Filled with some of London’s best cocktail joints, secret hideouts, killer menus and late night havens, join the flock of hipsters that reside and party in the surroundings of EC1. Beards and dungarees are not compulsory but totally encouraged.
Get things started with a serious caffeine hit from the guys at Shoreditch Grind. Pull up a seat at the window and gaze out over Old Street roundabout watching practically the whole of East London hustle past. Want more warehouse vibes with your flat white? Head to Cream for a soya something and lose some time just staring at the hot looking goodies spread across their counter, including cakes, salads, sandwiches and the occasional barista.
Shoreditch Grind, 213 Old Street, London EC1V 9NR // Cream, 31 New Inn Yard, London EC2A 3EY
No one does it better than the guys at Ozone. With an in-house roaster you’ll be well on your way to caffeine heaven in no time. They do a mean baked eggs and their Bloody Mary/Kiwi wine selection is on point if you’re ready to hit the booze. If it’s the weekend then Beagle is one for a Sunshine Mary cocktail and some good eggs, plus if the sun’s out you can team it with catching dem rays on their terrace.
Ozone, 11 Leonard Street, London EC2A 4AQ // Beagle, 397-400 Geffrye Street, London E2 8HZ
The Ace Hotel’s Hoi Polloi is the perfect place to spend an afternoon. Pull up to a table with your MacBook and get stuck into their Bona Hoofer cocktail made with Sipsmith gin, toasted spiced syrup and espresso – keep the caffeine coming, it’s still early. Fancy going underground? Get yourself to Worship Street Whistling Shop and give into the ‘hardcore traditional British 19th Century’ vibes, because why the hell not. With crazy-ass cocktails made of fusions, blends, high pressured and fermented this and that, this is Blumenthal’s for boozers. They’ve got food too if you’re lining your stomach.
Hoi Polloi, 100 Shoreditch High Street, London, E1 6JQ // Worship Street Whistling Shop, 63 Worship Street, London EC2A 2DU
Inject a little tequila into your afternoon at Casa Negra. It’s all kitsch seating, multi-coloured light bulbs and muy mexicana. Head straight for their shack-like bar and hit the Margaritas, it’s time to start giving it big. Tummy rumbling? Shutterbug is home to some flippin’ good crepes as well as killer cocktails, so it’s perfect for a little snack alongside all-day boozing. There’s also brand new feel good fast food spot Bel-Air if you’re flagging a little but want to keep your health game on point.
Casa Negra, 54-56 Great Eastern Street, London, EC2A // Shutterbug, 1 Rivington Place, London EC2A 3BA
If you’re slick enough to have a membership to Shoreditch House then head up to the rooftop for a dip in the pool, then order in the cocktails while you’re drying off. If you’re not, then the rooftop at The Boundary is just as good and more waterproof with their pergola. It’s got killer views over the rooftops and is the perfect spot to kick back with a bottle of wine. If you're looking for a banging happy hour, Rivington Street Grill are all about £5 G&Ts on weekdays from 5-7pm. Winning. Feeling a kitsch, stylist, street art flex? 46 & Mercy is a sexy little basement bar that replaced Banksy's old art gallery. The drinks are experimental but damn fine and the menu is filled with poems and stories about the cocktails which is perfect if your date is late/boring.
Shoreditch House, Ebor Street, London E1 6AW // The Boundary, 2-4 Boundary Street (entrance on Redchurch Street), London E2 7DD // Rivington Street Grill, 28-30 Rivington Street, London EC2A 3DZ
Hot Dinner Date
Stroll up to the other side of Shoreditch High Street – or get the bus, you’ve been boozing all day – and find the Clove Club housed in the old town hall. Their menu is packed with totally British flavours and everything is goddamn delicious, plus there’s the option of pairing each course with wine, which is surely a hells yes. Got a hankering for some damn fine meat? Hit Spitalfields Hawksmoor - these guys do steak like some kinda carnivorous hero, and who could say no to a triple cooked chip or ten…
Clove Club, Shoreditch Town Hall, 380 Old Street, London, EC1V 9LT // Hawksmoor, 157a Commercial Street, London E1 6BJ
It’s time to stop slacking now and get properly stuck into the cocktails; Shoreditch holds the key to many a late night of debauchery. Nightjar is famed for its deadly concoctions, elaborate garnishes and swing dancing, natch. Happiness Forgets is a local’s basement joint with killer drinks, a chilled crowd and cool bartenders. NOLA is where the whisky’s at! All the bartenders love it here too and that can only mean one thing: the drinks are epic. Blues Kitchen parties til 3am and is bigger and brasher than your average with its copper bar and secret back room. Want your own Narnia playground? Then Callooh Callay is where it’s at! Surrealistic chic, hot booze and OMG, a bar through a cupboard? (say that to the staff, they’re SO not bored of it yet…)
Nightjar, 129 City Road, London EC1V 1JB // Happiness Forgets, 8-9 Hoxton Square, London N1 6NU // NOLA, 66-68 Rivington Street, London EC2A 3AY // Blues Kitchen, 143 Curtain Road, London EC2A 3AR // Callooh Callay, 65 Rivington Street, London EC2A 3AY
The hangovers come thick and fast ‘round here so hit Brick Lane and get your bagel fix to prep for the morning. Need something a little greasier? Stumble towards Liverpool Street (the gateway to Shoreditch, no?) and give Polo Bar a visit. They’re giving 24 hours’ worth of everything from greasy fry ups to cheap bottled beer so this is the place to sort yourself out. Of course you could haul yourself 40 storeys up to the 24 hours haunt in the sky, Duck & Waffle. Order up the foie gras all day breakfast and take in that killer view.
Brick Lane, London, E1 6SB // Polo Bar, 176 Bishopsgate, London EC2M 4NQ // Heron Tower, 110 Bishopsgate, London EC2N 4AY