Never has the word ‘go’ been more operative in a guide than this one. Don’t get us wrong, we like Shoreditch. There are some brilliant places to eat in Shoreditch. It’s just sometimes, Shoreditch gets too Shoreditch. Especially on Friday nights. That’s just one time you might need to go. But before you do you, you’ll want to grab something from one of these spots.
Price range: £3-6.
Brick Lane’s institution needs no introduction and nor do its golden beigels. The salt beef is the obvious choice - an enormous hunk smeared with watered-down English mustard (this was never the case back in the day, it was a reliable sinus-clearer) with sliced gherkin stuck in for good measure. We’ll admit we’re more partial to a smoked salmon cream cheese, doused in bottled lemon juice and dusty pepper. Delicious and, vitally, less filling. You need room for a chocolate slice.
Price range: £10-15.
Since lockdown, Two Lights has become a fried chicken shop. And frankly, there can never be too many fried chicken shops in London. The buttermilk fried chicken, seasoned in a ‘secret’ spice mix, comes in between a bun for a tenner, or as part of a meal. Two pieces, plus a side like chicken salt fries or mac ’n cheese will cost you £12, and there are cauliflower and tofu options too.
Price range: £10-20.
Imagining you, in Shoreditch, stomach rumbling, and learning that Smokestak does collection is getting us a little emotional. And when there’s a beef brisket bun in your hand, you will be too. The barbecue restaurant also has ribs, pulled pork, and excellent vegetarian options like salt baked beetroot as well.
Price range: £8-10.
Many a pint-heavy, post-work, pub session has seen us take cover in the Keu on Old Street. In fact, many a detour through Shoreditch has seen us turn up in Keu. The Vietnamese deli offers bahn mi, rice dishes, and noodle soups. Choosing between chari siu pork and roasted duck can be hard, so maybe bring a friend along. For company, of course.
Price range: £4.
Nothing says grab and go more than a slice of pizza. Grab a big old slice of marg, inhale it, burn the roof of your mouth, and then go back to the till for another one. The slices from Voodoo Rays in Boxpark are a solid snack. Not exactly NYC levels, but decent all the same. Especially when you get some garlic mayo involved.