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18 Best Restaurants in East London

18 Best Restaurants in East London

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With hundreds of old-timers and new openings jostling for your attention, it can be tricky to suss out the best restaurants in East London.

Gone are the days when the capital’s food scene was fiercely guarded by the West End; East London has emerged as the culinary capital with options ranging from casual to high-end.

Considering the diverse population of the East End, the restaurant scene offers a myriad of British and international eateries. Whether you’re seeking vegan, veggie, halal, or gluten-free options, there are tons of places to eat.

Because nobody wants to roam the streets with an appetite, we’ve rounded up the best places to eat in Shoreditch, Whitechapel, Hackney, and beyond. 

Map of the Best Restaurants in East London

Take a Food Tour of East London

This region of London is so densely packed with international and British cuisine, top restaurants, and award-winning chefs it can be hard to choose where to even begin.

While we hope this list of restaurants helps you on your trip to London, sometimes taking a tour allows you to sample a lot of restaurants in a short period.

These are our top picks for getting to know the best restaurants in East London on a tour:

  • Private East London Food & Walking Tour: This food and walking tour will stop at all of the absolute best restaurants in East London and since it’s a private tour, you’ll get the full attention of your knowledgeable guide. This is the ultimate option for foodies who want to know all of the insider tips for eating in London as well as explore some of the cool sights around East London. Book that tour here.
  • Shoreditch Food Tour: This tour will take you to all of the best spots around the East London neighbourhood of Shoreditch. The tour aims to show you places that most tourists don’t know about and also to teach you why this is such a wonderful and essential part of London. This is a nice combination of trying amazing food while also getting a better understanding of what it’s like to live in this hugely growing neighbourhood. Book it for yourself here.
  • East End Food Tour: This tour will take you to six locations around East London where you’ll sample 10 different dishes of food. This is where you’ll have some of the best curry restaurants in all of the UK, and incredible bagels and desserts, too. This is one of the best value-for-money food tour options available. Book this food tour here.

18 Best Restaurants in East London 

This guide to the top restaurants in East London is broken down according to the neighbourhood. Even if you’re only spending one or two days in London, a Tube ride east is totally worth it to eat at one of these places.

shoredich buildings with paintings on the outside and grey sky.

Best restaurants in East London.

Best Restaurants in East London – Shoreditch

This is where you’ll want to eat in East London before hitting the bars and clubs in Shoreditch.

1. Rochelle Canteen

Starting with this dinky yet pretty Shoreditch eatery, Rochelle Canteen is one of the best lunch restaurants in East London in between shopping and sightseeing.

Housed within the old bike shed and garden of a former school, the restaurant provides a calm sanctuary from the busy streets.

The seasons dictate the menu, with cooking inspired by modern British and European styles. You can always expect an offering of meat, seafood, and veggie dishes – anything with lamb comes with a seal of approval. Top-quality ingredients you can taste are sourced as locally and sustainability as possible. 

Do factor in room for dessert: the kitchen rustles up yummy fruit tarts as well as cheese boards for savoury palates. Naturally, you’ll want to wash it all down with one of the carefully chosen wines. As with the food, these are selected to suit the season.

Rochelle Canteen is open for lunch and early dinners on select evenings. 

Address: 16 Playground Gardens, London E2 7FA

Closest station: Liverpool Street or Shoreditch High Street (Overground)

Check the opening hours for Rochelle Canteen on Google Maps

full english breakfast at the best restaurants in East London.

Full English breakfast in East London.

2. BRAT

A nondescript entrance gives way to BRAT, one of the cool restaurants in East London for Spanish-style dining.

The menu is a marriage of tapas and large plates and balances meat and fish options alongside seasonal vegetable accompaniments. It changes often but you can expect to find exciting dishes such as crab soup, roasted cockles, and partridge and blood pudding. Whole turbot is usually on the menu and is the plate behind the restaurant’s name. The Basque cheesecake is a must-try so avoid overdoing it on the mains. 

