Top 10 Things To Do On Brick Lane

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LONDON | Brick Lane is one of London’s most famous streets, and locals and tourists alike flock there on the weekend to enjoy a variety of activities. From 15th century brick and tile manufacturing centre, to a Jewish, then Bengali neighbourhood, Brick Lane has seen many changes. Today it’s a trendy part of London, caught up in the gentrification of Shoreditch and the East End.

Cereal Cafes aside, there are plenty of reasons to visit Brick Lane and in its immediate surrounds, as well as opportunities for those who want to shop for fashion, antiques and more. Several markets can be found along the street, and lovers of good drink and music are also well catered to. After several visits to Brick Lane over many a weekend, we’ve got a pretty good idea on where you should go and what you should do, so here’s our list, in no particular order, of the top 10 things to do on Brick Lane.

Eat A Bagel

Brick Lane was once home to a large Jewish population, and one place that’s survived all the changes in the area is Brick Lane Beigel Bake. This 24-hour Jewish bakery has been open since 1974 and is known for their traditional Jewish-style filled bagels such as the iconic salt beef with mustard, and smoked salmon with cream cheese. The bagels here are always fresh, cheap, and delicious, and the pastries are great too.

Have A Curry

For tourists, Brick Lane’s reputation as “curry mile” that brings many of them to the area but, as any local will tell you, the curry houses on Brick Lane aren’t actually that good. If you want a good curry in London there are much better places to go nearby. Tayyabs, is only a 10 minute walk from Brick Lane and has been serving up fantastic Punjabi cuisine since 1972. You can’t go wrong no matter what you order, but whatever you do make sure you get a serve of their signature lamb chops. Another great option is Lahore Kebab House, a family run Pakistani restaurant that’s also been in operation since 1972 and does a lot more than just kebabs, including some of the best curry in town.

Enjoy A Pint of Craft Beer

At the north end of Brick Lane you’ll find two of our favourite craft beer spots in London. To the left here’s the Shoreditch branch of Scottish brewers Brew Dog, and to the right the fabulously renovated vintage pub Well And Bucket. Both are fantastic spots to get yourself acquainted with London’s ever growing craft beer scene.

Have A Cocktail

If beer isn’t your thing, you can still go to Brew Dog and Well And Bucket, but there are other places to visit as well. We love Big Chill Bar, which always has decent drinks and food, and a great vibe. On weekends, DJ sets and live music keep things going well into the night. There’s also The Cocktail Trading Co, just across the road from Brew Dog, who serve up a fantastic array of classic and modern cocktails in a funky, on-trend space.

Discover New Music

Rough Trade is one the premier names in independent music and their second store, Rough Trade East, is located just off Brick Lane in the former Stella Artois brewery. It contains a vast selection of CDs and vinyl spanning every genre and sub genre you could imagine. Every item has a written description to encourage browsing and discovery, and listening stations mean that you can listen to a few things before deciding what to buy.

Embrace Your Inner Chocoholic

Dark Sugars Cocoa House brings the culture of West African cocoa production to Brick Lane. It’s owned by Fatou (Nyanga) Mendy, who directly sources the finest Ghanaian chocolate, which she uses to create all kinds of wonderful chocolate delights. Most famously, Dark Sugars makes what’s considered by many to be the best hot chocolate in London, the “Pitch Black Hot Chocolate”. We recommend trying the chilli version.

Go (Dough)nuts

Crosstown Doughnuts is where you’ll find some of the best doughnuts in London. Everything is baked fresh daily, and all jams, custards, fillings, glazes & toppings are made from scratch. As well as classic flavours like cinnamon, jam, and chocolate, Crosstown is known for their interesting flavour combinations. Think Rum and Pineapple, Lychee and Gooseberry, and Vegan Coconut and Lime.

Visit A Market

Vintage specialists from across the UK and Europe take part to display their wares at the Vintage Market at Old Truman Brewery every Thursday to Sunday. The clothing here covers a range of eras from the 1920s through to the 1990s, and if vintage is your thing, you’re sure to find something that tickles your fancy.

The Backyard Market, meanwhile, showcases arts and crafts from local artisans, and is also located at the Old Truman Brewery.

Immerse Yourself In Art

Shoreditch is one of London’s street art hotspots and Brick Lane features many fantastic pieces. Well known artists like Banksy have been known to create art in the area, while many up and coming artists also feature their work here. The street art in the area is always changing, so our advice is to just explore and discover.

Visit The Cinema

Close Up Film Centre is located just behind Brick Lane and aims to make film culture and history accessible through its cinema, film library & online archive. Their catalogue is impressive, and Close Up is committed to supporting and developing the exhibition of independent and experimental cinema. There’s also a cafe and bar on site to enjoy while you access Close Up’s collection of books and films.

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Paul
Paul founded The City Lane back in 2009 as a place to share photos of his travels around Europe with friends and family. The City Lane might have changed quite a lot since those early days but one thing that’s remained constant is Paul’s passion for food, travel and culture, and a desire to photograph and write about his experiences.Paul has a strong inquisitive nature that drives him to look beneath the surface in order to discover what really makes a city and its people tick, and what better way to do this than over a good meal or drink, with a city’s locals, at places that people who live in that city actually frequent. Paul is also a co-host of The Brunswick Beer Collective, a podcast that may or may not actually be about beer.

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