Street Wise: A Stop-by-Stop Guide to Redchurch Street, Shoreditch

Boundary London in Shoreditch has its own rooftop restaurant
Boundary London in Shoreditch has its own rooftop restaurant | Courtesy of Boundary London / Expedia.com

Follow in the footsteps of East London’s creatives in this coveted corner of the capital, with our in-the-know guide to the best bars and boutique hotels in the area.

Left practically derelict after the collapse of the fabric industry in East London, Shoreditch rose from the ashes to be reborn as one of the hippest hubs in the capital. In the nineties, a vanguard of creatives transformed its abandoned red-brick warehouses into quirky bars, startups and studios. Today, its edginess is a little more polished, though much of the creativity and colour remain. Stroll the length of on-trend Redchurch Street – its hipster-honeypot main artery – and you can experience the best of the neighbourhood distilled into just six blocks.

1. Smoking Goat

Restaurant, Thai

Having moved East from its Soho home, the Smoking Goat restaurant is the first come-hither hangout you meet when turning onto Redchurch from Shoreditch High Street. This former corner-side pub has been repurposed as a big, bold Thai restaurant, that doesn’t hold back on flavour. Channelling the spirit of a Bangkok canteen, it’s mostly barbecue scorched dishes that’ll have you slurping fiery sauces from your fingers before ordering another drink to quell the flames.

2. The Owl and Pussycat

Pub, British

The Owl & Pussycat pub in Redchurch Street, London, England
© Stephen Birch / Alamy Stock Photo

Despite the area’s makeover throughout the years, you’ll still find plenty of traditional boozers that have retained their old-school London charm – albeit with a hipster-friendly update. Shoreditch mainstay the Owl and Pussycat is one such tavern that has bottled the quintessential spirit of the area. Wash down brioche-bunned burgers and vegan slaw with real ale or a pick of bespoke cocktails. Inside, it’s all chunky wood tables and exposed-brick walls, while a leafy beer garden features its own Dog House bar.

3. Allpress Espresso Bar

Coffee Shop, Tea

Allpress Espresso Bar
© Allpress Espresso Bar
No self-respecting hipster hub is complete without a smattering of artisan coffee shops – and this one’s an original. Allpress Espresso Bar opened over 30 years ago and has ground out a reputation as one of the top spots for even the most discerning caffeine junkies. Beans are sourced directly from producers, roasted on site and brewed into a long black, flat white and everything in between by expert baristas. Their pastries are top-notch, too, and toast is generous on the marmalade.

4. Boundary London

Boutique Hotel

Boundary London
Courtesy of Boundary London / Expedia.com

The Boundary London is the only hotel on Redchurch Street, and it’s an absolute beauty. Occupying a converted Victorian warehouse, it’s part of a collection of businesses that include an all-day British cafe, basement bar and rooftop restaurant. It was opened in 2019 by design maestro Terence Conran, so it’s a given that the 17 suites are beautifully styled, the work of young designers, or themed around a design movement.

5. Mãos

Restaurant, Contemporary

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©EIGHTYFOUR

Part of the Blue Mountain cooking school, this Michelin-garnered supper-club-style restaurant is not to be missed – though, it’s often booked up months in advance, so reserve your spot early. It’s a 16-person collective dining experience, based around a blind tasting menu by bearded Portuguese chef Nuno Mendes. Your trust in his skills is rewarded with some of the finest and most innovative flavour combinations, with a preference for pickled and preserved ingredients. Earthy, minimalist interiors also create just the right ambience of Zen-like calm.

6. Labour and Wait

Shop

The Labour and Wait vintage style homeware and clothing store in Londons fashionable Shoreditch area. Labour & Wait London.
© Robert Evans / Alamy Stock Photo

Welcome to this veritable Aladdin’s cave of carefully curated things you never knew you needed. From vintage kitchen utensils and traditional stationery to handmade soaps and retro shaving kits, there are hundreds of timeless products you could spend hours rummaging through. Considering the shop’s location, prices are pleasingly affordable, so don’t be surprised if you end up walking out with some Japanese envelopes, a dog whistle and a new patisserie brush.

7. Shoreditch Fish and Chips

Fish and Chip Shop, Seafood

Shoreditch Fish & Chips, in Bethnal Green, in east London, UK
© Monica Wells / Alamy Stock Photo

Just before you reach the coveted curry houses on Brick Lane, you’ll find one of the most renowned chippies in East London – a must-try for anyone keen to sample Britain’s national dish. With its walls scattered with vintage records and London memorabilia, this Shoreditch institution serves up the classic crispy battered cod and fat steaming chips alongside a wide choice of other post-pub dishes. There are the likes of grilled salmon and halloumi salad if you’re feeling virtuous.

8. The Culpeper

Boutique Hotel

The Culpeper
Courtesy of The Culpeper / Expedia

Just over a 10-minute stroll from Redchurch Street, this traditional boozer with beds is a great place to check in and check out after your walk. The handsome corner pub is split into four distinct areas: a street-level bar, a first-floor restaurant, second-floor guest rooms and a heated rooftop garden brimming with plants, flickering with candlelight and offering cityscape views, including the iconic Gherkin. It’s great to return after a day stomping around Shoreditch to a drink in the friendly bar before ascending to cosy quarters.

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