Most wines are sourced from Spain and there are a couple of sherry options to bring out the flavours. 

The proud holder of a Michelin star, this is one of the best restaurants in East London for a date.

Address: 4 Redchurch Street, London E1 6JL

Closest station: Liverpool Street or Shoreditch High Street (Overground)

Check the opening hours for BRAT on Google Maps.

3. The Princess of Shoreditch 

Technically a pub, the Princess of Shoreditch is one of the best places to eat in Shoreditch for a Sunday roast.

This upscale gastropub occupies two floors of a Georgian townhouse, with high ceilings, big windows, and fireplaces there to set the mood. The team partners with the finest British farmers, butchers, greengrocers and fishermen to create seasonal dining. 

Sunday lunch is served over two or three courses, with the option to choose beef, chicken, pork, fish, or nut roast as the main. These are fully garnished with all the trimmings, and you can pick between a starter or pudding. Enjoying a roast is one of the best things to do in London in winter and you might want to reserve a table. 

An à la carte menu is available during the week alongside an excellent array of wines, beers, and spirits. Note that this gastropub is very popular with locals once they clock off work for the day so it’s great for a drink as well. 

Address: 76-78 Paul Street, London EC2A 4QB

Closest station: Old Street

Check the opening hours for the Princess of Shoreditch on Google Maps.

brick lane east london

Brick Lane, East London.

Best Restaurants in East London – Hackney

Headed to Hackney? Check out these cool restaurants in East London’s cultural hub.

4. Buen Ayre

There’s no need to fly across the Atlantic for steak, Buen Ayre is one of the top restaurants in East London for grilled meat.

Located at Broadway Market, Buen Ayre brings Latin American asado to Hackney. It was set up by the Argentinian-born John Rattagan who learned the art of asado at an early age. 

Items in the menu cover sirloin and rib-eye steak as well as sausages and ribs. In general, plates are designed for two guests to share but there are options for solo diners.

Whatever steak you choose, you can complement it with a bottle of Argentinian wine, spearheaded by Malbec varieties. Servers are on hand to provide recommendations based on your food order. 

Although meat is the natural go-to, the restaurant has a couple of plates for vegetarians. This is a laid-back spot to eat, with an upbeat atmosphere – perfect for families, groups, or couples. 

Address: 50 Broadway Market, London E8 4QJ

Closest station: Bethnal Green or Cambridge Heath (Overground)

Check the opening hours for Buen Ayre on Google Maps.

pizza and beer

Pizza and beer in East London.

5. Crate Brewery and Pizzeria

Right on the banks of the River Lee, Crate Brewery and Pizzeria is one of the best restaurants in East London for a slice and a pint.

Once a print factory (later a squat) the canalside joint has been spruced up as a hipster pizzeria specialising in stone-baked pizza with a crispy, thin crust.

The menu does change throughout the year. Typical toppings include the classic Margherita alongside sage and truffle, sweet potato with stilton and walnut, and Middle Eastern lamb.

Craft lager and ale are served by the pint, half pint, or jug. 

You can visit Crate on foot in conjunction with a walk around Victoria Park or the towpath. However, you can also stop off here via kayak!

Renting a canoe from Moo Canoes in Limehouse is one of the more unusual things to do in London. There is a dock outside where you secure the boat. 

Address: Unit 7 Queen’s Yard, London E9 5EN

Closest station: Hackney Wick

Check the opening hours for Crate Brewery and Pizzeria on Google Maps.

6. Barge East

How do you top a waterfront restaurant in Hackney? Make it float. Barge East occupies a 120-year Dutch boat and offers cabin and deck seating with views over the canal and the Olympic stadium. 

Seasonal menus celebrate British produce and recipes with a global twist. Gourmet roast dinners are available every Sunday whereas the six-course tasting menu is a worthwhile splurge if you’re looking to “push the boat out” in London.

