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London? Way too expensive. That’s certainly the case when you don’t know where to go and just follow the tourist circuit. But those who have gotten the mandatory sightseeing over with and want to know where the local hipsters hang out should leave behind Piccadilly and co. and head for Hackney, Brixton or Shoreditch. Follow travel blogger Angelika had experience the perfect day out through the hippest parts of London.
For a cheap and quick breakfast, head to Beigel Bake on Brick Lane and order a sumptuous bagel to take away, followed by a coffee to go from one of the cafés on either side of the shop. For a more copious brunch, I recommend the Foxcroft & Ginger in Whitechapel or one of the Breakfast Club cafés. I’ve had great breakfasts in both locations.
“Beigel Bake”, 159 Brick Lane
“Foxcroft & Ginger”, 69-79 Mile End Road
“The Breakfast Club” (Hoxton), 2-4 Rufus Street
My first choice for shopping or just browsing is Brick Lane. Here and in the surrounding streets you’ll find small, individual shops such as The Laden Showroom where local designers sell their creations at discounted prices. The Old Truman Brewery next door turns into a vintage paradise on the weekend. If you can’t find anything in these markets, it might be time to get some new glasses. If you get a little light headed from hunger like I did, there are tons of good street food trucks around for a snack.
“The Laden Showroom”, 103 Brick Lane
“Old Truman Brewery”, 91 Brick Lane
No trip to London is complete without curry. Some claim that curry is the true national dish. In East London, it seems there’s an Indian restaurant on every corner. A little ways off from the busy main road, the Needoo Grill serves authentic Punjabi cuisine at unbeatable prices… and by the chef in person.
“Nedoo Grill”, 87 New Rd
4. Good weather, bad weather
If the sun’s out, head to Victoria Park for a picnic. If it’s raining, there are endless free and fascinating museums to visit, most of which only charge for their temporary exhibitions.
The absolute best pizza I’ve had in London was in Franco Manca. The ingredients are regionally sourced, service is swift and friendly, and the prices reasonable… and the sourdough is a poem in itself. The main branch is in central Brixton – the perfect spot from which to explore the neighbourhood’s cool bars.
“Franco Manca” (Brixton), Unit 4, Market Row
Right across the street, for example, in the stylish Seven at Brixton, excellent cocktails such as the Lemon Cheesecake Martini can be had for only 5 GBP. Further north in the epicentre of Hackney, the eccentric and laid back Cat & Mutton serves good beers and cider.
PHOTOS: Angelika Schwaff, Seven at Brixton, Tupungato/Shutterstock.com, Istockphoto, Ryzhkov