Brick Lane may be known around the world for its curry houses, however canny Londoners flock to Brick Lane Beigle Bake instead. The majority of the Indian and Pakistani restaurants on Brick Lane are tourist traps and so you are better off to explore restaurants in the surrounding area such as Tayyabs or stick to bagels.
Brick Lane Beigle Bake is a reminder of the time when the East End was a thriving Jewish area. London’s Jewish community is now mainly focused on other areas however the bakery has survived. Beigle Bake looks pretty down at heel at first glance but with queues that can stretch out the door I did not mind the gritty appearance. There is no need to fear, the queues move quickly and soon you can have the bagel of your choice in your hands. Hot salted beef is a popular choice however I opted for the classic combination of smoked salmon and cream cheese. At £1.50 it is an absolute bargain. The bagel is slightly crunchy on the outside with a slightly chewy centre while the filling of salmon and cream cheese and salmon is generous and gleaming. The filled bagels are all premade however this does not seem to affect the freshness of them probably because turnover is so high.
With 24 hour opening hours I can see why Brick Lane Beigle Bake has become a London institution.
Details: 159 Brick Lane, Shoreditch E1 6SB (Ph 0207 729 0616)
Damage: Such a bargain even my mother would approve
If you liked this you may be interested in my review of a typically poor Brick Lane restaurant: Dawaat. I would advise that you walk a little further and find Tayyabs for some brilliant lamb chops and Pakistani cooking.