Whitecross Street, Islington, is just around the corner from the Old Street roundabout and is the beautiful street on which I used to live (in, admittedly, a not-so-beautiful flat).
Having said that, I absolutely adored living there and frequently go back to visit purely for nostalgic reasons. Whitecross Street is home to some of the best street food in London, with a market which takes up the entire street from 11am to 3pm, Monday-Friday.
Thai curries, burritos, fruit & veg, gorgeously glazed tarts, and meringues the size of my head are just some of the things on offer, and every day the market made my street smell incredible. I'd often sit on the balcony of my 11th floor apartment and look out over Shoreditch, and watch the hustle and bustle ensuing below, it was so calming. In case you were wondering what I was doing at home for days on end during the week - I was a student then, so had a lot of free time, which I now realise I completely took for granted - yay adulthood!
The market aside, the street is also where you'll find vegetarian restaurant Carnevale, which is frequently included in shortlists and round-ups of London's best vegetarian restaurants. You'll find families and friends dining outdoors in the summer, either at the always popular mediterranean restaurant The Iskele or the lively Italian cafe and Pizzeria Cozzo. The summer in particular is when Whitecross Street truly comes alive, particularly with many people picking up so street food and going to bask in the sun in nearby Fortune Street Park.
I can't possibly write about Whitecross Street without mentioning one of the favourite cafes in London - Fix (www.fix-coffee.co.uk). Fix was my second home for two years, supplying me with delicious sandwiches and a much-needed caffeine fix (get it?) during all those hellish essay/dissertation writing periods! It's a really chilled, laid-back place, with a great industrial Berlin-esque decor, a great environment to focus or hang out with mates.
The moral of this story dear readers is to go looking for new, and often hidden treasures. When in the Shoreditch area, so many people B-line for Brick Lane, which saddens me. Whitecross Street feels like it's own little village, a melting pot of cultures and nationalities, but still so British. I implore you all to pay this little haven a visit, especially in the summer, and especially if you have an hour or two to kill during the week.
Do you know any similar streets in London? If so, tell me about them! I'm always looking for new quirky markets and cafes so let's exchange notes :)