Brick Lane – a guide for things to do in this vibrant part of London in 2023


We've published guides about lots of smaller areas of large cities such as North Laine in Brighton, and highlighted how often these areas are like separate mini-communities within the city.

In London, people will often talk about areas like Camden and Richmond, but we feel the Brick Lane area of the city is very underrated.

This vibrant and culturally diverse street in the East End of London runs from Bethnal Green to Whitechapel, and is known for markets, striking street art, and lots of delicious food. There is real energy in this compact area, and we think it is really worth experiencing for yourself. The area is so culturally diverse that it is often referred to as 'Banglatown'.

This guide will highlight the best things to see and do along Brick Lane for anyone planning to visit in 2023. Let's get into it:

Where is Brick Lane?

As we mentioned in our introduction you'll find Brick Lane in the East End of London, running through the boroughs of Tower Hamlets and Hackney.

Bethnal Green lies to the North and Whitechapel to the South. We have a section at the end detailing how to get here from different parts of London.

Why is it called 'Brick Lane'?

The reason the area is called 'Brick Lane' is that there was once a series of brick kilns located in the area, which were used to create bricks to rebuild London after the Great Fire. Thus, the name 'Brick Lane' was born.

What is there to see and things to do in Brick Lane?

As we mentioned in our introduction, despite the relatively small size of the area, you've got plenty to see and do in and around Brick Lane. Here are some of the highlights:

Brick Lane Market

If there's one thing to visit during your time in Brick Lane, it's the Brick Lane market.
You'll find it to the north of The Old Truman Brewery and it runs between 8am and 2pm every Sunday. Here you'll find people selling an interesting mix of bric-a-brac, with everything from furniture and records to vintage clothing and jewellery on offer. But it's the food which really draws people to this market every weekend, with an amazing selection of street food vendors always at the market. From Korean fried chicken to Venezuelan arepas, there's something for everyone at the market.
Despite the name, the stalls are no longer technically actually on Brick Lane but are on Sclater Street and Cheshire Street. Just a heads up for when you visit! Learn more here -

Enjoy an excellent curry

As a hub of London's Bangladeshi community, Brick Lane has always been famed for its many authentic curry restaurants.
Brick Lane is known as the curry capital of London, with a wealth of delicious and authentic Indian and Bangladeshi restaurants to choose from. Aladin has been serving up delicious curries for over 30 years, and is a great place to head to for traditional dishes like spicy lamb vindaloo and creamy chicken korma.
Another popular restaurant in the area is Sheba, which has been serving up delicious Bangladeshi cuisine since 1974. Their chicken tikka masala is famous, as is the tender lamb rogan josh. They also offer a range of vegetarian and vegan options.
If you're looking for a more upscale dining experience, then Cinnamon Kitchen is definitely worth a visit. This contemporary Indian restaurant offers a modern take on traditional dishes, with a focus on using high-quality, seasonal ingredients. Other notable curry restaurants in the area include Tayyabs, which is known for its mouth-watering lamb chops, and Brick Lane Brasserie, which offers a range of delicious vegetarian and vegan options.
Getting a curry is one of the quintessential brick lane things to do.

Admire the street art

Artists from all over the world and the UK come here to Brick Lane to paint, safe in the knowledge that people will come to admire it and it will add to the vibrancy of the area.
In recent years, artists such as Banksy, D*Face, and Ben Eine have come to the area to create art.
An artist known as Phlegm has created a number of very beautiful pieces in the area, with the monochrome painting on Heneage Street being our favourite. If you're looking for a more traditional place to admire some amazing art, the Whitechapel Gallery is just around the corner from Brick Lane is very interesting to visit.
If you're short of cash then this is also one of the very best free things to do in brick lane.

Explore the shops

One of the standout features of Brick Lane is its collection of independent shops and boutiques.
For fashion lovers, there are a number of vintage shops that offer an array of unique and one-of-a-kind pieces. Beyond Retro, for example, is a popular destination for vintage clothing enthusiasts, while Rokit offers a mix of retro and modern fashion.
For those who prefer more contemporary styles, there are also a number of independent designer boutiques in the area, such as Labour and Wait, which specializes in timeless and functional pieces. Aside from fashion, Brick Lane is also home to a range of other shops worth visiting.
The Sunday Upmarket is a particularly popular destination for foodies, with over 50 food stalls offering everything from vegan treats to international cuisine. There are also a number of bookstores (like the famous Brick Lane Bookshop, pictured), record shops, and art galleries in the area.

Grab a drink and a bite to eat

Brick Lane is a dream for people looking to head somewhere for a nice drink or a tasty bite to eat, with a number of cool options available. The Brick Lane Beigel Bake, a 24 hour which has been serving up delicious, freshly baked bagels since 1977.
Their signature salt beef bagel is a must-try, and their menu also features a variety of other fillings, including smoked salmon and cream cheese. For something a little more upscale, head to Dishoom, which offers a modern take on traditional Bombay cafe cuisine. Their menu features a range of flavorful dishes, including their famous bacon naan rolls and spicy black daal.
If you're looking for a great bar, then the Big Chill is definitely worth a visit. This trendy spot offers a range of craft cocktails and beers, as well as delicious bar snacks. Another popular bar in the area is The Old Truman Brewery that we mentioned earlier, which is housed in a historic brewery building and offers a range of drinks, including their own microbrews.

How to get to Brick Lane?


It's pretty straightforward to get to Brick Lane, and you've got plenty of options depending on how you choose to travel.


If you want to take the subway, you can head to either Aldgate East station or Liverpool Street Station, both of which are about 10 minutes walk away from Brick Lane.


To get to Brick Lane by bus, there are several routes that stop near the area, including the 8 and the 55 from the West End, the 26 and the 48 from East London, and the 47 and the 149 from South London.
Hopefully, this guide has inspired you to visit this brilliant area of London. As we mentioned, we have guides about other areas of UK cities including North Laine and Rottingdean in Brighton, as well as Liverpool's Chinatown and Southsea in Portsmouth.

Finn is the editor of You Well and has been writing about travel, health, and more for over 10 years.

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