July 31, 2012 at 9:22 AM ET
For a local take on London, hop on the Tube, head out of the West End, and explore the city's villages. This morning, Kate Maxwell, editor-in-chief of Jetsetter.com and a native Londoner, took TODAY viewers on a tour of one of her favorite neighborhoods, Shoreditch.
Here are the highlights:
In the heart of Shoreditch, Albion is a café-bakery that does fantastic kidneys on toast, a traditional British breakfast dish (kidneys are an acquired taste, but don’t worry, there’s a delicious full English breakfast, too). If it’s sunny, grab a table outside, and don’t forget to check out the shop — I pick up tins of tea for American friends back home there.
Shoreditch is epicenter of European street art — Banksy, aka the world’s most successful street artist, put it on the map in the late '90s, and now people from all over the world flock here to make their mark. See the best — from tiny sidewalk stencils to paste-ups to colorful, four-story murals — on a bike tour with Alternative London.
East London has several great weekend markets. On Saturdays, head to Broadway Market, a 10-minute drive east of Shoreditch, which has been trading since 1890, was revived in 2004, and is now the weekend HQ for the East’s hipsters, selling an incredible array of multicultural food, from Vietnamese to Portuguese, French to Bangladeshi — plus quintessential British fare like coconut ice and rum and raisin fudge. And on Sundays, don’t miss Columbia Road flower market, on a cute Georgian terrace lined with galleries and quirky stores.
Had enough of pints in pubs? Check out one of Shoreditch’s artisanal cocktail bars. Callooh Callay, named for Lewis Carroll’s Jabberwocky poem, has an inventive menu that includes the Marmaggedon, made with tequila, lime juice, beer and ... Marmite, a British savory spread. For the hood’s answer to the Manhattan speakeasy, try the Mayor of Scaredy Cat Town — you enter via a Smeg fridge door — or the kitschy cool Ninety-Eight Bar & Lounge.
For more information on Shoreditch and five other London neighborhoods, download Jetsetter’s new iPad app.