One of many neighborhoods in the Islington borough of central London, Clerkenwell is a wonderful destination for supporters of independent business and artistic flair; street art and colorful awnings combine pleasantly with industrial-era brick facades, making for an area that stands out little from other London neighborhoods except for a big game changer: the fantastic food and drink.
The one must-stop for food is the Exmouth Market, located near the border with the Finsbury neighborhood. Fashionable, independent shops and eateries combine with a generous number of food stalls to serve the lunch-time rush of pedestrians. Located on Farringdon Road, this is a great spot for a cheap bite and some people-watching. Another concentration of great cuisine is further south in the block delineated by Clerkenwell, Turnmill, Cowcross, and St. John roads. Bistros and cafes are great breakfast and lunch stops, while dinner can be at a few of the classier joints at the convergence of Cowcross and St. John.
As far as nightlife goes, the proximity to uber-popular midnight mecca Shoreditch has led to a revival in Clerkenwell's pub scene. There are an endless selection of well-kept pubs here, with staples like The Slaughtered Lamb (Sutton Street), Exmouth Arms (Exmouth Market), The Craft Beer Co. (Leather Lane), and The Crown Tavern (Clerkenwell Green) leading the way. Then again, club-lovers need go to no other place in this huge metropolis than Fabric; it's earned its reputation with big names and even bigger crowds.