Over the past decade, Shoreditch has become one of the areas of London with the most diverse eating out options. It's here where some of London's more unique restaurants have appeared, thriving in an area that is a little less expensive to break into than central London. Here's our edit of what we think are the best...
BAO have mastered the art of the bao bun - now they've moved onto noodles, with beef noodles being the key draw at this Shoreditch restaurant. But worry not - bao buns are available too.
Barboun serves dishes inspired by the Levantine region, a cluster of coastal Middle Eastern countries that share a coastline with the Mediterranean sea including Syria and Lebanon.It’s from the people that brought us Soho’s Hovarda and it's big on cooking over open flames.
Bibo sees Dani Garcia, a top Spanish chef with Michelin stars to his name, take his Bibo restaurant group to the new Mondrian hotel in Shoreditch. While rollouits can sometimes be hit or miss - this is definitely in hit territory, with an excellent tapas menu and vibe to match.
This is the Shoreditch outpost of the Blacklock group - which has become famous for its piles of chops, cooked over fire. It's also great value for money - and that includes the cocktails. This East London branch also has a large bar area.
Chef Tomos Parry's solo venture was an instant hit after opening (and there's an offshoot alfresco version too). It features a mix of cooking on fire, Welsh and Basque cuisine, and a big focus on wine. It doesn't hurt that the dining room is quite lovely too.
Previously Burger and Beyond were at street food markets all over town before they settled down in Shoreditch. Their best burgers are on offer here, all covered in excellent toppings like marrownaise and more. Their small plates action is pretty good and the truffled tater tots are some of the best in town.
Part shop/part restaurant, Shoreditch’s Burro e Salvia makes incredible pasta on site every day. You can take it away to cook yourself at home or take a seat up at the pasta counter and let them do the work for you. There’s a small menu of fresh pasta and antipasti that changes regularly, and if you fancy learning the secrets of great pasta making for yourself, they also run regular workshops.
Award-winning chicken street food trader made its move from street food to bricks and mortar with the opening of this, their first place, in Shoreditch. Their fried buttermilk chicken sandwiches are the bomb.
Just off Kingsland Road, in an area with some excellent Vietnamese cooking, Cay Tre is held out to be one of the very best in London. Their pho is an obvious attraction here, but there's a broad menu of authentic Vietnamese cooking. (And you can pop across the street to try their Banh Mi shop Keu too.)
This is the Old Street restaurant for Richard Corrigan, the top Irish chef who's also behind Bentley's in Mayfair. Expect a menu that has a modern European base mixed in with various Irish influences. There's an excellent pub downstairs too, in the shape of Gibney's.
One of London's biggest success stories, Dishoom seems eternally popular. Serving up all manner of Indian small plates, there's just as big a focus on the bar here as the food. Expect to wait for your table at peak times.
The Big Mamma group in Paris have had huge hits with their trattorias and Gloria was their first London opening, in a big space in Shoreditch. It serves up Italian food in a classic looking space (as well as a hidden 80s-set dining room) and a buzzy vibe.
This is the original Gunpowder which has since expanded to more locations across London, It's run by Harneet Baweja, who was an Indian entrepreneur who wanted to bring something different to the scene. The Indian small plates on their menu are inspired by those that the team grew up with and the Kashmiri lamb chops are a must.
The original Hawksmoor, and for many the best. Known as the group that transformed steaks in British restaurants forever for the better, this is a perfect place to come to for a meat-fest. And expect some cracking cocktails too - head to the bar downstairs for those and extra snacks not on the main menu.
From their simple start on a Maltby Street stall to their permanent digs on Bethnal Green Road, Lahpet are introducing Londoners to the delights of Burmese food.
Small plates, sharers and snacks are on the menu here, at this venture from the team who ran Michelin-starred Hackney restaurant Ellory. Now they're Shoreditch-based with a more laid back venture that features their own Vermouth and wines.
James Lowe's restaurant at the Tea Building in Shoreditch proved that a restaurant in Shoreditch could gain a Michelin star. This all-day restaurant showcases his food with a regularly changing menu. Look out for special guests popping in from time to time. And they serve a damn fine coffee throughout the day.
Originally big in Soho and now David Carter (Smokestak) and Chris Leach's Manteca moved to Shoreditch. Designed around an open kitchen with plenty of open-fire cooking. The food is described as a nose-to-tail "Italian with a British accent" with both seasonality and a whole-animal approach to cooking the name of the day (alongside some great pasta).
This Shoreditch restaurants was conceived by James Brown & former Viajante chef Nuno Mendes and now has Executive Chef Edoardo Pellicano at the helm. It's best described as a hidden, permanent supperclub. There's one sitting each evening, with an inventive menu that is never the same.
Selin Kiazim originally won lots of fans during her stint at Kopapa. Her own restaurant focuses on Turkish Cypriot cooking and was designed to reflect her "bustling eating times as a child." There's a lot cooked on the mangal grill and a Turkish wine menu from partner Laura Christie.
The original Padella is a London sensation, with its affordable fresh pasta winning friends far and wild. It's hugely popular, which led to this second outpost in Shoreditch. Expect the same great value, high quality pasta and more.
This Italian restaurant is from chef Jonathan Lawson, who worked with Theo Randall for five years before opening his own place, with cuisine described as Italian with a touch of Moorish and Spanish.
This is the original Rochelle Canteen, from chef Margot Henderson and business partner Melanie Arnold, and has been held up by almost every chef in London as one of the best places to eat at in town. Henderson serves up classic, seasonal cooking. It's a little on the hard side to find - but well worth it.
Grupo Sagardi was founded years ago in Barcelona. This is their first UK restaurant and it's all about showcasing the best produce from Basque farms and its coast, all flown in daily from San Sebastian. The steak is a big deal.
Santo Remedio at London Bridge has established itself as one of London's top authentic Mexican restaurants. This is their second restaurant (but also where they originally started out some years back). They call the cafe "an ode to the bustling cafés of Mexico" with hits from the original Santo Remedio - like the tacos and guacamole - as well as Shoreditch-only dishes. Expect great margaritas and there's a takeaway hatch too.
David Carter's smoky, steampunk room in Shoreditch shows that there is real innovation and creativity behind the macho 'cue look. There's a huge range of smoked delights like the brisket and pickled chilli bun, while there are also some gorgeous dishes for vegetarians.
Sister restaurant to Kiln, this is the second version of Smoking Goat and a huge hit. Whether you're sitting up at the counter or enjoying a group meal with friends, enjoy a range of Thai dishes that change depending on produce and a lot of Thai BBQ too.
Serving up some of the best Thai food in London, the trio behind this is Andy Oliver, Mark Dobbie and Tom George. They originally gained a huge following at a Climpson's Arch residency before crowdfunding their own spot. "Regional Thai food with uncompromising flavours" is what they promise.
The Shoreditch outpost of the St John empire is almost like a finishing school for London chefs. This restaurant is the beating heart of seasonal British cooking in London and has spread that influence all over the UK. A cracking place for a weekend breakfast too.
One of the best restaurants in town and one of the few to make it into the World's 50 Best list, The Clove Club is now a London institution, on the must-try lists of all good gastro tourists. Head into the main restaurant for a regularly changing set menu which is at the heart of things here - or to the bar for cocktails and nibbles.
If you're after great Vietnamese food in London, then one of the places to head to is Kingsland Road with a huge selection of restaurants. This one stands out though, as the sister restaurant of Cay Tre and with something of a more laid-back vibe.
The best of Shoreditch
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