How to spend a day in Brick Lane by a local

 Things to Do in Brick Lane London

This post will guide on all the cool things to do in Brick Lane  

Brick Lane is one of the most famous streets in London, and for many centuries, it has been known as an area with a blend of different communities. Brick Lane is now best known for its eclectic mix of independent shops, colourful artistic murals and culture with offering ranging from vintage clothing markets, street art, and some of London’s best curry houses.

From a 15th century brick and tile manufacturing centre to a home for the Jewish community and now the Bengali community, Brick Lane has evolved over the years, and has now become the heart of London’s East End. 

Due to the re-gentrification of the East End of London, Brick Lane is now a trendy part of London and a hub for eclectic independent shops and cafes in London. Everything that makes East London an exciting and beautiful place. I’ve designed this guide to show you the best things to do in Brick Lane London, from the best curry house in Brick Lane, vintage markets to the best chocolates from West Africa.

For more from my London travel guide series check out my best things to do in London, bottomless brunch Shoreditch, things to do in Peckham, Neals Yard Covent Garden, best brunch in London, things to do in Brick Lane, things to do in Shoreditch, best food markets in London, 5 day London itinerary and day in London.

 Things to Do in Brick Lane London

Dark Sugars – Dark Sugars Coco House

Dark Sugars - Dark Sugars Coco House 2

Brick Lane is known for many things. First time visitors will find two sensational beigel shops that divide families and split royalties. You will also find many curry houses, all claiming to be London’s best. But there’s much more: Brick Lane offers possibly the best chocolates in London at Dark Sugars. A cup of hot chocolate at Dark Sugars is topped with endless chocolate shavings, with a rich, creamy and smooth texture and is one of the most indulgent, cups of hot chocolate you’ll ever taste.

You’re welcome to enjoy the different flavours of chocolates such as white saffron, Hazelnut Praline and pitch black hot chocolate. These handcrafted chocolate are some of the finest Ghanaian chocolate. The ingredients for Dark Sugars chocolate are carefully sourced by owner Fatou Mendy on her travels. From giant slabs of rich West African chocolate to colourful pearls, including a wide range of flavours like liquid sea salt caramel and pistachio.

 

Brick Lane Market

Brick Lane London Food Market

Brick Lane Market is a lively artistic hub which attracts young and old Londoners in search of unique clothing, second-hand furniture, fruits and vegetables and bric-a-brac. 

Home to lots of stunning fabrics, antiques and kitsch collectables, visitors can lay their hands on anything so long as they are willing to put a bit of effort in and look around. Good news is, you can haggle for the best price. 

The market comes alive on Sundays, though the shops and restaurants are open throughout the week. The streets are usually lined with people hawking second-hand wares on Sundays, and there are also street performers to add a touch of spark to the already bustling atmosphere.

Brick Lane market consists of five different markets known as The Truman Markets which includes the Brick Lane Backyard Market, Boiler House, Sunday UpMarket, Brick Lane Tea Rooms and Vintage Markets.

Brick Lane Vintage Market and Vintage Shops

Brick Lane Vintage Market and Vintage Shops Things to do in Brick Lane London

Vintage specialists across the UK and even Europe display their offerings at the Brick Lane Vintage Market. Whether you are looking to purchase feather capes, glam fur coats, men’s suits, bridal wear, unique accessories or vinyl records, you are sure to find some exciting discoveries. 

The vintage shops are open seven days a week and are renowned for their excellent collection of everything vintage.

Old Truman Brewery

Once home to London’s largest brewery, Old Truman Brewery is now a hive of creative businesses, markets, restaurants, bars, and independent shops. In the past 15 years, the Old Truman Bakery has been transforming its 10-acre vacant space into event spaces, retail outlets, leisure hubs, and spectacular offices. 

The fine blend of creative businesses and leisure has created a unique environment in London, and a go-to destination spot in Brick Lane.

Backyard Market

Backyard Market Things to do in Brick Lane

Featuring over 50 stalls just off Brick Lanes, Backyard Market is home to arts and crafts, artists, and young designers, with a unique community spirit. The market also opens on Saturdays, and it is typical to find home cooked food and one-off events taking place.

Brick Lane Beigel Bake

Serving freshly baked filled bagels, this 24-hour source of doughy satisfaction has become the snack shop of choice for clubbers, drinkers, and taxi drivers. 

Founded in 1974, there are many unique things about this institution. The serving here is focused on traditional Jewish style beigels, with fillings such as chopped herring, mustard with hot salt beef and salmon with cream cheese. They also serve sweets and pastries such as Eccles cakes, Danish rolls, cheesecake, apple strudel, as well as rye, white and black bread.

Best Curry in Brick Lane

Looking to spice up your trip to the UK’s capital? Its not news that Londoners love their curries and if you love Asian and Indian cuisine, you’d definitely want to make the trip down to Brick Lane, UK’s curry capital. Some of the best curry houses in Brick Lane include:

City Spice London

Located at the heart of Brick Lane, this award-winning curry house offers a mix of Bengali, Mughal and classic Indian cuisine with tandoori rupchanda, curry leaf chicken and chana makhani. 

