East London’s reputation as the cool, artsy area of the capital is truly justifiable. With trendy hangouts on every corner, you’ll never be at a loss of somewhere new to visit. From the bold social scene of Shoreditch to Bethnal Green’s iconic converted railway arches and Hackney’s art culture, wherever you’re living in East London, there’s always something going on.
Whether you’re on the lookout for the best pub grub, a stylish restaurant for a date, a lively bar for cocktails, or a chilled brunch spot, we’ve compiled ten of the best places to head to.
Elegant fine dining and brunch spot, Bistrotheque, offers a lively atmosphere around the clock for this living in East London. Light and airy inside, the East London restaurant has a contemporary Parisian feel about it. Choose from a menu of indulgent dishes like beef bourguignon and crème brûlée, as well as the humble British fry-up and French toast.
You can also enjoy a classic selection of cocktails. From Bloody Marys to Bellinis, Bistrotheque’s mixologists have fine-tuned all your favourites.
Find at 23-27 Wadeson Street, London E2 9DR | Follow @bistrotheque
The Book Club
Offering up the perfect mix of delicious brunches and lively club nights, The Book Club has it all. Enjoy your favourite drinks into the late hours to a soundtrack of throwback hits from local DJs. Then visit by day at the weekend for one of Shoreditch’s best brunches as a little pick-me-up.
You’ll also find quiz nights, life-drawing classes and even speed dating (complete with playlists) on the venue’s busy events calendar.
Find at 100-106 Leonard Street, London EC2A 4RH | Follow @thebookclubec2
If you’re on the hunt for East London’s best coffee, Brunswick East is a definite contender. The trendy Dalston café boasts an array of speciality coffees, whether you like yours as an espresso, flat white or anything in between.
As well as coffee, the café has earned an esteemed place on East London’s brunch radar. Choose from their cleansing juices, avocado on toast, and eggs galore. Sweet tooth’s can celebrate with the café’s selection of homemade cakes and pastries too. Or pop by to pick up a homemade sourdough loaf for the week ahead.
Find at 3D Stamford Works, Gillet Street, Dalston, London N16 8JH | Follow @brunswick_east
You don’t have to leave London to embrace the flavours of Italy. Italian restaurant, Gloria, offers the authentic neighbourhood vibe of a trattoria. Spread over two floors, everything from the playful interiors to the epic wine shelves is inspiring.
The restaurant’s menu is an assortment of Italian classics, with fresh ingredients sourced from independent Italian suppliers.
If you’re living in East London you’ll be spoilt for choice by their pizza and pasta dishes. Be sure to save room for gelato and cocktails too — the Pisatacchio di Bronte and Colada Me Later are among the restaurant’s own recommendations.
Find at 54-56 Great Eastern Street, London EC2A 3QR | Follow @bigmamma.uk
Combining the vibrant plant life of a greenhouse with blush pink interiors, Palm Vaults is hard to miss. The café brings the breezy vibe of Los Angeles to Hackney. The sugar sweet menu is an indulgent mix of cakes, pastries, and brunch favourites — all homemade on site. Vegans and coeliacs can rejoice thanks to the vast range of free-free options.
A visit wouldn’t be complete without one of the café’s iconic drinks. Pink milkshakes, matcha lattes and rose cocktails are particular highlights.
Find at 411 Mare Street, London E8 1HY | Follow @palmvaults
Synonymous with East London’s coffee culture, Grind will fast become your local for a caffeine fix. The flagship Shoreditch café is like a beacon on Old Street Roundabout thanks to its cinema-esque lightbox sign.
Step inside for a trendy, urban space where coffee is the number-one focus. The exposed brick espresso bar offers a chic counter to showcase the café’s daily pastries and cakes, which are the perfect sweet treat pairing for your coffee. Or stay for all-day brunch and cocktails — espresso martinis are a must.
Find at 213 Old Street, London EC1V 9NR | Follow @grind
SAGER + WILDE
Delicious dining meets Paradise Row’s railway arches with Sager + Wilde. The kitchen serves a mouth-watering menu of Italian-inspired dishes. From black truffle tagliatelle to ox cheek ragu, expect a fusion of flavours. The restaurant champions the supper club ethos too with delicious charcuterie and cheese boards to share, courtesy of Neal’s Yard Dairy.
In sunnier weather, the venue boasts a vast outdoor terrace of picnic benches to enjoy a drink with friends. Or visit the industrial chic bar by night to savour a cocktail with a twist by the expert mixologists.
Find at Arch 250 Paradise Row, London E2 9LE | Follow @sagerandwilde
Green Room Café
For those looking for a relaxed brunch spot whilst living in East London, Stoke Newington’s Green Room Café is ideal. Inspired by flavours from the garden, the café serves up an abundance of salads, egg dishes, and veggie comfort food.
Inside, it’s like a summer garden. Expect a colourful selection of floral decorations and hanging succulents. You can even pick up a bouquet or pot-plant to brighten up your own home thanks to their mini florist. In the summer months, the outdoor terrace of picnic benches is a much-visit spot for a lazy breakfast or beer with friends.
Find at 113 Stoke Newington Church Street, London N16 0UD | Follow @n16greenroom
New York inspired tap room, Mother Kelly’s, should be high on your radar if you’re looking to sample the finest craft beers. Set in one of Bethnal Green’s old converted railway arches (just down the road from Dressage Court), the bar oozes industrial charm.
Stocking beers from independent breweries all around the world, you’ll always find something new to satiate your taste buds. If you’re feeling peckish, the brewery also serves cheese and cured meat sharing boards to pair with your beer. Or visit on Thursdays to Sundays for food from some of the capital’s most popular street food vendors.
Find at 251 Paradise Row, Bethnal Green, London E2 9LE | Follow @motherkellys_e2
Living in East London
Living in East London lets you truly embrace the capital’s vibrant social scene. Whether you choose to move to Hackney or Bethnal Green (home to our stylish Dressage Court apartments), you’ll always have a cool bar or restaurant right on your doorstep. Share your favourite East London haunt by tweeting us @EssLiving.