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Vintage bargains, east end boozers and avocado on toast: it's the best bits of Mile End

Written by
Time Out London contributor

Pubs, parks and art – this is old-school east London at its best.

Why should I go there?

Smack dab between Whitechapel, Docklands, Victoria Park and the Olympic Park, Mile End’s situation on the fringes means it has a little something for everyone. 

Any nice pubs about?

Obviously: this is the East End. If you fancy something new, mixed with a dash of hipster cool, then try the recently refurbished Victoria on Grove Road. Elsewhere, popular spot The Crown offers a convenient location directly opposite Victoria Park. But if you’re looking for a real slice of old London charm, seek out the dusty delights of The Palm Tree, an unreconstructed boozer in the middle of Mile End Park that’s perfect for a warming drink and a singsong on a winter’s eve.

What’s on the menu? 

There are some nice joints that keep the locals well fed and the visitors visiting. For a meaty treat, try some wagyu beef at Greedy Cow (Grove Road). Elsewhere, Lebanese restaurant and takeaway The Orange Room (Burdett Road) serves up fresh, zesty dishes. For somewhere more relaxed, try Zealand Road Coffee (Roman Road) where you can munch on avocado toast with all the other cool young things.

I fancy a spot of shopping... 

Mile End doesn’t have a high street as such, but those looking for a unique bargain will be rewarded by a visit to East End Vintage Clothes (Huddart Street). Pay by the kilo and fill up your bag with weird and wonderful discoveries at this well-hidden but promising bazaar. 

How about some parks and recreation? 

Mile End’s main focal point is the bright yellow garden bridge that connects the two sides of Mile End Park, a small, beautifully kept green space. While there, head to the Mile End Ecology Pavilion with the kids to learn all about Mother Nature. If you’re feeling cultural, Matt’s Gallery (Copperfield Road) has been a stalwart of the contemporary art scene for decades and always has amazing shows. 

And if I only do one thing?... 

Take that ragamuffin old-school vibe literally, by visiting Mile End’s Ragged School Museum (Copperfield Road), once the largest children’s home of its era and the inspiration for many sorry tales. It includes a reconstructed Victorian classroom, along with information on housing, education and work in the East End from the 1880s to 1900.  

By Joe Gamp, who likes buying his clothes by the kilo (though he’d prefer it to be by the pound). 

Fancy a change of scene? Take a look at the best bits of Ealing.

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