The 18 Best Restaurants In Shoreditch
From an iconic British restaurant to homely Vietnamese, open-fire cooking, and more.
Shoreditch, what are you? Are you a workplace or a playground? Are you the vortex of creativity, commerce, and cool that came to symbolise the future direction of an entire city, or are you a sell-out? Has the party moved on? Are you all washed up, are you done? These are just some of the questions we ask ourselves when we go out to eat in Shoreditch. Love it or hate it, the Shoreditch restaurant scene isn’t going anywhere. And the spots on this guide will tell you why.
photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch
There are two superlative-laden white-walled British restaurants around Shoreditch. One is St. John Bread and Wine—which is simultaneously a little fancy but utterly unfussy—and the other is Lyle’s, which is both fancy and fussy when it comes to food. But that’s what makes it so good. The evening tasting menu reads simply—razor clams and tomatoes, fore rib and onions—but every ingredient at Lyle’s is turned up to the max, And, with nothing else to focus on in the industrial space, it’s the food that’s the centre of attention. That said, lunch is our favourite time to eat here. It’s when sunlight streams through the warehouse windows and you can eat whatever you want from an à la carte menu.
photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch
This British-powered, Italian-influenced spot first made its name with a Soho residency and now its first permanent restaurant in Shoreditch is officially The Place To Be. With oaty interiors and hanging lights, Manteca has brought its porky and crabby cacio e pepe goodness to a bigger, buzzier, and more boisterous crowd with consummate ease. Book early, settle in, and don't miss that pig skin ragu whatever you do.
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Maybe, probably, definitely, the best thing in Shoreditch these days is Troy Bar. This little Caribbean bar does one of London’s best lunchtime deals: jerk chicken or curry goat with rice and peas, plantain, and coleslaw for under a tenner. Bear in mind that this is primarily a bar—with jazz and funk nights throughout the week—so the lunchtime feel is very much functional: chairs, tables, and a flirty amount of natural light. But if you’re more likely to take it to go, then it’s worth knowing that you can pick up a box for a couple of quid more in the evening.
Attached to an upmarket greengrocer of the same name, Leila’s serves excellent, homely dishes in a serene, whitewashed cafe/canteen-like space. Befitting its location in a leafy, calm part of Shoreditch, it’s somewhere to pop in for a quiet lunch among the arty, Margaret Howell-clad crowd. Pick from the short chalkboard menu of seasonal European-leaning dishes like roast chicken and raisin-flecked pilaf, or a slab of creamy fennel gratin. Solo diners are particularly welcomed—plus it means you won’t have to share any of the must-order puddings. If there’s anything with jelly, get it.
Bibo Dani García
Bibo is a rare restaurant. Not because it makes enormous pans of perfect paella. Or because its little croquettes wear little jamon hats. Not even because it’s a good-time restaurant with both a DJ and big let’s-get-boisterous booths. No, it’s a rare restaurant because it does all of these things—and it’s actually good. Located in the Mondrian hotel, this restaurant is great at taking a classic crowd-pleaser and dressing it up in its Friday night glad rags—be it chorizo served on soft brioche buns with a quail egg to accessorise, or a perfectly cooked tortilla decorated with artsy squiggles of brava sauce. Yes, you’ll get bougie content here, but you’ll also get great food.
There are some things that London and Londoners never tire of. Things like free beer, free wine, and more free beer. And excellent pasta restaurants. Officina 00 is one of those. We’re not saying that a single, flying saucer-like raviolo bergese stuffed with mushroom and egg yolk will change your life. But we are saying that your life will be much sadder, and much less truffle-covered without it. In fact you’ll be sadder without pretty much every plate of pasta here, from the pork occhi to the pappardelle, and at around £15 a plate, it’s one of Shoreditch’s best-value restaurants.
Since opening, Brat has established itself as one of London’s perma-hottest restaurants. That isn’t just because of its open-fire cooking approach, which produces the glorious blackened bread with burnt onion butter, that carefully basted beastly whole turbot, or one of London’s first burnt cheesecakes. But also because the windows rarely open and it gets quite toasty in there, up high on Redchurch Street. No, we kid. It’s because this is quite simply an elite restaurant. Full of natural atmosphere and simply done, fantastic food.
This Lebanese-inspired restaurant on Shoreditch High Street is good for many reasons. Firstly, it’s run by Fat Macy’s, a social enterprise that provides Londoners living in temporary accommodation with training programmes to help them move from hostels into their own homes. And secondly, those chewy dumplings are one of the standout dishes. Delicious filled parcels aside, the restaurant makes for an intimate dinner space ideal for sharing chewy flatbread with chilli butter-laden labneh and a bottle of something funky from the decently priced list.
