What’s the vibe? This is the Shoreditch branch of the subterranean coffee house in Fitzrovia, complete with trademark green-and-white tiling, copper pendant lamps and a ‘living plant wall’.
When to go Breakfast to 11.30am and brunch till 4pm. Just remember that it closes at 6pm, so go early for a slice of the action.
What to eat Almond milk porridge and bacon sourdough sarnies for breakfast; pancake stacks and avocado smash for brunch; soup, tarts and ‘market bowls’ for lunch; sweet things all day.
How much? Breakfasts from £4.50, brunch staples from £8.50, sandwiches from £5.50, lunch combos £8.
What’s the vibe? An East End institution serving freshly baked, filled-to-order bagels and other Jewish-style New York standards. No tables or standing on ceremony here.
When to go Opening 24/7 makes this gem the snack stop of choice for clubbers, imbibers and taxi drivers. Be prepared to queue – whatever the hour.
What to eat No question: the juicy salt beef one, optionally spiked with eye-wateringly hot mustard and extra pickles. There’s a smoked salmon and cream cheese version too.
How much? The salt beef bagel is £4.10; add an extra 20p for pickles. Spend any spare cash on a wedge of New York cheesecake or an almond slice.
What’s the vibe? Rainbow vegan food served in bowls made from recycled cardboard. Genuine, unpretentiously eco and easily affordable.
When to go Take the Shoreditch Boxpark trip and fuel up with some satisfyingly different vegan fare.
What to eat South-east Asian bowls of trendy vegan goodness, from mum’s green curry to a ‘yoga fire’ riff (chillies married to coconut) – all courtesy of Laotian chef King Cook.
How much? All bowls come in way under £10.
What’s the vibe? Set up by the meat-lovin’ crew behind Meat Liquor et al, this grungy joint serves its hippy-trippy burgers and other dude-food treats in a converted Christian mission.
When to go Weekday lunchtimes and afternoons for the cheapest deals, evenings for the rockin’ fun.
What to eat The Dead Hippie burger is a classic, as are the Dirty Chicken Cheeseburger and the vegan Burgaloo (spiced potato, beetroot and black beans).
How much? Burgers from £8, fries and sides from £3.25. For a perfect tenner, hit the weekday lunch deal (any burger, fries and unlimited soda until 5pm).
What's the vibe? No-frills family-run Vietnamese, where the flavours are as punchy as the service. A local favourite.
When to go With a small group of your most punctual friends – they won’t seat you until everyone is present.
What to eat The fragrant beef pho, bursting with noodles and green herbs.
How much? £8 will feed you full of pho.
What’s the vibe? From the pizza-loving ‘pilgrim’ brothers, this Neapolitan-style offshoot inhabits a former shoe shop on a buzzy Shoreditch corner.
When to go No bookings taken, but you can drop by for lunch or try a pizza-and-beer fix before heading out on the town.
What to eat Top picks are the ’nduja classic and the ‘salsiccia e friarielli’ (fennel sausage with wild Italian broccoli). Also, don’t miss the chocolate calzone (Kinder Bueno wrapped in pizza dough).
How much? From £5.50 for the simple no-cheese marinara to £11 for ‘the hungry person’s choice’, Calzone Ripieno.
What’s the vibe? The bright green Kingsland Road shopfront isn’t exactly hard to spot but you can always follow the happy slurping sounds.
When to go Dinner, lunch, weekend brunch – we’d go for breakfast if it was open.
What to eat Noodle soup, pho sure. Friends of pho call this London’s best spot.
How much? The generous bowlfuls go for a song – just £9 a pop for most varieties of pho.
What’s the vibe? An offshoot of the Dalston original, it’s an impeccably hip joint selling seriously delicious pizzas by the slice from New York-style 22-inch whoppers.
When to go Any time, any day, from noon onwards. There’s late opening for weekend night owls.
What to eat A slice or two of your choice: Green Velvet, Queen Vegan, Porky’s… the names say it all. Perhaps some mac ’n’ cheese, a craft beer or a frozen margarita too.
How much? Slices are £3.50-£4; spend the rest on salad (£3.50) and a chocolate brownie or white chocolate blondie (£1.50). The weekday lunch deal is £6.50 for a slice, salad and soft drink.
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