12 Places to Check Out in Shoreditch, London (Brick Lane) While Getting Your Tattoo
London is a big city – we’re talking almost 9 million people big! When you come for a visit, perhaps while getting your newest tattoo, it can be helpful to break it down into neighbourhoods and really get the most out of a smaller area.
Cloak and Dagger is located in the heart of Shoreditch, so we know the area well! We are located just off of Brick Lane, a street that is famous as an artistic hub in the city and home to a vibrant, multicultural population (evidenced by the many, many excellent curry houses).
Shoreditch may be a small neighbourhood of the East End of London, but it has a lot to offer! We’ve rounded up some of the best places to eat, drink, visit, and shop. The entire list is located within walking distance from each other, so your best bet is to get off at the Shoreditch High Street tube station and explore the area on foot.
Where to Eat
Shoreditch is a very multicultural neighbourhood and has produced some of the most amazing restaurants. There’s a lot of creativity and variety available in the neighbourhood – it’s a true foodie paradise! Here are some of our favourite options:
- La Fauxmagerie – This cleverly named cheese shop is the UK’s first plant-based cheesemonger! They offer a huge selection of plant-based cheeses for people who are looking for dairy alternatives, whether for ethical or health reasons. Their cheeses are designed for all your cheesy needs: melting on toast, grating over pasta, or spreading on crackers. In addition to cheese, they offer breads, preserves, and other sides to create the perfect cheese feast. We recommend picking up some cheese for a picnic in a nearby park.
- Smoking Goat – This is the kind of restaurant you go to and then think about every day until you can go back again. It’s that good. They serve up amazing Thai-inspired dishes, masterfully crafted by creative chefs. They serve dishes like red sambal mackerel grilled in banana leaf, barbecue chicken with smoked chili relish, and the ever-popular lardo fried rice. Chefs at the Smoking Goat are always coming up with something new, so you’re guaranteed to try something unique and different with each visit (because we already know you’ll go back!).
- Lahpet – As one of London’s only Burmese restaurants, you are in for a real treat when you go to Lahpet. They have worked hard to showcase amazing flavours and dishes from Myanmar by taking traditional dishes and giving them a bit of a modern boost. They have a variety of flavourful and colourful curries, bowls, and sides (you have to try the fritters or ginger salad!). The atmosphere at Lahpet is bright, comfortable, and modern and they also have great cocktails!
Where to Drink
After a day full of sightseeing, wandering around, and checking out some of the places on this list, you’ll likely be ready to stop somewhere to relax and grab a drink! Here are our top choices:
- Carpenters Arms – This pub is an establishment in the area and is always worth a trip to grab a pint. They hand pick some of the best drinks around, from classic imports to local beers on tap – there’s something for everyone! If you are around on a weekend, you can also stop in for their famous Sunday roast, which is served from 12pm until they run out. The Carpenters Arms has an outdoor patio and courtyard along with TVs inside to watch the football match with friends.
- Well and Bucket – This historic pub and oyster bar has been revamped and updated into the popular spot it is today, while still maintaining it’s old-timey charm. It’s furnished with old wood benches against crumbling brick and tile with interesting artwork all around. They have a small beer garden outdoors when you want to grab a pint, or a candle-lit basement bar when you’re looking for a fancy cocktail.They are known for their oysters, so make sure you order some in between drinks!
- The Pride of Spitalfields – This quirky pub has a way of making you feel at home. It has eclectic décor and photos covering every inch of the wall. It’s always busy here with locals, so definitely go if you are looking for a welcoming crowd to have some fun with. They are known for super friendly and attentive staff who will take care of you during your visit. Prices and selection are excellent, so make sure to stop in to The Pride of Spitalfields when you’re looking for a place to relax and grab a few drinks after a day of sightseeing.
