By Lara Kavanagh and Daniel Gill in London—
London’s East End is one of the trendiest spots on earth, its once dowdy streets undergoing continual gentrification. This is where to head to see some great alternative art galleries and to shop in everything from high-end boutiques to second-hand emporiums and artisan markets.
There’s no end of pricey restaurants and cafés offering admittedly great food, but there’s still a handful of places in the east offering tasty meals at affordable prices. Here are five of our favorites:
Tay Do Café
60 Kingsland Road
Tel: 020 7739 0966
Hours: Mon-Fri: noon – 3 p.m., 5 p.m. – midnight; Sat noon – 3.30 p.m., 5 p.m. – midnight, Sun noon – 3.30 p.m., 5 p.m. – 11.30 p.m.
Sample price: Pho from £7
The point where Shoreditch High Street becomes Kingsland Road heralds the start of a string of affordable Vietnamese restaurants. Competition between them is fierce, and public opinion diverse; we personally like Tay Do Café, an unpretentious little canteen where there’s rarely a wait for a table and the prices stay reasonable. The pho soup is excellent, and other stand-out items are the grilled lamb chop starter and the Vietnamese spring rolls. The “bring-your-own booze” policy makes this a cheap and tasty option.
460 Hackney Road
Tel: 020 7739 2009
Hours: Mon to Fri noon – 3.30 p.m., 6 p.m. – 10.30 p.m.; Sat and Sun noon – 11 p.m.
Sample price: Feijoada £9
Venturing east from Shoreditch High Street, a walk up Hackney Road will bring you to Raizes, an authentic, low-key Brazilian restaurant, serving up huge flavorsome dishes and hosting the odd evening dance event and capoeira class. Here you can sample all manner of Brazilian delicacies ranging from polenta frita to feijoada, rounded up with desserts such as the delicious açaí na tigela, made from the acai super-food berry.
332 Bethnal Green Road
Tel: 020 7739 4873
Hours: Mon to Sat 7 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Sample price: Chicken escalope, chips and peas £6.50
An East End institution and community hub, this simple London café feeds a happy, hungry mix of people, ranging from market traders and art students to TV celebrities. Whoever you are, the staff at Pellicci’s offer one of the warmest welcomes in London, alongside enormous portions of English and Italian favorites, such as top-notch traditional breakfasts, lasagne, breaded chicken and a variety of pies with lashings of gravy. You can, and should, get chips with everything.
The Camel/The Florist Arms
Both on Globe Road
Camel Tel: 020 8983 9888
Hours: Daily noon – 11 p.m.
Florist Tel: 020 8981 1100
Hours: Mon to Sat 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.; Sun noon – 10.30 p.m.
Sample price: Pie and mash £9/Pizza from £6
If you’d like a simple, filling meal washed down with a few drinks in relaxed surrounds, head for one of these two delightful pubs, tucked away on Globe Road near Bethnal Green tube station. Simple pie and mash at the Camel or authentic Italian pizza at the Florist both make good stomach liners for a few rounds in either of these quality East End boozers.