We’ve all been there, it’s past midnight on a Friday evening, you’ve had a lovely time out in east London but you’re ready to go home. The rain is starting to drive down hard and you’re quickly realising that amidst the sea of Hoxton cabs before you, none of them are yours. Addison Lee have been providing London with a service it can rely on for well over 30 years now. Meaning we’ve witnessed not just the changing dynamic of how taxis are booked, but how you want them to behave when you do book them. That’s why we’ve stayed true to our simple vow to provide a service that not only turns up on time; comfortable and clean. But also one that’s 30% cheaper than a black cab and never, ever charges ‘surge fares’. Even when we’re really, really busy. There’s a confusing difference between Hoxton and Shoreditch. We’re not going to go into it too much but sufficed to say they’re right next to each other. To make things easier, they both sit in the borough of Hackney, they both touch on Old Street and they both have a connection with neighbouring Dalston. What makes it really confusing is that people tend to think of Hoxton and assume it exists entirely inside Hoxton Square. And while there are plenty of great bars, clubs and restaurants on the square, there’s still loads to do elsewhere as well. Book one of our Hoxton cabs and you can be out, exploring it all in a matter of moments. Historically regarded as bit of a seedy east London nook, Hoxton has slowly emerged as a playground for the young and creative. Artists moved in through the mid 90s in hope of finding affordable rent and common-minded neighbours. Soon parties, clubs and even illegal raves followed and its residents began to shape a new, more vibrant climate here. And, as ever, it wasn’t long before the rest of the city took note. Today Hoxton has become a by-word for the purposelessly trendy, the morally vapid and even the binge-drinking culture of the ‘Ibiza lot’. And while some of that criticism isn’t entirely without grounds, it’s not all silly haircuts and skinny jeans. Like anywhere in London there are still plenty of places where anyone can go to have a good time. And if you know where you’re going, half the battle’s already won. Follow our Hoxton taxi driver’s guide to the area and not only will we have you knocking on the doors of N1’s finest in no time, we’ll also be there with one of our Hoxton cabs waiting and ready to take you there. Just a tap on the app or website away. Easy as that.
Where to drink
You’ve never been anywhere like the White Lyan. You just haven’t. How do we know this? Because this, the first bar of industry guru Ryan Chetiyawardana, is a cocktail bar which doesn’t hold or stock any ingredients. That means no juice, no spirits and no fresh fruit. Not even ice is used to make these drinks. Every single cocktail is pre-prepared in ready to drink bottles that have been chilled to perfection. Each drink lovingly created hours before the bar even opens. So not only are they perfectly consistent, there’s also no waste when they’re being made. Unique, one-of-kind, call it what you will. We call it delicious.
153-155 Hoxton St, N1 6PJ
From the incredibly clever and innovative to the outright good fun. Floripa is a Brazilian bar that’s all about embracing the carnival vibe and running with it. Named after a famous Brazilian party island, Floripa invites you to come in and sink a few cold beers or icy caiprinhas over the course of a long sweaty evening. Dancing is more than encouraged, it’s practically mandatory as the South American party atmosphere really takes over. Eating is also an option if you’re interested, as their concise but attractive food menu will attest. There’s quite often live music to get the night really going and look out for the table football table. Often the site of a hard won contest or hustle.
91-93 Great Eastern St, EC2A3HZ
Popularity among bars is a funny thing. Sometimes it derives from a good location, other times it’s down to the quality of the drinks or atmosphere, and on some rare occasions it’s just when you get everything right, all at once. Happiness Forgets is – as you might have guessed – one of those rare gems. A place that welcomes you underground into its stylish den with all the friendly clamour of an old pal. Then proceeds to ply you with drinks that are both technically excellent and fun to slug on, all set to the backdrop of speakeasy style bar. Good idea to book ahead as a table is required and it’s mighty popular.
8-9 Hoxton Square, N1 6NU
Where to eat
You may remember a few years ago there was a show on the telly featuring TV ‘sleb chef, pasta don and all round pukka geezer Jamie Oliver, in which he opened a restaurant that only hired disadvantaged kids. The idea was that the restaurant would give the unfortunate youths a platform and opportunity to better themselves and become chefs. Guess what? It was a huge success. What a lot of people didn’t realise was that so was the restaurant, and it’s still there today. A lot of Fifteen’s appeal seems to come down to it serving simple food, made well. No need to delve into the realms of fancy cuisine here. Just use the best ingredients possible, get the basics right and let the flavours do the talking. Book ahead as it does tend to get busy.
15 Westland Pl, N1 7LP
Michelin starred up to the hilt, The Clove Club is something a little bit different to most restaurants. Even by Hoxton’s standards. Set in the old Shoreditch Town Hall, the Clove Club insists that you like what it serves. It does this by dishing out a five course set menu with absolutely no wiggle room (although there is also a veggie menu to choose from as well). This means you eat what you’re served or you go hungry. So it’s not one for the unadventurous. The term ‘open kitchen’ is really put to the test here with chefs going so far as to serve straight to the table, themselves. There’s also a bar in the front where you can order nibbles if you’re not ready for the full whack.
Shoreditch Town Hall, 380 Old St, EC1V 9LT
Perhaps it’s the giant cow and chicken suspended in a case of formaldehyde that hangs above diners heads that really demands your instant interest at the Tramshed. But it’s the laidback yet buzzy vibe, not to mention the simple but delicious food that’ll keep it thereafter. Tramshed is London restaurateur Mark Hix’s first stab at creating a more financially viable alternative to his pricey Soho digs, Hix. The menu is plain, but in a good way. You can choose from whole roast chickens through to lovingly prepared steaks. The idea presumably being to create an alternative to London’s ubiquitous lobster, burger options. The staff are engaging but usually quite busy (it’s a big old room) so patience is required.
32 Rivington St, EC2A 3LX
What to do
Roll down the ramp from Dalston Junction overground station, out onto Kingsland Road in front of you and you’ll pretty much bump noses with the stunning Rio Cinema. A Grade II listed art deco palace, the Rio has been showing the very best in Indy flicks and Hollywood blockbusters for over 100 years. It’s been repeatedly named as one of the best cinemas in London by a number of publications and it’s not hard to tell why. For a place with only one screen they have to be quite careful about what they show. Come at the right time and you may catch one of their special screenings or even festivals.
130 Hoxton St, N1 6SH
If you enjoy live music you’ll be pleased to hear that Hoxton is absolutely crawling with places you can go to get your fix. From pop to punk to kinds of stuff you’ve never even heard of, it’s all here. One of our absolute favourites is Hoxton’s famous Underbelly. Set in the basement of colourful bar Zigfrid von Underbelly, this place was originally created to serve the adoring fans of east London with pop and synth sounds of 70s New York. Today it welcomes all kinds of music to its modest club. Small enough to feel intimate, large enough to throw a proper party.
11 Hoxton Square, N1 6NU
The Courtyard Theatre
In London you’ll quite often find theatres that have been converted into something else, but it’s not all that common to find public libraries that have been converted into theatres. The Courtyard is that exception to the rule. Operating one large and one smaller theatre out of this stunning Grade II listed building, it’s renowned for putting on what is commonly known as ‘fringe theatre’. The Courtyard are another Hoxton establishment that keep pushing the envelope of what’s possible for young creatives. Be a part of it.
Bowling Green Walk, 40 Pitfield St, N1 6EU