First time in ‘super trendy’ Shoreditch? Let Addison Lee help you out. We’ve put together this handy Shoreditch taxi driver’s guide to the best bars, pubs, restaurants and attractions in the area, so you’ll always know where you’re going in E1. Diverse playground of cultures or last year’s hipster habitat? Love it or hate it, Shoreditch is never far from a Londoner’s thoughts. Whether you’re here on business or you’re keen to test out its famous nightlife, like moths to a light, Shoreditch always draws people in to its buzzy neon glow. And why wouldn’t it? Old Street – or Silicon Roundabout as it’s known in the tech world – is a just a ten minute stroll from Liverpool Street Station and the heart of the financial City. Making it a popular, and convenient stomping ground for visitors from all walks of life. Addison Lee have been providing London with a private hire service it can count on since 1975. And as times and fashions change, so do we. All that stays the same is our comfortable, clean and reliable cars that don’t cost the earth. And we’re so easy to book – just use the website or app. We’ll never charge for ‘surges’ and cost a fraction of the price of a black cab. So with that in mind, sit back, relax and follow our Shoreditch taxi driver’s guide. We’ve singled out our favourite places in East London, hopefully they’ll soon be yours too.
Where to drink
If you’re reading this and running the words ‘Callooh Callay’ around your head over and again, wondering desperately where you’ve heard them before then wait until you get inside this amazing little bar and it will probably hit you. Founded in an attempt to really push the envelope with what could be done in the world of drinks, this place truly went down the rabbit hole (getting it yet?) in search of new and exciting ways to refresh its customers. But it’s not just a bar for drinks enthusiasts, this is also the kind of place you can really let your hair down and enjoy yourself. Unlike a lot of London’s ‘best bars’ this isn’t a ‘book a table ahead’ kind of place. You can just pitch up and settle in. Just the medicine.
65 Rivington St, EC2A 3AY
Jaunt into Hoxton Square on a Saturday night and you might find yourself a little put out by the heaving crowds of drunken revellers. At this stage you might think ‘this isn’t for me’ and decide to hop in an Addison Lee out of there. Hold it right there – we urge you to stay a while longer and discover the always incredible Happiness Forgets. Deep down in a dark basement, this compact bar has been at the forefront of London’s evening scene for some time now. Winning awards left, right and centre, they pride themselves on creating an atmosphere worthy of their amazing drinks list. Be wary though, you do need a table to come in, so it’s highly recommended to book ahead.
The basement, 8-9 Hoxton Square, N1 6NU
Since opening in 2010 the Nightjar has enjoyed a massive surge in popularity. Even its discretely hidden entrance hasn’t done much to deter the masses. Although being located a stone’s throw from Old Street roundabout and tube station doesn’t help much with discretion. Another seating only kind of bar, these guys make amazing drinks and back it up with live jazz every night. So it’s not hard to understand their enduring popularity. It’s worth bearing in mind that Nightjar has become so popular of late, they now enforce an online booking system (which can run as far as up to six weeks in advance). Well worth the long wait though.
129 City Road, EC1V 1JB
Where to eat
Residents of London have noticed an awful lot of street food markets popping up across their hometown of late, and very few of us are complaining. Many would argue that the central pioneers behind this boom of piping hot deliciousness are the boys from Street Feast. So it stands to reason then that we point you in the direction of their flagship market. Especially since it’s now a year round installation. Dinerama is two floors of utter decadence. Lit up like a scene from Blade Runner – only tastier – they’ve got cocktail bars, a wine bar and street food stall aplenty. The vendors change every couple of months too so it’s always worth a revisit.
19 Great Eastern St, EC2A 3EJ
There’s pizza and then there’s pizza. Like, real pizza. Voodoo Ray’s deal in the latter. From a sort of shopfront in Shoreditch’s ever trendy BoxPark, these guys bake enormous NYC style 22” pizzas and sell them by the slice. Anyone who feels like this is a bit of a short-sell, bear in mind that according to their blurb, two slices is the equivalent of a whole regular pizza. Set in a cool little shop that feels like it’s jumped right out of the Big Apple, this place will satisfy your hunger and then some. They also serve a range of craft ales and even some frozen cocktails. Trust us, once you’ve been, you’ll be aching to go back again soon.
1-3, Boxpark, Bethnal Green Rd, E1 6GY
Tapas has taken a dive in quality of late in London. Dozens of lazy restauranteurs spinning out sharing dishes with a heavy focus on chorizo and prawns. Fortunately for every sub-par tapas place, there’s a joint like Eyre Brothers. Serving an expert blend of “petiscos, tapas and aperitivos”, these guys welcome you into their cool establishment with warmth and a real sense of joie de vivre. The decor is all leather, oak and floor tiles designed to best mimic that open plan Iberian feel. The food is smart and innovative, drawing on influences from all around the world, not just Spain. And there’s a substantial drinks menu to match.
70 Leonard St, EC2A 4QX
What to do
Probably – no, definitely – the spiritual home of Shoreditch and the East London cultural boom. Brick Lane is to hipsters what Oxford Street is to shoppers. Full of bars, clubs and restaurants, you’ll unlikely find a better place for a curry in all of East London. That being said, you will have to traverse the many persuasive chaps outside who’ll no doubt try to cajole you into their establishment. Our advice is play hard to get, they’ll always throw something extra in just to get you inside.
91 Brick Ln, E1 6QR
Few cinemas make you feel quite as pampered as the Electric. As their second venture (their first was in Notting Hill), this may be the newer of the Electric cinemas but it lacks none of the charm of the original. A single screen shows mainstream and indie flicks to well catered guests. The large armchair seating is all adorned in plush velvet so there’s plenty of room to stretch your legs out and get really comfy. Careful not to get too bedded in though, it’s not unknown for folks to drift off half way through the movie. The bar serves wine, beer and snacks to get you through the performance.
Aubin & Wills Store, 64-66 Redchurch St, E2 7DP
Essentially just a set of conterminous shipping containers which have been stacked on top of one another to create a kind of mall – although that sounds a little cheap. BOXPARK is nothing if not original. Inside you’ll find a range of pop-up stores which hold everything from independent jewellery boutiques right through to global fashion brands. There are also cafes, a bar and the aforementioned Voodoo Ray’s pizza parlour. It’s worth checking their website in advance to see what’s going on as they also host all kinds of different workshops as well as screening films and sporting events on their rooftop. This is Shoreditch at its most Shoreditch-y.
2-10 Bethnal Green Rd, London E1 6GY