East London shopping

Your critical guide to the best stores in east London

What east London lacks in big brand chain stores, it more than makes up for with its wide choice of independent boutiques and some of the capital’s coolest clothing shops. From retro emporiums like Beyond Retro and Blitz, to cutting edge hipster hangouts No-one and LN-CC, the east is the best when it comes to buying something a little different. Discover our favourite east London shops, plus read our guides to shopping in east London neighbourhoods including Stoke Newington, Hackney and Dalston.

Cultural shops in east London

  • Artwords

    20-22 Broadway Market, London, E8 4QJ

    Artwords has its finger firmly on the pulse when it comes to contemporary visual arts publications. Stock relating to contemporary fine art dominates, but there are also plenty of architecture, photography, graphic design, fashion, advertising and film titles, plus an excellent range of industry and creative magazines. View the Artwords listing

  • Book Art Bookshop

    Pitfield Street, London, N1 6HB

    A cute little bookshop and papersmiths on the corner of Pitfield Street, selling artsy limited editions and small runs of collectible books, as well as beautifully designed cult mags. Great for gifts and coffee table tomes. View the Book Art Bookshop listing

  • Duke of Uke

    88 Cheshire St, London, E2 6EH

    A stone's throw from noisy Brick Lane is the new home of London's one and only ukulele and banjo emporium. The shop stocks a wide range of new and vintage instruments in all shapes, sizes and colours. As well as ukes, there are also mandolins, harmonicas and a selection of amps. The Duke of Uke staff are knowledgable and able to give helpful advice. The store also offers group ukulele courses, priced at £110 for ten two-hour sessions, and holds regular gigs and events both in store and at other local venues. View the Duke of Uke listing

  • Maiden

    Shoreditch High Street, London, E1 6HU

    Post-It notes shaped like apple slices… That essential Victoriana mask... A clock with eye-balls? Okay, you'll never be able to justify what you buy here, but this whimsical little toyshop for adults is irresistible nonetheless. As well as the usual sorts of gifts you'd find in an eclectic shop like this (Bunny Suicides books, Miffy merchandise and unusual-shaped icecube trays), Maiden has the odd unique knick knack worth scouting for. View the Maiden listing

  • Rough Trade East

    Old Truman Brewery, Dray Walk, 91 Brick Lane, London, E1 6QL

    Coming up to its fifth year, the east London branch of Rough Trade has truly stared the decline of the music industry in the face. With a new space due to open in New York, and many exciting projects in the pipeline, this record shop is continually evolving and setting the agenda for music buffs. This is partly because it does more than just sell records: the large warehouse space is home to a popular coffee shop serving locally sourced baked goods and organic coffee. It also plays host to live acoustic sets, free film screenings, book readings and classes. View the Rough Trade East listing

  • YCN

    72 Rivington St, London, EC2A 3AY

    Part of design agency YCN, this dinky little shop, gallery and library proudly showcases print works, by the company's roster of illustrators, as well as larger artworks. Smaller stock (cards, stickers, wrapping paper and the like) is also for sale and there's a tiny, free-to-join lending library at the back which houses books donated by local creatives and features reading lists suggested by arty folk including Paul Smith, John Hegarty and Peter Blake. View the YCN listing

East London shopping guides