This funny old stretch of shops, cafés and pubs, which starts down by Old Street and ends up almost at the Regent’s Canal, doesn’t look so glamorous at the outset. Compared with its glitzier neighbours at the Shoreditch end, Hoxton Street even seems a bit unkempt. But in a part of London that’s changed beyond recognition in the past decade, this rough-round-the-edges vibe is to be welcomed. Though a few new brunch places and the like have popped up, the old local haunts remain.
The pie-and-mash shop is still thriving and residents of the Arden and New Era estates continue to buy their fruit and veg from the many market stalls lining the street. There’s even a Poundland. This is where trendy east London collides with its Cockney roots – and if you want a visual metaphor for that, watch Richard Ashcroft of The Verve knocking over locals as he swaggers down the street in the ‘Bittersweet Symphony’ video.
Plenty has changed around here since the Britpop era, and there are a fair few trendy spots edging in. But follow (carefully) in Ashcroft’s footsteps and you’ll discover a street that’s authentic and special, with an enticing mixture of old and new London.
Pie and mash from F Cooke. The recipe hasn’t changed since 1862.
An epic reuben sandwich from the Jewish-inspired menu at Monty’s Deli.
Whatever’s on the no-choice menu at low-waste/high-concept Cub, one of the capital’s best new restaurants.
Slow-roasted pork belly at The Ginger Pig Café.
Super Lyan’s Nitro Martini – a whisky twist on the espresso martini.
One of the rotating local beers at the laidback Howl at the Moon pub.
Unlimited mimosas with The Bach’s banging bottomless brunch.
Five-pound cocktails on a Thursday night at The Red Lion, which has a makeshift roof terrace with its very own open fire pit.
Go to the Saturday Hoxton Street Market to scoff all sorts of great street food, or rummage through boxes of miscellaneous clothes and beauty products.
Watch a play or gig in Hoxton Hall’s glorious 150-year-old auditorium, refurbished a couple of years back.
Visit the artist-led Mercer Chance Gallery to see young and emerging artists showing off their works.
Get your hands dirty volunteering at Hoxton Trust Community Garden, or just stop by to relax and enjoy the greenery.
A bespoke, handcrafted bike made from recycled materials at Auguste.
Something weird and wonderful from Hoxton Street Monster Supplies, a brilliantly imaginative shop selling gruesome gifts such as ‘cubed earwax’.
One of the 400 local and international beers sold at Seven Seasons Beer.
Stunning flower bouquets and handmade ceramic pots from That Flower Shop.
And if you only do one thing…
Get stuck in to one of the many rowdy themed nights at The Macbeth. There are regular Beyoncé parties, karaoke contests and old-school film fests. Costumes are always encouraged.