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Landed a job in East London? Lucky you – you’ll never be short of things to eat, see and do around the East End.
Thanks to its array of restaurants, bars, shops and attractions, the area that includes Shoreditch, Stratford, Hackney and Whitechapel is populated by thousands of companies, big and small. Amongst others, East London is home to a high concentration of tech startups and tech distruptors - including TransferWise, GoCardless, Citymapper and Depop.
If you’re considering graduate jobs in the area, or you’re already working in the East End, check out our graduate’s guide to East London - including things to do in Shoreditch, Hackney, Stratford and more. If you're working in North London, check out our Graduate's Guide To North London instead.
East London is well known for its cultural diversity – and likewise, its array of food options. Wherever you’re based in the East, you’ll be surrounded by cafés, restaurants and market stalls selling food from all over the world – perfect if you’re heading out for a quick lunch break or a post-work dinner. Check out our recommendations for where to eat in East London:
Beigel Bake, Shoreditch – Shoreditch’s Brick Lane is home to a huge display of tantalising food options, but if you’ve landed a graduate job in the area and you're wondering where to eat in Shoreditch, Beigel Bake is a must-visit during your lunch hour. The queue make take a few minutes, but once you’ve got your bagel in tow, just eat and enjoy while wandering back to the office. 159 Brick Ln, London E1 6SB
Sawmill Café, Stratford – If you’re working in Stratford, you have to pay Sawmill a visit. A hugely popular family run bakery and café, Sawmill café has won the Time Out Love London award three years running; serving up a range of vegetarian, meat and fish dishes for Stratford’s professional crowd. 51-53 W Ham Ln, London E15 4PH
Bistrotheque, Cambridge Heath – If you’re working around Cambridge Heath or Bethnal Green, and you’re looking for somewhere a little more upmarket, Bistrotheque is the perfect post-payday treat. Located in an old warehouse, their all-day menu boasts delicious cocktails and Instagram-able brunches – as well as a 3-course evening meal for a fairly reasonable (by London standards), £17. 23-27 Wadeson St, London E2 9DR
Palm Vaults, Hackney – For those who have landed graduate jobs in Hackney, you’re in luck – it’s home to a range of eateries to suit every palette. For a light sit-down lunch, check out Palm Vaults – Mare Street’s very own tropical oasis. Add it to your list of 'where to eat in East London'! 411 Mare St, London E8 1HY
Tayyabs, Whitechapel – With an abundance of co-working spaces around the Whitechapel area, the food scene has responded to the requirements of young professionals. Much loved by those working in the area, Tayyabs is one you have to visit with your colleagues after work. BYOB? Check. Starter and a main for less than £10? Double check. 83-89 Fieldgate St, Whitechapel, London E1 1JU
The East End is often viewed as London’s cultural hub – overrun with independent shops, markets, pubs, and galleries. However you want to spend your time, East London has the answer.
The Castle Cinema, Homerton – Originally opened in 1913 and recently revived as a modern cinema, The Castle has become a must-visit for those working in East London. Located right by Homerton station, this independent cinema is a great way to relax after a stressful day. 64 - 66 Brooksby's Walk, Clapton, London E9 6DA
East End Thrift Store, Stepney Green – Fancy a spot of lunch-break shopping without the hefty price tag? The motto of East End Thrift Store is to provide good value vintage – so if you’re working in the area, pop in to see what treasures you might find. 4 Assembly Passage, Stepney Green, London E1 4UT
BallieBallerson, Old Street – If you're after things to do in London, why not frolic around in the original ball pit cocktail bar. It's a staple of East London nightlife, and a classic for team socials, or bonding with your colleagues on a Friday night. 97-113 Curtain Rd, London EC2A 3BS
Roof East, Stratford – Young professionals love a rooftop bar, and Stratford’s Roof East doesn’t disappoint. Opening on Easter weekend, it’s the perfect spot for relaxing, sunning and looking out over the city after a long day at work. Stratford Multi Storey Car Park, Great Eastern Rd, London E15 1BB
BoxPark, Shoreditch – Whether you’re looking for a bite to eat or in the market or a new outfit, BoxPark is the answer to all your prayers. A ‘pop-up mall’ for independent fashion and lifestyle businesses, it’s the perfect place to spend your hard-earned pay check and socialise with your new colleagues. 2-10 Bethnal Green Rd, London E1 6GY
Contrary to popular belief, not everything in London has to cost you money. East London offers a range of free activities to suit everybody – whatever your budget. In our list of London things to do, here’s 12 free things to do in East London:
East London isn’t currently known for its great transport links - particularly not the Underground.
While we wait patiently for the Elizabeth Line to arrive (connecting Liverpool Street, Whitechapel & Stratford!), there are plenty of other budget-friendly ways of getting around East London.
Buses – If you’re working in East London, buses will become your best friend. With several 24 hour buses, they are a simple and cost-effective method of transport, whatever time of day. Feeling lost? Use Citymapper to navigate which buses you need to get on.
Overground – East London is well-connected by the Overground – which, as an added bonus, is often a lot less busy than the London Underground.
Bike – Santander bikes can be a great way to travel around East London – especially given the number of canals and pathways in the area. If you haven’t got a bike of your own, hire one! Costing around £2 a day, this is one of the cheaper ways of getting around the East End of the city, as well as being one of the quickest methods of transport in London.
Walk - If you can, walk everywhere. On a graduate budget, you can save on public transport and taxis by setting aside the time to walk to and from work. Plus, you’ll be able to make a mental note of all the places you need to visit on your walking tour of things to do in Shoreditch, Hackney, Stratford and so on.
For those who’ve scored graduate jobs in East London, you’ll never fall short of things to do, eat and see in this area of the city. Whether you’re working in Shoreditch, Hackney, or further afield, East London is the ideal place to live and work.