East London odyssey: What are the best things to do in Brick Lane?

Nestled snugly between the bustling neighbourhoods of Whitechapel and Shoreditch, this iconic street is a hotbed of cool shops, buzzing markets, and, of course, legendary curry houses that make your taste buds dance with delight.

Once known for its association with the gritty slums of East London and the eerie spectre of Jack the Ripper’s dark deeds (gulp!), Brick Lane has undergone a remarkable transformation into a thriving cultural, ethnic, and artistic hub. 

Are you interested in delving deeper? Come along with us as we unveil the best things to do in this urban playground!

Explore vintage treasures at the Brick Lane Vintage Market

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Location: 85 Brick Lane, London E1 6QL, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7770 6028

Website

Brick Lane Vintage Market is like a time machine that transports you to different eras through fashion. Imagine strolling through rows of stalls brimming with vintage clothing, accessories, and footwear from the ’20s to the ’90s. 

Whether you’re hunting for a flapper dress from the Roaring Twenties or a groovy psychedelic shirt from the Swinging Sixties, this market has it all. It’s a history lesson in style that lets you wear your discoveries.

Enjoy mouthwatering bagels at Beigel Bake

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Location: 159 Brick Ln, London E1 6SB, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7729 0616

Website

Beigel Bake has been serving up its scrumptious bagels 24/7 since 1974, and with each bite, you’re savouring a slice of the neighbourhood’s rich past. The vintage charm of this place alone makes it worth a visit.

You know you’ve found the holy grail of bagels when you hear that unmistakable crunch as you bite into one. Beigel Bake’s bagels are crispy on the outside and oh-so-chewy on the inside. The contrast between the golden crust and the soft, doughy core is pure magic.

Discover unique street art on Brick Lane’s walls

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Location: Streets of Brick Lane, London, United Kingdom

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Forget stuffy museums with their “don’t touch” signs. Brick Lane is a dynamic, open-air art gallery that’s constantly changing. The walls come to life with a whirlwind of colours, shapes, and messages.

Want to impress your Insta-followers? Look no further. Brick Lane’s street art is a selfie paradise. Strike a pose with a gigantic, spray-painted flamingo or a mesmerising optical illusion – your feed will thank you.

Sample delicious curries at Aladin Brick Lane

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Location: 132 Brick Ln, London E1 6RU, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7247 8210

Website

Aladin serves up a medley of curries from all corners of the Indian subcontinent. Whether you’re a fan of fiery vindaloo or you prefer the creamy comfort of a korma, they’ve got your curry cravings covered.

If biryani is your jam, you’re in for a treat. Aladin’s biryani is legendary, with fragrant rice and tender chunks of meat or veggies cooked to perfection. It’s a flavorful explosion in every bite.

Sip on craft beers at The Old Truman Brewery

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Location: 91 Brick Ln, London E1 6QR, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7770 6100

Website

This place has been brewing beer since the 1600s, making it a historical hotspot for beer connoisseurs. It’s where tradition meets innovation in every frothy glass.

Whether you’re a fan of IPAs, stouts, sours, or pale ales, you’ll find your liquid nirvana here. And guess what? The variety doesn’t end with beer. They’ve got ciders, wines, and even crafty cocktails to quench your thirst.

Explore vinyl records at Rough Trade East

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Location: Old Truman Brewery 91, Brick Ln, London E1 6QL, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7392 7788

Website

If you’re all about supporting independent artists and labels, this is your kind of place. Rough Trade East has a carefully curated selection of indie gems that you won’t find in your average record store.

So, if you’re in the mood for some soul-soothing jazz, head-banging rock, or foot-tapping funk, Rough Trade East has the soundtrack for every moment of your life.

Experience live music at Café 1001

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Location: 1 & 2, 91 Dray Walk, Brick Ln, London E1 6QL, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7247 6166

Website

If you crave the magic of live music, this is your Mecca. Café 1001 hosts electrifying live performances, featuring an eclectic mix of genres. From indie rock to soulful jazz and electronic beats, the stage here is a true chameleon.

