What: Boxpark Shoreditch is a shipping container pop-up mall comprised of food traders and independent fashion and lifestyle stores.
New? Boxpark Shoreditch opened in 2011, then after five successful years they took the leap and headed south of the river to launch Boxpark Croydon.
Where? 2-10 Bethnal Green Road, Shoreditch E1 6GY www.boxpark.co.uk
On the menu: All dietary requirements are met here in this packed, foodie haven with several vegan sellers like Cook Daily, What The Pitta and Falafelicious while meat eaters can chow down on options from Porky’s, Arni’s and Voodoo Ray’s. Satisfy your sweet tooth with the latest craze from Hong Kong, bubble waffles, at Nosteagia, while the ultimate doughnut indulgence, Dum Dum Donutterie is loaded with tempting options.
The Look: It’s deceptively big on the first floor as from the ground floor you can only see the shop fronts so you can’t really appreciate how much space is above but upstairs is a plethora of food options. Separated into three sections each area has a large, wooden benched seating area lined with food traders in their black shipping containers which is then connected by a walk way to the next area. Large black umbrellas do well to keep the sun and rain out making it suitable to sit out all year round.
What We Ate: Voodoo Ray’s has an American pizza parlour feel to it, inspired by New York, where you can buy by the slice instead of the whole pizza. The ginormous 22 inch pizzas are already cooked and on display so once you’ve ordered your slice (or slices) it’s reheated in the oven, revitalising it to its former glory. The slices are on the skinny side and are a little tricky to eat but they hit the spot and there are decent options to choose from like Green Velvet (artichoke hearts, green olives, sunblush tomatoes) including weekly specials.
What The Pitta is the place every drunk vegan at 3am has been praying for; the vegan döner specialists have opened their second home at Boxpark Shoreditch, serving sizeable doners made with soya pieces and all the trimmings including onions, lettuce and chilli sauce. If you’re feeling slightly healthier you can order the döner in a tray with houmous and cous cous which is also a good shout if you need to eat in front of a date as the wrap can get a rather messy and no one wants tomato juice running down their chin.
Normally a side dish, Poptata is bringing the humble potato into the spotlight with their fresh cut potato chips lavishly decorated with DIY embellishments as well as their signature options. Add anything from cheese to meatballs to pesto to a simple dusting of rosemary salt and suddenly you have a main meal, there is also a wide selection of dips to accompany including sweet onion.
There is a healthy amount of choice at Dum Dum Donutterie (arguably the only healthy thing in there) but it’s impossible to narrow the options down, people who just pop in for one doughnut have the willpower of a saint. The most popular doughnuts are Zebra, the pretty blue Our Galaxy and Crone, but my personal favourites were the afore-mentioned Zebra, made with layers of plain and chocolate croissant filled with chocolate butter cream, and the Yum Yum, filled with a delicious dulce de leche butter cream.
Bubble waffles are the biggest food craze at the moment and it’s easy to see why, they look good and they taste better. The traditional American waffle is made lighter the air bubbles and formed into a cone making it easy to stuff with extra goodness like ice cream, fruit and chocolate. Nosteagia offers all the fun you would expect of the Asian street dessert but one of their unique selling points is their King Chocolate option where M&Ms are added to the bubble waffle batter which means that each bite has a surprise M&M melting inside for that extra kick of chocolate.
What We Drank: Each trader offers a selection of drinks but Voodoo Ray’s is leading the way with a selection of hipster approved ales and beers including the photo worthy Beavertown Gamma Ray beer which is decorated like a scene out of Mars Attacks. They also have a frozen margarita machine serving instant alcoholic slushies with frozen limes and outside seating to enjoy them in during the hot weather. Keeping up with the bubble theme, Nosteagia also serves tapioca bubble tea like matcha tea milk and kiwi cucumber green tea plus frappuccinos.
Go With: This is definitely one to head to with a group of friends; the bench seating is super social and makes it easy to chat to new people, especially after a few frozen margaritas.
Final Word: There are a surprising amount of food options crammed into a small space without ever feeling crowded, the options are interesting and varied too meaning there’s literally something for everyone.
Boxpark Shoreditch: 2-10 Bethnal Green Road, Shoreditch E1 6GY
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Competitive eater, retired martial artist and potential puppy foster mother. On the hunt for the best vegetarian food in town...and also doughnuts.