The Top Shoreditch Restaurants You Should Try

Delights await the discerning diner in Shoreditch | Sam Peet © Culture Trip
Delights await the discerning diner in Shoreditch | Sam Peet © Culture Trip
You’ve spent a cool, fashionable day doing cool, fashionable things in Shoreditch. Gallery opening? Long day at your next-big-thing tech start-up? Or perhaps you’ve just come to explore: to drink up the sights and sounds of London’s newest place to be seen. Regardless, being this trendy is hard work and requires sustenance. Luckily, Shoreditch has plenty of restaurants and a buzzing food scene to explore, and we’ve got our local insiders to recommend their favourites. From high-end Michelin-starred fare to more cosy, casual offerings – we’ve got it all.

Rochelle Canteen

Cafe, Restaurant, European, British, Street Food
Rochelle Canteen_London_Courtesy_2
Courtesy of Rochelle Canteen

Dinner cooked by renowned British chefs in a candlelit old school bike shed – this is unique, as London dining experiences go. Rochelle Canteen is headed by Margot Henderson of French House fame, who steers clear of modern trends, such as foam and molecular cooking, to focus on the simplicity of the seasonal ingredients she uses. The grilled harissa quail is a must, and the fact that you’re eating it in a cosy, refitted shed only adds to the ambience. Recommended by local insider Josh Lee

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Butchies Shoreditch

Restaurant, Fast Food, British, American, $$$
Butchies_London_copyright_Nic Crilly-Hargrave_
© Nic Crilly-Hargrave / Courtesy of Butchies London

Where better to taste London’s most popular street food than Butchies, which has grown from one couple’s simple dream to making the best fried chicken sandwich in the capital. The restaurant has built up a cult following since starting out as a food truck in 2013, and with accolades of “London’s best chicken burger” raining down on them, it’s easy to see why. There’s nothing complicated here, just beautifully juicy chicken with the right amount of crunch, and a house sauce to die for. Recommended by local insider Huda Awan

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Mãos

Restaurant, Contemporary

With one seating per day, hyper-minimalist decor and only 16 covers, British-Asian supper club Mãos certainly has a “for those in the know” vibe to it. As their website states, Mãos prides itself on being an “intimate space to create” and “dedicated to culinary freedom, exploration and shared experience”. Chefs prepare dishes that pair British ingredients with Asian flavours and techniques to a level of detail rarely seen, while communal seating and freedom to move around the kitchen and wine rooms give this fine-dining experience a refreshingly homely feel. Recommended by local insider Josh Lee

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Lyle's

Restaurant, British, $$$
Lyle's
Lyle's | © Xavier Girard Lachaine / Courtesy of Lyle's

Michelin-starred Lyle’s offers a creative, artfully presented tasting menu that uses traditional British produce to make something contemporary and fresh. There are no à la carte options here, so be prepared to push your palate. The menu changes frequently, but you can be sure that you’ll be presented with an exciting array of dishes that showcase the best British ingredients on offer. Think Jerusalem artichokes with egg yolk and cured pork, baked cream and harbinger rhubarb and much more. Recommended by local insider Josh Lee

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Oklava

Restaurant, Turkish, Mediterranean, $$$
Oklava’s up-and-coming head chef Selim Kiazim cooks contemporary takes on Turkish-Cypriot cuisine
© Stephanie de Goeijen / Courtesy of Oklava

Oklava’s innovative twists on traditional Turkish cuisine are a big draw for east London diners. In fact, the restaurant has been doing so well, it’s opened a sister brunch venue in upmarket Fitzrovia. Menus change regularly, but expect interesting sharing plates and charcoal-grill options amid a laid-back atmosphere. If braised octopus and ricotta pide, seftali kebabs or grilled mutton shish sound like your thing, this one’s for you. Recommended by local insider Chiara Miele

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Smokestak

Restaurant, BBQ
Smokestak_London_Courtesy_CarolSachsweb
© Carol Sachs / Courtesy of Smokestak

No list of east London eateries would be complete without an industrial-chic barbecue restaurant serving mouthwatering slow-smoked meat dishes. And Smokestak is the best of the best in this category. The classics – beef brisket, pulled pork, ribs – are legendary among the local crowd, though you could opt for something more unusual too – crispy ox cheek with anchovy mayo isn’t exactly a standard for your run-of-the-mill barbecue restaurant. Recommended by local insider Josh Lee

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Hoi Polloi

Boutique Hotel Restaurant, Hotel Restaurant, Restaurant, Brasserie, European, $$$
On-trend spot Hoi Polloi, attached to the arty Ace Hotel, offers Nordic-style decor with an all-day brasserie menu of comfort classics. Think half-roast chicken, hake with butter bean and chorizo cassoulet, fish and chips and more. Popular with Shoreditch’s bright young things, Hoi Polloi shuts at 23:59, but there is a late night bar and club on site, if you and your crew of party animals want to stay out until the early hours. Recommended by local insider Josh Lee
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Som Saa

Restaurant, Thai, $$$
Som Saa Set Menu
© Ben Broomfield / Courtesy of Som Saa

Expect noise, spice and an excited hubbub of chatter at this lively restaurant in a former fabric warehouse. On the sharing-focused menu, you’ll find local British ingredients transformed into regional Thai-inspired dishes, with highlights including the gaeng gari jay curry and grilled partridge with herbs and shrimp paste. An unusual cocktail is a must to wash it down, and we recommend the nang tani – a mix of dried banana-infused rum, cognac, coconut tea syrup and lime. Recommended by local insider Josh Lee

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Leroy

Restaurant, Contemporary, British
Leroy_London_Courtesy2
Courtesy of Leroy

Food that’s “thoughtful but not showy”, and a wine list “that ranges from the classics to the crazy”, are what the team behind Michelin-starred Leroy pride themselves on according to its website. There’s a vibrancy to Leroy that more pedestrian upmarket options do their best to avoid. Here though, it really works. First-class friendly service and a busy open kitchen create a convivial atmosphere – and with a lunch set menu that starts at £19 per head, it’s more accessible than most fine-dining options this side of town. Recommended by local insider Chiara Miele

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Unity Diner

Restaurant, Vegan, British, American

Unity Diner, London’s largest vegan-only restaurant and mocktail bar, offers a tempting menu of meat-free treats including small and large plates, burgers and hot dogs. No alcohol is served on the premises – in its place is an innovative mocktail menu and a large selection of 0% wines and beers. It’s also entirely plastic-free and donates all profits to Surge, an animal rights organisation that supports UK rescue sanctuaries. As a haven for animal lovers, your dog is welcome to come along too! Recommended by local insider Alyson Parkes

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Bubala

Restaurant, Mediterranean, Vegetarian, Vegan, Middle Eastern, Israeli
Bubala_London_copyright_Rebecca Hope 2
Rebecca Hope

With relaxed mood lighting, Mediterranean-inspired green tiles and wooden decor, hip and cosy Bubala is perfect for a casual meal out. The menu is entirely vegetarian, inspired by Israeli and Middle Eastern flavours. Prices are super reasonable – you won’t pay more than £11 for anything, and the quality you get for your money is incredible. Check out the cocktails too – the salted grapefruit bellini is unmissable. Recommended by local insider Chiara Miele

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These recommendations were updated on June 9, 2020 to keep your travel plans fresh.