Often absorbed into the sprawling mass of Shoreditch, Hoxton is rarely discussed in separate terms from it's most famous East London neighbour. While locals will take pains to point out the nuances that separate Hoxton from Shoreditch, its best to understand that most Londoners will see them as one and the same.
Just a few years ago this was a slightly seedy part of town, being situated in the heart of historic Hackney where muddy marshes had made way for industry, cheap housing and a thriving underworld of sleazy bars and clubs. Transformation via gentrification arrived with the artists in the 1990s, and since then rents have skyrocketed, seedy clubs have become trendy speakeasies, and leaders of the modern tech and online media boom have set up shop shiny new glass buildings and converted lofts.
Now its predominantly home to plenty of affluent young professionals too, mostly working in media, Silicon Roundabout tech start-ups, or in the City (which is conveniently located just a short bike ride to the south of Hoxton). Very few of the artists who came before the millennium can now afford the rents here, so you’re unlikely to find any students or families either - most of them have moved further out to Clapton, Stoke Newington, or left the increasingly-pricey East London all together for more space south of the river.
In just a few short decades this has become prime London, and if you can afford the prices here, you’ll enjoy all the best things London has to offer within a short walk of your home. Cool new galleries and boutiques are opening in the area on a weekly basis, the pop-up culture is thriving, and you’ll have your pick of arguably the best concentration of good restaurants (ranging from bargain bites to Michelin-starred) outside of Soho.
On a map
Hoxton is located in the Borough of Hackney, in East London. It is a relatively small area next to Shoreditch and bordered by Haggerston to the north and Islington to the west . The postcode is N1, although it also blends into E1 and E2 .
History of Hoxton London
Like many historic London areas, the first known record of Hoxton is in the 11th century Domesday Book, when it was known as Hogesdon. During the medical period it became part of Shoreditch, and during the 1500s many royal courtiers and international ambassadors were known to have built manor houses here, in order to be close to the City while enjoying the country air of what was then still a parish outside of London. Hoxton Gardens, now lost to housing, was then a particularly popular spot in the borough for enjoying fresh air.
By the 1700s the nobility had left the area and their houses converted into almshouses for the poor, including some notorious lunatic asylums. The arrival of industrialisation and cheap labour led to the development of many slums in Hoxton, as well as entertainment venues such as music halls and theatres.
In the latter part of the 20th century many of the smaller industries such as furniture production and maintenance left the area and were replaced by artists and creatives, who made use of the large loft spaces for living and working, leading to the establishment of galleries such as White Cube on Hoxton Squares. They were followed by fashionable bars and restaurants, businesses and those seeking to soak up this newly cool and creative area, which has led to the Hoxton we see today.
Transport from Hoxton London
Due to its relatively central location in East London, Hoxton is well-position for both commuting around London, as well as walking or cycling to areas such as the City (20 minute walk) and Shoreditch (11 minute walk). Hoxton Station is served by the Overground, which is arguably the most direct way to travel through East and South East London. It takes just 4 minutes to reach Dalston Junction, and 24 minutes to reach New Cross.
As for Central London and beyond, Hoxton is close to Old Street Station, which offers the Northern Line, and Liverpool Street Station which is served by the Central, Circle, Hammersmith and City and Metropolitain underground lines.
Cost of living in Hoxton London
As a result of it’s fashionable reputation in the 18th century, Hoxton still has a few beautiful listed Georgian and Victorian terraced townhouses, although the majority of available housing here is now converted warehouse buildings filled with airy apartments, or sleek modern developments. There’s also some former council housing in the north of Hoxton, where a few post-war estates still exist.
Like much of East London, Hoxton has seen its rental prices rise by a huge amount since the 1980s, and at a much faster rate than most of London. As a result it’s significantly more expensive than living in Islington, Haggerston or even Shoreditch, although still comes in cheaper than Clerkenwell and the City.
As of January 2016, the average rental price for a two bedroom apartment in Hoxton is £3700 per month, although similar properties can be found starting at £1600.
Restaurants in Hoxton London
Sister restaurant to the small but mighty 10 Greek Street in Soho, 8 Hoxton Square continues their perfect formula of informal dining, relaxed, rustic food that's perfect for sharing, and a friendly atmosphere. Featuring dishes such as sea bass with celeriac, chicory and stilton salad and spiced parsnip soup, the menu changes daily according to what is fresh and seasonal - and giving you the perfect excuse to visit multiple times in a week.
