Tucked away in East London you’ll find the hippest neighborhood of the London family. Unlike the sometimes uppity Chelsea neighborhood, Shoreditch rules the East side with an easy-going and creative atmosphere. Here is where iconic street art, outdoor markets, cheap street food, and vintage shops all meet at the cross road of Shoreditch’s high street.
If you plan on taking a day to explore the hipster side of London, you’ll definitely want to include some of these highlights in Shoreditch.
Best things to do near Shoreditch High Street:
Discover London’s best street art
As Shoreditch’s creative spirit is overflowing into every street corner, it’s no wonder this area is known for being London’s canvas. For decades, Shoreditch has been a hub for creative looking for affordable housing, even including Banksy in the late 1990s.
Unfortunately, the housing market has capitalized on the popularity of “hipster counter culture”, which has pushed many artists out of the neighborhood due to high housing costs. It’s even been given the title “Shoredification”.
However, the street art in Shoreditch may be a way of staying true to its roots. Murals in the area are constantly changing. Some say “Shoreditch relies on street art to fight gentrification.”
Take a stroll around Box Park
Box Park attracts a combination of corporate people on their lunch break to vegan foodies, and hip shoppers. I specifically came to Boxpark for the pink vegan and gluten free donuts, which did not disappoint.
I loved walking around and looking at all eclectic little shops. I’m heartbroken I couldn’t fit a plastic flamingo in my carry-on. Though I’m not sure it’s technically in Box Park, you should also check out a place called Block. It reminds me of the ruin pubs in Budapest!
Shop some of London’s funkiest boutiques
There is nothing basic about the shopping around Shoreditch high street. I saw a lot of adorable vintage shops, and boutiques filled with statement pieces. One of my favorite boutiques was RagYard (seen above). It was full of sequins, peacock feathers, colorful patterns, and obnoxious pins. I’d never seen anything like it!
Even if it’s just to window shop, the stores in Shoreditch are worth a visit.
Eat or shop some more in Old Spitalfields Market
Spitalfields Marks is really the Holy Grail of international food vendors in Shoreditch. I had a green smoothie and some amazing tacos. Then, I loved it so much, I came AGAIN the next day to get some Ethiopian food…and more tacos. Don’t judge me.
Not only is Old Spitalfields Maket‘s street food out of this world, there’s a lot of little shop vendors selling vintage clothing and handmade goods. It’s definitely one of the best non-touristy things to do in London!
Eat authentic and sustainable Indian food at Dishoom
When a friend of mine, who is a Shoreditch local, offered to show me around her stomping grounds, this was the first place she suggested. It originally caught my eye on pinterest for the gorgeous décor. But the real reason this place is so popular among locals is because it has some of London’s best Indian food.
Dishoom is a combination of proper Indian food, with a little fusion twist. The puffed rice Behl, the sustainably caught Mahi Tikka, and the Chai mojito brought a whole new experience for my taste buds. Perhaps what makes this restaurant so unique is that it is socially conscious, using locally sourced ingredients and engaging in food charity work across the UK and the world.
It’s no surprise that this place was voted best restaurant in the UK by Yelp! and one of the top 100 companies to work for by the Sunday Times.
Have a drink in the Magic roundabout
I stumbled upon this place by chance on the ‘gram, and even my friend who lived in Shoreditch had never been. The Magic Roundabout is exactly what it sounds like. It’s located in the middle of a road roundabout, and it’s as if you have stepped inside a trippy alternate universe. You’ll find a hodge-podge of street food and cocktail bars, with house music in the background.
It seems like they switch the theme up every so often. When we went, it was kind of a circus, garden theme. It made no sense, but it was awesome. If you’re looking for a more chill vibe, I’d recommend going before 7 or 8pm. It looks like this place turns into a rave in the after hours.
I loved Shoreditch, and I hope she doesn’t sell out and lose that funky and creative spirit of hers.