Art & Culture

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)

Space Studios Mare Street gallery with workshops & studios, and an eclectic range of exhibitions. For more about a recent show read here

White Cube Gallery Shows one artist at a time, so keep an eye on the website to see who is coming up.

Whitechapel Gallery Recently refurbished with an increase of 78% in gallery floor space and a new restaurant. More on this to come soon….

The Barbican Love it or hate it, the Barbican is an experience. And it’s membership scheme is one of the best deals around – just £20 a year. Plus it hosts the annual Australian Film Festival.

Vyner Street Gallery One of the galleries along a street of them; which turns into a party on the first Thursday of the month

Rivington Place

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


Vortex Famous jazz venue, now located in Gillett Square, Dalston. Next door is the fabulous Jazz Cafe and downstairs is Ochre Works, a relaxed bar/bistro

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.


Arcola Theatre



7 responses to “Art & Culture

  1. David White

    May I recommend a new art gallery coop:

    Vulpes Vulpes
    Unit 4,
    Prout Road,
    E5 9NP

  2. Rose

    Sadly Barden’s Boudoir is no longer 😦

    fingers crossed an equally great venue takes her place…

  3. Dialogue Cultural Space, 43A Vyner Street London E2 9DQ

    0207 9805809

    The official opening of ‘Loss’ is on Friday 26th November at 7pm and will be opened by Fergal Keane BBC Correspondent and Writer

  4. Arbeit,
    4 helmet row,
    ec1v 3qj

  5. Think The Yard Theatre should be added in to your list of theatre – it opened as a pop-up space for 3 months last year and is now a permanent space. Has a fantastic 130 seater theatre and bar and cafe that’s open ’til late. It’s in a converted warehouse space in Hackney Wick, E5 9EN. New season of work starts from 28 April 2012 – includes theatre, dance, music – interesting, experimental and definitely worth taking a risk on. Tickets are only £9 / £4 on Tuesdays so it’s really affordable too.

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