Shoreditch and Brick Lane
Shoreditch and Brick Lane offer streets laden with colorful street art and tasty eats from around the world. Located a short walking distance from each other in east London, both Shoreditch and Brick Lane are a must see if you are about getting into the culture. So what’s it like on this side of town? Shoreditch is described as a home to Hipsters. I’m not entirely sure what the qualifications are for such a label, but if large quantities of bold murals and international food suffice, then count me in! Brick Lane is mostly famous for its curry houses, markets, and it also boasts amazing street art. Another interesting fact is that the surrounding area has a connection to Jack the Ripper! Yikes!
A good starting point is at the corner of Rivington Street and Shoreditch High Street. Take an Uber or take the tube to Shoreditch High Street. Shoreditch is a relatively large district, so I only explored the southeast side. I started down Rivington Street and then backtracked back to Shoreditch High Street. Next, I headed south on Shoreditch High to Bethanl Green Road and explored all the small roads in between and west to Brick Lane. See this link for the Google Map Route.
The Art and Food
From the starting point I mentioned previously, walk down Rivington Street. Take in the street art that line the walls on either side, but don’t miss the original Banksy mural. If you didn’t know, Banksy is an infamous street artist whose work has fetched over $1,000,000 USD at auction. Most of his murals are vandalized or destroyed and very few original works exist in their original locations. So, it’s not surprising that the one located here on Rivington Street is encased in pexi-glass. To find it, step inside the perimeter of the outdoor bar located next to the Cargo nightclub.
After you’ve had your fill of Rivington Street backtrack to Shoreditch High Street. From Shoreditch High Street head south to Bethnal Green Road. On the way there, stop by Pump Street Food Market and scope it out as a lunch option. Street food vendors have set up shop in colorful tiny houses and serve up food from around the world. We tried the Venezuelan arepas which are corn flour pockets stuffed with meat and veggies. They were delicious! Make sure you pace yourself though! There’s all kinds of food to try along this area that you don’t want to miss out on. We ate too much at Pump Street Market and were disappointed we were too full to try anything else the remainder of our walk through the district! Don’t make the same mistake.
At the corner of Shoreditch High Street and Bethnal Green Street, take a walk through Boxpark which also offers a wide variety of lunch options. Food vendors here serve their specialties from food counters set up on the second floor of former shipping containers. On the first floor, you’ll find assorted boutiques.
Weave through the streets leading up to Brick Lane. There are beautiful murals and street art to be discovered. Arranging a street art guided tour is also an option. We have done this before and it was very enjoyable, but this time around we were short on time so we just wandered about ourselves. Once you reach Brick Lane, you’ll find more art, endless curry houses, and places where you can go in and grab a snack or pastry. So you may want to pace yourself while snacking throughout the time you spend here so you can try as much food as possible!
Shoreditch and Brick Lane look a bit rough around the edges, but once you wander about a bit, you’ll come to realize that you aren’t the only tourist in the area. It’s still a popular spot that draws a good number of people. The street art gives it an edgy vibe and it’s fun discovering the art that lines the streets as you are walking along. As I said previously, I only had time to explore the southeast side of Shoreditch, so I’m sure there is much more to discover here. Relax and have a great time!