Follow the yellow* Brick Lane – it’s our guide to the best of this east London street.
*May not actually be yellow
1. Dark Sugars
A cocoa house with samples, bubbly sales people and a hot chocolate that looks like it’s straight out of the Wonka factory – what more can you ask for in life generally?
124-126 Brick Lane, London E1 6RU
2. Truman Brewery
A cool venue for pop-ups, small festivals and exhibitions but go here on a Sunday and expect to leave with a very full belly. They have stalls from lots of independent clothing and jewellery brands but they also have nearly every cuisine under the sun … under one roof. Sip on traditionally brewed Ethiopian coffee, get a chicken filled Turkish gozleme and finish it off with a vegan chocolate churro. Delicious.
91 Brick Lane, London E1 6QR
3. Not one but two beigel shops
The long-running debate about which beigel shop to buy from is a struggle of sorts. Both are great but Beigel Shop (the yellow one) has crispy bacon filled beigels and even those of the Rainbow variety. Beigel Bake (the white one) similarly serves up delicious slabs of salt beef, gherkins and mustard in fluffy beigels but we say just go with the one with the shortest queue. As soon as you smell those beigels, you won’t want to be queueing – trust us.
Find Beigel Bake at 159 Brick Lane, London E1 6SB and Beigel Shop at 155 Brick Lane, London E1 6SB.
4. Weekend street market
Offering lots of bric-a-brac style items and cute Pinterest style signs to hang around your house. But if you thought the market in Truman Brewery was a feast for your belly, try walking through Brick Lane itself on a weekend. With everything from fresh juices, duck confit burgers and hot dogs as big as your face, make sure you go on an empty stomach.
Throughout Brick Lane on the weekends.
5. Backyard Market
This market is dedicated to arts and crafts so expect lots of independent clothing and jewellery brands. It’ll give you an opportunity to pick up that super chic art print you’ve always wanted too.
146 Brick Lane, London, E1 6RU
6. Lots of vintage clothes shopping
If vintage shopping is your thing (serious bargains to be had people!) then you’re in luck. Undoubtedly, one of the best streets for vintage clothes shopping, expect to find The Huge Vintage Market (from Thursdays to Sundays) where there’s everything from vinyls to varsity jumpers. Some of the best are Blitz, a 2 floor vintage department store that’s perfect for those vintage Levi’s, Beyond Retro and Rokit.
7. Wonderful street art
Love a bit of graffiti? Well Brick Lane is definitely the place to go and peruse with a strategically placed finger on your chin. How trendy that owl looks on the side of that building, right? Some of the murals are truly wonderful so get your cameras at the ready because they may just change the following week.
8. Looking for an Instagrammable cup of coffee?
In need of a quick pick-me-up? Pretty Cuppa does what it says on the tin and serves up delicious cups of matcha, hot chocolate and coffees that look, well, pretty. Another great option for you bean lovers is Nude Espresso which sits just off of Brick Lane and even serves up a special East Blend for all of you coffee-crazy East Londoners.
9. Cereal Killer Café
The world’s first dedicated café to cereal serves up over 100 different types of cereal from around the globe to choose from. Team that with milk choices like bubblegum and topped with treats like chocolate chip cookie dough bites and you’re laughing. Probably from the sugar high you’re likely to get but still laughing, all the same.
10. Rough Trade East
Any music lover’s dream, we assure you. A record store come coffee shop that has that cheesy photobooth that we’ve all seen countless Instagram shots of. They’re always holding lots of free events, signings and Q&A’s so it’s worth keeping an eye out on their events page too.
Around the back of The Truman Brewery at 91 Brick Lane, London E1 6QL.
11. Brick Lane Bookshop
This fab little independent bookshop is home to a wide choice of books spanning from London history to poetry and philosophy. But be careful, it’s one of those time warps where you’ll go in for 5 minutes only to come out and it’s actually been a couple of hours.
166 Brick Lane, London E1 6RU
12. Crosstown Doughnuts
An entire bar dedicated to coffee and doughnuts must mean we’re living out our stereotypical Chief Wiggum dreams, eh? The sourdough doughnut connoisseurs are neighbours to the Beigel shops so if you happened to be looking for a little dessert …
157 Brick Lane, London E1 6SB
13. The Boiler House
You wouldn’t be blamed for walking past this unobtrusive old boiler house but it’s actually now a food hall. We know, so many food options to choose from along Brick Lane and this one is home to over 30 stalls of international culinary delights. Choose from Poland, China, Italian and many many more.
152 Brick Lane, E1 6RU