Hardens Guide to the Best Restaurants in London Shoreditch
Hardens guides have spent 29 years compiling reviews of the best Shoreditch restaurants. On Hardens.com you'll find details and reviews of 80 restaurants in Shoreditch and our unique survey based approach to rating and reviewing Shoreditch restaurants gives you the best insight into the top restaurants in every area and of every type of cuisine.
Featured Shoreditch Restaurants
1. Nanashi Japanese restaurant in Shoreditch 14 Rivington St - EC2A
“Super sushi and some decent hot plates too” win enthusiastic but limited feedback for this “pleasant if rather cramped” Japanese two-year-old in Shoreditch.
2. Brat Fusion restaurant in Shoreditch First Floor, 4 Redchurch Street - E1
“Totally living up to the hype!” – Tomos Parry’s “cool ex-pub, first-floor dining room” (above Smoking Goat) was Harden’s top newcomer last year, and “pulls off what so many Shoreditch restaurants aspire to” with “its phenomenal food from the open kitchen; its relaxed-but-highly-competent style; and its lack of expense”. “And the wood-panelled dining room is a welcome change from the usual warehouse-style in the area”. The Basque-influenced cuisine, much of it cooked over an open wood fire, majors in fish – “never overcooked, with a hint of smokiness after a roasting over hot embers” – in particular the “to-die-for”, signature turbot (for which the restaurant is named) which is “positively Mediterranean in its fresh deliciousness”. “The room is small and tables are close together” but no-one seems to care: “the buzz of the place simply tells you that here are a lot of folks really enjoying their dinner”. It helps that “the staff are almost as good as the food: enthusiastic, knowledgeable, and clear in their explanations of the menu”. All this, plus a “brilliant, wide-ranging and value-for-money wine list”.
3. Mãos Portuguese restaurant in Shoreditch 41 Redchurch Street - E2
“Nuno Mendes strikes again, outside the box” at his “informal and wonderful” Shoreditch 16-seater, where a once-daily, three-hour sitting provides a “very intimate” happening, which fans hail as “the top dining experience in town”. It is tucked away up a staircase in the ‘nurturing’ environment of the Blue Mountain School – self-described as ‘a progressive vision and a physical place of contemplation’ (where one can spend a ton of money on clothes and other artisanal creations). The meal takes place in a bare terracotta chamber at a shared table, and “the opportunity to watch and interact with the chefs makes the experience so much more interesting”. “An ever-changing, multi-course tasting menu” is served: “inventive, challenging” and “exciting”. It’s “a brilliant concept” and one whose scary expense inspires not a single grumble from anyone commenting this year. And – breaking news… – with a recent change of policy, taking pics for your Insta feed is now not only allowed but encouraged.
4. Smoking Goat Thai restaurant in Shoreditch 64 Shoreditch High Street - E1
“Better Thai food than Thailand!” – Ben Chapman’s hip Shoreditch BBQ goes from strength to strength, with its “perfect and spicy” dishes; and a “slightly haphazard, rock ’n’ roll atmosphere when it’s busy” (i.e. mostly). “It’s a perfect place to celebrate with friends, as the food’s handy for sharing, staff are super friendly and there are great local craft beers on tap”. Top Menu Tip – “Sometimes the chilli can be a bit heavy handed, but those crunchy, fish sauce chicken wings are like catnip: utterly addictive”.
5. Brawn Mediterranean restaurant in Shoreditch 49 Columbia Road - E2
“By rights this place ought to have gone off by now, it’s been going too long still to be fashionable!”. But this East End sibling to the West End’s Terroirs – “a gorgeous modern space” on Columbia Road – shows no sign of going downhill like its stablemate. “Ed Wilson is back at the helm full time and the kitchen purrs like a Rolls”. “Every week brings different choices, but always with amazing products and a quality of small plates that’s without a doubt at the top level”. And there’s a “great selection of natural wines” from all over Europe. “Why doesn’t it have a Michelin star yet? They have delivered on an exceptional level of cooking for almost a decade now, and managed to remain creative, inventive and original in the meantime”.
6. Dishoom Indian restaurant in Shoreditch 7 Boundary St - E2
“There aren’t many restaurants where I will queue for nearly two hours to get a table but it’s worth the wait!” – This “madly popular” Mumbai-inspired chain “has taken London by storm” and is now the capital’s most mentioned chain. Even if the heady days of its Covent Garden debut are long gone, criticisms that it’s “too popular for its own good” are most notable by their absence; and instead its “a firm favourite” for its massive army of fans who feel “it never fails to impress”. The “buzzy, Indian, faux-retro vibe” (“I felt transported to the Parsi eating houses of Bombay in the 1960s”) helps set up a “crazy, frenetic atmosphere”; and even if the “noise levels are pretty bad”, “somehow it all comes together”. It helps that service is “always punctual and friendly” (respect: it’s such a busy chain), and the tapas-y food – though no longer as bleeding edge as it once seemed – still feels “vibrant”, with a selection of dishes that’s “far from run-of-the-mill” (“recommended by all our Indian friends!”), plus “an exceptional list of drinks”. Breakfast here is unexpectedly “a true thing of beauty” too: “so different” in a brilliant way. “You can book during the day, but not at night” – “the wait is tedious, but the buzzer system works well” and cocktails at the bar help blur time. In mid 2019, the chain acquired the former Jamie’s Italian site next to its original WC2 branch in order to expand its footprint. Top Tips – “black dahl is still the best” and “the bacon naan is the greatest restaurant breakfast dish of all time!”.
7. Flat Iron Steaks & grills restaurant in Shoreditch 77 Curtain Road - EC2
“They put the price up from £10 to £11, but it still can’t be faulted!” – for a “a great steak, without any frills” this “always busy, lively and buzzy” chain remains “a winning formula”: “it’s so nice to have a simple menu choice, and what they do, they do very well”; this includes the very impressively “friendly and professional service-with-a-smile”. One catch: “you have to put up with no bookings”, so “be prepared to queue”. But “if you want a great meal on a budget: go visit!”
8. Popolo Italian restaurant in Shoreditch 26 Rivington Street - EC2
“An amazing experience at a price that doesn’t hurt your wallet” – Jonathan Lawson’s “superb Italian food with Spanish and Moorish influences, and including brilliant pasta (just as good as at The River Café!)” is well-worth the trip to Shoreditch to discover his brilliantly casual and laid back little hole-in-the-wall, with counter seating at the open kitchen downstairs, and a small upstairs dining room.
9. Oklava Turkish restaurant in Shoreditch 74 Luke St - EC2
“Outstanding Turkish and Cypriot cuisine” – with an original, light spin that can come as a “real surprise” – wins plaudits for this Shoreditch venue. “Sitting at the counter watching the food being prepared is eye-opening; and owners (Selin Kiazim and Laura Christie) obviously love what they do”. “It’s not strictly vegetarian, but has many options if you are”.
10. Smokestak BBQ restaurant in Shoreditch 35 Sclater Street - E1
Some of “the best smoked meat in London” (including “excellent brisket”) is prepared on the charcoal in front of you, alongside “some fantastic sides” at David Carter’s rugged, southern US-style grill-house, just off Brick Lane. Just one complaint: “the room is nice, but smokey”.
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