I have received a lot of emails from you guys asking for tips and advice about brick lane ever since i first posted about living there during my time in london. I have tried my best to answer as many emails as possible but for those who haven't received a response yet or for anyone else who is interested, i have put together a list of recommendations for you!
Below is a list of my top things to do around brick lane. Favourite places to eat, drink, shop and soak in that quintessential east london vibe. I've tried to narrow it down to the things i consider a 'must' for those with time restraints but if you have anymore questions please feel free to tweet me here and i'll be happy to help in anyway i can. Enjoy!
If your visiting london and wanting to make a visit to brick lane, the best time to go is a sunday. The brick lane sunday markets is when brick lane comes alive. There's vintage, music, food and everywhere you look theres someone with amazing style. Every sunday i was living here, i ventured out into the markets for incredible food, interesting finds and a whole lot of people watching.
Tea rooms - One of my favourite parts of the markets is the tea rooms! A bit like stumbling upon aladdin's cave, the rooms are filled with old antiques, clothes, handmade items and random bits and bobs. My favourite thing to do was wander amongst the busy stalls just admiring each little piece of history i came across.
Ethiopiques - My favourite food in the whole of london. This is absolute top of my list for anyone eating on brick lane. A food stall in the building located directly across from all star bowling. Owned by two sisters, it serves ethiopian vegetarian/vegan food that is so unbelievable it will blow your mind. Georgia, rach and i looked forward to this every weekend. There's so many amazing dishes, so ask for a mixed box and make sure the wrap is included. If you make it here, make sure you let me know what you think!
Nutella Crepes - The best crepes are the ones from the street stalls in the middle of brick lane. The nutella and banana is to die for!
Where to eat/drink
Full Stop Cafe - You could say i practically lived here during my time on brick lane. Not only was it right next door to my flat (convenient right?) but it was the perfect place to just kick back and chill. I'd spend hours in here just working away on my laptop. The music's ace too.
Brick Lane Coffee - Best coffee, smoothies and salads on brick lane. Plus the cafe is decked out with comfy couches and cool lamps, great place to wind down. Make sure and try their raw vegan salad!
Hookah Lounge - Cosy bar and speciality tea house. If your big on tea and cool vibes, don't miss this one. I spent too many a night here seeking warmth from the cold and chatting excitedly with rach and georgia over their delicious mulled wine.
Indian - Brick lane is known for it's curries so we made sure to try out a few indians. The best we had was actually from the street stalls. Best idea is to get a takeaway and enjoy wandering the markets.
The beigel shop - Apparently the most famous bagel shop in london. For reference, it is the beigel shop with the yellow sign, not the white (very important!). We tried both and without doubt, the yellow signed store wins by a landslide. Don't let the rusty exterior frighten you, i promise after you've tried one you will not regret it! Living across from a bagel shop may have been the best/worst thing ever. Your taste buds love it, but in the long run, your hips don't agree.
Fika cafe/bar and kitchen - The best scrambled eggs on toast i have ever had! Yes EVER.
Big Chill - Great bar, great music, great food, great people, what more could you ask for?
As i mentioned above, the best time to go vintage shopping on brick lane is during the sunday markets. Not only is there a lot more vintage on offer, it's also a lot cheaper. My best advice is to start from the top end and work your way down, that way you won't miss anything. There's usually signs marked on buildings reading 'vintage or vintage sale' so make sure you check them out, they're filled with stalls and amazing one of a kind pieces.
Here's a few of my favourite stores:
Vintage Basement - Actually on Cheshire street, just off brick lane (by about 30 seconds) this was probably my favourite vintage store. I found that the stores directly on brick lane tended to be a bit more pricey so this was a good find affordability wise. Theres two levels of vintage goodness and they're all within a good price range. I go the coolest skirt from here and it was only 4 pounds. They usually have an awesome levi collection so make sure you check it out.
Rock it - Directly on brick lane, it can get busy on sundays but they have a great selection of vintage and often have good sales so it's easy to find a bargain.
The Vintage Emporium - A little bit pricier but for what you're getting it's worth it. I found the most incredible 1960's scalloped tops in there. If your a die hard vintage lover, it's a definite must. Plus it also doubles as a tea room, my two perfect things combined.
Beyond Retro - An obvious but necessary inclusion, I'd heard much about beyond retro but was still amazed at the collection of vintage. Surprisingly it's all very well priced too. They have an amazing denim overall collection, plus the vibe is incredible.
I hope this helps give a little help to those of you who are looking to visit brick lane or are generally just interested! It's my first time writing one of these so apologies if i've missed anything! Let me know if it's something you would like to see more of. I shall be travelling europe in the summer so can easily put together a list for each place i visit :)