, it’s ridiculously cute inside with all it’s hanging plant glory. But more importantly, the food is the bomb.com. Make sure to try the banana bread!
This is the only true coffee shop on the list. With it’s retro school chairs and communal tables, it makes a great place to grab a cup of joe and hash out some work on your computer.
When I travel, I try to avoid chain restaurants. But I was hungry, tired (seeing a theme here?) and craving a burger so I went to the closest burger restaurant I could find on Google maps.
Enter: Honest Burger, a chain burger joint across the U.K. But they make their patties in their own butchery and the homemade rosemary chips are worth telling home about. I walked out full and very satisfied.
Falling in line with the multi purpose functionality of retail spaces in Shoreditch, The Boxpark was once a shipping container pop-up mall for artists but has now evolved into a well-known facet of Shoreditch. Here you can do some shopping from independent artists, grab a drink (or two) and scarf down some delicious street food concepts.
This place happened by accident. The ‘wait this is a speakeasy?’ kind of accident when you randomly select another bar off Google Maps because the first bar you strolled up to was just about to close. Oops.
It took me a good minute and some walking back and forth to find the place. And I still didn’t really find it. It was only because a man standing outside a nondescript, office building wearing a uniform saw my confusion and stepped in.
“What might you be looking for lady?”
“Um I think it’s a bar called Night Jar?”
“Well you’re at the right place!” and pointed to a tiny sign the size of my hand that read ‘Nightjar.’
After he called up to see if I could snag a table (pretty sure it’s the kind of place you’d typically need reservations for), I walked in to be met by a tiny jazz club fit with the grandeur of prohibition era decor. Dope!
Drinks are expensive but definitely worth it for the experience.
So this one I can’t personally attest to. But I overheard one of the hostel workers tell an Irish lad to hit up Red Lion if they were looking for the cheapest pints in town. Which for my fellow limited income travelers (as in LOL, I have no income because I quit my job to travel the world), this is vital information.
So there you have it folks, a quick little recap of my time spent wandering the streets of Shoreditch. After another recent visit to London, I’ve decided London needs to be my next life move. TBD if I can make these London dreams come true…
Where to eat & drink in Shoreditch
Join the Walrus Email List
Stay up to date with all the shenanigans along the way.