Neil Frame 26/04/23
If we took one thing away from our painstaking trawl of London’s markets – from street food villages, to awning-covered squares 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 London markets, which, today, we would like to share with you…
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
Southbank Centre Food Market | 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 has gone from a modest pop-up with a couple of stalls to a fully fledged village. Pitching up on Upper Ground, just behind the Royal Festival Hall, it’s a labyrinth of different cuisines; try Japanese donburi (rice bowls) from Pochi, The Polish Deli’s pierogi dumplings, and flaky Portuguese pasteis de nata at Galeta.
Details: Fri 12-9pm, Sat 11am-9pm, Sun & bank holiday Mondays 12-6pm | Southbank Centre Square, SE1 8XX
KERB Southbank | Southbank
The National Theatre’s riverside terrace sets the perfect stage for this sprawling street food market run by old hands, KERB. For Summer 2023 they’ve installed a 70m long banquet table to encourage a social element to the market, which’ll be nice if you can find time to speak between mouthfuls of Santa Bifana’s pork belly sandwiches, Lucky’s Nashville hot chicken, and scoops of chocolate orange negroni ice cream from Big Kid.
Details: Open Wed-Sun from 12th May – 23rd September | National Theatre, Upper Ground, South Bank, London SE1 9PX
Vinegar Yard | London Bridge
Vinegar Yard comes to you from the same team behind nearby Flat Iron Square, except this time they’ve brought in a train carriage and a whole army of oversized ants. Seriously. You’ll also find various leading food vendors such as My Million Pound Menu winners Baba G’s and jaw-busting sandwiches from the Experimental Sandwich Shop; a huge open-air garden; numerous bars; andddd a weekend flea market. One visit and you’ll be itching to go back…
Details: Open Wed-Fri 5-10.30pm, Sat 12-10.30pm, Sun, 12-8pm; flea market weekends 11am-5pm | 72-82 St Thomas Street, London Bridge, SE1 3QU
Mercato Metropolitano | Elephant & Castle
Just calling this place a market feels like an understatement – because besides a sprawling collection of international traders peddling everything from fresh pasta to Himalayan dumplings, there’s also an artisanal Italian supermarket, a brewery, a co-working space, a barbershop aaand a mushroom farm. And it’s a formula that’s proved so popular, they’ve now opened another Mercato in an old Mayfair church.
Details: Open Mon-Wed 12-11pm, Thurs 12pm-12am, Fri & Sat 12pm-1am, Sun 12-10pm | 42 Newington Causeway, SE1 6DR
Whitecross Street Market | Old Street
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, 11.45am–2.15pm | Whitecross Street, EC1
Mercato Mayfair | Mayfair
Street food in a church. That’s the headline. But if you want chapter and verse on the matter: it’s the second marketplace from the Mercato Metropolitano team, with over a dozen kitchens and bars keeping the congregation happy, and a beautiful festoon-lit roof terrace in the shadow of the church’s 19th century bell tower.
Details: Open Mon-Thurs 12-11pm, Fri 12pm-12am, Sat 12-10pm | St Mark’s, North Audley Street, London, W1K 6ZA
Cowcross Yards | Farringdon
Cowcross Street has been home to a market since 1123, but the food here’s distinctly cutting edge – as part of KERB’s Inkerbator programme, eight up-and-coming street food outfits tip up here every Wednesday & Thursday lunchtime. Expect Venezuelan cachapas (corn pancakes) from Papelón; outrageous stacked burgers from Meatstop; and Nepalese momo dumplings courtesy of Filili.
Details: Wednesdays & Thursdays, 11.30am-2.30pm | Cowcross Yards, Farringdon
Victoria Park Market | Hackney
Every Sunday the Nightwalk – a beautiful pedestrianised street in Victoria Park – comes alive with a fresh produce and street food market. Visitors can bag themselves loaves of freshly made bread, cheeses, olive oils, ice cream, and more, before tucking into plates of hand-made dumplings from Gyoza Guys or cheesy savoury crepes from Crêpes à La Carte. You’ll also often find live music, and there are stalls selling locally brewed craft beers and wine, rounding it off into an ideal sunny afternoon.
