The Get Living Edit

An insider's guide to East London

East London: A creative hub, burning bright. Home to families, young professionals and cool kids alike – the future-thinkers, trend-setters, life-livers and innovators. A corner of London where old and new collides, rubs shoulders and exists in a mesmerising and jaunty harmony – that’s truly addictive. There’s something for everyone. So, what you waiting for? Get exploring!

When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life

Dr Samuel Johnson

Need new bar or restaurant ideas? Fancy a shopping spree? Or craving a new hobby? We’ve got you covered…


East London has something to tickle every tastebud, scratch every itch and please every pocket.

12 Restaurants in East London you MUST try

Cornerstone, Hackney Wick

British with a fancy flourish - £££ Crab crumpet, sea bream tartare, and other tastebud tantalising concoctions from Tom Brown – the Great British Menu finalist, a perfect spot for food-fiends and/or a special date night.

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The Corner Room, Bethnal Green

Modern British - ££ Not a lot of people know about this gem tucked away in the back of the architectural dream that is the Town Hall hotel, serving a small, perfectly formed menu of inventive, seasonal deliciousness.

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The Beigel Shop & Beigel Bake, Brick Lane

Bagels - £ Two legendry East London hotspots open 24-hours for your salt beef/smoked salmon/egg mayo cravings. The Beigel Shop (the yellow one) has been standing since 1855!

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Barge East, Hackney Wick

British - ££ 118 year old Dutch barge converted into an award-winning restaurant. Fresh, seasonal menus combined with magical floating experience.

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Som Saa, Spitalfields

Thai - ££ Hipster East London hangout, where the food packs a real punch. Pray the papaya salad is on the menu, order that, the whole sea bream and as many of the curries you can muster.

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Darkhorse, East Village

Italian - ££ Delectable plates inspired by the food of Northern Italy. A perfect restaurant for a romantic dinner or for all the family – great for Sunday lunching – plus they serve a Negroni to write home about.

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Rochelle Canteen, Shoreditch

British - ££ Nestled in a picturesque school playground a stone’s throw from the hustle and grit of Old Street, this critically acclaimed lunch and supper spot never disappoints.

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Campania (& Jones), Bethnal Green

Southern Italian - ££ Handmade pasta of dreams is made on-site bringing the formidable flavours of Southern Italy to this local favourite. Hand-written menus, great wine, utterly charming.

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E Pellici, Bethnal Green

Caffe - £ Opened in 1900 and still run by the same family, the insta-worthy Grade II listed caff serves a banging brekkie. Film buffs will recognise the interiors from movie, Legend.

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G.Kelly, Bow

Pie n’ Mash - £ Tell me you’re from East London, without telling me you’re from East London: Pie, mash n’ liquor is the ultimate comfort food. Head here for a perfect, low-key lunch.

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The Stratford, Stratford

British with Aussie influences - £££ The iconic Manhattan Loft Gardens houses three bars and two restaurants, with the exciting Kitchen E20 lead by Head Chef,  Josh Deacon. Make a night of it.

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Bright Restaurant, London Fields

Modern European - ££ With a menu inspired by Asian, Australian & Italian flavours and conveniently located at Netil's house, Bright is simply a must-try. They keep fresh pasta at heart (don't we all?) and we've heard their oysters are to die for.

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From loveable landlords to ground-breaking mixologists, if you’re thirsty, East London is the place to be.

Our favourite East London pubs and bars for a tipple

Netil360, Hackney

Offering some of London’s best city skyline views and DJ sets, Netil House is popular with a fashionable crowd. Check out their yum vegan plates too.

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Pub on the Park, London Fields

Perched on the corner of London Fields this bustling local screens sports, serves cheesy chips, and lights up the BBQ come summer, while nights welcome DJs and dancing.

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Union Social, East Village

Lounge away with an expertly mixed cocktail. From sunrise to sunset, the spectacular views of London and lounge setting make The Gantry's rooftop bar the ultimate spot for every occasion.

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Happiness Forgets, Hoxton Square

A cool, buzzy subterranean speakeasy in Hoxton Square. Reservations are essential. Get cosy and order the East 8 Fizz... before working your way through the rest of the impressive cocktail menu.

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Roots Bar, East Village

This cosy plant strewn cocktail bar has live music on Fridays, championing diverse local talent. Plus indoor/outdoor seating make it an ideal meeting spot for all seasons.

