Shoreditch has everything. Once it became too cool for musicians and artists to be able to afford to live there, the area attracted an influx of trendy media agencies and start-ups, which in turn brought even more money in. The result is a mixture of street food and Michelin-starred restaurants, and everything in between. Boxpark, right beside Shoreditch High Street station, has an enormous selection of on-trend food options, from Voodoo Ray’s pizza to Bukowski Burgers, while Kerb (Fridays only) brings together a seriously impressive list of traders each week. Dinerama (Thursday to Sunday) has more of a street party vibe, with four bars and nine food stalls. If you’re willing to wait in line for a while, the no-reservations Indian sensation Dishoom is one of the area’s hottest tickets, and it also does an excellent breakfast. Peruvian restaurant Andina is another winner from the creator of Ceviche, while meat lovers will be utterly smitten with Smokestak or Sagardi Basque County Chefs.
Pubs and bars
Shoreditch’s drinking establishments are the best way to trace the area’s evolution from one of the poorer parts of the East End to the centre of London’s creative industries. Painfully cool bars sit alongside old-school boozers, some of which have been given hipster makeovers, while others retain their wizened charms. The Crown & Shuttle is a popular spot with a huge beer garden out the back, while its sister pub The Water Poet has a similarly large outdoor area but is a little bit away from the crowds on Shoreditch High Street. For some creative cocktails, you can’t go wrong with the wonderful, award-winning Callooh Callay on Rivington Street or the low-key charms of Happiness Forgets.
If you’ve got your energy levels up and want to hit a dancefloor, there’s no shortage of options. Cargo does a good spread of themed nights, especially #ThrowbackThursday, which is heavy on classic hip hop and R&B. The Magic Roundabout is a great party space right in the middle of Old Street Roundabout (the entrance is in the tube station) which is thankfully free of psychedelic characters on springs. Other popular spots include the circus-themed Trapeze, XOYO, the basement at The Queen of Hoxton and The Hoxton Pony.
Shoreditch gigs tend to be at the small and sweaty end of the spectrum, with some great venues such as The Old Blue Last and Kamio packing them in most nights to see the kind of indie bands that NME probably haven’t even heard of yet. The slightly bigger Village Underground is a great, spacious warehouse that has been converted into an excellent place to see slightly more established bands.