Not only is Shoreditch packed with cafés and restaurants, it’s also home to great street food from all over the world. Whether you fancy a salad and a sandwich, Korean bao buns or New York-style slices, you won’t struggle for lunch in this buzzing neighbourhood.
Cafe, Restaurant, European, British, Street Food
Set in a converted bike shed in an old Victorian school building, which itself has been turned into creative studios, Rochelle Canteen
is a little East London oasis. The menu is short and changes regularly but you can expect simple, beautifully cooked food like borlotti bean and chard soup, roast lamb leg with flat beans and anchovy, and apricot and almond tart. Nab one of the tables outside for a really lovely lunch.
Ozone Coffee Roasters
Cafe, Restaurant, Coffee Shop, Contemporary, $$$
Just as you’d expect from one of the best roasteries in London, the coffee at Ozone
is excellent but the food hits equally high standards. In a nod to the company’s New Zealand heritage, there are inventive twists on classic dishes – a fish finger sarnie comes with burnt gherkin tartare and radish slaw and a smoked pork bun is topped with spiced lime pickle, pumpkin seed mayo and carrot kraut. It’s a very popular spot with local workers and rightly so.
Bakery, Cafe, Restaurant, British, European, $$$
At the bottom of the Boundary Hotel is café/bakery/shop Albion
. Their all-day menu is extensive so you have plenty of options, from pies to fish to meat, but they also serve up special lunch options including a salad table to choose from and daily soups and sandwiches. The outside terrace is a great spot to sit if you have time; if not you can always pick up goodies from the counter to take away.
Inject some California
sunshine into your lunch, without leaving Old Street, by heading to Bel-Air
. The food is fresh, vibrant and wholesome, the kind that does you good just by looking at it. The salads are definitely the way to go – you can get a box of four for under six quid and then you can top it up with proteins like lamb kofte, smoked mackerel and sticky aubergine.
Pizzaria, Restaurant, North American, $$$
There are plenty of places to grab lunch at pop-up hub Boxpark
but Voodoo Ray’s
, one of the mainstays, is a real winner. You can get proper NY-style pizza by the slice (and they are big slices) with a salad and a drink as part of their lunch deal or an entire 22” pie if you happen to have your whole office in tow.
Forge & Co
Bar, Restaurant, European, Contemporary, British, $$$
As a social working space with a bar and restaurant, Forge & Co
is the perfect place for a working lunch. The food offering, created by chef Timothy Brindley who has spent time at The Ivy, is modern British but served in a casual fashion. There are salads, sandwiches and burgers for the times you can’t take a long break or more substantial grill dishes, like spatchcock poussin with spring greens and ribeye steak and fries, for the times when you can linger over your emails.
On The Bab
Restaurant, Korean, $$$
Spice up your lunch hour with some Korean
street food from On The Bab
. You can eat in (if you can find a space – this place is popular) but you can also get bulgogi beef, spicy chicken, spicy pork or vegetable fritters on rice, on buns or in noodle soup as more traditional dishes to takeaway with change from a tenner. They do three portion sizes of Korean fried chicken too if you need a quick fix.
Cafe, British, European, $$$
If you need to pick up a gift or browse some homeware on your lunch as well as stop for food, head to Pitfield
. The shop itself is packed full of unique furniture, accessories and stationery and it has a cute (and handy) café attached too. Check out the specials board for the day’s sandwiches and seasonal dishes or treat yourself to an 8-inch pizza.
Cafe, Coffee Shop, Contemporary, Japanese, $$$
The Shoreditch branch of Attendant
(like the original in Fitzrovia) is known for its great coffee, particularly their own blend created in their own roaster, but it’s worth trying their food too. They have five sandwich options plus a seasonal salad, soup and tart, which are perfect for lunch but be sure to check out the brunch side of the menu too – a pork belly eggs benedict and Japanese style avocado and salmon on toast are too good to overlook. Whatever you order, grab a seat in front of their living plant wall and forget you’re in the hustle and bustle of Shoreditch.
Restaurant, Indian, Street Food
If you want something fast and flavourful for lunch, head to Indigo
in the Rich Mix centre. They serve up a range of Indian street food, including dosas, chaats, tandoori kebabs and wraps but if you just can’t choose, their Indi-bento box with a choice of curry, onion bhaij, rice, naan, salad and a drink will keep you going for the rest of the day.