Nestled in the shadow of the City, a favourite of suits, students and everyone in between, Shoreditch has garnered a well-earned reputation as one of London’s hottest – and coolest – neighbourhoods. A centre of art, fashion and nightlife, the area has become synonymous with trendy, hipster-approved eateries that set the bar for chefs across the capital and the country alike (we can all thank Shoreditch cool kids for the appearance of avocado toast on brunch menus everywhere).
Tasty treats from every corner of the globe can be found among the galleries, coffee shops and independent record stores that are as ubiquitous as Shoreditch’s famous street art. From Michelin-starred restaurants offering up set menus served on wooden planks and upcycled slate, to the area’s bustling street food scene, each venue is decidedly unique and unapologetically hip – a true testament to the neighbourhood’s cool kid vibes. Here’s our guide to the best restaurants Shoreditch has to offer.
Located at the Mondrian Shoreditch hotel on Curtain Road, BiBo showcases famed Spanish chef Dani García’s rich Andalusian heritage via a classic, authentic menu. Offering an array of tapas alongside larger paella plates, which have proven to be quite the Instagram sensation, dine in orange-hued surroundings featuring hanging rattan lampshades and leather banquettes. García’s favourites include the oxtail brioche with thin mushroom slices, classic jamón croquetas, and his famous tortilla. Plus, for a brunch to remember, García has devised his very own paella brunch menu, including whole lobster, roasted chicken, vegetable and the special golden paella with eggs and cecina.
Mondrian Shoreditch, 45 Curtain Road, EC2A 3PT, visit ennismore.com
Housed in an old Victorian warehouse, Apothecary East is a Japanese-inspired Izakaya, serving up delicious small plates and trendy cocktails, beers and sake. Despite only opening its doors to customers in 2021, this has already become a foodie hotspot known for its unique take on Asian food. Take your seat at the buzzy bar or next to the roaring log fire before tucking into Japanese-style tapas. Highlights include the Kakuni pork belly or the jalapeno fried squid salad. For something meatier, order the teriyaki chicken, grilled lamb or rib-eye steak from the robata grill. Then, opt for grilled cauliflower with black sesame, smoky tenderstem broccoli, salmon den miso rolls, and nori fries before finishing off with the creamy, yuzu baked cheesecakes.
This Tokyo-inspired tavern on Charlotte Road is the place to be at the weekend, thanks to DJ sessions from music experts Spiritland. Top off your evening with a cocktail or two, including the Zen Garden, a citrusy blend of Roku gin, shiso and green tea, or Blurred Lines, combining haku vodka and bianco vermouth.
36 Charlotte Road, EC2A 3PG, visit apothecaryeast.co.uk
A London institution famed for its naan rolls, in-house IPA and Indian-tapas fusion, Dishoom can be found in many corners of the capital but the Shoreditch outpost is one of the original branches. Every Dishoom restaurant has its own in-house specials, and the Shoreditch one is prawn pathia: succulent prawns marinated overnight before being lightly grilled and mixed into a sweet, tangy tomato masala, served with onion salad and roomali roti. The signature tipple, Hunterwali's Julep, mixes fresh ginger, spearmint and pineapple. For loyalists, the main menu still includes highlights such as the Dishoom chicken tikka, chilli cheese toast and the house chaat: golden-fried sweet potato covered with yogurt, pomegranate, beetroot, radish and carrot. Perfect for sharing with friends and family, whether that's at breakfast, lunch or dinner.
7 Boundary Street, E2 7JE, visit dishoom.com
Bao Noodle Shop
From humble beginnings in London Fields’ Netil Market, Bao has grown to become a London institution, offering up fluffy pillow-like buns filled with all manner of tasty Taiwanese treats across the city. Run by the family behind Gymkhana, Trishna and Hoppers, their latest opening on Redchurch Street is a little different. Inspired by Taiwanese noodle bars, Bao Noodle Shop invites diners to sit around an open kitchen where chefs offer up steaming bowls of authentic Taipei and Tainan beef noodle soup, along with the ever-popular cloudlike buns from which the restaurant takes its name.
Kelp noodle soup with aubergine fritters and dan dan tofu noodles offers a plant-based take on the Taiwanese classic, or for the full noodle shop experience try out the set menu, which features eel and smacked cucumber, and boiled cull yaw dumplings. A range of refreshing cocktails sees classics infused with a taste of Taiwan; keep the party going all night with an Umeshu negroni (plum sake, gin, Campari, vermouth) or milk tea Old Fashioned (milk washed whisky, Taiwanese tea and bitters) in the venue’s private karaoke room.