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Coupette, Bethnal Green

This unassuming bar (from the road side) serves-up masterful cocktails with a cool, easy-going vibe. Ask for the mixologists recommendations but do taste the Rhubarb Bellini.

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Tina We Salute You, East Village

By day: coffee, cake and brunch, by night: delicious cocktails, diva-dancing and Drag Queens – plus perfectly located in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

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Crate Brewery, Hackney Wick

The canal-side brewery-come-bar brings all the girls n’ boys to the yard with local brews and their iconic pizzas. A winning combo for all seasons. There’s also seating in the Crate canal boat out front.

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Dalston Jazz Bar, Dalston

This local live music venue is an absolute gem. Arrive early to secure a spot/table and dance the night away to the live jazz band. The DJ that follows plays ‘til the wee hours.

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Mother Kelly's, East Village

30 on-tap brews will delight beer lovers… plus wine and damn good coffees for everyone else. A perfect place to hang and shoot the sh*t with your chums.

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From homewares to high-end style, or handmade – this neck of the woods has it all. Of course there’s the shopping-centre-MECCA that is Westfield Stratford City on the doorstep but East London has some of the best independently-run markets Chin the capital.

5 Best markets in East London

Spitalfields, E1

A London gem that connects the city with Brick Lane, the traditional market stalls are open daily and surrounded with stylish independent bricks 'n' mortar vendors. There’s also an art market and lots of delicious food to be had.

Columbia Road, E2

The street comes alive with gorgeous bloom, plants and phenomenal banter every Sunday from dawn ‘til lunch (when you can pick up some real bargains). Cutesy boutiques and galleries run on both sides of the market.

Broadway Market, E8

Organic groceries, perfect if you’re wanting to impress dinner guests. This artisanal street market also delivers on handmade beauty, jewellery and fashion with a little vintage for good measure.

Brick Lane, E1

Vintage clothes, makers, creators and records, plus an impressive undercover food market serving up irresistible plates form across the globe.

Mare Street Market, E8

Situated on the ground floor of Netil House is a cavern of delectable antique furniture and accessories, vintage records and regular pop-ups. Plus the bar means you can finish with a Bloody Mary/beer.

Arts, music, culture.

Let’s entertain you… Culture vultures, music lovers, dance-til-dawners, film-buffs, party-lovers, super-chillers, supersonic, super-sassy…

10 Spots for arts and culture in East London

Theatre Royal Stratford East, Stratford

Opened in 1953 this institution showcases thought-provoking plays, alongside dance and film. They also run action-packed community programme; join the Stratford East singers or learn to write, direct or act from as little as £10.

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God’s Own Junkyard, Walthamstow

An art gallery in its own right, Chris Bracey has created impressive neon signs for artists, movies and advertisers across the globe – go early evening for best time to experience his eccentric neon universe.

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The Lab E20, East Village

A new concept space offering experiential retail and a creative workspace, with a focus on positive fashion and sustainable living. Designed by Christopher Raeburn of RÆBURN, it’s a stunning backdrop for community events.

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Whitechapel Gallery, Whitechapel

Whet your contemporary-art appetite. The gallery premiered legends Frida Kahlo and Pablo Picasso - before they became world famous. Check out the film screenings and, public debates. Also home to a fancy restaurant, Townsend – if you’re feeling flush.

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Genesis Cinema, Whitechapel

An entertainment space since 1858 this privately owned Arthouse cinema showcases the latest blockbusters, alongside oldies-but-goodies and cult movies. Plus, check out works by budding local artists in the small gallery space.

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Moth Club, Hackney

For dancing on a slightly smaller scale, check Moth Club. Located at the back of an East End boozer, complete with tasselled glitter curtains (sold) and camp working-men’s-club vibes.

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Oslo Hackney, Hackney

Are you a Londoner if you haven’t spent a night at Oslo? Get your friends together for ‘Shameless’ pop nights every Friday and dance the weekend away on Saturday's, 11pm ‘til late, with Disco sessions featuring house, funk, boogie and beyond.

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Hackney Empire, Hackney

120-years young, this ex music hall is a hotbed of entertainment bringing the best stand-up acts to town, plus the infamous Xmas panto. Become a friend for £5 a month for priority tickets, there’s also a community youth programme.

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Village Underground, Shoreditch

This loud and proud music venue housed in revamped tube carriages, shipping containers, and a warehouse, hosts some of the world’s best DJs, that’ll have you dancing ‘til dawn.