Barge East is number one when it comes to cool restaurants in East London. Such is its success that the boat has expanded onto dry land. The garden restaurant is lovely in summer and has a bottomless brunch on weekends while the street kitchen offers year-round casual dining.

Address: River Lee, Sweetwater Mooring, White Post Lane, London E9 5EN

Closest station: Hackney Wick

Check the opening hours for Barge East on Google Maps

7. Cornerstone

Next to Hackney Wick, Cornerstone by Chef Tom Brown is one of the best restaurants in East London for seafood.

Menus change on the regular to reflect availability. However, you can always expect a spread of oysters, mussel pate, and fish hauled from the Atlantic Ocean served with greens. When available, hake Kyiv and sea bream tartare are fine choices.

However, if your budget covers it, the tasting menu (with a wine pairing option) is the recommended choice at Cornerstone. This is priced at £7 (around $93) per head or £140 ($174) with wine. 

Although not a fussy place, the food and atmosphere are more upscale at Cornerstone. It’s a great contender for a special occasion or date over food in East London. Advance booking is always recommended.

Address: 3 Prince Edward Road, London E9 5NP

Closest station: Hackney Wick

Check the opening hours for Cornerstone by Chef Tom Brown on Google Maps.

east london restaurants.

Best restaurants in East London.

Best Restaurants in East London – Cambridge Heath/Bethnal Green

Venture beyond the buzzing Shoreditch and Hackney for some of the most affordable restaurants in East London.

8. Love Shack 

With eclectic interiors, garden hammocks, and great vibes, Love Shack is one of the coolest vegan restaurants in East London.

The 100% plant-based menu features a mix of “burgers”, curries, salads, and sharers. The oyster mushroom “duck” pancakes and Malaysian laksa are standouts.

However, the chef prepares a weekly special main and dessert that you should check out before committing.

Love Shack also has a small but perfectly formed brunch menu, consisting of vegan-approved blueberry pancakes and a cruelty-free take on the traditional full English breakfast. 

Drinks range from green juices and matcha lattes to mushroom-based coffee and builder’s tea. From time to time, Love Shack hosts live music events and craft markets. It’s always a great shout for a cocktail or beer in the evening, even if you eat elsewhere.

Address: Arch 298, 299 Cambridge Heath Road, London E2 9HA

Closest station: Cambridge Heath (Overground) or Bethnal Green

Check the opening hours for Love Shack on Google Maps.

Bethnal Green tube station.

Stop in Bethnal Green for some top notch restaurants in East London.

9. Sager + Wilde

Built into the railway arches by Bethnal Green Station, Sager + Wilde is a sleek restaurant focusing on Mediterranean-British cooking. 

Wholesome yet artistically presented, plates revolve around fresh pasta, light seafood dishes, and crisp salads tossed with nuts.

Fig focaccia is a firm favourite – if they have that on the day, order a portion to nibble at while you peruse the main menu. Flavours are enhanced with the natural wines stoked in the property’s wine cellar, don’t be afraid to ask the staff for personal recommendations. 

In addition to the internal dining hall, the restaurant has patio seating for the summer season. In terms of cool restaurants in East London with reasonable prices and quality cooking, you can’t knock Sager + Wilde.

Sager and Wilde also have a wine bar in Hackney, by Columbia Road Flower Market. 

Address: 250 Paradise Row, London E2 9LE

Closest station: Bethnal Green

Check the opening hours for Sager + Wilde on Google Maps.

Best Restaurants in East London – Whitechapel

Get yourself over to Whitechapel to sample these standout East London restaurants.

10. Grounded

A short stroll from Tower Hill and the City, Grounded is one of the top vegetarian-friendly halal restaurants in East London for brunch. 

Traditional English breakfast – with a twist – is available with halal meat and veggie options, alongside eggs on toast, buttermilk pancakes, French toast, and shakshuka.

