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Go on a Food Trail in East London

Home > London > Fun Things To Do | Food and Wine | Cafes
by Meryl K (subscribe)
I challenge myself everyday to beat the gloom of London's weather by searching out places and food that will provide spots of sunshine :)
Published July 7th 2012
Don't fancy a Lazy Sunday? Head out to East London and embark on a food (and shopping) trail.

Start your trail at Aldgate tube station, where Tubby Isaacs (situated on Goulston street, right around the corner of the tube station) has been selling jellied eels for almost a century. Grab yourself a bowl of eels, sprinkled lavishly with salt, pepper and chilli vinegar, and make your way to one of London's famous markets - Old Spitalfields on Brushfield Street.

Many writers before me have labelled Old Spitalfields as a must-see market, and while I somewhat disagree with this label, I do think this place is a must-go if you find yourself in the East London area.

Check out the stall Pilpel that does a mean pitta bread wrap of hummus, falafel, aubergine, plenty of salad and a hard-boiled egg. Right opposite Pilpel, there's a stall that sells Spider Lemonade (a mix of lemonade and ice-cream), which is frothy, light and quite delicious.

Pitta wrap with falafel, aubergine, salad and an egg

Spider Lemonade

While the clothing stalls might seem a bit of a tourist trap, go on and indulge in a bit of shopping anyway. Pick up a vintage looking printed dress, or a classic white tank top - price are not overly exorbitant.

For those who are fans of writer Jeanette Winterson (and if you are not one...seriously? Have you read Written on The Body? The Powerbook? Sexing the Cherry?), check out her shop Verde and Co. near Old Spitalfields Market, on 40 Brushfield Street. Grab a sandwich or quiche there, or buy some luxurious Belgium Pierre Marcolini chocolates.

Verde and Co

Leave Old Spitalfields and make your way to the Sunday UpMarket at the Old Truman Brewery.

Here, you'll find loads of cute trinkets and knick-knacks. I found a stall that sold wooden iPhone covers that came in either plain or more elaborately inked designs.

This is also where you can find food from all over the world: Pad Thai from Thailand, arepas (cornflour tacos) from Venezuela, a wide variety of Chinese dishes, and okonomiyaki (savoury pancake) from Japan, to name a few.

Do, however, give the Malaysian Pancake a miss. Coming from Singapore (Malaysia's neighbour, for the less geography-inclined), I was all excited to check out this 'Malaysian Pancake', only to realise that it was the usual 'Mee Chiang Kueh' that I could get back home for half the price.

Exit the Sunday UpMarket and find yourself on Brick Lane, home of the Boiler House Food Hall. Enter (for free, of course), and spend that 'admission fare' that you saved on goodies like Kinder Bueno Cheesecake, Indian belh puri, and many more.

Continue up Brick Lane where you'll spot a 24/7 bagel shop named Beigel Bake. Grab a smoked salmon and cream cheese bagel for only 1.95 or a warm salt beef one for those still feeling hungry.

After stuffing yourself with so much food, cross the road and rest your stomach and sore feet at Full Stop, a coffee place that possesses a quaint fireside and does a good Flat White.

Alternatively, walk back down Brick Lane and head to Vibe Bar for a night of drinks, hot dogs from Big Apple Hot Dogs (right outside Vibe Bar) and entertainment.

If you happen to follow this food trail on Sunday, 8th of July, pick this option and end your Sunday watching Roger Federer and Andy Murray slam it out on the Centre Court at Wimbledon. Can Murray really make history this year? Or will Federer bring home his 7th Wimbledon title? Only one way to find out!
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Why? For a productive Sunday
When: Sundays
Where: Old Spitalfields, Brick Lane, Sunday UpMarket
Cost: Depending on how much food you get
More articles by Meryl K
Your Comment
I was actually going to go to Spitafields Market today. I'll see what they have. Although, perhaps I won't go for jellied eels.
by Bastion Harrison (score: 4|12626) 3328 days ago
My favourite place to go is brick lane and spitalfields, so many different cultures and food can be cockney nosh - the worldwide nosh. love me eastend, and atmosphere is so friendly.
by linda (score: 0|2) 3349 days ago
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