If you know anything about Whitechapel, it probably has something to do with Jack the Ripper, and, poor Whitechapel, it’s not the nicest thing to be known for. But there’s more to E1 than murderers, we promise. So hop on the Overground or the Hammersmith and City line (if you dare) and jump off at Whitechapel. Just don’t go hunting for a white chapel, because it no longer exists…
1. The Blind Beggar Beer Garden
The Blind Beggar is famed for its beer garden and its gangster shootings (it was the spot that Ronnie Kray shot George Cornell in 1966). It doesn’t look like much from the outside, or the inside really, but the beer garden is a dream. There’s tons of space, a giant buddha and a koi carp pond. Not what you’d expect from an East London pub, but there’s no surprise that it’s won awards for ‘best outdoor space in London’.
337 Whitechapel Rd, E1 1BU
2. Whitechapel Gallery
Located directly beside Aldgate East station (if you pick the right exit), Whitechapel Gallery is a brilliant place to get your artsy fix and feel a little bit cultured. They don’t have any permanent exhibitions but they’re always getting new and exciting artists to showcase their work. Plus, the rolling programme gives you an excuse to visit again and again. They also have really great cake in the cafe and if you’re a bit of a bookworm, their bookshop is a good ‘un.
77-82 Whitechapel High St, E1 7QX
Grounded is the perfect place to grab a coffee and catch up with your emails. They serve amazing fresh food, have super speedy wifi and the staff are lovely.
9 Whitechapel Rd, E1
4. The Stable
If you’re a cider fan, you’ve been going to the wrong places (unless you’ve been going here). The Stable has more than 60 ciders behind the bar and the staff seem to know all there is to know about them. Sweet, dry, cloudy, crisp… they have it all, and then some. Just be careful if you ask for a “surprise” because it might not be of the pleasant variety (speaking from experience here). You can get a tasting board of 5 ciders if you’re not sure what to choose, and they also do exceedingly good pizzas and pies.
16-18 Whitechapel Rd, E1 1EW
5. Jack The Ripper
If you were a serial killer in the 19th century, you probably lived in Whitechapel. There are plenty of horror stories but Jack’s is the most famous, and people love to learn about his gruesome acts. If you wander around the area at about 7pm, you’ll see masses of people tracing the steps of the Whitechapel Murderer. You’ll know exactly who they are because they’ll be listening to a guy dressed in an awful outfit who is chatting excitedly and pointing at walls.
You may have already heard of Tayyab’s, but if you haven’t you’ll be glad you’re hearing about it now. Trust us on that one. It’s proper punjabi cuisine, so there’s not a korma or a chicken tikka masala in sight (if you’re tutting at this point, then this isn’t the place for you). It’s BYOB and the lamb chops are cracking! Just a heads up — people queue for hours for this place, so try and book ahead.
83-89 Fieldgate Street, E1 1JU
7. Genesis Cinema
Genesis is a lovely independent cinema that charges less than the price of a pint to watch a film. If you want sofas, blankets and table service it’s a wee bit pricier (obviously) but probably worth it for a cosy date night.
93-95 Mile End Rd, E1 4UJ
8. Dirty Burger
Okay so we know that Dirty Burger isn’t exclusive to Whitechapel, but it’s always worth a mention. Plus, this ones got a Chicken Shop, too. The burgers are ridiculously good, the chicken is clucking fantastic and the onion fries are also pretty tasty. What else do we need to say to convince you?
27a Mile End Road, E1 4TP
9. Brick Lane
Not strictly Whitechapel, but it starts (or finishes?) in Whitechapel so we’re adding it to the list. Brick Lane is a hipster haven full of vintage shops, street art and bagels. It’s also a famously good place to go for a curry, although we’re still a bit wary of that claim as everywhere is allegedly “the best” and there’s always a really eager guy stood outside begging you to come in.
Feature image: The City Owl