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Jerome Galland

The best restaurants in Shoreditch

From Michelin-starred restaurants to homely trattorias, these are the best places to dine in Shoreditch and Spitalfields

Leonie Cooper
Edited by
Leonie Cooper
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Shoreditch is a dining destination for hipsters, tourists and ravenous city workers alike, so it’s no wonder that there are restaurants of all cuisines and price ranges in the always-buzzy area. But which of the many options deserve your time and money? Let us tell you, with our list of the best restaurants in Shoreditch and Spitalfields, which only features places that we know will hit the spot. From Michelin-starred favourites for big spenders to stellar street-food joints. Go east and feast.

RECOMMENDED: The best bars, pubs and rooftops in Shoreditch.

Leonie Cooper is Time Out London’s Food and Drink Editor. For more about how we curate, see our editorial guidelines.

The best restaurants in Shoreditch

  • Restaurants
  • British
  • Shoreditch
  • price 3 of 4

Margot Henderson’s awfully well known hidden treasure is a dinky, discreet restaurant located in the bike shed of a former school. Inside, things are prettily low-key, with white walls and jugs of flowers on the tables; on warm days, snap up the sought-after spaces in the allotment-yard. The short daily menu deals in simple seasonal fare such as grilled sardines and tomato, braised rabbit with potato and anchovy or onglet with caponata. This is heart-and-soul dining.

  • Restaurants
  • Bistros
  • Shoreditch
  • price 3 of 4

Bistro Freddie is a London rarity: a knowingly ‘cool’ vibehouse that doesn’t make you want to dash your brains out on the edge of an understated white table. Bossing it from within the open-fronted kitchen is head chef and flavour magus Anna Søgaard. The spare, paired-back menu belies the erstwhile Erst cook’s talent for concealed pzazz. Nothing leaves her kitchen underpowered in the wallop department. Freddie’s glistening, glowing rhombuses of ‘house sausage’, served with punchy (and homemade) brown sauce, deserve a place somewhere near the top. A-tier (at least). Try also snails on top of pillowy flatbread, sprinkled with nubbins of crispy chicken skin, bobbing in tarragon butter. From the same stable as the nearby – and just as lovely - Crispin. 

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Joe Mackertich
Editor, Time Out London
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  • Restaurants
  • British
  • Old Street
  • price 3 of 4

Nest packed up their Hackney home at the end of 2023 and moved to an earthy, rustic space in Shoreditch. Their themed, and reasonably priced, tasting menus are based on the British seasons. Our last visit was all about game and a total delight. Executive chef Johnnie Crowe’s menus are playful but polished; check out the team's nearby Michelin-starred Restaurant St Barts in Smithfield if you fancy something even fancier. A new wine bar, Nest Cellar, is just next door. 

  • Restaurants
  • Italian
  • Shoreditch
  • price 2 of 4

If you know your tenderloins from your tallow, then this is church. The elevator pitch would be that Manteca is a blend of Trullo/Padella’s eye for ‘proper’, hand-rolled fresh pasta and St John’s cleaver-happy commitment to nose-to-tail minimal waste. If the cut exists, Manteca will find a way to serve it to you and their pasta is right up there with the best in London. The perfect place for a special night out for the discerning flesh-eater in your life.

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  • Restaurants
  • British
  • Old Street

Everything about The Clove Club screams ‘look at me’, from the austere dining room and blue-tiled kitchen within Shoreditch’s Old Town Hall to the intentionally avant-garde cooking and the tasting menu: a masterpiece of contemporary aspirations in nine courses. It’s British yet esoteric, accessible yet obscure, and it delivers absolutely ravishing flavours. Hot tip: the corner bar is a prime spot for cocktails and snacks.  

  • Restaurants
  • Thai
  • Shoreditch
  • price 2 of 4

Smack-in-the-face Thai barbecue in a jam-packed industrial-meets-rustic setting – Smoking Goat is all smoke, loud music and high-strength alcohol. The food is laced with volcanically hot ‘mouse-drop’ chillies, and the flavours will hit you for six (try the lardo fried rice or the signature fish-sauce chicken wings) – although your wallet won’t be seriously dented, even if you go heavy on the booze. Mind you, this really is drinking food at its best. 

