Looking for markets, museums and meditation centres, or award-winning bars, breweries and all-day breakfasts? Look no further; Bethnal Green’s got the lot.
Family-run East End caff E. Pellicci has been serving Bethnal Green locals since 1900 – including the notorious Kray brothers, which is why you may recognise it from the film Legend. Today it’s a relaxed and super-friendly place serving a range of great value British and Italian dishes, alongside top-level banter from owner Nevio.
If you can’t get into E. Pellicci, don’t despair; just stroll three doors down to Cafe 338 for your Full English fix. Check out more East London breakfast goals here.
The ultimate in industrial chic, the Hackney (originally Hackney Coffee Company) is a work, lunch and coffee space, a cocktail/craft beer/wine bar and now a popular events and wedding venue. It is deceptively roomy and absolutely gorgeous: soaring 4m high ceilings, loads of natural light, a courtyard, hanging plants and lush greenery against exposed brick walls. As if that wasn’t cool enough, you can also follow them on Spotify to take their mellow playlist home.
Columbia Road Flower Market
Open every Sunday between 8am and around 3pm-ish, Columbia Road Flower Market transforms the area into a sensory explosion of colour, fragrance, and busy chatter. You can buy everything from bedding plants and potted trees to bunches of cut flowers and houseplants.
Stalls will pack up and leave as they sell out, so getting there later may limit your choices. However, it’s also a great Cheapo hack, as prices drop towards the end of the afternoon – particularly for the cut flowers.
The Flower Market takes place on Sundays, but the shopkeepers also put on other events during the year.
London Buddhist Centre
Drop in to have a look round, join a meditation class or book some lunchtime yoga. The centre relates Buddhist teaching and meditation to contemporary life; it is a registered charity so get your karma on with a donation. Alternatively, head down the road to Lama’s Pyjamas, their cool charity shop full of vintage finds which helps support the centre.
If you’re after more options for a budget wardrobe boost, pop into other local finds Vintage Heaven and Beyond Retro. If you’re looking further afield, our guide to the best Posh Charity Shops is here for you.
Recently voted the best cocktail bar in the UK by the Top 50 Cocktail Bars list, Satan’s Whiskers prides itself on its neighbourhood vibe. Expect all the classic cocktails plus a daily changing menu and a legendary hip-hop playlist.
Victor Wynd Museum of Curiosities
A handwritten warning on the door says,’Those easily offended by death & decay should stay away.’ You may also want to think twice if you’re not a fan of imaginative taxidermy, antique erotica, occult items, fairy skeletons and animals in jars. However, if this hasn’t put you off, prepare yourself to see something (or several things) that will make your jaw drop. The museum ‘seeks not to educate but to subvert’; it’s eccentric in the extreme, but fascinating.
If you really want the full experience, book a guided tour with Viktor Wynd himself; it includes a complimentary drink from their absinthe parlour.
Formerly the V&A Museum of Childhood, the Young V&A is due to open this summer as a transformed space for young people and families to get creative. We’ll let you know as soon as there are more details.
Boxcar Brewery & Taproom is nestled under the railway arches where all good breweries and taprooms are to be found.