8 delicious things you have to try on London’s Brick Lane plus a recipe to try at home


8 delicious things you have to try on London's Brick Lane
So many things to try (Picture: Peter Watson/Getty)

The diverse food culture of Brick Lane has become even more tantalising over the past few years and it’s easily one of the best markets in London.

Famed for the largest concentration of curry houses, this foodie hub not only houses a permanent, winding street full of restaurants and eateries, but it’s also at the cutting edge of street food.

From Shoreditch to Whitechapel, you’ll find well over 200 food stalls over the weekend, offering practically everything your heart desires.

Here, I’ve rounded up eight of my top Brick Lane eats.

Beigel Shop’s salt beef beigel

(Picture: Peter Watson)

Brick Lane bagels – or beigels as they are called – are one of main attractions of this famous street.

Strips of Beigel Shop’s salt beef, cosily nestled on a freshly baked bagel, and dressed in mustard with pickles on the side, is one of the tastiest things you’ll want once you’ve had one.

Beigel Shop’s baked cheesecake

baked cheesecake
(Picture: Peter Watson)

While you’re busy polishing off your Beigel, leave room for dessert because this cheesecake is simply divine.

Baked the traditional way, it is dense and rich with a soft, imperceptibly almond-flavoured base.

The natural flavours of the cream cheese really sing with hints of vanilla and it’s not overly sweet. A must try.

Cafe 1001’s roasted cauliflower with a pomegranate dressing

Cafe 1001's toasted cauliflower with a pomegranate dressing
(Picture: Peter Watson)

This simple dish is great or vegetarians and meat eaters alike.

The roasted cauliflower florets mixed with roasted and crushed hazelnuts and a sweet, tart pomegranate molasses dressing is hard to resist – especially on a warm day.

Dark Sugars’ flambe Cognac truffles

chocolate truffles
(Picture: Peter Watson)

Dark Sugars is easily the best artisan handmade chocolate shop in east London.

You’ll feel like Charlie in Charlie And The Chocolate Factory when you step inside to try their signature truffles.

Cocoa sourced from Ghana is used for their products so it’s a sweet little taste of Ghanaian cocoa beans.

Sticky Wings’ Buffalo wings with blue cheese dip

(Picture: Peter Watson)

The name of this dish says it all.

This American-style diner makes some of the tastiest wings I’ve tried in England; deep-fried until crispy, and coated in a lip-smacking buttery, tart and tangy sauce.

Pair it with their house blue cheese dip and you’ll see why the owner and chef learned his craft in the US.

Alauddin Sweets’ kalojaam

(Picture: Peter Watson)

If you haven’t tried Bangladeshi sweets, you’re in for a treat.

These oblong-shaped milk-based sweets are deep-fried until brown and soaked in syrup, and one of my absolute favourites.

Perfect with a cup of sweet, milky tea or take them home, warm them up slightly and add a scoop of vanilla ice cream for a dreamy dessert.

Gozleme’s vegan baklava

gozleme food stall
(Picture: Peter Watson)

If you have a sweet tooth, Brick Lane food stalls have you covered.

There’s something for everyone here, irrespective of whether you’re a meat lover, gluten-free, vegetarian or vegan.

The vegan baklava at the Gozleme stall is so moreish. A cinnamon spiced walnut filling is layered between vegan filo pastry, baked until golden and drenched in a syrup that’s high on agave syrup and low on refined sugar. What’s not to love?

St Sugar of London’s raw paleo coffee brownie

(Picture: Peter Watson)

These brownies will deliver your sweet fix while keeping to a ‘zero grain, zero sugar’ ethos popular with St Sugar of London. A rich and indulgent no-bake sweet that’s packed with things like dates and cashews and put together with coconut oil and cacao powder. Super healthy and nutritious.

Cafe 1001’s tortilla recipe (as featured in my Brick Lane Cookbook)

Cafe 1001's tortilla
(Picture: Peter Watson)

Tortilla is an easy Mediterranean favourite and a popular dish on the Cafe 1001 menu.

This baked version of the classic Spanish potato omelette is flavoured with rosemary and gently caramelised sweet onions and I love it.

Make sure to cool your potatoes before adding to the egg mix; otherwise you’ll end up with scrambled eggs.

Ingredients (serves 6)

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 medium onions, finely sliced

1 bay leaf

500g cypress potatoes, peeled and cut into 2cm chunks

1 teaspoon salt

6 large eggs

1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, finely chopped

1⁄2 teaspoon black pepper

500ml vegetable oil, to deep fry


First, make your sweet onions.

Pour the olive oil in a frying pan over low heat. Add the sliced onion and bay leaf and cook for 40 to 45 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions have reduced and are completely soft and lightly browned.

You’ll end up with about four heaped tablespoons of sweet, caramelised onions. Set aside to cool.

Throw the potatoes into a bowl and mix with the salt. Set aside for 10 minutes.

Heat the vegetable oil in a deep pan over a high heat (140°C) – test it’s hot enough by dropping in a piece of potato, which should start sizzling immediately.

Deep fry the potatoes for 12 minutes, or until golden and tender, then drain and leave to cool for at least 15 minutes.

At this point pre-heat your oven to 180°C (160°C fan).

Whisk the eggs in a mixing bowl and add the cooled sweet onion mixture, rosemary and black pepper.

Throw in the fried potato pieces and mix well.

Line a deep baking dish and pour in the mixture. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the tortilla is golden brown on top and cooked in the middle.

Test it’s done by inserting a small knife or skewer in the centre – if it comes out clean your tortilla is ready. Cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Brick Lane Cookbook by Dina Begum is published in hardback by Kitchen Press and is available from Waterstones, Amazon and independent bookshops from March 22, 2018.

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