There’s no better way of experiencing the vibrant life of London than to visit a London market. We narrow down the options with our pick of the five best London food markets.
No list of markets in London can be complete without Borough Market. Touristy, crowded and expensive as it has become, Borough remains the place to go for specialty ingredients like Spanish iberico bellota ham and Mexican guajillo chili. Whilst life in London seems to be constantly in flux, the queue outside of Monmouth Coffee is one of the great constants of life in London. Equally constant is the queue around Kappacasein’s raclette stand, serving freshly melted Swiss raclette and toasted cheese sandwiches. But Borough Market has such a variety of food stalls that you’re hardly missing out if you opt to avoid the queues.
Maltby Market is, one of another best market in London. If you’re looking to avoid the long queues and plodding tourist’s altogether, hop on to the Jubilee line to Bermondsey where Maltby Market has settled in amongst the railway arches of southeast London in the Ropewalk. It’s running wholesale business on the weekdays. There are simply too many high quality food stalls at Maltby to know where to begin. On Saturdays, the market transforms into a lively gathering of local foodies who crave some of the freshest food in London. Flavours rotate on a weekly basis, but nothing beats the classic vanilla cream doughnuts with a hint of lemon zest. Wash it all down with a sweetly creamy single origin Flat White from the friendly baristas at the Craft Coffee cart.
Brixton Village Market:
Located in an old covered market arcade, Brixton Village Market is emerging as one of London’s great gastronomic hot spots and has revitalised the Brixton area, long known for its traditional Afro-Caribbean street stalls.
Lighting up the gourmand blogosphere are Brixton mainstays like Honest Burgers and free range fried chicken restaurant Wishbone, which is the south-of-the-river outpost of the founders of London gourmet burger joints Meat Liquor and Meat Market. Although Wishbone’s ultra-trendy vibe has drawn some criticism from long time Brixton residents, its opening is undoubtedly a sign of the recent rejuvenation of the South London neighbourhood.
Some of Brixton Village’s best known and tastiest eateries include Franco Manca, which serves amazingly textured sourdough crust pizzas, Mama Lan, a London Supper Club now with a cozy restaurant in Brixton. Serving a variety of authentic Beijing style dumplings, each of them exquisitely handshaped, Mama Lan brings a welcome taste of China to the London food scene.
Broadway Market is Hackney’s foodie hipster hub. Older sibling to The Schoolyard Market, this hugely successful Saturday market on the edge of London Fields in east London nearly disappeared in the early 2000s, but resurgence in 2004 has led to new food stalls and a clientele passionate about food and all things local.
Some of the best of Broadway Market include Banhmi11, which was initially set up as a weekend hobby by Van and Anh. Now with two market cafés in addition to its Saturday stall at Broadway, Banhmi11 are serving up the best market fresh Vietnamese food in London.
The younger sibling of ever popular Broadway Market, also located near London Fields, Netil Market has developed a character and following of its own since its establishment in 2011 by Creative Network Partners. Taking seriously the multidisciplinary nature of ‘creative’, the group launched Netil Market as a platform for designer/makers.
Netil Market thus offers not only the usual London market fare of vintage clothing, furniture and jewellery, it also features stalls selling excellent handmade works by local artists and designers. Netil Market is also home to Lucky Chip’s original street van. Dubbed one of London’s best burger spots, grab a Lucky Chip Bacon Burger then pop by its neighbouring stall BAO for a post-burger snack. A relative newcomer to the Netil Market family, BAO London serves excellent traditional Taiwanese street snacks including their signature BAO buns. Taking slow braised pork belly and wrapping it up in a fluffy milk white Steamed Milk Bun, the BAO bun makes for a bite sized treat packed with flavourful goodness.