Their offerings are so delicious that is has become the curry-spot of choice for celebrities, from fashion designers and footballers to TV personalities. So, whether or not you are interested in celebrity spotting, the most important feature of City Spice is that the offering here is consistently good.

Brick Lane Brasserie

Brick Lane Brasserie is one of the best options in the city, where a blend of Indian and Bangladeshi cuisine is served, including lamb ureebisi gatta, shaktora chicken and fish specialities, as well as many traditional curries. 

Whether you’re looking to enjoy a quick and easy meal during the week, or a three-course meal with friends at the weekend, Brick Lane Brasserie has you covered.

Tayyabs

Tayyabs is not precisely on Brick Lane, but it is definitely one of the best curry houses in East London. Tayyabs has been serving traditional Punjabi cuisine since 1972. This restaurant is worth the walk from Brick Lane, and there is a beautiful story behind the restaurant’s history. The naan bread here is amongst the best I’ve had and the lamb chops starters and beef curry are a must here.

The restaurant doesn’t serve alcohol, but you can bring your own drinks.

Rough Trade East

Like its sister outlet in W11, Rough Trade East boasts an impressive selection of live performers of pretty much every genre, and even more space and café. It also features a purpose-built stage, and gigs take place early in the evening. 

More impressively, however, the sound system here is top notch and a massive improvement on what is obtainable in other local clubs. With its ample space, visitors have comfy areas to sit down and chat. The goal here is to bring music fans together in a simple store – it is a great place to visit if you love good music.

Cereal Killer Café

Cereal Killer Café, UK’s first speciality cereal café, is a hipster-style outlet which sells bowls of sugary breakfast cereals all day. 

Brick Lane Bookshop

Things to do Brick Lane - Brick Lane Bookshop

Initially known as Tower Hamlets Arts Projects in Whitechapel and Eastside Books, this small indie bookstore has a stock of local history books as well as the usual non-fiction sections, cards, wrapping paper and gifts. 

Books here also include travel guides, gluten-free cookbooks, and new release fiction. Brick Lane Bookshop is home to one of the largest collections of East End history books, making it an absolute must-visit. If you visit the bookshop on a Monday or Tuesday, you can join the regular writing group, and a monthly book club is also held where members get a 10 per cent discount on the relevant titles.

Shoreditch Nomadic Community Garden

Formerly a wasteland, Shoreditch Nomadic Community Garden has now been transformed into a beautiful blend of urban landscape and nature and is one of the most unique places to hang out in London right now. 

The community garden was set up in 2015 to give the locals somewhere to grow vegetables – a social regeneration experiment which seems to have done a lot of good. The area has been transformed from an unappealing part of Shoreditch into a chilled-out hangout where anyone is welcome, with makeshift bars and coffee shops adding a feel of refreshment for any visitor.

Princelet Street

Princelet Street Things to do in Brick Lane

19 Princelet Street is one of East London’s smallest and most beautiful buildings with a fascinating history. Though the building is only opened occasionally to the public due to its fragility, waves of people – from Bengalis to Huguenots and Jews to Irish – have left traces of their lives here. 

The earliest houses on Princelet Street were built in the 1700s, while Number 19, the first home to a Huguenot silk merchant Peter Abraham, was set up in 1719. Princelet Street currently functions as a museum of immigration – a location that best describes the diverse nature of the capital. 

East London Street Art

Seven Yard Street

The Seven Stars Yard is a street in East London, and a must-visit place for every self-respecting street art connoisseur visiting the city. 

This is because the street, located at the end of a tiny alley just off Brick Lane, is one of the best places to find street art in London. What’s more, it is ever evolving. 

Following the demolition of buildings in the area, the brickwork left now form some of the most amazing canvases for any visiting artist to paint onto. It is now a recognised art scene in the East End of London, and if you visit, you’d likely be joined by photographers, art tour guides, and even selfie queens.

Brick Lane Street Arts

Brick Lane Street Art 

A casual visitor to London looking to find a high-quality selection of street art need not look any further than Brick Lane. It is the hub of street art in the city. 

Artists from the UK and all over the world come to Brick Lane to showcase their work, safe in the knowledge that their work will be received by an appreciative audience, and will gain broad appeal. This is unsurprising because Shoreditch, and Brick Lane, has played a significant role in what is now known as street art in London today.

Brick Lane Street Arts

Things to do in Brick Lane Street Art

How to Get to Brick Lane

By Train

If you are travelling to Brick Lane by train, Liverpool Street station is only a 12-minute walk away.

 By Car

If you are travelling by car, the nearest car parks are located at the Sclater Street, White Row, as well as the Truman Brewery (on either Grey Eagle Street or Hanbury Street).

By Bus

From the West End, you can get to Brick Lane through routes 8, 55 and 242. From East London, you can reach Brick Lane via routes 8, 26, 48, 55, 57, 242 and 388. From South London, you can reach Brick Lane through routes 35, 47, 48, 78 and 149. From the City of London, you can get there via routes 26, 55, 242, 243 and 388.

By Tube

If you are travelling to Brick Lane by Tube, Aldgate East and Liverpool Street are the nearest stations, and they are 11-minute and 12-minute walk respectively.

By Overground

If you are taking the overground route, Shoreditch High Street, which is an 8-minute walk away, is the nearest station.

 

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