Brick Lane has a lot more to offer than its proximity to the historic Jack the Ripper killings. Once a low income part of town, it recently began to bounce and become a top London tourist attraction. Whether it’s food, shopping, history or culture, brick lane has it all and is a perfect day trip in London for the whole family.
Brick Lane is the gem of East London. The crowds flock to this part of the city to have fun and shop in the numerous vintage stores and hip boutiques. Filled with pubs, shops and galleries, this area is a great place to hang out with friends or to stock up on items that you need. You can check out Blitz, Rokit, and East Gallery, Beyond Vintage, Brick Lane Vintage Market, Cold Winter as a few options for shopping and galleries. For food and drink, head over to Cinnamon, The Brickhouse, Big Chill or visit the Brick Lane Food Market on Sundays.Brick Lane is famous for its streets being alive with musicians, and vivid street art. It brings the streets to life at all times of the day and night. With all these options, you can easily spend a whole day on Brick Lane.
Brick lane is a rich in history as it is in sights to see. Since the 17th century, waves of immigrants have helped populate the area and develop its culture. The French Huguenots were first, and through them, the area became a centre for weaving, tailoring and the developing clothing industry. As one strolls the roads leading into brick lane, evidence of iron signs hanging over doorways indicated that a Huguenot taylor may have lived there centuries ago. The second wave of immigrants were both Irish and Ashkenazi Jew, The Sunday markets littering the brick lane area are actually derivatives of special dispensation given by the government to the Jewish community in the 19th century. At the time, there were no Sunday markets open because of the Christian observance of Sabbath. The final wave of immigrants came in the 20th century from Bengal. Many Bangladeshi immigrants to Brick Lane were from the Greater Sylhet region. These settlers helped shape Bangladeshi migration to Britain. As you walk brick lane today, the bangladeshi food stalls spill incredible aromas into the streets so be sure to stop in and see these iconic eateries!
Evident of these migrations is a The Brick Lane Mosque. The Mosque adapted with the chain of migration first being known as a christian chapel named “ La Neuve Eglise”, when the French inhabited brick lane, and later being changed into a Jewish synagogue. When the synagogue was moved to North London, the building was converted to accommodate the growing Muslim population in the 1970’s.
Among the historically relevant buildings to see on Brick Lane, this top London tourist attraction is also home to some of the best food in the Capital. London Top Sights operates some of the best tours for visiting foodies. Historically important to anglo-asian fusion cuisine, brick lane has an amazing array of Indian eateries lining the streets. To name a few options, Brick lane Brasserie serves a mixture of Indian and Bangladeshi food, including fish specialties, shatkora chicken and lamb ureebisi gatta, as well as a large range of traditional curries. City Spice bills itself as the ‘King of Brick Lane’. The menu is a mix of Mughal, Bengali and classic Indian dishes with tandoori roopchanda and chana makhoni. Meraz Café Just off Brick Lane on Hanbury Street,has a wonderful curry selection and lastly, Dishoom shoreditich serves a unique dish called lamb raan (spiced and flame-grilled lamb leg, which also comes burger-style in a sourdough bun), while the house black daal, pav bhaji and breakfast bacon naan are also much-loved.
Besides the savory foods of India, Brick Lane is also home to the cereal killer cafe which is kid friendly and serves nostalgic american cereals in a fun setting. Also, in a throwback to Brick Lanes Jewish roots in the mid 20th century, brick lane is home to two iconic bagel shops. Both the Beigel Shop and Beigel Bake.The two shops, referred to by locals as “the white one” and “the yellow one,” are known for having the best bagels in London, and a literally doors away from one another. The best part about theses two brick lane institutions are that you can enjoy lunch for roughly under £2.
No matter what you enjoy doing, eating, wearing or learning about, Brick Lane has something for the whole family to enjoy.
For more information about tours to this great part of London, click here