Address: 8 Hoxton Square, London N1 6NU, United Kingdom
Phone: 020 7729 4232
This Asian-European restaurant on Hoxton Street taps directly into the East London restaurant stereotype with industrial fittings (think lots of concrete and exposed brick), a small-plate menu and plenty of regular diners with trendy haircuts. However, don't make the mistake of dismissing it as a flash-in-the-pan - its quickly become a local favourite. Come for the kedgeree at sea bass brunch, or bring a friend and share soft-shell crab, braised octopus and chilli fried rice at dinner.
Address: 100-102 Hoxton St, London N1 6SG, United Kingdom
Phone: 020 7729 1444
Part of the popular MEAT restaurant group who are partly responsible for London's current obsession with greasy burgers, this outpost is housed in a former Christian mission, which seems appropriate when you understand the quasi-religious status some burger-lovers give to these meat-packed buns. Settle in under the stained glass ceiling and stuff yourself with cheeseburgers, chicken wings and the infamous Dead Hippie Fries for the true MEATMission experience.
Address: 15 Hoxton Market, London N1 6HG
Phone : 020 7739 8212
Located inside the achingly cool Hoxton Hotel on Great Eastern Street, Hoxton Grill is packed with guests and locals from morning to night, who come to enjoy poached eggs and avocado toast in the morning, work on laptops in the central garden in the afternoon, and indulge in hearty American fare in the evening while people-watching. Plus, if you accidentally have a few too many of their classic cocktails, you can always book a room for the night!
Address: 81 Great Eastern St, London EC2A 3HU, United Kingdom
Phone: 020 7739 9111
Shops in Hoxton London
Hunting for something for a little monster in your life, or looking to embrace your inner child? This unique emporium on Hoxton Street is part of the Ministry of Stories, an East London organisation which seeks to help children and adults develop their writing skills, and their magical shop is packed with trendy stationary, clothes, and monster-themed edibles including Cubed Earwax (creamy fudge), tins of Mortal Fear (boiled sweets) and Tears of Boredom (sea salt). What's more, all the proceeds from the shop go directly to the non-profit organisation - even more reason to treat yourself to a jar of Banshee Balls.
Address: 159 Hoxton St, London N1 6PJ, United Kingdom
Phone: 020 7729 4159
Founded by businesswoman Kathryn Hoyle in 1992, who was sick of the often sleazy nature of the male-dominated Soho sex shops, Sh! is a chic, classy boutique dedicated to female pleasure. As well as selling a wide range of products in-store and online, they champion female empowerment and celebrating sexuality, offering workshops and educational classes to individuals and couples, as well as NHS-supported products for women experiencing difficulties.
Address: 57 Hoxton Square, London N1 6PB, United Kingdom
Phone :+44 20 7613 5458
A true 'concept store' that's impossible to pigeonhole, Goodhood specialises in all the finest products you'd want in your life and your home, from innovative jewellery from a up-and-coming contemporary designer to minimalist clothing and obscure organic beauty products. Take your time and enjoy some lunch in their basement cafe too, which serves up seasonal snacks and award-winning coffee.
Address: 151 Curtain Rd, London EC2A 3QE
Phone: 020 7729 3600
Things to do in Hoxton London
There are few nicer ways to spend the day perusing a local flower market, and fortunately for Hoxton residents, they have one of the best in the capital on their doorstep. Get to Columbia Road market early on a Sunday to get your pick of the blooms, then head up the road for a late brunch at one of the Broadway Market cafes.
Address: Columbia Rd, London E2 7RG
While Jay Jopling's famous White Cube Gallery on Hoxton Square is now closed, there's still an arty presence in the area, and the Hoxton Gallery is a leading light. They regularly hold exhibitions for up-and-coming new creatives, as well as events for fashion, music and design communities.
Address: 59 Old St, London EC1V 9HX
A multi-storey bar, club and restaurant throughout the year, the Queen of Hoxton is transformed in the summer months with an outdoor cinema on the roof which boasts a selection of current favourites and cult classics. Get here early to grab a good seat and admire the view over East London.
Address: 1 Curtain Rd, London EC2A 3JX
Phone: 020 7422 0958