One of the longest-standing markets in London is Borough Market. Around since the 12th century, this food mecca is home to the biggest selection of fresh produce, street stalls and restaurants. Offering a large array of tastings and offerings from all corners of the globe, it’s no wonder that this market is one of London’s most popular, with locals and tourists alike.
A trip to Hackney’s Broadway Market on a Saturday is the perfect day out. The atmosphere is buzzing with quirky pubs, cafes and restaurants, as well as authentic locally sourced food produce. Walk around soaking up the multicultural vibes and enjoy a taste of what this little gem has to offer – whether you are feeling fancy with some oysters, or slightly more decadent with some luxurious home-made brownies. They even have an interactive map available on their website which you can check out if you are looking for something in particular.
Berwick Street Market
This is the place to go if you are looking for flavours from all over the world. Located in Soho, workers flock here during their lunchbreaks to grab a falafel wrap or some freshly baked artisan bread. Also open on Saturdays, this market is also very popular with tourists and Londoner’s meandering through the vibrant fruit, veg and flower stalls or to try out exciting new cuisines.
A popular hangout for many years now, Pop Brixton welcomes local businesses and independent traders, dotted in between a mass of fantastic food stalls. Everything from pizza, jerk chicken, and home to the UK’s first 100% plant-based ‘bleeding’ burger joint. Sumer, Spring, Winter, Autumn – this market has a detachable roof so is open and thriving all year round.
If you live South West (or anywhere else really!), this bustling Wandsworth market is the place to head. Having been around for over 80 years, it hasn’t lost its charisma and has some seriously good grub on offer with some talented traders from all around the world. Also, a self-proclaimed favourite spot of London Mayor Sadiq Khan!
Billingsgate Fish Market
With over 120 varieties of fresh fish and shellfish this is the UK’s largest wholesale fish market. Tradesmen are not the only ones to frequent here, with top chefs from all over the country and the general public flocking here for great deals and the freshest ingredients. This market is for early-risers, but the ideal time for the public to head there is around 6-630am when it is a little quieter and you can bumble around to see what they offer. The atmosphere is buzzing, but remember to take warm clothes (it can be very cold) and old shoes (as the floor can get very wet and slimy!)
Duke of York Square Fine Food Market
Conveniently located by Saatchi Gallery, this market in the heart of Chelsea specialises in only the finest foods. With a curated selection of fashion, food, beauty and culture, they offer established brands and unique boutiques, luxury flagships, alfresco dining and extensive culture. A Saturday trip that will be well worth it.
Mare Street Market
This gem used to be headed up by celebrity chef Gizzi Erskine and the thing that makes this market unique is its focus on music and fashion as well as produce and delectable food stalls. Home-grown food and drink is key here, with 3 dining spots serving up some of the best that Hackney has to offer. This modern market is totally cashless, so make sure you withdraw plenty before arrival!
A classic hipster market that is situated outside, boasting some of London’s coolest food and drink hangouts. This market heaves in Summer months, with people flocking to their European style cafes, and al-fresco dining restaurants. All restaurants and cafes have outdoor seating, which is pretty rare for central London! There is everything for anyone and it’s hard to look past stalls selling Italian ‘just like Mama used to make’ meatballs, authentic Vietnamese street food and the ‘I can never have too many’ halloumi fries.
Taking inspiration from Italy’s food markets this foodie hotspot is more of a community marketplace, opposed to larger big scale operations in the industry. Their main focus is around small-scale farmers, only stocking local high-quality produce, with sustainability being an important principle. As well as authentic Italian stalls, live music and events also take place regularly here.
A fairly newcomer to the food market scene, the Vinegar Yard has a vast range of bright bold vibrant colours and cultures to offer. This will no doubt be a strong addition to the ever-growing scene, with an array of food options ranging from sticky bao buns, spicy Indian curries and plant based dishes cooked to perfection, as well as a large art and event space.
So, whether you are a seasoned foodie or a market novice, you will be sure to find something to tantalise your taste buds at any of these London food markets. Each one offers something unique and different and is the perfect way to spend a day buzzing around the stalls soaking in the culture.
A word of advice: It’s a good idea to turn up with an empty stomach. From fried chicken to vegan tacos to some of the best brownies you’ll ever taste, you’ll want to try it all!
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