Eating in the East: What are the top East London restaurants?

While the shadow of Jack the Ripper may have cast an enigmatic spell over the cobblestone streets of East London, it’s not the only tale that this place has to tell.

Today, amid the storied lanes and timeworn facades, a vibrant culinary scene beckons to you. Join us as we navigate the intersection of history and haute cuisine with East London’s best restaurants!

The Clove Club

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Address: Shoreditch Town Hall, 380 Old St, London EC1V 9LT,  United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7729 6496

Website

The Clove Club proudly waves the British culinary flag but with a twist. Chef-owner Isaac McHale and his talented team have mastered the art of taking classic British ingredients and transforming them into plates of pure artistry. 

Don’t let the word “club” fool you, by the way: The Clove Club is anything but pretentious. Just like their culinary signature, the “Buttermilk Fried Chicken”. It’s a comfort food elevated to an art form and served with marvellous pine salt.

St. John

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Address: 26 St John St, Clerkenwell, London EC1M 4AY, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7251 0848

Website

St. John’s claim to fame? The art of nose-to-tail eating. 

Yep, you read that right. Chef Fergus Henderson and his culinary wizards turn the whole animal into culinary gold, creating dishes that are as bold as they are brilliant. 

The star of the show is their “Roast Bone Marrow with Parsley Salad”. This dish is like a carnivore’s dream come true. Rich, unctuous bone marrow is roasted to perfection, topped with zesty parsley salad, and served with a hunk of heavenly sourdough.

Lyle’s

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Address: Tea Bldg, 56 Shoreditch High St, London E1 6JJ, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 3011 5911

Website

Ever had a meal that feels like a symphony of seasons? Lyle’s is your front-row ticket. The menu changes with the seasons, ensuring that every bite encapsulates the essence of the moment. 

But what they’re really known for is their “Buttermilk Pancakes with Bacon”. It’s like breakfast and brunch had a lovechild, and that lovechild is pure magic. Fluffy pancakes that practically melt in your mouth, topped with crispy bacon that’s like a savoury confetti party.

Smoking Goat 

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Address: 64 Shoreditch High St, Hackney, London E1 6JJ, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 3846 9562

Website

If you’re ready to embark on a flavour rollercoaster that’ll make your taste buds scream with delight, Smoking Goat has got your back. They’re not just serving food, they’re dishing out a Thai BBQ fiesta that’ll transport you straight to the bustling street markets of Bangkok.

And if you want an authentic Thai dish, you shouldn’t miss trying out their “Grilled Tamworth Belly & Galangal Hot Sauce”. It’s like a party in your mouth, with a tender, succulent pork belly that’s been kissed by the flames and a hot sauce that’s as bold as your most daring dreams. 

Morito 

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Address: 195 Hackney Rd, London E2 8JL, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7613 0754

Website

Imagine a place where the sun-kissed flavours of the Mediterranean collide in a symphony of taste. Morito is your passport to that escape. From the bustling markets of Spain to the corners of Morocco, each dish is a journey through the Mediterranean’s finest flavours.

Speaking of Mediterranean finest flavours, their “Fried Aubergine with Date Molasses and Feta” is just that. It’s a carnival of tastes on a plate, with crispy fried aubergine that’s practically a work of art.

Brawn 

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Address: 49 Columbia Rd, London E2 7RG, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7729 5692

Website

Ever wanted to know where your food comes from? At Brawn, it’s like your plate has its own GPS tracker. They’re all about sourcing locally and sustainably, so you know that every bite is a step closer to planet-friendly deliciousness.

If you’re a lover of all things cured, smoked, and oh-so-savoury, “House Charcuterie Board” is the first thing to order. It’s like a mix of zests from land and air, served with a side of artisanal bread that’s basically a hug for your taste buds.

Pidgin 

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Address: 52 Wilton Way, Hackney, London E8 1BG, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7254 8311

Website

With its cosy yet modern vibes, Pidgin is the perfect setting for a date night or a gathering of food-loving pals. The dim lighting, artistic touches, and buzzing atmosphere create a canvas for your dining escapade.

Now, let’s talk about the dish that’s got forks flying – the “Poussin, Potato, Smoked Egg Yolk”. Imagine tender poussin (young chicken) mingling with creamy potatoes, crowned with a smoky, velvety egg yolk that oozes richness. 