Stuff to Do
Shoreditch has no lack of fun things to do and see. Here are some unique activities to check out:
- All Star Lanes – This place calls themselves ‘London’s Original Good Time,’ and we totally understand why. All Star Lanes is a bowling alley with an on-site bar and restaurant. It’s not your typical dingy bowling alley, though! All Star Lanes is luxe bowling, with beautifully decorated lanes, plush seating, full food and drink service, and artistic wall murals!Prices per game during peak times (weekday evenings and weekends) are £9.95/person, and cheaper during off-peak hours. If you’re more of a singer then a bowler, you can belt out some tunes at the karaoke booths! Prices are £8 per person, per hour. All Star Lanes also has rooms for rent – including a penthouse – so grab some friends and have some fun!
- Brick Lane Sunday Market – It’s worth adjusting your schedule to stay over the weekend just to go to the Brick Lane Market, open on Sundays from 10am-5pm! Each week the street transforms into a gold mine of eclectic crafts, one of kind antiques, and some of the best street food stalls you can find. We definitely recommend you try out one of the many Indian food stalls or restaurants this area is famous for.If you just can’t get enough of markets, you can venture past the Brick Lane Market to The Old Truman Brewery. Here, every Sunday, are specialty markets including Sunday Upmarket (fashion and art), Backyard Market (jewellery and accessories), Boiler House Food Hall (international food stalls), Vintage Market (clothing) and The Tea Rooms (furniture and antiques). Hope you have a few hours and a few dollars to spend here!
- Spitalfields City Farm – This urban farm is one of London’s little-known secrets. After all, not many people plan to visit London and go to a farm on their sightseeing trip. But this farm is a key community spot in the East End. It started in 1978 as a response to the demand to turn wasteland into allotments by local people, many of whom lost theirs to developers. Despite threats to its existence over the years by developers, the farm is now a registered charity.Spitalfields City Farm offers volunteer opportunities to help with the gardens and animals, and also provide educational tours and workshops to schools and community groups. They have a ton of animal friends in the farm yard to say hi to, such as Hazel the goat or Holmes the pig. Their gardens are open to the public and grow a wide section of flowers and vegetables, available for sale at the farm. Spitalfields City Farm even has a café on-site for you to grab a coffee and enjoy this little urban farm!
Where to Shop
All of the unique and different shops in Shoreditch really make the “shop until you drop” cliché make sense! Here are some of our favourite shops that we hope you enjoy, too!
- Hangup Vintage and Repairs – The East End is known for it’s many antiques and vintage shops, and Hangup is one of the best destinations to visit. They have carefully curated their selection of clothing and focus primarily on US military, workwear, and sportwear. They have pieces all the way from the 1920s up until the 1980s. There are lots of unique items like college Varsity sweaters, bomber jackets, plaid shirts, baseball jerseys, and puffer vests. Hangup also runs the Make Good label as part of an in-house workshop that creates new items out of old fabrics. They also provide repair services to give new life to old clothing, as their mantra is that all things will only get better with age!
- Levisons – Continuing on the vintage clothing theme, Levisions is another must-visit location! They have been in business since 2008, filling the shop with hand-picked vintage clothing for men and women. Their pieces include workwear, military, and knitwear. They have a unique showroom located in an old industrial building that contains a curated collection of vintage clothing that is used as a resource for designers and stylists in the film and TV or fashion industries. It’s like stepping back in time looking through it all!
- Specstacular – If you’re reading this, it’s very likely you’re about to visit London to get a tattoo. Well, if you’re looking for another stand-out statement item, you’ve got to check out Sepecstacular and pick out a new set of glasses. Whether you need prescription glasses or sunglasses, they have a large selection of highly unique frames. They also offer bespoke eyewear that is carefully designed and created to match your personality and style! Even if you’re not on the market to make a purchase, this shop is still fun to stop in and play around trying on some different styles.
We could go on and on with recommendations for Shoreditch, but this is a pretty good place to start. We are proud to work, live, and play in this awesome neighbourhood, and we hope you enjoy it too!