Brick Lane: A Vibrant and Historic Neighborhood in London

Brick Lane is a must-visit destination for anyone exploring London’s East End. It’s a vibrant and eclectic area that’s home to a variety of cool shops, bustling markets, and delicious curry houses. Whether you’re a tourist or a local, there’s something for everyone on Brick Lane.

Located between Whitechapel and Shoreditch, Brick Lane is known for its funky street art and unique fashion scene. Visitors can explore the area’s many markets, including the famous Sunday Upmarket, where they can find everything from vintage clothing to handmade crafts. And of course, no trip to Brick Lane is complete without trying some of the area’s world-renowned curry houses.

First Up, Where is Brick Lane?

Brick Lane is located in the East End of London, where Whitechapel, Aldgate, and Spitalfields meet.

Why Brick Lane is Famous?

Brick Lane, once notorious for its slums and association with Jack the Ripper, has now transformed into a cultural and artistic hub. Millions of people visit Brick Lane every year to explore its unique styles, smells, and sounds. It is a melting pot of different cultures, making it a vibrant ethnic hub. However, one of the main reasons why Brick Lane is famous is because of its curry houses. Over the years, many challengers have popped up in different parts of London, but the curry houses on Brick Lane are still considered some of the best in the city.

Cool Things to do in Brick Lane

Brick Lane is a vibrant area in East London that is known for its unique street art, vintage markets, and quirky shops. Here are some of the cool things to do in Brick Lane:

Visit Brick Lane’s Markets

Brick Lane offers a variety of markets that cater to different interests. The Brick Lane Food Hall is a popular destination for foodies, with over 30 stalls of global cuisines to try. The Brick Lane Vintage Market, Upmarket, and Backyard Markets are also worth exploring. The Upmarket, organized by The Truman Brewery, features over 200 stalls of lifestyle, food, and accessories, showcasing local sellers and designers.

Brick Lane Nomadic Community Garden

For those seeking a peaceful respite, the Brick Lane Nomadic Community Garden is a private area open to the public daily. Located just off Brick Lane, visitors can find some zen in nature and learn new skills.

Take a Guided Street Art Tour

Brick Lane is the epicentre of street art in East London, with colourful graffiti adorning its walls. A Shoreditch Street Art Tour is a must-do activity for any self-respecting street art lover. Pedley Street, Grimsby Street, and Cheshire Street are just some of the locations where artists have left their mark.

Brick Lane Gallery

The Brick Lane Gallery showcases emerging local and international contemporary and urban artists. With a variety of exhibitions throughout the year, visitors can expect a good mix of painting, sculpture, photography, and video.

Explore Brick Lane’s Quirky Shops

Brick Lane is home to some of the best vintage shops in London, including Beyond Retro, Rokit, and Hunky Dory Vintage. Visitors can also find pop-up designer outlets and major clearance sales at The Truman Brewery. The Brick Lane Bookshop is a cute little independent bookshop that sells every genre imaginable and hosts regular events.

Overall, Brick Lane offers a unique and eclectic mix of experiences that are worth exploring.

The Brick Lane Food Guide: Best Places to Eat

Eat at one of Brick Lane’s Famous Curry Houses

Brick Lane, also known as Banglatown, is a vibrant community of Bengalis from the Sylheti region, making it the perfect destination for those looking for authentic and traditional curry dishes. The area boasts some of the best curry houses in London, including Aladin, a BYOB balti, and grill restaurant, City Spice, serving mouth-watering Indian food, and Bengal Village, which is highly rated by food critics.

Pop into a European Restaurant

For those who prefer European cuisine, Brick Lane has plenty of options to choose from. La Cucina, an Italian favorite, is well-known for its warm and familial atmosphere. Franze & Evans, another Italian restaurant, prides itself on using locally sourced organic ingredients to create delicious, reimagined Italian classics. If you’re in the mood for French cuisine, head to Chez Elles, a rustic bistro that specializes in finely crafted regional French specialties.

Or Indulge in an American Feast

If you’re craving American-style classics, Dirty Bones is a must-visit spot near Brick Lane. This restaurant serves up filthy burgers, ribs, and fries, and their cocktails are equally impressive. For the ultimate boozy brunch, visit Dirty Bones on the weekend.

Where to Eat in Brick Lane for Something a Little Different…

Brick Lane is known for its eccentric and unique eateries, making it a popular destination for foodies. Beigel Bake is a must-visit spot, famed for its Jewish-style filled bagels, such as salt beef and smoked salmon. Dark Sugars Cocoa House is another must-visit spot, offering a unique London chocolate shop experience. Watch the pros roast cocoa beans while inhaling the sweet aroma and try their delicious hot chocolate. Caboose Street food kitchen is another unique spot, serving up heavy American-style dishes from the comfort of an old train carriage.

Best Places to Eat in Brick Lane for Vegetarians and Vegans

For vegetarians and vegans, Brick Lane has plenty of options to choose from. Mooshies, a vegan burger joint, is a popular spot for vegan guilty pleasures. The panko-fried aubergine patty with all the trimmings is highly recommended. The Canvas Cafe is another favorite vegan hotspot, offering a 100% vegan menu, including their mahoosive, glowing cake options. Organic Livity Co. is a must-visit spot at Brick Lane Market, serving up the best vegan cakes in London. Their vegan eclair is to die for, and all of their treats are organic, raw, vegan, gluten-free, and sugar-free.

