BEST FOR A RELAXED ATMOSPHERE: Leroy
A chilled wine bar and restaurant, Leroy is the brainchild of sommeliers Ed Thaw and Jack Lewens. Opened in 2018, Leroy was awarded a star in the 2019 Michelin guide and has continued to grow its loyal fanbase – even creating Royale, a popular roast chicken delivery arm, during the first lockdown. Head chef Simon Shand likes to focus on simplicity and flavour, with current menu highlights including chicken skin cracker with crab mayo; cod cheeks with mash; smoked eel on potato rosti; and chocolate with coffee caramel and chopped nuts. As you’d expect from a wine bar, the list of bottles is varied and excellent.
18 Phipp Street, EC2A 4NU
BEST FOR A LUXE NIGHT OUT: The Clove Club
Inside Shoreditch Town Hall, Isaac McHale’s The Clove Club is one of the capital’s most exciting restaurants. The Michelin-starred spot serves a daily lunchtime and dinner tasting menu, while a shorter tasting menu is served for dinner (Monday to Thursday) in the restaurant’s front room and at the striking blue-tiled bar countertop. Inventive dishes could include the likes of chilled courgette soup with Cornish crab, parmesan and basil; or Hazelwood grilled lobster with Corsican pomelo and sage. It’s definitely one for special occasion dining.
380 Old Street, EC1V 9LT
BEST FOR OTT INTERIORS: Gloria Trattoria
For a night out that feels like a holiday abroad, there’s no better place than Gloria Trattoria. The venue was the first UK launch from Big Mamma Group – the team behind Ave Mario and Circolo Populare – which specialises in high-concept spaces and menus filled with Italian-sourced ingredients. Amid the maximalist interiors (think ivy-covered walls, overflowing terracotta pots and retro crockery), visitors can make their way through a menu of decadent Italian classics and Instagrammable cocktails. La Gran Carbonara, a homemade spaghetti chitarra for two served in a whole round of pecorino, is a must-order.
54-56 Great Eastern Street, EC2A 3QR
BEST FOR TASTING MENUS: Lyle’s
James Lowe and John Ogier – who opened much-loved Borough Market wine bar and bakery Flor last year – also look after Michelin-starred Lyle’s. A modern British restaurant voted 33rd in The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2019, Lyle’s is loved for its daily changing tasting menus on Wednesday to Saturday evenings. The menu always includes vegetarian, vegan and pescatarian options made using the very best produce – expect to sample the likes of mussel and berkswell flatbread, followed by monkfish, celeriac and bergamot; and greengage with set honey cream and bee pollen.
56 Shoreditch High Street, E1 6JJ
BEST FOR COOL GATHERINGS: Brat
Tomos Parry never expected to receive a Michelin star just six months after opening Brat on Redchurch Street, but that’s exactly what happened back in 2018. The restaurant can be found up a dark stairway, with guests making their way through the kitchen into a bright room with huge windows and 1930s wood panelling. The menu presents seasonal produce from across Devon, Cornwall and Parry’s native Wales, all cooked over wood fire. Current highlights include spider crab on toast, velvet crab soup and burnt cheesecake with grilled peaches. Long-time collaborator Noble Rot has curated Brat’s wine programme since it opened, producing an excellent wine list that pairs well with Parry’s fire-led cooking.
4 Redchurch Street, E1 6JL
BEST FOR RAMEN: Bao Noodle Shop
This summer, the team behind much-loved Taiwanese steamed bun group Bao opened the doors to Bao Noodle Shop. Close to Shoreditch High Street station, the collective’s first noodle shop takes its lead from those found in Taiwan. Each morning, the chefs begin their day by preparing fresh wheat noodles. As lunch service begins, guests can jot down their choices on a concise order form. To start, three new versions of Bao’s cult buns have joined the line-up: panko shrimp croquette with sweet and sour sauce; Iberico pork with garlic mayo, black garlic sauce and shredded cabbage; and sweetcorn congee with spring onion tofu sauce and soy pickled chilli. Of course, bowlfuls of the team’s beef noodle soup are the star of show, with two versions available: both are made with aged beef bones, fermented chilli bean paste and assorted spices, and guests have the option of adding cured egg, crispy egg, or spiced beef butter to their bowls.
