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London’s once-gritty Shoreditch neighborhood is now one of the hottest addresses in the city. Formerly a working-class area, the neighborhood has seen tremendous gentrification in the last 20 years, and what has emerged is a veritable hotbed of hipsters, high-end hotels and equally trendy cuisine. Street food is undoubtedly the cuisine du jour in the minds of contemporary travelers, and Shoreditch is the place to be for epicureans looking to hit the streets.
Weekends in Shoreditch kick of right with Urban Food Fest, a street-food and bar night market held every Saturday at Euro Car Parks. The market features 15 street-food trucks and stalls that change each week, offering global street food next to a cocktail bar serving craft beer, cider, wine, mixed drinks, champagne and more. The event lasts from noon until midnight, and entry is free.
As Saturday slowly rolls into Sunday, travelers can keep the food fest going with a visit to Brick Lane Market. On Sundays, this main Shoreditch artery is flanked with vendors hawking everything from mittens and magazines to duck confit burgers and Bangladeshi curry. Brick Lane is known for being the epicenter of London’s Indian-food scene and also holds a reputation for authentic Jewish bagels. These restaurants and shops are open every day, but Sunday is the best day to make the most out of a stroll down Brick Lane.
For weeklong street-food dining, visit Pump Shoreditch. Open seven days per week, this street-food market features a selection of permanent vendors selling a wide range of fare such as pizza, tacos, Swedish candy, Argentinian steaks and Peruvian ceviches.
Dinerama is another popular street-food market in Shoreditch that has recently returned from a brief hiatus. Dinerama runs every Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 19 Great Eastern Street from 5 p.m. until the wee hours. Enjoy outposts of popular London restaurants such as BirdBox, Slider Bar, Baba G’s and Duck’N Roll, among others. The Street Food Arena at Dinerama is also enclosed, so dining in the perennial London rain is never a problem.
WHERE TO STAY
I checked into Andaz London Liverpool Street, a trendy yet approachable luxury hotel just on the outskirts of Shoreditch. Less than four blocks from the Liverpool tube station, the 267-room hotel is housed in a Victorian building that dates back to 1884. My room was a palette of muted grays and whites, and the bright-red armchairs and a colorful mural splattered against one of the walls provided pops of color.
Andaz offers seven restaurants and bars, including George, a quintessentially British pub with a frenetic and lively atmosphere; 1901, a restaurant and wine bar with a locally sourced British menu, cocktails, cheese boards and a wine list; Catch Champagne Bar & Lounge, a sexy, candlelit space serving champagne and bellinis along with charcuterie; Miyako, which offers Japanese cuisine, including sushi and sashimi; and Eastway, an all-day dining brasserie.
Hotel amenities include free Wi-Fi access, a complimentary minibar, complimentary wine and canapes in the lobby during the evenings, 14 private dining and event spaces, a 24-hour fitness center, spa services, a steam room and 24-hour room service.
Andaz London is about a 5-minute walk from Shoreditch’s main drag, Shoreditch High Street. From here it is easy to find Brick Lane and other street-food locations.
Andaz London Liverpool Streetwww.london.liverpoolstreet.andaz.hyatt.com
Brick Lane Marketwww.visitbricklane.org
Urban Food Festwww.urbanfoodfest.com