Eggs are organic and all ingredients are super fresh. Besides the main kitchen menu, you can cast an eye over freshly made sandwiches, pastries, and oven-baked treats at the counter. 

The coffee is particularly good at Grounded. They source their beans from Exmouth Coffee Roasters and roast them on the premises. Furthermore, Grounded has a lovely vibe, with woody booths and emerald-green panelling. 

Note, if you’re after fast food in East London, this isn’t the place to go. It always has a queue. 

Address: 9 Whitechapel Road, London E1 1DU

Closest station: Whitechapel

Check the opening hours for Grounded on Google Maps.

great brunch with coffee and eggs on toast.

Brunch in East London.

11. Patisserie East

Sited within the London Muslim Centre, Patisserie East is one of the top halal restaurants in East London for deli-style fare and baklava.

Open early until late, the restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, dinner, and delicious desserts. Start your day with a halal full (or small) English breakfast or go lighter with pancakes.

Served sweet or savoury, these are available as French crepes, fluffy American-style stacks, and waffles. Elsewhere, Patisserie East is known for its house-cured salt beef deli sandwiches and burgers.

Furthermore, Patisserie East really is responsible for some of the best baklava in London, noted for hitting just the right level of sweetness. You can box up a portion to enjoy later if the main dishes fill you up.

Big appetite, small budget? Patisserie East is one of the more affordable restaurants in East London.

Address: 42 Whitechapel Road, London E1 1JX

Closest station: Whitechapel

Check the opening hours for Patisserie East on Google Maps.

Spitalfields market  with a statue of men sitting in a boat in East London.

Spitalfields, East London.

Best Restaurants in East London – Spitalfields 

One of our favourite neighbourhoods in East London, Spitalfields is a haven for amazing restaurants and pop-ups. This is the location of Brick Lane where you’ll find the top restaurants in East London for Bangladeshi and Indian food. 

12. Cinnamon Brick Lane

Located on Brick Lane, Cinnamon is widely regarded as the best East London Indian restaurant.

In fact, the place has earned accolades and awards to prove it. The menu – more like a brochure – is massive, with dishes inspired from across the country. However, the emphasis is on Northern Indian cuisine. 

Traditional curry dishes include madras, dansak, bhuna, jalfrezi, and kurma with your choice of meat, seafood, or vegetarian. They come in all levels of spice to cater to mixed tastes. 

Tandoori grills, biryani, and thali platters are available alongside a mountain of side dishes. Cinnamon is endlessly busy, so consider booking if you are in a larger group, especially on weekends. 

Address: 134 Brick Lane, London E1 6RU

Closest station: Liverpool Street

Check the opening hours for Cinnamon Brick Lane on Google Maps.

curry in two bowls with rice on the side.

Best curry in East London.

13. Vegan Yes 

Owned by an Italian-Korean couple, Vegan Yes draws together the cuisine of both countries. 

This is one of the best restaurants in East London for vegan food. The emphasis is on raw food and probiotic-rich kimchi (fermented cabbage). 

Four different types of kimchi (red, viola, yellow, and green) form the foundation of the kimchi menu. Dishes such as tempeh, soy and bean vegan burgers, and bibimbap are served with a generous topping of kimchi. 

Another menu fuses other Korean specialities with Italian favourites, creating such signature dishes as “Toppognochi”. Wherever possible, the kitchen team avoids heated oils, refined sugars, and preservatives.

Mauro and Min are frequently spotted in the restaurant and are always down for a chat about the menu. Furthermore, you can paw through their cookbook over a kombucha or glass of Chianti – they’re available to purchase in the restaurant if you like what you taste. 

Address: 64 Brick Lane, London E1 6RF

Closest station: Liverpool Street

Check the opening hours for Vegan Yes on Google Maps.

14. Sheba

Sheba is another award-winning Indian restaurant in East London that also prepares Bangladeshi and Pakistani food.

