Let’s begin at the Top of Brick Lane having alighted at Shoreditch High Street station. Turn left outside the station then right at the top of the road. This will take you onto Bethnal Green Road, which you follow until you reach the Verge Bar at the top of Brick Lane.
More chic than shabby, yet still relaxed, Verge specialises in quirky cocktails like the Effen Blind (a black cherry vodka concoction) and bold versions of classics like the Sailor’s Daiquiri. Canvas prints of rock gods like Mick Jagger and Bob Marley adorn the walls and the playlist – like the patrons – is pure indie cool with the likes of Talking Heads and the Smiths.
Opposite Verge is Hunky Dory Vintage, which Time Out London calls “the best place to buy clothes and handbags”.
Women's & Men's Vintage
Hunky Dory is a treasure trove of mens and womens’ hand-picked clothing and accessories from the 40s to the 80s situated in East London’s bustling Brick Lane.
226 Brick Lane, E1 6SA tel: 0207 729 7387
Continuing from this Brick Lane institution you’ll come to the famous Beigel Shop. A reminder of the area’s vibrant Jewish heritage, this legendary 24-hour bagel bakery has been luring passers-by and steadying late-night bar hoppers with its fresh bagels since 1977. Succulent salt beef is a traditional topping, or try lox and a schmear (cured salmon with cream cheese), or an almond slice.
Duly fortified, proceed past the incongruously-named Bacon Street intersection towards Cheshire Street, where you will find a number of great shops. Swing left onto Cheshire Street and make a beeline for Levinsons. The shop exterior is dark-green wood, reminiscent of the set of a Scandinavian crime novel, and inside is equally mysterious. A bastion of authentic vintage gear, Levinsons offers pieces you won’t find anywhere else, hand-selected by its eagle-eyed proprietor.
Moseying back to Brick Lane, continue on till you pass beneath the train link to the ex-industrial area that now hosts the famous weekend street market. You may want to pull out your phone and snap a few photos, too, as these walls are home to some of Brick Lane’s finest street art. Graffiti icons Banksy, Ben Eine and D*Face are among the many artists who have graced these bricks. Music buffs will recognise this as the setting for UK version of The Killers’ All These Things That I’ve Done video.
Back in the thick of the shops is Shop 172, a Japanese couture boutique that specialises in men’s and womenswear. Shop 172 is home to enticing fashion from more than 25 independent labels and designers. Whether you are in the market for a sample of the next big thing, or need to stock up on high-grade basics, there will be something here for you.
Independent Designer Collective
Shop 172 aims toprovide a creative platform and highlight quality craftsmanship and innovative design. We select garments by a range of internationally based fashion brands.
172 Brick Lane, E1 6RU tel: 0207 650 8873
Treat your mind as well as your body with a nip into Brick Lane Bookshop (formerly Eastside Books). Friendly staff will help you find a great read for your journey home.
Fans of London fashion won’t want to miss Mendoza Menswear, which is world-renowned for its selection of Mod apparel. (Don’t be surprised to see a row of Vespas parked outside.)
Mendoza is a Menswear shop based in Brick Lane, which has been established since 2003. Their influences come from mainly the mid 60′s to late 70′s
158 Brick Lane, E1 6RU tel: 0207 377 5263
Mendoza Menswear personifies Brick Lane’s insouciant cool with its hip, 60s-inflected array of vintage and modern clothes and accessories. Get in touch with your inner Mod in a safari jacket, checked trousers and a knit tie; or liven up your nine-to-five outfit with a pair of outré cufflinks. If the sleek clothes aren’t enough to win you over the attentive service will. They even make a point of posting mail orders early so your new threads arrive in time for the weekend!
Passing the intersections with Buxton Street and Quaker Street you come to the Brick Lane’s All Star Lanes. Even if you aren’t a bowling fanatic it’s well worth stopping in as they offer food, booze and karaoke, as well as a chance to strut your 10-pin skills. Evenings and weekends are packed so if you haven’t booked and are waiting for a lane step along and get a drink at one of the neighbouring bars.
Just beyond the Lanes, on the right, is the Vibe Bar. During the summer its outdoor courtyard is the perfect vantage point for people watching, and at the weekends they fire up a jerk chicken grill. Indoors there is plenty of space for dancing to the rotating cast of DJs that play till the wee hours, or simply perch at the bar and enjoy a cocktail.
If you want to carry on the party head across the road to 93 Feet East, a bona fide London nightlife institution. It hosts everything from live music and films, to club nights and all-day parties. You can even pop in for a quick drink and check your email using their free wifi.
Past 93 Feet East turn right onto Dray Walk, where you’ll find a barbeque pit and a handful of larger shops. These mostly have boutique origins but have expanded to central London and beyond.
You’ll find music emporium Rough Trade East here, as well as the east-end outpost of the Big Chill Bar. Between the two you will be spoiled for musical choice, with up-and-coming bands performing at Rough Trade to promote their releases and a range of talented DJs spinning at Big Chill.
Turn left at the end of Dray Walk then right onto Hanbury Street for a smattering of chain vintage clothing stores. Fans of classic English cooking can’t miss Poppies, a fish & chips outlet voted one of the 100 best dishes in London by Time Out.
Opposite lies Spitalfields, the City’s oldest market. Considerably slicker than your average, it now boasts a range of permanent shops and high-end eateries within its splendid glass canopy. The Traders Market is open Tuesday-Friday, and Sunday, and offers up to 110 stalls with everything from clothes, jewellery, toys, and cosmetics to art and collectibles.
Your Brick Lane voyage nearly at an end, continue onto Bishopsgate and turn left at the RBS Building for the short walk to Liverpool Street Station.
|Shoreditch Shopping Guide →|