London’s regeneration of the East End
keeps on rolling, and in the last year or so it’s been the turn of Mile End and Bow, under the shadow of the Olympic Stadium, to become more welcoming. With trendy pubs and charming neighbourhood restaurants, there’s plenty of reasons to stop for a bite to eat around here.
Cafe, Restaurant, European, Vegan, Vegetarian, $$$
Restaurant and art gallery, award-winning Muxima is a haven of creativity and tasty food in Bow. Daytime, there’s toastados and salads and artisanal coffee, but come evening expect a more flamboyant menu of bar snacks and tapas inspired by modern European cuisine. Plus the entire decor could be an Instagram feed.
Restaurant, Fast Food, $$$
It’s all about the burger at this winning Mile End institution. Not satisfied with the humble pig or cow, Greedy Cow bring you kangaroo, Wagyu and other interesting patties. There’s a real wood and cowboy theme going on, but done to just this side of kitsch. Pop down early on the weekend for the new ‘greedy breakfast’ – a proper hangover buster.
Restaurant, Seafood, British, $$$
With a view over the iconic Olympic Stadium, Forman’s is a great fine dining option in Bow. Seasonal British ingredients get a look in, such as London Cure smoked salmon and Lake District fillet of beef. The space is light and modern and always busy. Booking is recommended.
Restaurant, Pizzaria, Italian, $$$
Pop into Verdi’s for high end Italian at this modern neighbourhood restaurant that’s become a bit of a local gem. Fresh Italian pastas are the knockout here with the pizzas not far behind. The menu changes regularly, but keeps everything affordable. Great for a mid-week low key meal.
Restaurant, Italian, Vegetarian, $$$
Bacaro gives Italian cuisine a hipster twist; the focus here is on local, seasonal and artisan, so think rustic wood tables and a Scandi style Instagram approach to decor. Try the beef and black truffle pasta and check out the locals, as this place is fast becoming a neighbourhood hotspot.
East London Liquor Company
Restaurant, British, Vegetarian
The East End’s first gin and vodka distillery, the East London Liquor Company has been knocking out expert cocktails for the last few years, but the industrial-meets-reclaimed wood style bar also does pretty delicious food. There’s a pizza oven and plenty of sharing plates to give a British twist to Italian classics.
The Morgan Arms
Bar, Gastropub, Pub Grub, $$$
This gastropub is at the heart of changing Mile End and locals swear by its decent and different pub grub menu for a chilled weekend meal. Pop in for a meat board, tuna avocado poke, a detox menu special or hearty roasts at the weekend.
Restaurant, British, Vegetarian, European, $$$
Palmers is a bit of an institution. This family-run restaurant focuses on British cuisine with most of the ingredients from Billingsgate and Spitalfields markets to keep things proper East End. There’s no jellied eels in sight though, more asparagus and Stilton quiche or decent juicy steaks, all served in a really welcoming atmosphere.