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Homerton Castle Cinema, Homerton

Ramp your movie-night up a notch with a visit to this gorge 1913 picture house. You’ll get plush comfy armchairs and it also houses a lovely little wine bar, that’s all chic-Hollywood vibes, the perfect spot for pre/post movie chat.

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Great for kids.

There’s a reason why there are so many families living in this part of town. Miles of parkland and outdoor space, plus plenty to keep their brains ticking.

Child-friendly activities to do in East London

Pedalos, QEOP & Victoria Park

For water-based fun that’s pretty chilled and all-age friendly, hop aboard a pedalo at the stunning Victoria or QEOP – spring time is best for some duckling spotting – good for the soul.

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The Yard Theatre, Hackney

Culturally on point plays, music and arts events, The Yard also runs two community centres: Hub67 over in Hackney Wick, and The Hall here in E20, giving 4-19-year-olds the chance to learn, socialise and keep fit.

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Farming in the City, Hackney Farm & Spitalfields Farm

Give you and the kids the chance to get up close and personal with farm animals, rare breed and rescues. Check out petting sessions and feeding times and do go welcome the new-borns in springtime.

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ArcelorMittal Orbit and Slide, QEOP

The world’s longest tunnel will satisfy adrenaline junkies, small and big kids alike. Suitable for ages 8+ the slide gets you up to speeds of around 15-mph – don’t forget to take in the views of London before your descent.

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Staying well.

Get your sweat on, feel that addictive endorphin high, feel well, understand your body, stretch – in East London there’s something for every fitness fanatic and Zen master.

10 Places for fitness and wellbeing in East London

Aquatics Centre, Stratford

With two 50-metre indoor swimming pools and a 25-metre diving pool, there’s also a mix of fitness and learning classes for all abilities, ages and goals. Dive in and enjoy this East London gem.

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FIX, East Village

Movement, pilates, massage and counselling experts are on hand for friendly advice, assistance and classes that are competitively priced. Look after your body and your mind.

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National Centre for Circus, Hoxton

Always threatened to run away to the circus? Well now you really can. Learn how to fly, walk rope and perform like a real pro at London’s impressive circus school.

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London Fields Fitness Studio, Hackney

Sweat like you never knew you could with a weekly timetable of HIIT, Spin, boxcercise, dancing and yoga classes. Plus kids karate. And all from as little as £6 per drop in. ‘Go Hard, or GO HOME.’

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London Fields Lido, Hackney

Swimming al fresco in the city, in all seasons. The 50m outdoor pool is heated and open all year round, offering swimming lessons and fitness classes plus a large sunbathing deck for lounging.

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FIX, London Fields

This calm warehouse space offering daily yoga and treatments that include daylight therapy for a natural mood boost, plus expert Ayurvedic, Thai and Reiki massage. There’s also free mediation classes and a sauna, so if you plan your visit wisely you can emerge feeling like a brand new person.

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Run Club East, QEOP

Run with a group, get matey with like-minds. Explore the splendid Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park on foot. Flex on the London Marathon Community track. Hit those PBs with pride. Sold.

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Wakeup Docklands, Royal Victoria Beach

A short DLR ride away is London’s only cable wakeboard park offering water-based fitness/fun, including Stand Up Paddleboarding. Also check out Docklands Sailing and Watersport Centre for training in sailing, windsurfing and paddle sports.

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The Refinery, Hackney

The Refinery promises to help get your mojo back through yoga flow and an impressive offering of expert therapies that include: acupuncture, sound bath and Shemanic healing. There are on-site skin specialists, masseuses, reflexologists nutritionists and even a happiness coach.

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The London Buddhist Centre, Bethnal Green

Explore meditation, mindfulness and Buddhism, through daily classes and longer term courses. You can just turn up for daily classes from Monday - Saturday. And do keep your eyes peeled for regular open days where you can pop in and test out classes.

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And there you have it – a flavour of East London life…

There’s so much more to explore outside of East London, although why would you ever? Stratford connects you to it all – with the Underground, Overground, DLR and TfL just a hop, skip and a jump away.

East Village is the perfect corner of East London to tick off all our suggestions. Living in East Village puts everything on your doorstep – an abundance of restaurants, bars & cafes, shops for your everyday needs and beauty & grooming destinations. Take a tour of our neighbourhood and see our available homes in East Village E20.

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Like our recommendations? Tell us about your favourite spots in East London too, because sharing is caring. Get in touch via our social channels –InstagramFacebookTwitter – and feel free to share this guide with a friend!