The Best Bars and Pubs in and around Brick Lane

Brick Lane is a melting pot of culture and creativity, and its drinking scene is no different. There are plenty of drinking spots to choose from, each with its own unique vibe. Here are some of the best bars and pubs in and around Brick Lane:

The Ten Bells

The Ten Bells public house, located near Spitalfields Market, offers a traditional British pint in a cozy atmosphere. While it’s not on Brick Lane itself, it’s worth the short walk for a pint and a bag of pork scratchings.

Monty’s Bar and Lounge

For those in the mood for a boogie, Monty’s Bar and Lounge is the place to be. With its open-mic nights, spoken word events, and delicious cocktails, this bar has something for everyone.


If you’re feeling adventurous, head to Alcotraz for a unique experience. This bar is designed to look like a prison, and guests are even given orange jumpsuits to wear. The catch? You have to smuggle your own alcohol past the guards to enjoy a drink in your “cell.”

The Cocktail Trading Co.

The Cocktail Trading Co. is a must-visit for cocktail enthusiasts. This bar boasts some serious cocktail-making skills and has even won awards for its creations. But what sets it apart is its fun and quirky atmosphere, from the creative cocktail menu to the eclectic interior and friendly staff.

Whether you’re in the mood for a traditional pint or a fancy cocktail, these bars and pubs in and around Brick Lane have something for everyone.

What Next? Exploring the Area Surrounding Brick Lane

If you’ve had your fill of the vibrant food scene on Brick Lane and are looking for more to explore, there are plenty of options in the surrounding area. Here are a few suggestions to keep you busy:

Visit Spitalfields Market

Located just up the road from Brick Lane, Spitalfields Market is a recently refurbished shopping district that offers a range of tasty treats and fashionable clothing to peruse. While slightly more commercial than Brick Lane, Spitalfields Market still has plenty of character and charm. Visitors can find high-end designer labels at The Mercantile, as well as more affordable high street brands like & Other Stories, Lululemon, and The Ordinary.

Historic Princelet Street

For a step back in time, head to Princelet Street, a narrow terrace of Georgian-era houses tucked away behind the bustling Spitalfields Market. This enclave offers a pocket of quiet and calm amidst all the noise of London. While living in one of these houses requires a seven-figure budget, visitors can still explore Number 19, one of London’s earliest synagogues and now a museum of immigration and diversity. Note that Number 19 Princelet Street isn’t always open to the public, so be sure to check for open days on their website.

Wilton’s Music Hall

London’s oldest music hall, Wilton’s Music Hall, is located in Whitechapel, just a short walk from Brick Lane. The 19th-century performing arts theatre has retained its original cast iron pillars, balcony, and decor from when it was first built in 1859. Visitors can book a guided tour of the building and enjoy an eclectic mix of arts and culture events.

Whitechapel Gallery

For contemporary art fans, the Whitechapel Gallery is a must-visit. Located just a step away from the south entrance to Brick Lane, the gallery hosts a range of exhibitions and events. After exploring the gallery, visitors can stop for a coffee in the gallery cafe and enjoy a selection of tasty homemade cakes and treats.

Whether you’re in the mood for shopping, history, music, or art, the area surrounding Brick Lane has plenty to offer.

Practical Tips for Visiting Brick Lane London

Where to Stay Near Brick Lane

When planning a trip to Brick Lane, finding the right place to stay is essential. There are plenty of options available for travelers of all budgets. Here are some suggestions for where to stay near Brick Lane:

  • Airbnb: Brick Lane and its surrounding areas are home to many urban apartments available for rent on Airbnb. It’s worth checking out what’s available before booking your trip.

  • The Dictionary Hostel: For those on a budget, The Dictionary Hostel offers funky and alternative style rooms that won’t break the bank. Breakfast is included in your stay.

  • Batty Langley’s: If you’re looking for a more upscale experience, Batty Langley’s 18th Century Hotel is a great option. It was recently listed by Conde Nast as the 6th best hotel to stay in London.

  • Hostels: For those looking for a more social experience, there are many hostels in the area to choose from. Check out this guide to the best hostels in London.

Getting to Brick Lane

Brick Lane is easily accessible by public transportation or car. Here are some options for getting there:

  • Underground: The closest tube stops to Brick Lane are Aldgate East, Whitechapel Station (on the south side), and Liverpool Street Station, Shoreditch High Street Station (on the north side).

  • By Car: If you’re driving, head to Spitalfields Car Park (around 6 minutes walk away) for Brick Lane parking.

  • By Flight: The closest airport to Brick Lane is London City Airport, which is approximately 5.4 miles away.

While Brick Lane is generally a safe area, it’s important to keep your belongings close to you, especially on busy market days. By following these practical tips, you can have a comfortable and enjoyable stay in one of London’s most vibrant neighborhoods. For more London hotel recommendations, check out our Where to Stay in London guide.

Brick Lane, London Map

Brick Lane is located in the East End of London. It runs from Bethnal Green to Whitechapel. The area is known for its vibrant street art and trendy cafes. The Brick Lane Market is a popular destination for tourists and locals alike. The market is open every Sunday and offers a variety of goods, including vintage clothing, handmade crafts, and international cuisine. Visitors can also explore the nearby Truman Brewery, which features a range of independent shops, galleries, and bars.