A Destination Guide to East London

East London has had quite the glow-up, evolving from its role as a manufacturing hub to an artist enclave, and now, one of the capital’s leading cultural center. The industrial grit of yore has steadily been polished away across its network of characterful neighborhoods—Shoreditch, Spitalfields, Hackney, and Bethnal Green, to name a few—which are home to a slew of award-winning bars and restaurants, top-notch shopping, and youthful energy that pulses heavier than anywhere else in London. Here, HAP’s guide to the East End.


Nobu Hotel London Shoreditch

An aesthetic marriage of Japanese wabi-sabi simplicity and English industrial chic, Nobu’s Shoreditch outpost is one of the most unique stays in East London for its striking design. And like its sister properties around the world, this 164-room hotel is a culinary destination in its own right, with both the world-famous Nobu sushi restaurant and street food-focused Nami bar under one roof.

Mama Shelter

The funky Paris-born hotel brand made a splash when it debuted on Hackney Road. Several years in, Mama Shelter remains a groovy cocktails-and-karaoke gathering point for locals and visitors alike. The retro, borderline-kitschy ambiance also extends throughout the Seventies-inspired guest rooms, which fall into three categories: Small, Medium, and Large.



The chances are high that any Dishoom will have a line snaking out the front door—a testament to the eternal popularity of the dining concept, inspired by Bombay’s vibrant Irani cafés. The Shoreditch branch is especially popular for its vibey atmosphere, which extends from the al fresco patio to the dim-lit dining room. Come for a flavor-packed brunch (get the Kejriwal fried eggs on chili cheese toast) or dinner spread of curries, biryanis, and roti rolls.


If your Italian food fantasies are made of epic hand-rolled pasta dishes, wood-fired bread, and nose-to-tail meat dishes, Manteca is where dreams come true. In other words, anything you order at this elevated trattoria and salumeria—crab tonnarelli, ‘nduja steamed mussels, fried venison, or the saddleback pork chop—will pique your buds at first bite.

Rochelle Canteen

If you’re lucky enough to get buzzed into this exclusive Shoreditch spot in a bike shed of an old school, don’t hold back with the menu. Whether you arrive for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, prepare to be blown away by simple, yet hearty seasonal plates like chicken schnitzel, seafood bisque, and peach Melba.


Offering a nonnegotiable degustation of pared-back British delights—and countless accolades—since opening in 2014, Lyle’s is East London dining at its finest and perhaps most intentional. Absent of pretentiousness, this neighborhood spot lets the ever-changing five-course menu steal the show.


Cocktail Trading Company

Located at the head of Brick Lane, Cocktail Trading Company captures the lived-in look of an old-world British pub. Inside, cheeky cocktails are served with strange garnishes (edible golf balls, anyone?) in whimsical glassware or entirely unconventional drinking vessels, like flasks.


French brasserie-inspired Coupette in Bethnal Green boasts an exceptional brandy collection. But even if your cravings don’t call out for Calvados, this charming cocktail bar will live up to its reputation as one of London’s best.

Three Sheets

The menu at this Dalston watering hole is categorized according to how many “sheets to the wind” you want to be—a measure of booziness that may help squash your indecisiveness.


Brick Lane

Winding from Bethnal Green to Whitechapel, cobblestoned Brick Lane is the beating heart of East London’s buzzy fashion, food, and art scene. Along the three-quarter-mile-long path, you’ll find everything from outstanding curry stalls (like Famous Curry Bazaar), vintage boutiques (visit Serotonin Vintage), indie cafes (Café 1001 is a must), and art galleries (don’t miss Brick Lane Gallery).

Old Spitalfields Market

One of London’s busiest retail hubs, the sprawling Old Spitalfields Market was revived in the early 2000s—nearly two centuries since it was originally built. Its two central concourses do double duty as a modern food hall and luxury shopping center. Come on Thursdays for the community-driven Antiques Market, which features more than 80 stalls selling furniture, arts, crafts, and books.

Hoxton Square

Laid out in 1683, this Shoreditch greenspace was one of London’s first urban parks. Today, the historic Victorian buildings surrounding Hoxton Square have been converted into traditional pubs, cozy saloons, and an array of eateries.

Truman Brewery

Once home to one of the world’s largest breweries, the Truman Brewery has been revived as a sizzling destination for art, gastronomy, and culture. The venue regularly hosts hosting regular public exhibitions, including fashion pop-ups and dance parties with DJs.

Box Park Shoreditch

This groundbreaking concept comprises a shopping complex made completely out of shipping containers — inside are fabulous eateries and trendy pop-up shops.

Other articles you may like:

About Hotels Above PAr

My Photo

Subscribe to our newsletter

Privacy Policy