Brick Lane, Spitalfields, London E1 6PU
Ancient Brick Lane is where the Jewish community, Bangladeshi residents and crowds of bar-going youths meet in a lively and – at weekends – cacophonous fusion. At the north end of the street are a couple of long-established and dirt-cheap beigel joints, while to the south are umpteen curry houses, with touts leaping out to lure in passing punters. In between you’ll find the best vintage stores in town, packed bars and eclectic market stalls. The street is slowly going upmarket, with a few chic cafés springing up, but it still remains true to its tangled and intriguing ethnic roots. The name derives from the brick works that were located here from as early as the 15th century.