Som Saa 

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Address: 43A Commercial St, Spitalfields, London E1 6BD, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7324 7790

Website

If your taste buds were looking for a party, they’d RSVP to Som Saa in a heartbeat. This place is a flavour-fueled fiesta that takes your palate on a whirlwind journey through the bustling streets of Thailand.

But the dish that will make your tongue wagging and stomach rumbling is the “Gaeng Hung Lay”. This slow-cooked, melt-in-your-mouth pork belly curry is a hug in a bowl: a mix of spices, herbs, and tender meat that’ll transport you straight to the bustling markets of Chiang Mai.

The Marksman

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Address: 254 Hackney Rd, London E2 7SJ, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7739 7393

Website

Now, you might be thinking, “Michelin stars and laid-back vibes? Is that even possible?” Well, my friends, at The Marksman, they’ve cracked the code. 

This is where you can savour Michelin-level deliciousness without feeling like you need to dust off your Sunday best. It’s upscale dining minus the stuffy atmosphere.

But the real star is their “The Roast Beef”. We’re talking about perfectly cooked, melt-in-your-mouth beef, served with all the trimmings that’ll make your heart sing. Each bite will have you reaching for the food critic hat.

The Culpeper

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Address: 40 Commercial St, Spitalfields, London E1 6LP, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7247 5371

Website

If you’re tired of the same old dining routine, The Culpeper is here to shake things up like a mixologist crafting the perfect cocktail. 

They’ve taken the “farm-to-table” concept and elevated it to “roof-to-table” magnificence! Yep, that’s right – they grow their ingredients on their own rooftop garden.

However, it’s their “Beef Wellington for Two” that really steals the spotlight. Imagine perfectly cooked beef tenderloin wrapped in a flaky, golden puff pastry that’s as satisfying as a warm hug on a rainy day. 

Rochelle Canteen

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Address: Arnold Circus, London E2 7ES, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7729 5677

Website

Rochelle Canteen isn’t about fancy frills or over-the-top garnishes. It’s all about letting the ingredients shine and speaking for themselves. Their philosophy is like the Marie Kondo of food – if it doesn’t spark joy in your taste buds, it doesn’t make the cut. 

But what made the cut is their “Braised Rabbit, Mustard, and Pickled Walnut”. Picture this: succulent rabbit slow-cooked to tender perfection, dancing with tangy pickled walnuts and a mustardy kick that’ll have your taste buds doing a jig. 

Gunpowder

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Address: 4 Duchess Walk, Tower Bridge, London SE1 2SD, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7481 3322

Website

You know you’re in for something extraordinary when a restaurant is named thus – and Gunpowder certainly delivers flavour explosions. This isn’t just a resto: it’s a flavour haven where every bite is like a culinary “BOOM!” that’ll make your taste buds stand up.

Speaking of boom, one that makes a splashing first impression is their “Spice Lamb Chops”. These succulent chops are marinated in a symphony of spices that’ll make your mouth water just thinking about them. 

Sager + Wilde

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Address: 193 Hackney Rd, London E2 8JL, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 8127 7330

Website

Let’s address the wine-shaped elephant in the room – Sager + Wilde is a wine lover’s paradise. With a wine list that’s longer than your weekend to-do list (and way more fun), this place takes vino seriously. 

Now, let’s talk about the grub. Try their “Grilled Iberico Pork”, which is succulent pork kissed by flames until it’s tender and flavourful.

The Drapers Arms

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Address: 44 Barnsbury St, Islington, London N1 1ER, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7619 0348

Website

If you thought pub food was all about soggy chips and greasy burgers, think again! The Drapers Arms is the ultimate game-changer, seamlessly blending the snug vibes of a traditional British pub with gourmet flair.

Their crown jewel is “The Drapers Burger”. Imagine sinking your teeth into a juicy, perfectly cooked beef patty, topped with all the fixings your heart desires, all of it nestled within a pillowy bun. 

