Shoreditch has rapidly become the creative hub of East London, attracting both celebrity chefs and fashionable new dining spots that serve everything from Peruvian ceviche to a traditional British steak. Here are some of the restaurants making Shoreditch’s name a must-visit foodie destination.
Restaurant, Diner, Indian, $$$
Dishoom brings an air of old Bombay to its premises just off Shoreditch High Street. The restaurant, which has branches across London, pays testimony to the shrinking tradition of Irani cafés in Bombay; plates are decorated with stories collected from those who cherish memories of these social hubs, and the food draws on the flavours of the city’s culinary tradition. Booths decked out with cream-coloured leather and marble tablecloths offer a relaxed glamour against the stripped walls of the restaurant’s industrial interior. The spot can get very busy on evenings and weekends, but we hear it’s not averse to serving waiting would-be diners a complimentary drink.
Housed in Shoreditch’s landmark Tea Building (built as a bacon factory, confusingly, but owned by tea company Lipton), Pizza East serves up the best pizza in town in its dimly lit, buzzy dining hall. The toppings on offer change frequently, but the real speciality is the restaurant’s dough; wood-oven-cooked to a special recipe, it is puffy, light and delicious. Starters and desserts are upmarket too: expect high-end versions of doughnuts and tarts, and meatballs, salads or olives to start. The chefs are masters of flavour combinations, and the menu is the perfect mix of unexpected twists on classic dishes.
Like Pizza East, Lyle’s is housed in Shoreditch’s famous Tea Building. The restaurant offers a range of dishes that change almost daily, and they are priced from £4 for an individual oyster all the way up to around £25 for something more substantial, such as monkfish or red deer, so there’s something to suit everyone’s pocket. If you are feasting, make sure you save space for the caramel ice cream with espresso meringue!
The Princess of Shoreditch has won its fair share of awards and gained a lot of recognition over the last few years, but don’t worry, its ethos hasn’t changed one bit. And that ethos is quite a simple one: be the best pub in Shoreditch with the best food in Shoreditch and the best atmosphere in Shoreditch, all while keeping its value for money! The upstairs is for dinner only, so make sure you reserve your seat in advance.
After travelling from Cádiz to Catalonia, tasting the best foods Spain has to offer, the menu at Tapas Brindisa was born. The bar oozes the kind of style you would see in Barcelona and the atmosphere is busy all around the clock. There’s an open kitchen, so you can see the skilled chefs working their magic behind the scenes. Tapas Brindisa has a seasonal section on the menu that changes to offer the freshest produce, so you can visit more than once. It also has a full vegan menu.
If you’re looking for fast-paced pizza with a side of shuffleboard, then Tank and Paddle in Bishopsgate is the one for you. With freshly made stone-baked pizzas that can be up to a yard long accompanied by the gooiest mac ’n’ cheese in town, you’re onto a winner. The restaurant also stocks a huge selection of craft beers from local and global breweries. The service is always mega-friendly, and if you’re looking to while away the time, there are also board games available to play while you try the beer menu.
Andina channels the growing trend for Peruvian food in London, with its menu of street snacks, grills and authentic Peruvian cocktails. Visit for ingredients you won’t encounter anywhere else, such as chilli jam, pisco and quinoa milk, and don’t leave without trying ceviche – fish marinated in citrus juice – a mainstay of Peruvian cuisine. Cancha, a popcorn snack, is served as an appetiser while you browse the menu, and the music adds to the restaurant’s great atmosphere (Andina’s owner is a former DJ). The interior is as colourful as the food, with its Peruvian fabrics, wall display of vinyl records and basket lampshades.
Mark Hix’s chicken and steak restaurant does just two things, but it does them both brilliantly. Diners begin with seasonal starters, then pick between an array of steaks and chicken (served whole, in a curry or a salad). The meat is of the highest quality, and looming over the tables is Damien Hirst’s now-famous Cock and Bull (2012) – a chicken and cow suspended in formaldehyde. The restaurant is long and almost cafeteria-like, with simple furniture and crockery, and the focus is on the often dramatically presented food. If ordering chicken, expect it to be served upright and with claws still on. Perhaps not the best choice for vegetarians, but a must-visit for meat lovers.