With its vibrant creative scene and electic social calendar, East London has a reputation for being the most fashionable side of the capital for young professionals.
You don’t have to look far to find trendy hangouts, pop-up art events and bustling food markets. And you’ll have no difficulty commuting into Central London thanks to the strong network of Tube lines. So we’ve explored the area and come up with a list of the best places to live in East London in 2023.
The epitome of East London cool, Shoreditch always has something going on. With a diverse range of trendy cafés, independent boutiques, pop-up food venues, and the iconic Brick Lane Market, the area is one of the best places to live in East London if you want all of the buzz of city life. The Book Club and Rich Mix are particularly popular and sure to become your regular haunts.
Thanks to the area’s bold social scene, there are plenty of stylish modern and converted warehouse-style apartments available to renters. The location also has very convenient transport links with Liverpool Street connecting the Central, Circle, Hammersmith & City, and Metropolitan Lines, as well the Overground network.
Rapidly becoming one of East London’s most vibrant areas, Bethnal Green offers a great nightlife scene, as well as a plethora of trendy destinations for coffee and food. Simply wander along Paradise Row to try out the countless venues that have taken over the old railway arches.
For those times you want to escape the noise of the city or walk your dog, Weavers Field and Bethnal Green Gardens are nice leafy retreats (you’ll be right next door to both if you live in our stylish apartments at Dressage Court). The area benefits from good transport links too, letting you take the Central Line into Oxford Circus in 15 minutes.
Known as the thriving financial centre of London, Canary Wharf has a modern appeal with its iconic horizon of skyscrapers, luxurious boutiques and sleek apartments for renters.
Surrounded by picturesque views across the river, you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to finding a chic restaurant or riverside bar. Head to the Scottish-themed Boisdale for a unique night of jazz and vintage whisky or Giant Robot for its trendy rooftop boulevard of street-food traders.
Commuters needn’t worry either; the area is right on the Jubilee Line, getting you into Bond Street in less than 25 minutes, and the new Elizabeth Line is due soon.
Isle of Dogs
The Isle of Dogs is like Canary Wharf’s older sibling. The area offers a much more relaxed vibe, which is ideal if you don’t want the hustle and bustle of Canary Wharf seven days a week. Nevertheless, you’ll be close enough to Canary Wharf’s transport connections to make commuting easy.
There’s a whole host of cultural venues and bustling cafés on Isle of Dogs. For art and theatre lovers, The Space is a unique venue housed in a converted church, offering a programme of workshops and events, as well as a cosy café. Or hop over the river to the O2 Arena to see some of the biggest names in music.
Brimming with creativity, Hackney has become renowned for attracting an artistic crowd. The area is ideal if you’re looking for a trendy neighbourhood with an abundance of cool hangouts.
Bordered by Regents Canal, Victoria Park, and London Fields Lido, Hackney has the perfect mix of picturesque running and dog-walking spots alongside vibrant places to eat and drink. The bustling Broadway Market is one of the area’s many gems, where you pick up anything from locally-grown groceries and homemade pastries to handmade gifts and homewares. Or head over to Crate Brewery, which is sure to become your regular Friday night hangout with friends.
What’s more, you can easily get into Central London with regular Overground trains from Hackney Downs to Liverpool Street.
If you’re looking to balance city life with a more relaxed atmosphere, Stratford is one of East London’s most residential areas. Over the past few years, the area’s seen numerous new developments popping up for renters, with the Jubilee and Central Lines and Overground trains making it easy to all areas of London.
Although the area’s known for being the home of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and the London Stadium, there’s more to Stratford than its 2012 Olympics legacy. You can shop to your heart’s content at the huge Westfield Shopping Centre or take your pick of the area’s foodie scene. We’d recommend Neighbourhood for its traditional British pub food and craft beer menu, or the stylish Darkhorse for its European cuisine.
Rapidly becoming a one of the best places to live in East London for renters, Stoke Newington has evolved over the last few years, airing a certain bohemian charm. It’s more chilled and residential than the neighbouring Hackney, benefitting from two leafy parks, Clissold Park and Abney Park.
Church Street is at the heart of the area, where you’ll find numerous independent shops and cafés to enjoy — try The Green Room. What’s more, you’ll be able to buy your groceries at Stoke Newington farmers’ market, London’s only all-organic market.
It’s just a 15-minute Overground journey into Liverpool Street and there are regular buses, so commuting’s generally a breeze.
More residential and relaxed than other areas in East London, Walthamstow is a good choice if you’re looking for a community-minded vibe. Well connected by Underground and Overground stations, you can grab the Tube into Victoria in 25 minutes.
The suburban district is surrounded by countless parks, including the beautiful Epping Forest, so you’ll never be short of a quiet spot to read or wander. But, there’s more to the area than its green spaces; Walthamstow boasts Europe’s longest outdoor street market and is home to the treasured William Morris Gallery, not forgetting the area’s numerous cosy pubs.
As you’d expect, properties are more classical, dating to the Edwardian period, but you’ll find a number of modernised homes available to rent too.
Best Places to Live in East London
East London is the perfect choice for those looking to embrace London’s creative scene, with so many trendy areas to choose from for renters. Where’s your East London area of choice? Let us know by tweeting us @EssLiving. We understand that it can be difficult to choose where to live though; read our complete guide to living in London for more advice.