Silo London

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Address: Unit 7, The white building, 1st Floor,c/o CRATE Bar, Unit 7 Queen’s Yard, London E9 5EN, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7993 8155

Website

Once you step into Silo London, you’ll feel like you’ve stumbled upon a minimalist-chic oasis. The mood is like a breath of fresh, sustainably-sourced air – think clean lines, earthy tones, and an atmosphere that’s as calming as a yoga retreat.

This restaurant is known for its “Hemp and Chia Loaf”. It’s a slice of heaven crafted from hemp and chia seeds and is as hearty as it is wholesome. 

Lahpet

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Address: 58 Bethnal Green Rd, London E1 6JW, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 3883 5629

Website

If you’ve been on the hunt for a culinary experience that’s a cut above the rest in East London, look no further than Lahpet! This gem of a restaurant has been causing taste bud symphonies and Instagram foodie frenzies for all the right reasons.

One of their signature dishes is “Burmese Tea Leaf Salad”, it’s the kind of dish that makes you wonder why you’ve been eating anything else your entire life. Crunchy, zesty, and a dash of the unexpected – this salad is the embodiment of Lahpet’s culinary philosophy.

Casa Fofó

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Address: 158 Sandringham Rd, London E8 2HS, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 3021 0747

Website

What sets Casa Fofó apart is its seamless fusion of innovation and tradition. This is a place where avant-garde techniques meet the comforting embrace of grandma’s recipes. 

And let’s talk about their signature dish, the “Squid Ink Risotto Extravaganza”. This masterpiece is where the briny intrigue of squid ink meets the creamy elegance of a perfectly executed risotto. A must-try!

Tonkotsu East

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Address: 1a Dunston St, London E8 4EB, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7254 2478

Website

What sets Tonkotsu East leagues ahead of the pack is their dedication to the art of ramen-making. Every element is crafted with finesse and culinary prowess, from the meticulous preparation of the broth to the precision in cooking each ingredient.

Their signature dish is the legendary Tonkotsu Ramen. It’s a steaming bowl of velvety, rich pork bone broth that’s been simmered to perfection. It’s accompanied by tender slices of pork belly, egg, and a tangle of noodles that have been plucked straight from a ramen lover’s dream. 

Berber & Q Grill House

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Address: 338 Acton Mews, London E8 4EA, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7923 0829

Website

Berber & Q Grill House stands out as a true titan in East London’s gastronomic scene due to its exceptional ability to fuse Middle Eastern flavours with the art of grilling. This culinary marriage creates an explosion of taste that leaves no palate unmoved. 

Their smoking glory is the “Burnt Ends” – tender, smoky cubes of beef that melt in your mouth, coated in a rich date glaze that balances sweetness and depth with precision.

Gloria

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Address: 54-56 Great Eastern St, London EC2A 3QR, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7923 0829

Website

No, we’re not referring to Sam Smith’s recent album with the same name. Gloria blends Italian flair and East London edge. Once you step inside, you’re transported to an Italian trattoria where every detail, from the retro decor to the vintage tableware, oozes with nostalgic charm.

But let’s get to the heart of the matter – the food. Gloria’s pièce de résistance is their iconic “La Truffaldino” pasta. It’s a handmade pasta, bathed in a luscious truffle-infused sauce that’s so divine, it might just bring a tear to your eye.

Little Duck

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Address: 68 Dalston Ln, London E8 3AH, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7249 9177

Website

Drawing inspiration from both Asian and European cuisines, Little Duck’s menu is a delightful playground of culinary creativity. Each dish is a masterpiece, combining unexpected ingredients and techniques to create explosive taste sensations

One delightful dish you should try is their iconic “Crispy Duck Pancakes” – slow-roasted duck wrapped in delicate pancakes, accompanied by an array of tantalising dipping sauces. It’s a symphony of textures and flavours that will leave you quacking with delight!

Lardo

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Address: 197-201 Richmond Rd, London E8 3NJ, United Kingdom

Contact:  +44 20 8985 2683

Website

From fresh homemade pasta to wood-fired pizzas with a perfectly blistered crust, each plate at Lardo is a testament to the mastery of Italian flavours and techniques.

But the dish they’ve mastered over the year is their show-stopping “Porchetta”. It’s a roasted pork belly infused with fragrant herbs and spices, resulting in tender meat and crispy crackling. Served with a side of tangy salsa verde, this dish is the epitome of Italian perfection!

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