Hoxton is one of the most popular party discticts of modern London. At night heaps of hipsters come here to drink and dance with friends. The fame of the place has become its curse: huge crowds have sent prices rocket-high, worsened the quality of service and attracted tons of tourists. However, there are still cool places untouched by common commercialization. If you want to spend some quality time in always festive Hoxton, this route is what you need.
A round building with graffiti on the walls is a spot that you will hardly miss. The art galery inside, progressive and trendy as it may be considered, has not yet been hyped up. You may spend some time looking for the entrance, but it is worth it. They invite beginning artists and hold various cultural events, like independent East Side Film Festival or concerts by experimental bands.
Eastern London offers all possible varieties of ethnic food, but the most popular cuisine here is probably the Vietnamese. There is even a Vietnamese quarter on Kingsland Road near the Hoxton DLR station, crammed with local places that offer decent food at reasonable price. However, if you're looking for something of better quality, go to Cay Tre on Old Street. In this small and trendy restaurant you can try traditional Vietnamese Pho soup (the place is famous for it), rice dishes and even street food, as well as very nice wine.
Local parties are not for everyone, but that's what makes them special. The place got its fame for playing vintage soul, jazz and funk music. Only original vinyls are used, and if you're in the know, you can easily spot true melomaniacs and discophiles with whom to discuss music – or you can just chat to a DJ. The bar is a bit off the main party street of the Eastern London and can easily be overlooked, so you can be sure to find only the right people in it. Still, even if you're not a music fan and know nothing of vinyl, it's worth visiting purely for the sake of dances, the most outgoing in London.
Macbeth pub is one of the most influential music venues of the Eastern London. The owners boast to be giving concerts for over a century (even Charles Dickens used to come here) and are planning to bring music to masses for just as long in the future. For the past decade Macbeth saw performances by Florence And The Machines, Metronomy, Franz Ferdinand, Yuck, Paloma Faith, The Horrors, Damo Suzuki from Can and many others.
A tiny stage stands in the end of a small but long room, designed to fit a couple hundred visitors tops, with one corner occupied by a bar counter, another by a DJ stand, with a column standing right in the middle obstructing the view, and an idiotic discoball hanging from the ceiling. In a word, it is utterly and almost purposely ill-suited for hosting big concerts. Nevertheless, all these inconveniences somehow add to an especially warm atmosphere. Musicians play almost in the hall right in front of the audience and during breaks sit at the bar with the rest of the folks. If the first floor is sold out, you can sit upstairs in a lounge area. The regulars say that concerts in Macbeth can vary significantly in their quality, so make sure you check the schedule. Some also say that the craziest parties and dances begin after concerts are over.
Catch bar at 22, Shoreditch High Street is a rather transparent reference to a famous novel by Joseph Heller - an allusion that hardly anyone understands. The place is ideal for afterparties. Even though it has a rather decent choice of bands performing here (check their website) and even a large hall on the second floor (in order to get there go up the winding stairs near the entrance), people usually come here for some additional fun. There one can always sit at a table with drinks or go dancing.