Hardens Guide to the Best Restaurants in London Shoreditch
Hardens guides have spent 30 years compiling reviews of the best Shoreditch restaurants. On Hardens.com you'll find details and reviews of 75 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. Bao Noodle Shop Taiwanese restaurant in Shoreditch 1 Redchurch Street - E2
“A hole-in-the-wall type place, but some of the best buns in London!” – these “hipsterish”, if “haphazard” Taiwanese cafés in Soho, Fitzrovia, and now also Borough, have made a big name for their “sensationally tasty” steamed buns and other “inventive, delicious plates”: superb “homely food at very reasonable prices”. The new SE1 branch, opened in Spring 2019, has a grab-and-go delivery hatch and a karaoke room upstairs; and both here and in Fitzrovia you can book – at Soho you run the gauntlet of a big queue and it’s more “rushed”.
2. The Light Bar British, Modern restaurant in Shoreditch 233 Shoreditch High Street - E1
This iconic Shoreditch venue has risen once more from the ashes. Originally it was set to reopen in Spring 2020 with a bar and restaurant (ground floor Engine Hall / mezzanine Copper Bar); open for al fresco dining from April 2021. The Timber Loft, an "epic" top floor bar & restaurant will open from 21 June.
3. Apothecary Japanese restaurant in Shoreditch 36 Charlotte Road - EC2
On the sizeable Shoreditch site that was Merchant’s Tavern (RIP), this mid-2021 newcomer is nowadays a 130-cover Japanese izakaya, with more of an emphasis on drinking (and DJs) than of old. It comes complete with open kitchen and robata counter, serving skewers, sushi and steamed buns to soak up the hot or cold sake, beers and cocktails.
4. Maya Mexican/TexMex restaurant in Shoreditch The Hoxton Shoreditch, 1 Willow Street - EC2A
Breezing in from West Hollywood, Soho House’s latest opening is a groovy looking 80-seater plus loungey terrace, which sits on the glam rooftop (lots of steel, glass and greenery) of the Hoxton Hotel. Executive chef Giacomo Pettinari has created a menu of Baja-Mexican dishes and a roving guacamole cart is all part of the fun. Cocktails a-gogo too, of course.
5. 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 two years ago, 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”. Until at least January 2021 Tomos has already taken up a Brat residency at Climpson's Arch in Hackney (374 Helmsley Place, E8 3SB) – a particular brunch mecca.
6. Mãos British, Modern 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.
7. 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”.
8. 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”.
9. 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!”
10. 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.
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