An eclectic mix of international food, vintage markets and funky bars in the heart of London.
Once one of London's poorest slum areas, Brick Lane is now a vibrant, ethnically diverse community with many art galleries and cutting edge fashion stalls. Originally, in the 17th century, it was a fruit and vegetable market frequented by the Jewish community. Successive waves of immigration, from the French Hugenots in the 17th century to the more recent Bangladeshis, have influenced the wares and food on sale, so if you find yourself in East London with hunger pangs but no idea of what to eat, head to Brick Lane.
There are plenty of cafes to choose from, and street stalls abound on market days. The strip of Bangladeshi curry houses will all attempt to call you in with a special deal for you and no-one else, so shop around and choose wisely. Jewish bagel shops are also in plenty, the most famous being the 24hr Beigel Bake. It may not look much from the outside, but this place is an East End institution.
On a Sunday, head to the boiler house hall for an array of food stalls to boggle your taste buds. Ask for a taster to make the decision between Thai, Italian, Gambian, Turkish, and innumerable other world foods.
Boiler House Food Hall
The Old Truman Brewery, 152 Brick Lane, London E1 6RU
Saturdays 11:00-18:00; Sundays 10:00-17:00
159 Brick Lane, London E1 6SB