Details: Sundays, 10-4pm | Victoria Park, between Bonner Gate and Gore Gate, E2 9JW
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, vinyl stalls, antique markets and street food. Food trucks from the likes of Mr Bombay and The Duck Truck rock up on the market’s periphery, while inside there are the market kitchens – semi-permanent food stalls including the legendary Dumpling Shack and Humble Crumble – with covered picnic tables to munch at.
Details: Open daily 10am-9.30pm (5pm Sundays) | 16 Horner Square, E1 6EW
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 sushi handrolls from Temaki Bros – before retreating for an al fresco feast in London Fields or by Regent’s Canal.
Details: Saturdays, 9am-5pm | Broadway Market, E8 4QJ
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 cult traders like Pockets (whose enormous stuffed pitas draw queues round the block) and Willy’s Pies.
Details: Tues-Thurs 9am-10pm, main days Fri-Sun 9am-10pm | 13-23 Westgate Street, E8 3RL
Brick Lane Markets | Spitalfields
Brick Lane has long been a hub for street food in London, with regular markets popping up throughout the week. Find stalls scattered along the street on Sundays, as well as street food vans parked in fairy-lit yards and hawker-style markets in the old brewery buildings. Every now and again, the vast Old Truman Brewery plays host to Vegan Nights, a bustling night market with DJs and all-vegan traders.
Details: Something on daily, check here for details | 91 Brick Lane, E1 6QR
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: Weekdays 10am-5pm, Sat 9am-5pm, Sun 10am-4pm | Borough Market, 8 Southwark Street, SE1 1TL
Maltby Street Market | Bermondsey
Without a doubt, the flag (and bunting) bearer for London food markets is Maltby Street Market. Tucked down a secluded alley, lined by repurposed railway arches and festooned with flags and strings of bulbs, it has the feel of an industrialised village fete. You’ll find a constantly changing mix of traders here, from Bangers’ traditional sausage sarnies to Ethiopian dishes by Amen. 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, The Little Bread Pedlar and more.
Details: Open Friday evenings from 6pm, Saturdays 10-5pm, Sundays 11-4pm; Spa Terminus open Saturday mornings | Maltby Street, SE1 3PA
KERB at Gipsy Hill Taproom | Gipsy Hill
A match made in heaven, or at least South London: one of London’s finest breweries and the city’s greatest street food market team. Glug back cans of the KERB special lager, while tucking into food from one of the six rotating stalls thatpitch up outside the brewery taproom every other Saturday.
Details: Alternate Saturdays 1-5pm, check ahead here | Gipsy Hill Taproom, 160 Hamilton Road, SE27 9SF
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 Saturday market boasts a cohort of street vendors at the top of their game. Expect appearances from the likes of Nyborg’s Kitchen with their decadent Swedish bakes; empanadas from Chacarero; and the flower-festooned Jhalmuri Express.
Details: Saturdays, 10am-2pm | Lewisham College Car Park, Lewisham Way, SE4 1UT
Greenwich Market | Greenwich
Greenwich Market boasts some 120 stalls, overflowing with antiques, collectibles, curios, and all manner of thoroughly interesting bric-a-brac. But a not-insignificant 46 of those stalls are street food vendors, serving up Italian cannoli; veggie Ethiopian dishes; fresh oysters; ramen burgers; vegan pizza; Andean empanadas and – apparently – the longest sausage in London.
Details: Daily, 10am-5.30pm | Greenwich Market, Greenwich Peninsula, SE10 9HZ
Crystal Palace Park Market | Crystal Palace
Fresh produce and street food abounds at this Sunday market that stretches along a leafy avenue of Crystal Palace Park. It’s one of very few places in London you can tuck into a banh mi while being overlooked by a herd of Victorian dinosaur statues.
Details: Sundays 10am-4pm | Crystal Palace Park, Thicket Road, SE20 8DT
Venn Street Market | Clapham
Every Saturday, Clapham’s Venn Street becomes a little pedestrianised paradise, with tables and chairs spilling onto the pavements from the cafés and bars lining the street, and a pop-up market running along its centre. Fresh produce is the main draw here, with stalls hawking fresh fish, fruit and veg as well as pantry goods, fresh bakes and even biltong. But those just swinging by for a quick bite won’t be disappointed either, with stalls cooking up dishes from Sri Lanka, the Seychelles, and beyond.
