Aldgate is right in the middle of major redevelopment, The Aldgate Project due to end in 2017. It’s in the east London borough of Tower Hamlets but sits on the cusp of the city so it’s where business, old London and hipsterland converge. It’s a primarily concrete, urban area which will soon have more public green space, improved pedestrian and cycle routes.
For now, stopping off at Aldgate East tube is one of the best ways to get to the famous Brick Lane. A lot of the curry houses here are BYO, and there are plenty of deals to be had, so feel free to barter as it’s cheaper than any of the many bars. There is always plenty to do, Rough Trade East frequently put on free in-store gigs, and Vibe Bar and 93 Feet East are great for small gig nights too. Weekends are perfect for market mooching, and you can subsist on tasty treats from various stalls at the Sunday Upmarket. Every night is like a weekend around here, especially in summer when it’s street beer central so if you do make your tipsy way back to the tube, grab a Bagel (or Beigel) at Beigel Bake for famously cheap carb-based food but prepared for a queue and service without a smile.