Shoreditch has changed. When I first moved to the UK it was the edgiest London neighborhood. Now gentrification has set in and the hipsters have moved north. But there’s still a lot going on in the area, and if you’re as interested in seeing the changes as I’ve been, today I bring you my guide to Shoreditch, London.
Guide to Shoreditch, London
I’ve always associated Shoreditch with the Old Street Roundabout. Formerly a bleak spot on the London map, this part of the neighborhood has seen a number of more attractive buildings go up in recent years. Add to that hip pop-up shops in the tube station in its core, and the doughnut of depression has become a circle of new life.
Down the road, Old Street itself retains its colorful street art as it leads into the heart of the area. The junction with Great Eastern Street always has something new on the corner, complete with tables spilling into the sidewalk.
Great Eastern Street itself is perennially full of new restaurants and cafes, and Rivington Street remains a mainstay of trendy shops and bars.
Up north, Hoxton Square retains its cool vibe despite chain restaurants moving in. Underground bars like Happiness Forgets have helped uphold its atmosphere even after the closure of the famous White Cube gallery.
Over on Shoreditch High Street and up Kingsland Road there’s always somewhere to check out. Whether it’s a street food market or a new-to-me Vietnamese restaurant, I never fail to find something delicious.
And that’s to say nothing of the side streets and museums. Walking around Arnold Circus feels like stepping back in time, and visiting the Geffrye Museum—which has recreated British domestic interiors from 1600 to the present—is literally doing so.
Redchurch Street is a happy medium between big and small, what with it being a side street with lots of shops and places to eat. It might be the biggest sign of Shoreditch’s gentrification, though, with J.Crew and other mainstream stores having moved in recently.
But perhaps that’s inevitable in a city like London, where things are always changing and neighborhoods reinventing themselves. I’m sure in another 10 years Shoreditch will look different again, but if it keeps the hip vibe it’s managed to retain over the last 10 I’m sure it will still be a place worth exploring.
Have you spent time here? What would you include in a guide to Shoreditch, London?