Looking for the latest dining trend? Chances are you will find it here. Home to some of the city’s coolest neighbourhoods and most coveted clubs, East London has confidently shrugged off its industrial past in favour of fashion-forward shops and alternative event spaces. From Dalston to Shoreditch, it's "anything goes" attitude has seen former warehouses and factories transformed into some of the best late-night haunts in town while newly built skyscrapers offer sustenance to city slickers around the clock.
1.Duck and Waffle
Late night blurs into early morning at this 24/7 sky-high venue. Having been whisked to the 40th floor of 110 Bishopsgate in seconds, diners recharge and refuel over cocktails and sharing plates of chef Dan Doherty’s signature waffles – topped with crispy leg confit and fried duck egg, and doused in mustard maple syrup. From sundown to sunrise, the views over London’s twinkling skyline are equally Instagram-able.
2.Randy’s Wing Bar
Flying the flag for fried chicken, free-range British birds feature in a menu that celebrates wings from around the world – from Kansas (slathered with barbecue sauce) and Casablanca (marinated in sumac and sprinkled with pomegranate seeds and sumac) to Gangnam (a sweet and sticky nod to the stylish Seoul suburb) and Chinese-inspired Gong Bao (Sichuan pepper and pickled pineapple). Still peckish? There’s always the smoked paprika chicken scratchings.
3.The Laughing Heart
For people who like their after-hours feasting to come with a side of culinary flair this Hackney kitchen is open until 1am from Wednesday to Saturday, while the dining room and organic wine bar pushes on till 2am. Description isn’t the menu’s strong point. But don’t let that fool you – each dish is the result of talented techniques and comes to the table looking so stylish it’s seems a shame to spoil it. Grab another bottle at the on-site off-licence to keep the evening going into the (even) earlier hours.
Housed in a former religious mission, carnivores commune from across the city to worship at the altar of Scott Collins and Yianni Papoutsis (founders of the MeatLiquor brand). Stained glass windows vibrate to a grungy rock soundtrack at the group's Hoxton outpost, were late-night revellers get messy with beef and chicken burgers drenched in Dead Hippie sauce and chilli-loaded fries. Veggie and vegan options are available and, if you need to repent, there’s always the old-school photo booth that masquerades as a confessional.
Catering to nocturnal Londoners’ penchant for pizza this buzzing Italian restaurant serves everything from antipasti to zucchini fritti until 2am Thursday to Saturday, and until midnight the rest of the week. Housed in an old tea warehouse, perch at the bar or grab a table and kick things off with cheese and charcuterie from the deli counter. Alternatively, order your dinner to click-and-collect the second it leaves the wood-fired oven.
Once Gordon Ramsay’s sidekick today a world-class chef in her own right, Angela Hartnett’s East London restaurant makes for a grown-up addition to Shoreditch’s dining scene. The sprawling space might be filled with history – this Victorian warehouse was once an apothecary – but the British, Spanish and Italian dishes are thoroughly modern. For a chef’s-eye view on proceedings, book a spot at the Kitchen Counter.
Open until at least midnight every day of the week, and 3am on Friday and Saturdays, this revamped East End boozer entertains hot-desking freelancers by day and gin-sipping socialites by night. It’s all about the cheap thrills with 12 wines on tap and sourdough pizzas flying out of the all-hours kitchen. But far from being a place to finish the evening, a visit to this multifunctional shabby-chic space is an event in its own right – it’s also home to its own distillery.
Serving until precisely 23:29 – according to their website – this modern brasserie’s menu takes gourmet guilty pleasures and gives them a posh twist. Expect toasted sandwiches, chicken and parsley pie and short-rib mac and cheese. If a pre- or post-party detox is in order, better stick to one of the East London’s Juice Co.’s creations – wellness-boosting presses feature anything from schizandra berries to activated charcoal and coconut nectar. Whatever it takes to get you through the night.
Experience Bangkok’s smoking barbecue scene without leaving Shoreditch. Introducing Londoners to the late-night joys of aharn glam lao (Thai for ‘drinking food’) when he opened his shoebox-sized Soho restaurant a few years ago, chef Ben Chapman recently fired up the charcoal-fuelled wok burners at this second – bigger – venue. Locally sourced meat and fish-led dishes strike a perfect balance of sweet, sticky and spicy, and are best washed down with plenty of beer.
Built in 1905, today this tram generator building rubs shoulders with some of Shoreditch’s most electrifying performance venues, including Kamio at Red Gallery and Cargo. Gear up for a night of live music or wind down after an exhibition in this art-studded, high-ceilinged space. The menu puts all things cow and chicken front and centre, and is open until midnight from Wednesday to Saturday, and 11pm on Monday and Tuesday.