Rochelle Canteen is a brilliant and unique British restaurant in Arnold Circus, a quiet street off the high street. You’ll find it by wandering around and looking for a small blue door marked ‘Rochelle School’. Ring the buzzer for the canteen and you’ll enter a hidden garden with a path leading to the restaurant. The menu is excellent (everything from soup to salad to suet crust pies and sundaes is fantastic), but the feeling of discovery is a huge part of the Canteen’s appeal. It’s open all week for lunch, you can also sneak a cosy dinner in during the latter part of the week.
Ozone Coffee Roasters
Ozone is known as a coffee shop at the top of Leonard Street. It’s known as a coffee shop since roasting coffee is what they've made their name doing but, really, this shouldn’t be the case. Ozone is very much a restaurant: from the global menu that spans kedgeree to arancini, to the massive space where you can pitch up solo first thing in the morning or hunker down in a booth from lunchtime to mid-afternoon.
photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch
Bao Noodle Shop
There was a glorious inevitability about Bao bringing their tried and tested restaurant formula to Shoreditch and thankfully (but equally unsurprisingly) their noodle shop does not disappoint. Warming beef and vegan noodle soups, rather than fluffy bao, are the main event, though the buns are of course still on the menu. But the real stars of the show are the small plates. Grabbing a stool here with a plate of spiced crispy tripe and a steaming bowl of Tainan-style noodle soup, either solo or with a friend, will quickly become your go-to Shoreditch move.
For some of the best phở anywhere in London, Sông Quê should be high on your list. It’s usually slammed with families and ravenous assorted Shoreditch groups, most of whom have been coming here for years, and the dining room has the feel of a bustling canteen. We love the bánh xèo (Vietnamese pancake) and the grilled quail is also very good, but the steak, flank, and tendon phở with tofu is what we return for.
Kêu Banh Mi Deli
With locations in Shoreditch, the City, and Soho, Kêu is probably London’s most recognisable Vietnamese mini-chain. Don’t let that make you think that its standards are iffy though. In actual fact, Kêu isn’t just reliable, it’s consistently delicious. Their Hoi-An Deluxe bánh mì combines ham, roast pork belly, sliced head cheese, chicken liver pâté, and a gravy-ish sauce that’s heavy on pork and sweet onion flavour. Bread-less stuff is great too: the rice and roasted meats or lemongrass curries make for an always-delicious midweek meal.
Do you ever get those days where you smell a bit whiffy and all you want to do is sit in a dimly lit room and eat meat off a metal plate? No? OK. Well, that day will come. And when it does, go to Smokestak. This is the best barbecue restaurant in London. The brisket bun is perfect. It’s ergonomically designed to sit in your hand like a really cute small pet that you will eventually eat. Everything else is good too, like salt-baked beetroot or charred greens. Plus, you come out smelling all lovely and smoky.
photo credit: Rob Greig
Burro e Salvia
Despite being right there on Redchurch Street, not a lot of people seem to know about Burro e Salvia. And that, we think, is just how they like it. The small handmade pasta restaurant has a short changing menu of antipasti and pasta. Be it the signature beef, pork, and spinach agnolotti with butter and sage, or a seasonal autumn truffle-piled bowl of passatelli. Despite being in the middle of Shoreditch, it’s a low-key spot and that’s why you’ll like it.
Sometimes it’s hard to imagine a place with any kind of relative serenity in Shoreditch. But through all the bustle, ball pits, and streams of beer, there’s Leroy. This wine bar is a great spot when you’re in the area but also looking to escape the area. It’s very easy to get comfortable, thanks to the room, the wine, and the steady amount of tasty little European-leaning plates you can pick on.
If you were to pick 10 Londoners at random, line them up, and demand they tell you what their favourite restaurant is, chances are at least two of them would say Padella. This excellent handmade pasta restaurant creates near-cult-like feelings of devotion over the pici cacio e pepe. Affordable, casual, and home to many a top negroni, its big Shoreditch spot isn’t quite as charming as the OG location in Borough Market, but it’s still perfect for big pasta cravings and pappardelle-fuelled catch-ups. Plus, unlike the walk-in only spot in Borough Market, a limited number of tables here are available to book.
A faux-Italian trattoria plonked in the middle of Old Street and Shoreditch serving pizza and pasta under punny names should, by all rights, be everything you love or hate in the world. It’s a Marmite restaurant. Yet Gloria, with its ridiculous carbonara mixed in a parmesan wheel, and its desserts that are dramatic in both looks and flavour, will (potentially) charm you. OTT Italian accents and all. Just remember to try and book a table.