You can even forget stadium-sized crowds since Café 1001 offers an intimate setting that lets you get up close and personal with the musicians. It’s like having a private concert with your favourite band.

Hunt for rare books at Brick Lane Bookshop

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Location: 166 Brick Ln, London E1 6RU, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7247 0216

Website

The books at  Brick Lane Bookshop are stacked with books of all genres, but it’s the collection of rare and vintage editions that truly makes this place exceptional. From first editions to out-of-print classics, you’ll find literary treasures that transport you through time and space.

Beyond being a store, Brick Lane Bookshop is a place for those who share a deep love for the written word. The cosy atmosphere invites you to linger, flip through pages, and lose yourself in the world of literature.

Savour handcrafted artisan chocolates at Dark Sugars

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Location: 141 Brick Ln, Bethnal Green, London E1 6SB, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 7429 472606

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With inventive flavour combinations like chilli and lime, sea salt caramel, and rosemary-infused truffles, Dark Sugars elevate chocolate to a whole new level. It’s a taste adventure you won’t find in your average candy store.

Once you’re here, you can’t miss the chance to try their legendary hot chocolate elixir. It’s not just a drink; it’s a liquid masterpiece. Velvety, rich, and intensely flavorful, it’s the kind of hot chocolate that dreams are made of. Perfect for warming your soul on a brisk Brick Lane day.

Dance the night away at 93 Feet East

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Location: 150 Brick Ln, London E1 6QL, United Kingdom

Contact: [email protected]

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The beauty of 93 Feet East lies in its diverse crowd. From seasoned ravers to first-time dancers, this venue welcomes all. It’s a melting pot of personalities, and you’re bound to make new friends, share smiles, and create lasting memories with fellow music lovers.

Beyond the dance floor, 93 Feet East often hosts art exhibitions, live performances, and cultural events. It’s not just a nightclub: it’s a cultural hub where creativity knows no boundaries. 

You might even stumble upon a live mural painting session or an impromptu jam session in one of its corners.

Enjoy authentic Bangladeshi cuisine at City Spice 

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Location: 138 Brick Ln, London E1 6RU, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7247 1012

Website

From fragrant biryanis and succulent kebabs to rich curries and hearty tandoor specialities, City Spice boasts a range of signature dishes that showcase the depth and diversity of Bangladeshi cuisine. 

The aromatic spices and fresh ingredients create a symphony of flavours that will leave you craving more.

Plus, the restaurant’s vibrant atmosphere mirrors the lively spirit of Brick Lane. It’s a place where you can dine amidst colourful decor, intricate artwork, and an ambience that’s both relaxed and inviting. 

Admire contemporary art at the Whitechapel Gallery

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Location: 77-82 Whitechapel High St, London E1 7QX, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7522 7888

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Established in 1901, Whitechapel Gallery has been a cornerstone of London’s art scene, showcasing the work of iconic artists like Pablo Picasso and Jackson Pollock. This legacy alone makes it a must-visit for art enthusiasts and history buffs alike. 

Whether you’re into avant-garde installations, thought-provoking photography, or experimental multimedia displays, there’s always something new and exciting to explore. 

In fact, entry to the Whitechapel Gallery is free for most exhibitions, making it an affordable cultural outing. So, you can save your hard-earned pounds for some Brick Lane vintage shopping or a mouthwatering curry.

Attend a comedy show at Backyard Comedy Club

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Location: 231 Cambridge Heath Rd, London E2 0EL, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7729 8424

Website

The Backyard Comedy Club is home to some of the hottest comedy acts in the business. From up-and-coming comedians to established stars, you can expect side-splitting performances that will have you clutching your belly in laughter. 

One of the thrills of attending a comedy show at the Backyard is the element of surprise. You never know who might drop by for an unannounced set. Sometimes, famous comedians often swing by to test new material or just join in on the fun.

Sip cocktails at Alcotraz

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Location: Unit 3B, 127 Hackney Rd, London E2 8GY, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 3109 0488

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Alcotraz is a theatrical experience. Upon arrival, you’re dressed in orange jumpsuits and smuggled ‘contraband’ (your cocktails) by the ‘guards’. 