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Lyle’s
  • Restaurants
  • British
  • Shoreditch
  • price 3 of 4

James Lowe was once a pop-up partner of Isaac McHale, and, like at McHale’s Clove Club, the no-choice, set dinner menu at Lowe’s cutting-edge solo restaurant goes big on foraged, oft-forgotten finds (dulse, verbena, ransoms), unusual cuts (monkfish liver, mutton breast) and very British ingredients (Jersey oysters, game, Neal’s Yard cheese). Lowe has worked under Fergus Henderson, and it shows: the clinical all-white dining room shares St John’s minimalism, while the beautifully presented dishes are dazzling yet restrained.

  • Restaurants
  • British
  • Hoxton
  • price 3 of 4

The first solo venture from Joe Laker – formerly of gone-but-not-forgotten Fenn and St Leonards – this chef's table tasting menu is a ‘culinary ode to the British Isles’, but it’s a loose, casual thing. Sure, Laker is celebrating homegrown ingredients, but he’s not here to make you feel like you’re stuck inside a rhapsodic Robert Macfarlane book, and the music softly playing is inoffensive nu-jazz and R&B, rather than the Wicker Man-ish excesses of Fairport Convention. An opening langoustine custard with crab and buttermilk set the scene for some seriously bold native flavours, and Montgomery cheddar was the potent star of both a cheese tartlet with beetroot, as well as a nifty cheese and onion gougere, which came on like a glammed-up Greggs bake (which, if there was any doubt, is a serious compliment). 

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Brat
  • Restaurants
  • Contemporary European
  • Shoreditch
  • price 3 of 4

A handsome, buzzy chophouse with a no-frills Basque-leaning menu, Brat has a sexy speakeasy style entrance: just a nameplate by the door. A set of poky steps leads you up to a room above a former pub with glorious original features: wood panelling, arched windows, parquet floors. Expect smart service, a nice line in ‘things on toast’ and some serious signature dishes from the grill like beef chops and lobster. It's got a Michelin star to boot. 

  • Restaurants
  • Mexican
  • Shoreditch
  • price 2 of 4

Zapote serves punchy meat and elegant seafood dishes from the mind of Yahir Gonzalez, who after a decade has jumped from the Spanish kitchen at Regent Street’s flash Aqua Nueva to cook the cuisine of his native Mexico. It’s something he does extremely well, serving up duck quesadillas with a gooey smoked chipotle jelly, scallop ceviche, beef tartare taco with roasted bone marrow and charred octopus. The ‘save room for dessert’ trope is total a cliche, but at Zapote you would be a fool not to, especially if the pistachio doughnut with morello cherry jam is on.

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  • Restaurants
  • Italian
  • Shoreditch

Padella’s no-frills fresh pasta is affordable, speedily served and, most importantly, seriously tasty. This Shoreditch iteration of the Borough Market stalwart sticks to its winning formula of delicious, belly-filling dishes served in a spacious, shiny-topped setting. The menu is short without being restrictive, offering the usual Italian suspects – olives, bruschetta and burrata to begin with, and mains including the restaurant’s popular, slimy-yet-satisfying cacio e pepe, a rainbow-flecked tagliarini with crab, chilli and lemon and a rich beef shin parpadelle

  • Restaurants
  • Italian
  • Shoreditch

Cecconi's has been a London favourite since the 1970s. Now under the watchful eye of the Soho House Group, their Shoreditch branch is a super slick space, and prides itself on northern Italian cicchetti. Unlike most Italian spots in town, it's open all though the day, kicking off at 7.30am with a breakfast focaccia stuffed with mortadella, fried egg and burrata. Due to the Soho House link there's some lowkey star-spotting to be done alongside the punchy menu of pizza, pasta and big trad-leaning dishes such as saltimbocca alla romana, veal milanese, and whole sea bream. Equally, a few plates of zucchini fritti, beef carpaccio, tuna tartare and that warm, fluffy focaccia with a bottle of montepulciano d'abruzzo is a perfectly respectable order. 

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  • Restaurants
  • Israeli
  • Moorgate
  • price 3 of 4

The first full service restaurant from superstar chef Eyal Shani – the guy responsible for the pita chain Miznon – is a bizarre and incongruous concept. Shani’s manic pixie dream menu, printed in multiple fonts (one of them is, presumably ironically, comic sans), with bizarre items such as ‘Dinosaur Bone’, ‘spicy instruments that will swirl your soul’, and focaccia that is ‘a very bad idea’, was hard to decipher, but almost every bite was completely delicious. Think smoky clams on a bed of slightly sweet, earthy farro (mouthwateringly good); fatty skirt steak on a bed of tahini with a smattering of bitter green pepper salsa; an uber fresh and zesty grouper ceviche; and a massively creamy baked potato with sour cream (indulgent and moreish). 

