Borough Market

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Neil Frame 12/07/24


The Best Food Markets In London

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 about five extra kilos.

But we also took home something in a more enriching, metaphorical sense; that is, a refined collection of London’s best food markets, which, today, we would like to share with you…


CENTRAL LONDON FOOD MARKETS

Berwick Street | Soho

berwick street market

One of the oldest 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 – late afternoon | Berwick Street, W1F 0PH

Southbank Centre Food Market | Southbank

southbank centre food market

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 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 veggie Indian street food at the lauded Horn OK Please.

Details: Fri 12-9pm, Sat 11am-9pm, Sun & bank holiday Mondays 12-6pm | Southbank Centre Square, SE1 8XX

KERB Southbank | Southbank

kerb street food market southbank

Ryan Dinham

The National Theatre’s riverside terrace sets the perfect stage for this sprawling seated food market run by old hands KERB. For Summer 2024 they’ve bussed in Baba Dhaba’s fiery naan wraps and Pakistani bites; Chicken Bandits’ burgers and loaded fries; and the slow-churn magic of Hackney Gelato, while Two Tribes hook their craft brews up to the taps.

Details: Open daily until 22nd September 2024 | National Theatre, Upper Ground, South Bank, London SE1 9PX

Vinegar Yard | London Bridge

Vinegar Yard food market

Haydon Perrior

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 Tue & Wed 5-10.30pm, Thurs & Fri 3-10.30pm, 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

Mercato Metropolitano - food market London

Just calling this place a market feels like an understatement – because besides a sprawling collection of over 40 international traders peddling everything from fresh pasta to Himalayan dumplings, there’s also an artisanal Italian supermarket, a brewery, a co-working space, regular live music… aaand a mushroom farm. And it’s a formula that’s proved so popular, they’ve now opened Mercato Ilford and Mercato Mayfair, too. Speaking of which…

Details: Open Mon-Wed 12-11pm, Thurs 12pm-12am, Fri 12pm-1am, Sat 11am-1am, Sun 11am-10pm 42 Newington Causeway, SE1 6DR

Mercato Mayfair | Mayfair

mercato mayfair street food market

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 12-10.30pm St Mark’s, North Audley Street, London, W1K 6ZA

Whitecross Street Market | Old Street

whitecross street market

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

 

EAST LONDON MARKETS

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, half a dozen 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

Tower Hill Market | The City

Tower Hill market

You’ll find the City’s newest food market right next to the Tower of London, where the delicious wafts of Malaysian soul food, onion-slathered hot dogs and Sri Lankan wraps might just tempt the Beefeaters to expand their diet… Alongside a sizeable array of food stalls, there’s also a pop-up pub and live music every week, plus some of the city’s most awe-inspiring riverside views.

Details: Thursdays 11am-3pm Tower Hill Terrace, London, United Kingdom EC3N 4EE

Victoria Park Market | Hackney

victoria park market

Virginie Petorin

Every weekend the Nightwalk – a beautiful pedestrianised avenue in Victoria Park – comes alive with a bustling street food market, expanding to include fresh produce on Sundays. 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: Saturdays 11am-5pm and Sundays 10-4pm | Victoria Park, between Bonner Gate and Gore Gate, E2 9JW

Old Spitalfields Market | Spitalfields

Old Spitalfields Market

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 park up on the market’s periphery, while inside there are the market kitchens – semi-permanent food stalls including the legendary Dumpling Shack, Crunch 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

Broadway Market

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 most popular 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; Argentine steak from Toropampa, 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, Sundays 10am-4pm | Broadway Market, E8 4QJ

Netil Market | London Fields

netil market

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 Willy’s Pies and Wingnut Wines.

Details: Tues-Thurs 9am-10pm, main days Fri-Sun 9am-10pm | 13-23 Westgate Street, E8 3RL

Chatsworth Road Market | Clapton

Chatsworth Road Market

Locals flock to this Sunday market, but it’s not quite as packed out as its more famous neighbours. So if you’re keen to eat when hunger strikes and not, say, 20-45 minutes of queuing later, Chatsworth Road Market is the one. Over 80 stalls stretch along this Victorian high street, serving everything from jerk chicken to bánh mì, with a smattering of fancy produce stalls thrown in for good measure.

Details: Sundays, 11am-4pm Chatsworth Road, E5

Brick Lane Markets | Spitalfields

brick lane food markets

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

SOUTH LONDON MARKETS

Borough Market | London Bridge

borough market london

acmanley/iStock

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: Tues-Fri 10am-5pm, Sat 9am-5pm, Sun 10am-4pm | Borough Market, 8 Southwark Street, SE1 1TL

Maltby Street Market | Bermondsey

Maltby Street - food market London

Without a doubt, the flag (and bunting) bearer for London’s street 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 Mooncheese toasties 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, Poon’s, The Little Bread Pedlar and more.

Details: Saturdays 10-5pm, Sundays 11-4pm; Spa Terminus open Saturday mornings | Maltby Street, SE1 3PA

KERB at Gipsy Hill Taproom | Gipsy Hill

gipsy hill kerb market

A match made in heaven, or at least South London: one of London’s finest breweries and the city’s greatest street food market-runners. Glug back cans of the special KERB lager, while tucking into food from one of the three rotating stalls that pitch up outside the brewery taproom each weekend.

Details: Saturdays 1-8pm Gipsy Hill Taproom, 160 Hamilton Road, SE27 9SF

Brockley Market | Brockley

Brockley market - food market London

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

Greenwich Market boasts some 120 stalls, overflowing with antiques, collectibles, curios, and all manner of thoroughly interesting bric-a-brac. But a not-insignificant 49 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. You’ll find even more street food traders parked up towards the Cutty Sark – and a pretty impressive view for your picnic, too.

Details: Daily, 10am-5.30pm | Greenwich Market, Greenwich Peninsula, SE10 9HZ

Herne Hill Market | Herne Hill

herne hill market

Taste of Ethiopia

A Sunday parade of over fifty different stall-holders, who set up shop along Railton Road by the station. Come here for street food, fresh produce, antiques & vintage items, hand-made clothing, jewellery and more – and a heady dose of village-like charm as you browse the more permanent shops along the high street, too. Plus, you can finish up by taking a dip in Brockwell Lido, or holing up for a pint at the Half Moon.

Details: Sundays, 10am – 4pm Railton Road, SE24 0JN

Crystal Palace Park Market | Crystal Palace

crystal palace park market

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-3pm Crystal Palace Park, Thicket Road, SE20 8DT

Venn Street Market | Clapham

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-3pm Venn Street, Clapham SW4 0AT

Horniman Farmers’ Market | Forest Hill

horniman market

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

Northcross Road Market

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

greenwich peninsula market

Greenwich Peninsula’s weekend market really goes out on a limb. 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 local makers hawk hand-made jewellery, clothing, homeware and more.

Details: Weekends 11am-6pm (March – September) Peninsula Square, Greenwich, London, SE10 0EN

 

NORTH LONDON MARKETS

Canopy Market | King’s Cross

canopy market london

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

Camden food market London

The first stalls set up shop here in 1974, and while it’s changed a lot in recent years, 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

lloyd park market

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

 

WEST LONDON MARKETS

Portobello Schoolyard | Notting Hill

portobello schoolyard market

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 trades 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

north end road market

Hammersmith & Fulham Council/Flickr

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, and the whole market’s nearly plastic-free.

Details: Mon-Sat, 8am-6pm North End Road, Fulham, SW6 1NW

 


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