1 Redchurch Street, E2 7DJ
BEST FOR A SPEEDY SUPPER: Padella
After opening in Borough Market in 2016, Tim Siadatan and Jordan Frieda opened a second Padella in Shoreditch at the start of the year. Famous for its staff hand-rolling pasta in the window of the restaurant every morning, the new place features a terracotta-lined open kitchen where chefs cook pasta daily. The menu offers a succinct selection of simple, high-quality antipasti, followed by pasta dishes and a choice of three classic puddings. Lengthy sheets of pasta are stuffed and twisted each morning ready to be turned into Padella classics, including pici cacio e pepe; pappardelle with eight-hour beef shin ragu; and fettuccine with cured nduja, mascarpone and lemon. Interiors take their lead from the sleek, functional design of the original site: marble is a key feature, this time with richer tones of ochre and burgundy to contrast with the raw concrete.
Phipp Street, EC2A 4PS
BEST FOR EMULATING THE FASHION CROWD: Rochelle Canteen
Melanie Arnold and Margot Henderson’s Rochelle Canteen sits in the converted bike shed of the old Rochelle School, looking out to the trees of Arnold Circus beyond. The team’s mission statement? ‘We like parties. Maybe that’s what we bring. No rules, everything will be great. We’re nice people and we have fun.’ The restaurant’s seasonal, daily-changing menu is small but pleasing, and combines both classic and modern European styles – think roasted winter tomatoes from Sicily,
whole shoulders of roasted lamb and whole brill, designed for sharing.
16 Playground Gardens, E2 7FA
BEST FOR COOL INTERIORS: Lahpet
One of the capital’s few Burmese restaurants, Lahpet offers traditional dishes served in a contemporary style. Originally a pop-up restaurant in a Hackney warehouse, the team’s permanent spot brings together a pretty mix of smart wooden seating, native plant life and rose gold cutlery, while numerous framed photos of Burma give it a sense of place. The small-plates menu features plenty of traditional dishes, such as coconut noodles with chicken, yellow pea paratha and hake masala with lemongrass rosti. Make sure you leave room for pudding – the cassava cake, served with jaggery sorbet and chocolate, is excellent. We suggest heading in with a group and ordering the feasting menu.
58 Bethnal Green Road, E1 6JW
BEST FOR A HEARTY EVENING OUT: Daffodil Mulligan
Richard Corrigan opened his third London restaurant with a little help from John Nugent (Green & Fortune) and Tony Gibney (Gibney’s of Malahide). The Irish trio’s venture is 50-cover Daffodil Mulligan in Shoreditch, where a frequently changing menu relies on produce from Corrigan’s Virginia Park Lodge estate in Ireland. Dishes include the likes of braised kale with ham knuckle on toast; Tipperary Hereford prime sirloin with a parsley, anchovy and caper dressing; grilled lamb chops with pickled cucumber; and baked back of sole with Jerusalem artichoke, ceps and hazelnuts. A concise cocktail menu offers twisted classics such as the ‘Shoreditch Sour' (Black Bush whisky with a lemon and malbec float) and ‘Long Way Home’ (Jameson Black Barrel, orange bitters and ginger beer). These inventive sips are served in the basement saloon bar, which features an eight-seat oyster bar and crustacean display and hosts a series of live music nights.
70-74 City Road, EC1Y 2BJ
BEST FOR HEADING SOMEWHERE NEW: Bibo
This summer, Mondrian Shoreditch London opened on Curtain Street, and with it chef Dani García’s first restaurant in the UK. Named Bibo, the restaurant hosts an open-kitchen tapas bar and all-day dining room. On the menu, you’ll find some of García’s favourite dishes, such as pulled oxtail brioche with thin mushroom slices and rocket; Russian salad with tuna belly, fried quail eggs and garlic chips; and jamón croquetas, creamy and crunchy ham croquettes with tomato powder. The design scheme uses a natural colour palette, with light oak floors, soft clay rendered walls and reflective surfaces creating a calm atmosphere. Some of the high tables are designed for tapas service up at the open kitchen, where guests can watch the chefs create tortillas, patatas fritas and mussels escabeche. Outside, the courtyard offers a Spanish-inspired space, with bold red walls, hanging plants and wooden fans beneath a retracting glass roof. Also in the hotel you’ll find Christina’s, an all-day dining and drinking spot, focused on coffee, cocktails, natural wines and katsu sandos.
45 Curtain Road, EC2A 3PT