Leroy
  • Restaurants
  • Contemporary European
  • Shoreditch

A beatific bistro. Unfussy ingredients and clean, bright flavours come together in a cavalcade of small plates ranging from charred runner beans with almond cream and peach to confit rainbow trout with peas, sea herbs and lovage. There are some terrific wines by the glass too. 

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  • Restaurants
  • American
  • Shoreditch
  • price 1 of 4

A permanent Shoreditch home for the cult street-food vendors, this stygian semi-industrial space feels like a medieval nightclub complete with throbbing beats and a man-tastic meat-loving vibe. Beef brisket is the top call on the menu, and it comes two ways – as a single hunk of flesh or shredded and snuggled inside a pillowy, slightly sweet bun with a lick of barbecue sauce and bone-marrow butter. We also rate Smokestak’s lavishly seasoned, long-smoked beef ribs very highly.  

  • Restaurants
  • Italian
  • Shoreditch
  • price 2 of 4

It’s fun all the way at this riotous Shoreditch spot – a cross between a chintzy curio-filled emporium and your Italian nonna’s parlour. You’re here for the good times, but there’s some very decent trattoria food on offer too (if you’re prepared to wait). The carbonara for two is a huge, rich bowlful of jollity, and it’s worth adding a few nibbles to start – perhaps a trio of snooker ball-sized crocchè (Italy’s answer to jamón croquetas). Oh, and just wait until you see the loos.

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  • Restaurants
  • Pizza
  • Shoreditch
  • price 1 of 4

Go to Rudy's for well-priced and extremely tasty Neopolitan-style pizzas, such as the vegan Agnello Vegana, which comes topped with extremely convincing plant-based lamb and garlic-roasted tenderstem broccoli. They also do all the classics as well as regular specials and banging desserts. Order chilli honey and nduja aioli for drizzling and dipping purposes and a potent rum baba for pud.

  • Bars and pubs
  • Cocktail bars
  • Shoreditch

Boundary Bar & Brasserie is something of an all-rounder. There's breakfast, brunch, cocktails, a rooftop dining terrace, sleek indoor seating and even a solid Sunday roast at this Shoreditch mainstay. Here, provenance is everything, so expect small producers and farms to be supplying the goods for a menu that features superfood salads, pork cutlets, braised short-rib, and a burger burger straight from the grill. 

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  • Restaurants
  • Italian
  • Shoreditch

This fresh pasta specialist buzzes with activity as its pasta-makers deftly roll and fold their product behind the counter of the small, whitewashed venue. Most people buy by weight to take away, although there is a sit-down tasting area further back. The monthly changing menu offers just a handful of ‘folds’ with seasonal toppings, but the signature dish of agnolotti cavour – ravioli filled with pork, beef and spinach bathed in sage butter – is always available. 

  • Restaurants
  • Indian
  • Shoreditch
  • price 2 of 4

You’re guaranteed a fun time at every branch of this slick Iran-via-India café, and this Shoreditch outpost is no different. The vast dining room, overseen by an army of friendly staff, has 1970s-style decor based on the post-colonial Irani cafés of Bombay. From the menu, start with exotically spiced cocktails, then move on to inventive Indian small plates, with Dishoom signatures such as the black dal and Shoreditch specials including the slow-cooked lamb raan.

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Butchies
  • Restaurants
  • Chicken
  • Shoreditch
  • price 1 of 4

Butchies’ original street-food stall made its name with fast fried chicken, but this proper restaurant ups the ante by matching superlative nosh with friendly counter service and sharp decor. As the unofficial chicken burger champion of London, it serves up delectable buttermilk-fried sandwiches – big bacon-stacked numbers with playful names like Jenny from the Block. Also don’t write off the moreish chicken strips served with house OG sauce and extra dips if you want them (trust us, you will).

  • Restaurants
  • Burmese
  • Shoreditch
  • price 2 of 4

You can now take the road to Mandalay without leaving the East End by visiting this Burmese star on the fringes of Shoreditch. Looking achingly stylish with its dark wood, chic upholstery and huge windows, Lahpet’s distinctive crossbreed of Thai and Indian cuisine is very much its own – if you don’t believe us, try one of its zingy signature salads spliced with split peas, shallots, tea leaves and fish. It also does lovely plates of hake and deep bowls of coconut noodles too.

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