In November of 2014, we went off-season to London. We focused on exploring small museums, artisan foods, ethnic restaurants, and the street art in East London. We were so mesmerized by the chaotic and eclectic vibe of East London from our 2014 street art tour that in the early fall of 2017 we decided to stay for a few days in this artsy area. The neighborhood is still filled with mom and pop shops, captivating scents of Indian/Pakistani food, and street art on and around every corner.
In 2014, we signed up for a highly educational and entertaining street art tour. Knowing how this area is in a constant state of flux, we booked another tour. Both tours were riveting because of the guides knowledge, perspective, and pride for East London’s ever changing neighborhood. Like a docent in a museum, these guides walked us through the sordid history, the local political conflicts, the interpretation of the art (both obvious and hidden), and the artist’s background. The street art was surprisingly different four years later!
Whetting your Appetite for Food and Fun
Both Alternative London and Free Tours by Foot offer belly filling foodie tours, pub crawls, and more.
Satiate your appetite at these 4 must eat stops in East London:
1. Beigel Bake (that is Yiddish for Bagel) rolls out the hot fresh dough all day long. Their signature bagel sandwiches is stacked with their house made salted beef (Corned Beef), mustard, and pickles.
2. Arzu Indian savories and treats offers some of the best “hole in the wall” eats outside of India. The friendly staff will help navigate you through their overwhelming selection of treats.
3. Poppies Fish and Chips, a 1950’s themed diner will get you hooked on its authentic, traditional British meal.
4. Indulge with Dark Sugars, it is a Ghana owned and sourced Chocolatier. The shop generously hands out samples of its artisanal confections. For coffee lovers, the staff will top off your Espresso beverage with hand-chopped white, milk and/or dark chocolate.
Two more fun things to do in East London:
1. For shopping higher or lower end, peruse Old Spitalfields Market for knick knacks, artisan food, and cafes/restaurants.
2. Take an eerie, silent self-guided, candlelight tour through the 18th century Dennis Sever’s House.
Encased in dust, deterioration, lots of trinkets, and even leftover food, it is uniquely preserved right down to the peeling plaster and hanging undergarments.
East London has changed a lot through the centuries as represented by a religious building that was once a Catholic church, a Synagogue, and now a Mosque. For centuries it has been an impoverished neighborhood with transient immigrants. Battles are being fought in this neighborhood because of rising real estate values and its proximity to the financial district.
Retaining its gritty street art scene has become an ongoing struggle, so I highly recommend
experiencing this living, interactive art scene before its history gets swallowed up by high-rise residential and office buildings.
Guest writer : Debbie of Food Guru Blog. Through our videos and blogs, we love sharing our food and fun from our local and global community. Hop aboard to get a taste of our food and travel adventures.
Share the art and pin this please!