27 Things To Do & Eat in Bloomsbury, London

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Looking for part of London to explore away from the usual spots like Soho, Piccadilly Circus, etc.?  Bloomsbury is central but also fairly quiet, and full of interesting streets to explore.  Many people think that Central London is solely occupied by office blocks and that no one lives there, but there are actually quite a few residential zones in Central London.  Bloomsbury is a quiet oasis in Central London, close to many major attractions but full of idyllic, tree-lined side streets and squares.  I’ve lived in London for nearly four years, and two of those have been in Bloomsbury.  From my home in Bloomsbury, I can walk to Soho, Chinatown, Piccadilly Circus, Temple and Covent Garden in half an hour or less.  In exchange, I do have to live in the smallest flat I’ve ever seen, but it’s cosy, and it’s worth it to live in this area.  Whether you’re visiting London or are a resident, Bloomsbury is a lovely area to explore.  Here’s the lowdown on what to do and what to eat:

  1. The Espresso Room on Great Ormond Street does some of the best coffees in London
  2. Lamb’s Conduit Street (near Great Ormond Street) is a lovely, pedestrianised street full of independent shops (and one Starbucks!)
  3. Persephone Books on Lamb’s Conduit Street does reprints of early to mid-20th century novels by forgotten female authors and is possibly the cutest bookshop in London
  4. Lamb’s Books, also on Lamb’s Conduit Street, does discounted books
  5. The People’s Supermarket on Lamb’s Conduit Street is a cooperative grocery with an interesting range of items, including some ready-made vegan meals and Bessant & Drury vegan ice cream
  6. There are lots of interesting clothes shops (i.e. Dark Room, Folk) on Lamb’s Conduit Street, though I’ve yet to find any I can afford to shop at!
  7. If you fancy a drink, The Lamb (also Lamb’s Conduit Street) is a lovely little pub
  8. Rumoured vegan cake: I hear The London Review Cake Shop (in the London Review Bookshop, near the British Museum) does vegan cake but I’ve yet to see it on offer!  The same goes for Bea’s of Bloomsbury
  9. Bloomsbury is full of lovely squares and gardens (such as Queen Square, Brunswick Square Gardens, Tavistock Square and Bloomsbury Square), which make great picnic spots when the weather is nice
  10. On Saturdays there is a food market at the Brunswick Centre which sometimes has vegan or vegan-friendly stalls, including a vegan Creole stand which does one of the cheapest meals in London at £1.50 for a large savoury fritter
  11. Skoob books, just behind the Brunswick Centre, is a basement secondhood bookshop stocked from floor to ceiling with interesting reads
  12. Alara on Marchmont Street is a large independent health food shop which also offers consultations and a buffet
  13. The Vegetarian’s Paradise is a vegetarian Indian restaurant on Marchmont Street but unfortunately I wouldn’t recommend this place — I tried it once and was not impressed!
  14. Marchmont Street is home to other interesting independent shops, such as the School of Life, which offers books and classes on a variety of interesting topics with the aim to help you lead a better and more fulfilling life and Gay’s the Word, a gay & lesbian bookshop
  15. The Brunswick Centre (next to Marchmont Street) is mostly uninteresting chain shops, but is home to one of the largest Waitrose branches in Central London, a Holland & Barret, a Nando’s (get a veggie burger, hold the mayo, if you’re desperate for vegan food and don’t want to go anywhere else), and the Renoir cinema, which shows indie flicks and foreign films
  16. Bloomsbury is also host to a number of museums: British Museum, Foundling Museum, Charles Dickens House, the British Library (not really a museum but they do have exhibits and an original of the Magna Carta)
  17. Store Street Espresso, near the British Museum, offers great coffee and a relaxing atmosphere (their skylights ensure the cafe is always full of light) plus free wifi
  18. There’s a farmer’s market every Thursday from 9am-2pm on Torrington Square near UCL
  19. Want to go bowling?  Try All Star Lanes in Victoria House on Bloomsbury Place
  20. Or do you fancy a night at the theatre? You don’t need to leave Bloomsbury for that (although the West End isn’t far), you can go to the Bloomsbury Theatre at UCL
  21. Fancy vegan Japanese? Check out Itadaki Zen on King’s Cross Road
  22. The Queen’s Head on Acton Street is a great little pub which a great range of drinks and a nice place to stop off for a drink after a meal at Itadaki Zen
  23. Planet Organic on Torrington Place is a large health food shop with a buffet and range of hot food options
  24. Drummond Street (technically not in Bloomsbury but close) just north of Euston is home to a number of Indian restaurants, some of which are veggie or vegan-friendly

Think of an amazing shop, gallery or restaurant I missed?  Put it in the comments!

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Caitlin Galer-Unti

Hi, I’m Caitlin and I’ve been vegan since 2008 and vegetarian my whole life. Since going vegan, I’ve lived in 4 countries and travelled to over 30! I’ve also published two bestselling vegan books (The Essential Vegan Travel Guide and The Barcelona Vegan Guide) and had my work featured in The New York Times, Vegetarian Food & Living and Vegan Life magazine. I’ve veganised my life and I’m here to help you design your life around your vegan values. 


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