The Best Street Food Markets in London
Last Updated: 28th January 2019
If we took one thing away from our painstaking trawl of London’s greatest street food villages, promenades and converted warehouses…
…it was a second box of raclette from Kappacasein.
But we also took home something in a more enriching, metaphorical sense; that is, a refined, tried-and-tested collection of the finest street food markets in London, which, today, we would like to share with you – because sharing is caring.
Except when it comes to raclette. Then it means additional emergency boxes.
Maltby Street | Bermondsey
Without a doubt, the flag (and bunting) bearer for London food markets is the Maltby Street Market. Tucked down a secluded alley, lined by repurposed railway arches and festooned with strings of bulbs, it has the feel of an industrialised village fete. You’ll find a constantly changing mix of traders here, from a 1940s drinking den run by small-batch distillers, Little Bird Gin; to indecent amounts of melted cheese, courtesy of the Cheese Truck. Follow the tracks south, and you’ll come to the quieter Spa Terminus market, an artisanal wholesaler open to the public on Saturday mornings with stalls from Neal’s Yard Dairy, Monmouth Coffee and more.
Details: Open Saturdays 10-5pm, Sundays 11-4pm | Maltby Street, SE1 3PA
Berwick Street | Soho
One of the oldest street food markets in London, the independent Berwick St. Market has been flogging edible wares since 1778. After a huge petition signed by the likes of Joanna Lumley and Stephen Fry, the market narrowly avoided redevelopment under private owners, and now sports an eclectic mix of old-school traders (including London’s longest-running flower stall) and newer street food vendors, touting everything from Balkan burgers to paella.
Details: Monday-Saturday, 8am-6pm | Berwick Street, W1F 0PH
Brockley Market | Brockley
Not just somewhere to pick up your weekly essentials of fresh fruit, veg, and pre-bottled negronis aged in Bordeaux wine barrels, Brockley’s cash-only marketplace boasts a cohort of street vendors at the top of their game. Expect appearances from vegan bánh mì spot Eat Chay, Blu Top ice cream and The Grilling Greek.
Details: Saturdays, 10am-2pm | Lewisham College Car Park, Lewisham Way, SE4 1UT
Whitecross Street | Barbican
Once denounced as a ‘Squalors’ Market’ in the 19th century press, the formerly alcohol-riddled Whitecross Street has cleaned up its act, and today is one of the busiest street food markets in London, serving copious amounts of dishes to the working masses on weekday lunchtimes. Sporting an eclectic spread of up to 50 independent and longstanding vendors, expect to find anything from Korean-Japanese fusion to traditional pies on your jaunt down the street – and don’t forget a caffeine injection from Fix to see you through.
Details: Monday–Friday, 10am–2pm | Whitecross Street, EC1
Canopy Market | King’s Cross
Canopy Market takes the best wine bars, designers and street food traders, and puts them all under one gorgeous, restored Victorian glass and steel roof. On Fridays they stay open as a night market with live musicians, DJs, and craft beer bars; and you can peruse jewellery and homeware stands as you chow down on freshly-made pasta or Korean BBQ.
Details: Fridays 12-8pm, Sat & Sun 11am-6pm | West Handyside Canopy (just off Granary Square), N1C 4BZ
Southbank Centre | Waterloo
It can be tricky for riverside markets to expand sometimes.
But they usually cross that bridge when they come to it.
And the Southbank Centre’s bustling street food market on Upper Ground is no exception; pitching up each weekend to swathes of ravenous visitors. The sprawling marketplace behind the Royal Festival Hall is a labyrinth of different cuisines; try East African vegan dishes at Ethiopiques, The Polish Deli’s pierogi dumplings, and flaky Portuguese pasteis de nata at Galeta.
Details: Fri 12-8pm, Sat 11am-8pm, Sun & bank holiday Mondays 12-6pm | Southbank Centre Square, SE1 8XX
Netil Market | London Fields
A quieter, more relaxed affair than Broadway Market round the corner; this creatives’ hub plays host to a low-key market every Saturday, with stalls ranging from vintage homeware and handmade jewellery to a well-curated collection of street food. It’s been the making of several now-stalwarts of the London scene, including BAO and Lucky Chip, and is now home to the likes of Club Mexicana‘s vegan burger bar and Lem Lem Kitchen – whose light and fluffy ‘Afro-tacos’ are best enjoyed on the sun-drenched mezzanine terrace overlooking the whole set-up.
Details: Saturdays 11am-6pm | 13-23 Westgate Street, E8 3RL
Broadway Market | Hackney
A more bustling, vibrant affair than Netil Market round the corner, Broadway Market occupies a former sheep-droving route into London. And as one of the city’s best known markets, it might still feel that way – but it’s worth braving the crowds for a peek at the independent bookstores, cafés and restaurants lining the promenade; as well as occasionally diving into the throng to scoop a haggis toastie from Deeney’s; salt beef from the Jewish Deli, or miniature multicoloured pavlovas from Meringue Girls – before retreating for an al fresco feast in London Fields or by the canal.
