Although famous for its glamorous nightlife and flashing bright lights, London balances it out quite well with its softer side. The smell of attractive desserts and freshly baked goods from around the world flows through the air of Britain’s capital. Dodge the costly tourist activities and forget about the soulless restaurant chains you see in every other city. Explore London how the locals do—in the heart of its diversity. You don’t have to be an aspiring chef or a culinary expert to enjoy London’s food markets.
Borough Market, 8 Southwark Street, London SE1 1TL
Tube Stop: London Bridge
A real food-fanatic cannot call themselves a true foodie until they delve into the taste-heaven which is Borough market. The oldest and best known market in London is right next to London Bridge station. What makes the produce in Borough Market so deliciously different is the quality; my favourite bit is the excellent cheese selection. The market is popular with meat enthusiasts, too, and you’ll find more choice here than anywhere else in the capital. Borough’s brilliance has definitely grown over the years, but so have the prices. Unfortunately, you won’t get the most bang for your buck here, but it certainly is something spectacular. Free samples are enough to fill your stomachs, too.
After all that eating, you’ll be dying for a coffee. Monmouth coffee grind their own stuff every day, and I know a good espresso when I see one. This London food market is open Thursday, Friday and Saturday but they also open on Mondays to Wednesdays for lunch.
Brixton Market, Electric Avenue, London, Brixton SW9 8JX
Tube Stop: Brixton Tube Station
Brixton Market is probably one of the most diverse of its kind. London’s strongest point is its cultural diversity, and Brixton does an excellent job of portraying that. From the spiced herbs of Indian food to fresh fruit and vegetables blended into Thai cuisine, this market has it all – Caribbean, Chinese, and much more. It’s endless. Reggae bass blasting out of industrial-sized speakers adds to that touch of Brixton’s vibrant past.
Be careful about going crazy on the samples – the sheer variety of food is bound to leave your stomach upset. Instead find similar types of cuisine and stuff yourself that way! After that, head to Ritzy Cinema nearby to catch a quick film or go to a jazz bar and relax to some music. Brixton is filled with endless opportunities.
Broadway Market, London, E8 4PH
Tube Stop: Bethnal Green
Broadway Market attracts a younger generation of clientele: fast-moving and open-minded. Hackney is London’s cool, hip-artist area filled with fresh ideas and creative thinking, and Broadway Market couldn’t be located in a better place. Mouth-watering cheese and fresh seafood (maybe not together, but certainly one after the other) will leave you in love with this market. Lucky Chip’s burgers are a must, followed with a coffee from Climpson & Sons. If you catch a rare sunny Sunday afternoon in London, don’t let this opportunity go to waste.
The Old Truman Brewery, Brick Lane, London, E1 6QL
Tube Stop: Shoreditch
It’s finding these hidden gems that really make London worthwhile. Not all the food markets in the capital are world-famous for being overly-hyped tourist hotspots, and Brick Lane is one of the lesser-known few. Because of this, prices are relatively low while the quality remains sky-high. Located in the Old Truman Brewery building, the market uses industrial space perfectly, filled with fresh Moroccan dishes, hand-rolled Sushi, excellent Spanish paella and Caribbean classics. Don’t be surprised if you run into fashion stalls, either – bespoke items apparently work well with zesty world-renowned cuisine.
These London food markets are only a handful of the large selection available in the capital. The summer’s around the corner, and with the sun finally starting to creep up, there’s never been a better time to visit. There are also a lot of smaller pop-ups that have their own charm. Whichever market you decide to visit, make sure you’re hungry and ready to fill up with some diversely outstanding food!
So now that you’re clued up on the top London food markets, continue you journey around capital in search of the best dishes by taking a look at Secret London: 3 of the best pop-up restaurants.