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The graduate’s guide to London: Things to do in East London 👀


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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 disruptors – including TransferWiseGoCardlessCitymapper 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.


Where to eat in East London

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


Where to go in East London

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 paycheck and socialise with your new colleagues. 2-10 Bethnal Green Rd, London E1 6GY


12 free things to do in East London

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 are 12 free things to do in East London:


  1. Walk around the Olympic Village
  2. Take a picnic to Victoria Park
  3. Visit The V&A Museum of Childhood in Bethnal Green
  4. Swim in the heated outdoor pool at London Fields Lido
  5. Wander around Hackney City Farm
  6. Peruse the Whitechapel Gallery
  7. Check out the street art on Brick Lane and do some vintage window shopping
  8. Visit Nomadic Gardens and take in the quirky displays
  9. Explore the Roman remains of London Wall
  10. Walk down the bustling Columbia Road on a Saturday or Sunday when the flower market is on
  11. Pop in to an exhibition at Shoreditch Rich Mix
  12. Get in tune with nature at the Ecology Park


How to get around 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.


  • Travel around the city by bus

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.


  • Take the London overground

East London is well-connected by the Overground – which, as an added bonus, is often a lot less busy than the London Underground.


  • Travel on a bike around London

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 around London city

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.

Do you have a recommendation for places to eat in East London? Maybe you know the best things to do in Shoreditch? Get in touch on Facebook or Twitter.

Check out the latest graduate jobs in London – or for more advice, check out our graduate blog.


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