Details: Saturdays, 9-5pm | Broadway Market, E8 4QJ
Borough Market | Borough
Disclaimer – we are not the first to say this, but Borough Market’s pretty good. That means that you’ll be rubbing shoulders not only with the finest artisanal and old-school produce traders when you visit, but probably ¾ of London’s tourist population, too. But that’s entirely by-the-by when you’re on a mission to track down giant truffles, wine-soaked Italian cheese, and Kentish nut oils. Take a well-deserved break from the polite elbowing with a score of street food dishes, like slow-roasted meat baguettes from Hobbs, raclette made with Bermondsey cheese by Kappacasein, and er, upmarket goat from Gourmet Goat.
Details: Monday 10am-4pm, Wed & Thurs 10am-5pm, Fri 10am-6pm, Sat 8am-5pm | Borough Market, 8 Southwark Street, SE1 1TL
KERB Granary Square | King’s Cross
They’re anything but middle of the road.
And as one of London’s first food market collectives, they’ve set the bar for most other markets in town, launching the careers of many a fresh-faced hawker turning up with only some form of converted vintage truck and an instagrammable fusion food to their name. Now home to five street food markets in London, their King’s Cross edition boasts an 8-strong roster of traders, from Kolkati’s hot paratha wraps to the Smokin Lotus BBQ.
Details: Returns 1st February | 12-2pm, Wednesday – Friday | Granary Square, NC1
Market Hall Victoria | Victoria
Love street food, but haven’t quite got the knack of juggling steaming hot food in tiny cardboard trays whilst trying to attack it one-handedly with a wooden spork? Well, this is where Market Halls step in, a pair of indoor canteens where you can enjoy all the delights of mixing and matching your dishes, with the other delights of… well, actual dishes. The original is set in a formerly abandoned tube station in Fulham, whilst the newer addition takes over a huge space opposite Victoria station. READ MORE
Details: Open weekdays 7am-11pm, Sat 10am-11pm, Sun 10am-10pm | 191 Victoria Street, SW1E 5NE
The Spread Primrose Hill | Regent’s Park
Finish a bracing hike up the hill with a trip to The Spread’s upmarket farmers’ market. Stock up on organic veg, cured meats from the Varley and Crouch deli, and thick slabs of smoked salmon from Salmon Atelier, before swooping onto the street food stalls for crepes, kebabs and quiche.
Details: Saturdays 10am-3pm | St Paul’s Schoolyard, Elsworthy Road, NW3 3DS
The Old Truman Brewery | Brick Lane
Brick Lane’s former brewery has essentially become the home of street food in the area. Regular markets pop up throughout the week, like the laid-back Sunday UpMarket – but it’s also home to less frequent events like Vegan Nights, a monthly night market with DJs and all vegan traders.
Details: Something on daily, check here for details | 91 Brick Lane, E1 6QR
Old Spitalfields Market | Spitalfields
King Charles I gave Spitalfields its official market license in 1638.
But luckily, it didn’t get the chop.
Now it’s home to boutiques, restaurants, vintage stalls and street food, the latter of which you can score at trader vans parked outside the market (like the Duck Truck and Le Swine), or in the market’s pop up kitchens, currently housing the likes of Burmese eatery Lahpet and salt-beef kings, Monty’s Deli.
Details: Open daily | 16 Horner Square, E1 6EW
Dinerama | Shoreditch
Reasons why Dinerama puts other street food markets in London to shame:
1) It’s taken over a former armoured truck depot in East London, and instead filled all 10,000sq feet with a highly covetable selection of food and drinks;
2) That food comes courtesy of vendors with the greatest of reputations, including Yumplings, Up In My Grill and White Men Can’t Jerk (other non-pun based traders are available);
3) Those drinks come courtesy of not one, but seven in-house bars, covering every spirit from rum to whiskey to tequila shots in the German Sex Dungeon;
4) They have a German Sex Dungeon.
Details: Wed-Sat, 5pm-late | 19 Great Eastern Street, EC2A 3EJ | Free entry before 7pm, £3 thereafter
KERB at St Katharine Docks | Wapping
Otis Redding wouldn’t have wasted any time on this dock, because London’s most picturesque marina plays host to an 18-strong street food market on Fridays, courtesy of the masters, KERB. Swing by, and you can tuck into everything from jerk chicken to Filipino BBQ while overlooking the Thames.
Details: Fridays 12-2pm | St Katharine Docks, E1W 1UH
Mercato Metropolitano | Elephant & Castle
Our in-house Italian translator has told us that in English this means “(wild hand gestures) Metropolitan (wild hand gestures) Market”. Though ‘market’ doesn’t really do the place justice, considering that – besides a sprawling collection of Italian traders peddling everything from fresh pasta dishes to mozzarella and gelato – there’s also an artisanal Italian supermarket, regular live music, dance lessons, a co-working space, a gym, a pop-up hotel, a mushroom farm aaand a hidden, themed cinema.
Details: Open daily from 8am-late (11am on weekends) | 42 Newington Causeway, SE1 6DR