Details: Saturdays 10am-4pm (3pm Nov-April) | Venn Street, Clapham SW4 0AT
Horniman Farmers’ Market | Forest Hill
Setting up shop in the lush, sprawling gardens surrounding the Horniman Museum, the Sunday market here offers fresh cut flowers; organic produce; artisan cheese; exceptional street food; Polish crockery…. and stunning, panoramic views of the city.
Details: Open Sundays, 10am-3pm | Horniman Museum & Gardens, 100 London Road, London SE23 3PQ
North Cross Road Market | Dulwich
Dulwich’s North Cross Road already has a supremely browsable collection of delightful independent shops peppered along its width, so you might be tempted to think that the market springing up every Saturday is merely the icing on this retail cake. Well, allow us to disabuse you of this falsehood right now. The market is the cake. Here you’ll find dozens upon dozens of richly varied stalls, slinging goods ranging from pastries to Polaroids, fish to furniture, bread to bicycles, and everything in-between. There’s also plenty of street food to get your mitts on – everything from tartiflette to a giant hog roast. You’ll want to get there early though, as it’s known to sell out fast.
Details: Saturdays | North Cross Road, East Dulwich, SE22 9ET
Greenwich Peninsula Market | Greenwich
This brand new weekend market is hitting the ground running. Not only can you stop by to peruse fresh bakes (that support young refugees), cured meats, farmhouse cheeses and desserts… there’s also a clutch of independent craft stalls, where makers hawk hand-made jewellery, clothing, homeware and more.
Details: Weekends 11am-6pm | Peninsula Square, Greenwich, London, SE10 0EN
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 double-stacked confit duck burgers.
Details: Fridays 12-8pm, Sat & Sun 11am-6pm | West Handyside Canopy (just off Granary Square), N1C 4BZ
Camden Market | Camden
The first stalls set up shop here in 1974, and while it’s changed a lot recently under new owners, Camden Market’s food offering is still noteworthy – set up camp at the street food village overlooking the canal, or explore the new Hawley Wharf part of the market, with street food traders covering all the bases, from Caribbean to Cantonese roasted meats. While you’re there, you can stock up on gin from the Half Hitch micro-distillery; posh pantry goods at The Camden Grocer; and rare-breed beef at Roadkill butchers – who don’t actually scrape their stock off the roads, but do source it all from ethical farmers.
Details: Open daily from 10am-late | Chalk Farm Road, NW1 8AH
Lloyd Park Market | Walthamstow
Set in the picturesque park surrounding the childhood home of Victorian arts & crafts designer William Morris, Lloyd Park Market ticks off all your Saturday market necessities: small batch bakes, fresh produce, street food, and of course, a deli for your dog.
Details: Open Saturdays 10am-4pm | Lloyd Park, Forest Road, London E17 4PP
Portobello Schoolyard | Notting Hill
Fresh out of Portobello mushrooms? Well, you can restock at this new food market just off Portobello Road. Aside from fresh produce from award-winning farmers, you can scoop up natural wines from Wingnut Wines, doughnuts by Crosstown, and four different ages of comté from France – and peruse stalls from not one but two Michelin starred chefs. The Square’s Phil Howard is here hawking his cook-at-home pasta boxes (which have since led to a bricks-and-mortar restaurant, Notto), while former Leroy chef Sam Kamienko is selling his hit lockdown bagels. Plus, there’s live music, hot street food, and homeware stalls, too.
Details: Saturdays, 10am-4pm | Vicente Cañada Blanch Spanish School, 317-318 Portobello Road, London W10 5SZ
North End Road Market | Fulham
As unpretentious as they come, Fulham’s North End Road market is run by locals, for locals. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t have plenty to boast about, though – aside from stalls hawking a cornucopia of fresh fruit and veg, you’ll also find a thriving street food scene with stalls representing cuisines from all over the world. It’s also blessed with a considerable number of vegan stands, too, and the whole market’s nearly plastic-free.
Details: Mon-Sat, 8am-6pm | North End Road, Fulham, SW6 1NW
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