the best restaurants in shoreditch
Shoreditch is the busiest part of East London and is the spiritual home of the pop-up, so naturally it’s bursting with places to eat. In fact, you can probably eat your way around the world without leaving the E1 postcode. Too much choice can be overwhelming though so that’s why we’ve run down the ones you need to know about.
After killing it on the street food circuit for years, David Carter’s first permanent Smokestak is a dark, moody BBQ dream, complete with an absolutely huge custom built smoker, responsible for slow smoking all that meat (plus your clothes by the end of the night too). There’s some great snacks on the menu such as a giant slab of pork scratching dusted with chilli powder and BBQ pigs tails which won’t be to everyone’s taste but you should definitely try. A thick cut pork rib with picked cucumber is another favourite and even the veg dishes hit the spot – check out the coal roasted potato and the smoked girolles and beef dripping brioche toast. The snug basement bar is a top spot for cocktails too, perfect to help all that meat go down at the end of the night.
35 Sclater St, London, E1 6LB
Despite earning a Michelin star, the Ellory boys decided to shut up shop in London Fields and open Leroy in Shoreditch. It’s got the same front of house and kitchen team but is more of a relaxed affair, influenced by the new wave of Parisian wine bars. The space is lovely, a sort-of triangular site with lots of natural light, a bar/counter area with high stools and an open kitchen. They offer a range of snacks and sharing plates on the menu, as well as cheese and charcuterie so it caters for all occasions – we’d happily pop in for the terrine, a plate of cheese, and a glass of wine at the bar.
18 Phipp St, London, EC2A 4NU
Now that the original Denmark Street Smoking Goat has closed, this new Shoreditch branch is the place to come for smokey, BBQ Thai food. We love their freshly made rotis, goat krapow, turmeric crab curry, and the Thai-style fried chicken. It’s all a world away from cheap pad thai and prawn crackers and has been part of a wave of restaurants that woke London up to proper Thai food. They also do a mean breakfast menu on weekends too.
64 Shoreditch High St, London E1 6JJ
Rök is so worth rocking up to. The smokehouse knocks out some of the best grub in town, but whatever you do make sure you kick things off with their scallop in the shell with ndjua & british seaweed and order THAT Cauliflower cheese with almonds & duck dust on the side!
26 Curtain Rd, Shoreditch, London, EC2A 3NY
Rochelle Canteen, run by Margot Henderson and Melanie Arnold, has long been one of London’s favourite spots. Housed in a former school bike shed on Arnold Circus in Shoreditch, accessible only through an unmarked door that, when buzzed in, leads you through a pretty garden and to a small dining room, it’s always been a hidden spot for Londoners to enjoy. Aside from being an excellent setting to enjoy a leisurely weekend lunch, the cooking is really quite good too. Simplicity is the order of the day and although menus change daily we can highly recommend the Queenie scallops, grilled in garlic and butter; the skate wing with burnt butter and samphire; and our favourite, the incredible braised lamb with peas and mint.
Rochelle School, Arnold Circus, London, E2 7ES
Lyle’s has built up a stellar reputation thanks to its elegant, seasonal British food but if you don’t want to plan ahead, you can also drop in for small plates and a glass of wine from their bar snack menu (as long as one of the six bar stools are free of course). It is a changing menu, but if the mussel, garlic and spenwood flatbread or the smoked eel with cabbage and seaweed are on, they’re must-orders. It’s not exactly cheap, but as a Michelin-starred pit-stop it’s pretty perfect.
Tea Building, 56 Shoreditch High St, London, E1 6JJ
Popolo is a hidden gem of a restaurant, which boasts a pretty impressive bar for counter dining and intimate dining room upstairs. The menu is mostly Italian with Middle Eastern and Spanish influences…hello fried olives with labne and morita chilli oil. With other dishes like octopus with paprika and potatoes, gnudi with buffalo ricotta and sage butter, and burnt honey panna cotta and figs, this place is defo worth a visit.
26 Rivington St, London, EC2A 3DU
Jackson Boxer and Andrew Clarke already have a hit restaurant on their hands with Brunswick House in Vauxhall, and now the pair have moved north of the river with St Leonards. They’ve taken over what used to be Eyre Brothers and completely transformed the space, with a horseshoe bar, an open ice bar for shellfish and a log-fuelled fire for cooking big joints of meat and fish. Rustic and hearty cookery has been a big inspiration at St Leonards but the food here is most definitely modern, with a lot of punchy flavour combos at play. This one defo lives up to the hype.
70 Leonard St, London EC2A 4QX
Centre stage at Oklava is the kitchen-bar complete with stone oven and charcoal grill, where you can watch the chefs in action as they prepare tasty modern Turkish dishes. The menu at Oklava is split into snacks, salads and grains, pides, seafood and meat dishes, including treats like courgette, feta and mint fritters; beef short rib pide; and crispy pomegranate glazed lamb breast. Make sure to get the house-baked bread with medjool date butter too, SO GOOD.
74 Luke St, London EC2A 4PY
This isn’t just our fave coffee shop in Shoreditch, but one of our fave in London. With top notch coffee, a bangin’ food menu and a big space downstairs that’s perfect for working in, we can easily lose a few hours here.
11 Leonard Street, London, EC2A 4AQ