A far from complete list of venues in East London (but I’m working on it – please send me your links and recommendations)
For an extensive list of East London galleries, go to First Thursdays – on the first Thursday of the month local galleries stay open until 9pm & this website has a list of participants, plus an art map and even a free bus tour (demand is high so you go into a ballot)
White Cube Gallery Shows one artist at a time, so keep an eye on the website to see who is coming up.
Vyner Street Gallery One of the galleries along a street of them; which turns into a party on the first Thursday of the month
Transition Gallery Art gallery, publisher and spirited arts enterprise on Regent’s Canal, just round the corner from Broadway Market
Vulpes Vulpes Gallery & project space in Clapton
Raven Row Gallery in E1, Whitechapel
The Barbican OK, some of the smaller theatres are more like large plasma screen TVs and the lifts only stop on every second floor, and you will get lost at some point, but it has huge variety of films and regular festivals.
Rio Dalston’s local cinema on Kingsland Road
Rich Mix Just off Brick Lane (the Bethnal Green end), this venue has a cinema and cafe as well as regular music events and ‘conversations’
Genesis This one’s in Whitechapel/Mile End
Cafe Oto New-ish venue with local and international musicians, poetry and film events and even the odd community fete. Good coffee served during the day and wi-fi access.
Passing Clouds Off the beaten track venue with a great atmosphere, a friendly bouncer who guides you to the well-hidden front door and good music, as well as films, workshops and even a ceramics class on Monday nights.
Barden’s Boudoir Check out their website for upcoming gigs
Bar 23 Along with Dalston Superstore and Barden’s Boudoir, this is on the main drag of Dalston, where Kingsland Road turns into Stoke Newington Road. Rockabilly, open mike & even salsa nights, plus friendly staff.
Dalston Superstore Only seems to have a facebook page… very popular at night, but also does food during the day and is good on weeknights for a quiet drink
Bar Kick My favourite Shoreditch bar, especially when the World Cup is on. But like anywhere in Shoreditch, it’s packed on weekends. There’s another branch at Exmouth Market.