East London, which includes Shoreditch, is the city’s hipster equivalent to L.A.’s Silverlake or New York’s Williamsburg. There’s street art, an abundance of gourmet donut shops, trendy boutiques and a signature tattered black clothing style. Fancy farm-to-table, organic, vegan, and gluten-free restaurants line the streets, with hole-in-the-wall cheap eats spots filling in the gaps. Make sure to look right as you’re crossing the street — not just for cars, though, as bikes dominate here. In a massive city such as London, it’s great to have a dedicated area that feels a bit more underground and separate from the rest. For all you Instagram addicts, Shoreditch will not disappoint. What follows are some top Instagrammable spots to impress your followers with.
Boxpark Shoreditch opened in 2011 as the world’s first pop-up mall. Entirely constructed out of retrofitted shipping containers, Boxpark is a mixture of a street food market and local/global brand emporium. Boxpark offers affordable and flexible leases for lifestyle brands, cafes, restaurants and galleries.
Open 7 days a week, this daily market is home to a selection of carefully chosen traders, craftsmen, artists and artisans, all selected for their quality of product in addition to the stories they have to tell. In the center of the market there are ten fully stocked kitchens where exceptional contemporary and authentic cooking is showcased.
This market is buzzing every weekday around lunchtime with local workers and residents who have come out to taste some of the best street food London has to offer. This is the “real” London, tucked just far enough away from the more touristy parts of the city.
What started off as a small arts and crafts fair, supposedly temporary and only open on Sundays, quickly grew into the largest market in London, open seven days a week. Camden Market is a diverse community of creative sellers, street food traders and independent stores next to the Regent’s Canal. There are over 1,000 places to eat, shop, drink and dance in this historic London location.
This vintage clothing and retro treasures shop originally started in a stall in Camden but has since grown to open four stores. Each item here is hand picked with style-conscious, environmentally-aware vintage lovers in mind. Their pieces date from the ‘30s to the ‘90s and cover every major trend.
What’s better than a ball pit for adults? How about many ball pits for adults inside a really kick-ass bar? There’s a main pit as well as two other exclusive pits for VIP and/or buyouts. The drinks are uniquely strong and the photo ops are endless. Be sure to make a reservation because adult ball pits are definitely in and you don’t want to be stuck outside missing out on all the fun.
A combination of galleries, exhibitions, artist commissions, collection displays, historical archives, educational resources, and a Café/Bar and Bookshop, the Gallery is open all year round, with lots of photo-worthy art to choose from.
East London’s revolutionary arts and media quarter is home to a hive of creative businesses as well as exclusively independent shops, galleries, markets, bars and restaurants. For more than twenty years the Old Truman Brewery has been reimagining its ten acres of vacant and derelict buildings into office, retail, leisure and event spaces. The finely tuned mix of business and leisure has created a unique environment within London.
This 6,000 sq. ft. shopping hub has an extensive amount of curated vintage clothing, showcasing 20,000 unique pieces dating from the late ‘70s to early ‘00s. They mainly stock high-end labels as well as sports brands with an extensive range of denim.
The Jones Family Project
Set up by a group of friends, this independent restaurant and bar provides the perfect atmosphere for sharing food, drink and quality time with friends. Their ground floor bar has space to work and play, while their main dining room features a full a la carte menu. If you’ve never experienced a London Sunday Roast, this is the place to try one. Their set menu offers either a two or three course meal.
Discover what the guidebooks wont show you. If you are still itching for more of East London, consider an off the beaten path walking tour with this award-winning company. The East London street art and graffiti tour will surely give you access to some quality picture worthy locations while also showcasing some of the places you might not have seen on your own.
Z Hotel Shoreditch (Recommended Stay)
With 111 bedrooms, this perfectly situated hotel is both convenient and inexpensive. The rooms are compact but have everything you need within. The lobby offers a complimentary wine and cheese hour for guests and the service level is beyond what one would expect. Again, the rooms are a bit on the smaller side, but they are clean and modern and the location is unbeatable.