In a previous post I recommended a fantastic Turkish restaurant near Aldgate east Station. Now that’s somewhat of an unusual pick for the area given that most other restaurants on Bricklane are Bengali. But food aside, here at the heart of Shoreditch you’ll find second hand stores, secret cinemas, weekend markets and Indian cash-and-carries. Or, the silicon roundabout. Shoreditch is known for both the up-and-coming and long-gone. It’s a place where you can see the layers of history at the same time as feeling the pull of the unknown.
There is two, both are situated on Bricklane, exactly next to each other. They are open 24/7, one serves warm baigels, manually applying your desired filling, the other one got them all ready and wrapped up for you. Both produce their beigels in the back of the shop, non-stop since 1974. The bakeries are residues from times when Bricklane was mostly a Jewish area.
About fifteen years back there was mostly Indian tailors on Bricklane, focussing on leather goods. One of the few remaining stores left is Oceanic Creations, which can be found on 168 Bricklane with jackets, hats, gloves and trousers from leather on sale. If you want to visit the past, visit in style and bring something to repair on site.
Once located near the baigel shops this mediatheque specialising in experimental cinema has moved around the corner it finally had its own cinema! Running since 1993 the physical database started to offer screenings, serve coffee and opened a bookshop on Sclater street. Independent cinema fills the public programme to attend most days of the week- alternatively browse their catalogue or in-house magazine called Vertigo during a nice cup of tea !
In 2013 a boutique with soft edged wooden towers of raw looking chocalate nuggets opened its doors. Chunky and rich in look and flavour the then new chocolate store Dark Sugars on Bricklane corner Sygnet street, showcased its owners gems and skills from Ghana in a fresh way. There is another, larger store now in her name, closer to the Truman Brewery and about seven times the size of the first one – I promise you’ll find your way in naturally !
It’s a sunday’s delight which by foot, will make you pass all of the places mentioned above and tuck into a bit of a private courtyard or perhaps the sublevel of a factory floor, depends which way you turn off Bricklane. The streetmarket’s popularity brought additions on private land, such as the Bricklane Up-market, carbootsales on a different plot across or people selling out of a car. Otherwise there is street food, street coffee, bike parts, broken bottles from Victorian times on sale, Japanese noodles and at least one Indian man who will offer peacock feathers to you. The more design oriented and save-from-rain foodies will love what Truman Brewery got on offer in one of their curated indoor markets just off Bricklane.