While Cinnamon comes out tops for curry-based dishes, Sheba’s focus is on tandoori, shashliks, and seafood, with the Bengal lamb shank standing out as the key speciality. 

However, the kitchen also offers an extensive curry menu served with fluffy rice or soft naan bread with the right degree of chewiness.

Bear in mind that both Sheba and Cinnamon operate a bring-your-own-booze (BYOB) policy, in keeping with most of the Indian restaurants in East London.

That combined with economical prices makes Sheba one of the most affordable restaurants in East London.

Address: 136 Brick Lane, London E1 6RU

Closest station: Liverpool Street

Check the opening hours for Sheba on Google Maps.

15. Andina Spitalfields 

Modelled on the traditional, family-run Andean eateries, this picantería and pisco bar is one of the popular Peruvian restaurants in East London.

Andina serves imported native ingredients alongside local produce to provide the tastiest dining experience. Starters include the moreish toasted corn nuts and seafood bites.

Ceviche is, naturally, the star of the show at Andina with a score of different options including tuna, sea bass, and salmon. However, there are plant-based equivalents for vegans. Seafood also rules the main menu, with grilled octopus and prawn tamale being the kinds of dishes you’ll want to come back for.

The restaurant offers brunch at the weekend, consisting of sweet pancakes and Peruvian breakfasts such as a poached egg with corn cake.

For a special occasion (or, just because!) you can upgrade to the bottomless brunch menu, served with pisco sour, Prosecco, beer, or house wine.

Address: 60-62 Commercial Street, London E1 6LT

Closest station: Aldgate East or Liverpool Street

Check the opening hours for Andina on Google Maps.

Best Restaurants in South East London

Beyond the hipster hubs, you’ll find excellent food in East London’s Southwark, Bermondsey, Lewisham, Greenwich, Bexley, and Bromley neighbourhoods. 

16. Champagne+Fromage

Champagne+Fromage is one of the cool restaurants in East London with a menu designed to share.

Cheese and charcuterie is the hallmark of this French-inspired bistro. Raclette, baked camembert, and oysters are also available and there are usually one or two puddings.

Champagne is imported from the French region and the restaurant also hosts regular tasting sessions and masterclasses. It’s possible to order bubbles by the glass or bottle or in cocktail form.

It’s easily one of the top restaurants in East London to round off a day trip in this historic waterfront enclave. 

Address: 34 Greenwich Church Street, London SE10 9BL

Closest station: Cutty Sark (DLR)

Check the opening hours for Champagne+Fromage on Google Maps.

17. Mr Bao

Decent bao buns are always worth making the effort for. Mr Bao in Peckham serves the fluffiest buns in East London with flavours including pork belly, beef brisket, and shitake mushroom.

Grab your bao buns with a selection of edamame beans tossed with ginger and garlic and sweet potato chips drizzled with wasabi mayo. Both the food and drinks menus are on the smaller side but you can take your pick from signature cocktails, imported wine, and Taiwanese beer.

Mr Bao is one of the most affordable restaurants in East London and it’s just around the corner from the Peckhamplex and the Bussey Building.

Address: 293-295 Rye Lane, London SE15 4UA

Closest station: Peckham Rye (Overground)

Check the opening hours for Mr Bao on Google Maps.

18. Casse-Croûte

Casse-Croûte is one of the best restaurants in South East London for French cuisine in a classy yet relaxed setting.

The Bermondsey bistro setting whisks you away to the streets of Paris and that’s before you’ve even opened the menu. Plats du Jour are chalked on the board in French and feature classics such as snails for starters followed by meat or fish in an aromatic mother sauce with a side of veggies. It really does change every day which means every visit comes with an element of suspense.

Visit on a Sunday to sample the iconic beef Wellington. 

Naturally, all dishes are designed to be consumed with a glass of vin from the exclusively French wine list.

Address: 109 Bermondsey Street, London SE1 3XB

Closest station: London Bridge

Check the opening hours for Casse-Croûte on Google Maps