Restaurants & Nightlife

5 MINUTE READ

East London’s best restaurants

Words by Keven Amfo

Updated 02 August 2023

Image

You don’t have to stay in the centre of town to enjoy excellent cuisine.

Having fast become one of the capital’s premier dining destinations, East London is home to some of our favourite restaurants.

Zapote, Shoreditch

A new addition to Leonard St, Zapote is a sophisticated Mexican restaurant bringing a bit of spice to the East London dining scene. The elevated menu presents a different side of Mexican dining that diners may not have yet been exposed to – think beef tartar tacos and scarlet prawn tostadas – with complex and fresh flavours. Try the De Montoro cocktail, a sublime iteration of the classic Paloma featuring Casamigos Mezcal and grapefruit Jarritos with a splash of cava.

Image
Image
70 Leonard St, London EC2A 4QX

Cecyne, Shoreditch

Located within Blue Mountain School, the hybrid creative studio in Shoreditch, Cecyne takes intimate dining to a whole new level: it accommodates just 15 diners per evening. The set menu, courtesy of Chef Theo Clench, is hyper-seasonal and features simple preparations that spotlight each ingredient's freshness and flavour profile. The minimalist and serene setting furthers the focus on the food itself; a dinner (or Saturday lunch) here is one to certainly remember.

Image Image
Cycene, 9 Chance St, London E2 7JB

The Water House Project, Bethnal Green

Set within a beautiful space with sweeping floor-to-ceiling windows, The Water House Project has introduced a new style of casual fine dining to East London. A considered focus on the supply chain spotlights many local hyper-fresh ingredients, such as mackerel from Cornwall and eel from Devon. The wines utilise a similar ethos of small-scale and low intervention; many limited-edition bottles feature in the pairing. Go for all ten courses for the full effect.

Image
Image
1 Corbridge Cres, Cambridge Heath, London E2 9DT

Luca, Farringdon

Courtesy of The Clove Club, this Farringdon Italian restaurant spotlights traditional flavours executed using British ingredients. The dark and sultry interiors encourage long, boozy meals; we love the terrace's cosy open fire at lunch. Known for their excellent cocktails, we highly recommend solo dinners at the bar or aperitivo – the Luca Spritz seems to pair perfectly with the churro-like Parmesan Fries.

Image
Image
88 St John St, EC1M 4EH | Credit: Luca

Brutto, Farringdon

Some of the food can be hit or miss, but the vibe at Brutto makes up for that fact. Dark and sultry, this is one of few London restaurants that feels a bit like NYC – the ambience is cool, and it’s the type of place where you can become a regular. Sidle up to the bar solo and enjoy an on-tap negroni with some gnoccho fritto; alternatively, bring a group and enjoy the full works. Either way, this is the kind of restaurant where you can easily do both and have a great time.

Image
Image
35-37 Greenhill Rents, EC1M 6BN

Sessions Arts Club, Farringdon

More than just a pretty face, it must be recognised that Sessions Arts Club is magnificent. Located in a listed building, the restaurant marries old and new in perfect balance, pairing the building’s original features with a roster of rotating artwork and a frame of sleek leather banquettes in the two-floor dining room. The menu is simple yet delicious, rotating daily in accordance with what’s most fresh at the markets; don’t leave without taking a peek at the two terraces.

Image Image
Old Sessions House, 24 Clerkenwell Grn, EC1R 0NA

BiBo, Shoreditch

Located in the Mondrian Hotel, esteemed chef Dani Garcia helms his first London restaurant. Offering several iterations of paella (surprisingly hard to find in the capital), alongside other Andalusian favourites, the sharing-focused menu is rich with the flavour he is known for. The vibrant and warm dining room offers the perfect backdrop for a lingering meal, while a petite courtyard beckons during warmer months.

Image
Image
45 Curtain Rd, EC2A 3PT

The Clove Club, Shoreditch

Recipient of two Michelin stars amongst many other accolades, British chef Isaac McHale’s nine-year-old restaurant pioneered the fine dining scene in east London. Each beautifully composed dish is part of the whole experience, and every aspect of the meal manages to be composed to perfection without feeling stuffy or overdone. Reservations can be hard to come by – if you have a serious craving, take one from the Shoreditch locals and sit at the bar for (an excellent) glass of wine and some (pretty special) snacks.

Image
Image
Shoreditch Town Hall, 380 Old St, EC1V 9LT

BRAT Restaurant, Shoreditch

Two east London locations (London Fields is a pop-up) of this Basque grill prove its local reputation. Nearly everything on the menu is cooked over a fire, imparting rich, smoky flavour to each dish. Prices seem strikingly high – it’s important to remember that the menu is crafted for sharing. The deserved recipient of one Michelin star, there have been whisperings of a Soho location coming later this year.

Image Image
4 Redchurch St, E1 6JL

St John Bread & Wine, Shoreditch

Across the street from Spitalfields, this location of London stalwart St John features an onsite wine and bakery in addition to the dining room serving lunch and dinner. Simple food done well, the same nose-to-tail ethos applies at this location, as does the original. This is not the place for vegetarians. However, if you fall into the omnivore or carnivore categories, a meal here is amongst the best you’ll experience.

Image
Image
94-96 Commercial St, E1 6LZ

Da Terra, Bethnal Green

One of few London restaurants to serve a ‘blind’ tasting menu, this European restaurant offers what we’d call an actual dining experience. Aside from the novelty of not knowing what you’re about to eat, the experimental cuisine here ensures you’ll be eating food you’ve never tried before. Housed in Town Hall Hotel, a beautiful Victorian building, the stark contrast of old with new enriches the meal itself.

Image
Image
8 Patriot Square, E2 9NF

Lyle’s, Shoreditch

Ranked amongst the World’s 50 Best Restaurants, this modern British restaurant in Shoreditch’s iconic Tea Building has consistently received prestigious accolades since opening seven years ago. The concise menu changes daily, and the vegetarian menu is on par with the main (they cater to vegans, as well); lunch is à la carte should you desire a more casual experience. The excellent wine list is revolving, too, and focuses on biodynamic options.

Image
Image
Tea Building, 56 Shoreditch High St, E1 6JJ

You’ve got good taste. We’ve got the specialist knowledge. As a Quintessentially member, you have a priority seat at every Michelin-starred restaurant, speakeasy cocktail bar, and chef’s table experience – anytime, anywhere. Click here to discover membership.

More to explore

Restaurants & Nightlife

The best restaurants in St James’s

As well as palaces and parks, this central postcode also has lots of great places to eat – here’s our top 10.

Read more
Restaurants & Nightlife

Tokyo and Kyoto’s new high-end coffee experiences

Discover three new cafés taking Japan’s love of coffee to an entirely new level.

Read more
Restaurants & Nightlife

LA's best new restaurants

New restaurants abound in LA’s vibrant dining scene – here are our current favourites.

Read more
Image

NOTED

Stay in the know with our monthly newsletter – a complimentary edit of everything new and noteworthy in the luxury world.

Loading Loading

By signing up to the newsletter you confirm you have read & agree to the Privacy Policy.

Make an enquiry