By Adam Groffman
London’s East End is without question one of the more hip areas of London so it shouldn’t be much of a surprise that you’d find London’s trendiest foods east of the City. Because of east London’s immigrant history, food here is typically culturally diverse. While you can find plenty of traditional English foods across east London, many visit for the international fare too.
5 must-eats in east London
An East End restaurant classic, The Beigel Bake has been open for years and it doesn’t really matter what time of day you visit. Open 24 hours a day, they make over 7,000 bagels (which they spell “beigels”) every day. London’s oldest bagel shop, their Jewish-style bagels are perfect for hangovers, late-night snacks or fast lunches. The reason to visit is without question their signature salt beef bagel. And be sure to get the mustard!
Beigel Bake, 159 Brick Lane, London E1 6SB
2. Bacon Butty
A British staple, the bacon butty is really just a bacon sandwich. Served warm and with little more than bacon on bread, it’s another popular hangover cure or just a delicious morning treat. St John’s in Spitalfields serves bacon sandwiches daily on fresh, homemade bread. If you’re looking for one of the world’s best breakfasts, be sure to try a bacon sandwich in East London!
St. John’s Bread and Wine, 94-96 Commercial Street, London E1 6LZ
3. Curry on Brick Lane
Thanks to numerous pop culture references, Brick Lane is arguably one of London’s most famous streets. The street has been home throughout history as a place for everything from brick manufacturers to beer breweries. While East London has been the point of arrival for many immigrant groups since the Middle Ages, the 20th century saw an influx of Bangladeshi immigrants. Because of this, you’ll find shop after shop on Brick Lane teeming with South Asian spices, curries and fruits & vegetables.
For one of London’s best curry houses, visit Aladin Restaurant. They’re consistently at the top of the ratings for Indian curries. Just be careful if you order the vindaloo—it may very well burn your tongue!
Aladin Restaurant, 132 Brick Lane, London E1 6RU
Fish ‘n’ chips
Across the UK it’s said that there are more than 10,000 fish and chip shops. England’s most famous food, it’d be tough to visit and not try the national dish. While you can find fish & chips available on most pub menus and in countless corner shops, Poppies Fish & Chips in Spitalfields is worth a trip on its own. The small restaurant is decked out in 1950s design and, if luck’s on your side, Poppie himself might even serve you! To be truly authentic, make sure to use vinegar on your chips!
Poppies Fish & Chips, 6-8 Hanbury Street, London E1 6QR
Beer or cider
If there’s anything as authentically British as fish and chips, it must also be beer and cider. Did you know that East London’s Brick Lane has been home to a brewery since the 1600s? Truman’s Brewery was famous for its porters and was once the largest brewery in the world. Today you can sample more recent brews by Truman’s at local pubs.
Time Out Magazine recently named The Pride of Spitalfield as one of East London’s best neighbourhood pubs. And it’s easy to see why. Inside, lunch specials and a cozy interior make it a perfect place for a leisurely meal. And with the pub cat Lenny (check out these photos!) to keep you company, you’re sure to have a nice time. Try one of the beers or ciders available on tap.
The Pride of Spitalfield, 3 Heneage Street, Greater London E16
* * *
I discovered these East London eateries and restaurants on an East London walking tour last month. Check their website for tour details and information if you’re as much of a foodie as me! I never realised the diversity of London foods until I took this tour!
Author bio: Adam Groffman is a travel blogger. His blog, Travels of Adam, features hipster city guides and travel tips for young and stylish tourists. Follow him on Google+ and Pinterest for travel and food highlights from around the world.
- 15 Ways You Know You’re a Londoner…
- 40 London Bars Recommended by Local Bloggers
- The London Street Food Guide
- 10 Best London Pubs
- The 10 Best Clubs in London
Thanks to ahisgett for the image off Flickr. Please note, this image were held under the Creative Commons licence at the time of publication. Other images c. Adam Groffman.