1 Redchurch Street, E2 7DJ, visit baolondon.com
Following the roaring success of their Heddon Street pop-up and subsequent Soho residency on Great Marlborough Street, chefs Chris Leach and David Carter have reincarnated Manteca once again, this time taking its much-lauded concept to East London. Launched in November 2021 and situated centre-stage on Curtain Road, easily marked out by its floating pig’s head signage, the team at Manteca continues to delight and thrill with its refreshing infusion of British and Italian nose-to-tail cuisine.
Fan favourites such as the pig head fritti, wild-farmed focaccia and decadent duck liver parfait remain on menu, joined by more mouth-watering choices such as the wood-roasted lemon sole and brown crab cacio e pepe. Libations abound with a new menu of cocktails – many of which are crafted with Manteca’s own homemade amaro – which takes inspiration from the restaurant’s British-Italian roots. Desserts, such as the pair’s frangipane twist on a torta di mele, are not to be overlooked and, for those lucky enough to visit on a night it is available, Leach’s famed stuffed pig snout is a must, even if just for the Instagram likes.
49-51 Curtain Road, EC2A 3PT, visit mantecarestaurant.co.uk
Entering Gloria is somewhat like stepping into the past. With its kitschy-chic interior, the ‘70s-style Capri-inspired trattoria feels every bit as authentic as its food. Owned by Big Mamma group, the Parisian collective behind Fitzrovia’s Circolo Popolare and Ave Mario of Covent Garden, Gloria specialises in decadent, flavourful Italian classics that will stay with you long after the last limoncello is sunk.
Served tableside from a wheel of pecorino, la gran carbonara has become the stuff of Instagram legend, but other dishes shine just as bright. There’s the burrata with vibrant homemade basil pesto and a drizzle of chilli oil, and the ravioli di ricotta and limone featuring homemade green and yellow ravioli served with burro and basil sauce and topped with grated parmesan. For dessert, two all-time favourites go head-to-head in competition for your attention: il tigramisù (made just like nonna used to do) and the ‘incomparable lemon pie’ with its towering 5-inch layer of meringue. Unsurprisingly, the buzz around Big Mamma’s London venues is huge – all three restaurants regularly get booked up a month in advance and the queue for walk-in tables at Gloria stretches along Great Eastern Street daily.
54-56 Great Eastern Street, EC2A 3QR, visit bigmammagroup.com
In a former Lipton tea factory, directly opposite buzzing Box Park, sits Lyle’s. With a pared-back industrial interior, chef James Lowe – who gained recognition as one of the Young Turks, a collective of chefs famed for their pop-ups and supper clubs – stays true to the restaurant’s roots, letting his modern British small plates do all the talking.
Menus at the Michelin-starred venue are updated daily: for lunch, the sophisticated a la carte offering pairs high-quality seasonal produce with freshly sourced British meat and seafood – think game terrine and quince, beefsteak mushroom with crème fraîche and chervil. A technically accomplished, yet seemingly simple, set menu is dished up for dinner, allowing guests the opportunity to sample the best of Lowe’s carefully considered compositions.
Tea Building, 56 Shoreditch High Street, E1 6JJ, visit lyleslondon.com
Set among the vibrant street art of Shoreditch, Smokestak is one of London’s best-loved barbecue spots, and it’s easy to see why. Born and raised in Barbados, chef David Carter (also of Manteca, formerly of Claridge’s and Roka) fuses Bajan and Central Texas-style BBQ, bringing the best of both techniques together for a unique eating experience that has Londoners and tourists alike flocking to the venue time and time again. Beef rib is truly the star of the show at Smokestak: 30-day dry-aged British beef is seasoned abundantly with oil, salt and pepper, then oak-smoked for seven hours on-site before being glazed with beef dripping and homemade BBQ sauce, and finished off over hot coals until charred. This is definitely not your dad’s summer barbie.
35 Sclater Street, E1 6LB, visit smokestak.co.uk
Housed in the ever-glam Shoreditch Town Hall, the Michelin-starred Clove Club helped put the area on the foodie map when they opened back in 2013. Billed as classic British cuisine with a modern twist, chef Isaac McHale – who cut his teeth at Noma and The Ledbury – applies his globally-inspired technique to fresh locally-sourced produce. Staying true to its roots as an experimental supper club, tasting menus are the order of the day and feature a range of classic British favourites made creatively contemporary with unexpected pairings. Recent highlights include sardine sashimi with ginger, hazelwood grilled lobster with Sri Lankan spices, and strawberries and cream with sake lees and blackcurrant vinegar.
Shoreditch Town Hall, 380 Old Street, EC1V 9LT, visit thecloveclub.com
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