The immersive concept transports you into a world of intrigue and adventure as you play your part in this cocktail caper. It’s like stepping into your boozy escape room.

Once you’re behind bars (don’t worry, it’s all part of the act), the mixologists at Alcotraz craft cocktails that are nothing short of alchemy. From classic concoctions to innovative creations, each drink is a masterpiece. 

Try some barbecue at Caboose

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Location: Ely’s Yard (off Hanbury Street Old Truman Brewery, Dray Walk, London E1 6QR, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7437 209275

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If there’s one thing that Caboose knows best, it’s the art of infusing smoky goodness into every bite. The heavenly scent of slow-cooked meats wafting from their custom-built smoker is enough to make your taste buds tango with excitement. 

While Caboose may have humble roots, their approach to barbecue is anything but ordinary. They take classic American barbecue and elevate it with a touch of British ingenuity and a world of flavours. 

The result? A menu that’s packed with surprises, from succulent smoked meats to innovative sides that’ll have you hooked.

Satisfy your sweet tooth at RajMahal Sweets

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Location: 57 Brick Ln, London E1 6PU, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7375 3536

Website

RajMahal Sweets boasts an astonishing array of Indian sweets and desserts. From the glistening golden jalebis to the syrup-soaked gulab jamuns, you’ll find yourself transported to the colourful streets of India with each bite.

And in an era where dietary preferences are diverse, RajMahal Sweets has something for everyone. They offer an impressive selection of vegan sweets, so even if you follow a plant-based diet, you won’t miss out on the delightful indulgence of these delectable treats.

Enjoy live jazz music at Ninety-One Living Room

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Location: 91 Brick Ln, London E1 6QL, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7770 6107

Website

Brick Lane is known for its edgy, urban vibe, and while that’s incredibly cool, sometimes you need a breather. Ninety-One Living Room is that breather, an oasis of jazz nestled amid this concrete jungle. 

What’s your jazz flavour? Smooth and soulful or wild and experimental? Ninety-One Living Room has it all. Their lineup features a diverse range of jazz styles, ensuring there’s something for every palate. 

And if you’re unsure, just go with an open mind, and you might discover a new musical passion.

Bowl to your heart’s content at All-Star Lanes

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Location: 95 Brick Ln, London E1 6QL, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7426 9200

Website

Bowling alleys can sometimes be a bit, well, meh. Not this one! All-Star Lanes are where style meets substance. With state-of-the-art lanes, plush seating, and attentive service, you’ll feel like a VIP at a Hollywood premiere. Bowling shoes have never looked this good!

Bowling and drinks? Yes, please! All-Star Lanes boast a killer cocktail menu that’s as impressive as their strikes. Sip on expertly crafted cocktails while you work on your bowling game. 

Explore the world of vegetarian cuisine at Vegan Yes Shoreditch

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Location: 64 Brick Ln, London E1 6RF, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 7749 799469

Website

Vegan Yes Shoreditch takes vegetarian cuisine to a whole new level. From Korean-inspired kimchi pancakes to tantalising Italian-style pizzas with a vegan twist, this place is a globetrotter’s dream come true. 

The secret behind the mind-blowing tastes at Vegan Yes Shoreditch? It’s all in the ingredients. They source the freshest, most authentic components to recreate traditional dishes with a plant-based spin. 

Indulge in a variety of curries at The Renowned Curry Bazaar

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Location: 77 Brick Ln, London E1 6QL, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7375 1986

Website

The Renowned Curry Bazaar lives up to its name by offering a diverse and mouth-watering selection of curries that cater to every palate. Whether you’re a fan of fiery vindaloo, creamy korma, or the aromatic goodness of a tikka masala, this place has you covered. 

You won’t be leaving this place hungry! The portions at The Renowned Curry Bazaar are as generous as the welcome you’ll receive. It’s a perfect spot to share a meal with friends or family or to enjoy leftovers the next day. 

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