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London’s culinary melting pot spans the sprawling city from the centrally located Chinatown to Little India in Southall. Sure, it would be fun to visit each and every neighborhood to try all of the city’s global treats, but that would take years considering all of the markets to visit in London, not to mention all of the London Christmas markets during the holiday season.
That’s a lot of time, not to mention tube fares! Yes, England’s sprawling, global city is that big.
Luckily for visitors without unlimited time and bottomless oyster cards, the city has a vibrant market scene scattered throughout the city. With a little strategic planning, it’s possible for a tourist to sample a variety of London’s exciting cuisines at one of these markets. Better yet, visit a few. Or be like us and visit a lot.
Best Food Markets in London
We recently spent two weeks eating our way through the best markets in London. During this time, we grazed our way through outdoor and indoor venues in our quest for the city’s tastiest food, logging in thousands of steps on our Fitbit as well as hundreds of miles on the tube and overground.
In the end, we ate some of the best food in London while getting a great feel for the city’s neighborhoods. These are our favorite London markets:
Dating back to the 11th century, Borough Market is arguably London’s most historic and epic food market. We first visited Borough Market in 2012 and always make a point to visit the popular food market located just south of the London Bridge whenever we’re in town.
This market sells all kinds of seasonal produce as well as a range of prepared foods. Be sure to try a meat pie at Ginger Pig and a baguette at Bread Ahead or some cheese and saucissons at The French Comté. Otherwise, just wander and eat whatever Borough Market food catches your eye.
Maltby Street Market
Smaller, cooler and younger than nearby Borough Market, Maltby Street Market is where locals go on the weekend to enjoy lunch and craft beer. Located directly beside rail tracks in Bermondsey, many vendors sell and make their wares in the brick arched recesses of rail trestles. This makes Maltby Street a cool sightseeing experience along with a tasty one.
While there, you can bump up against a hip crowd while choosing from top-notch global food vendors serving Vietnamese pho, Chinese dumplings and Belgian waffles. As for us, we were drawn to The Cheese Truck stall where we shared a decadent, oozing, melty grilled cheese sandwich loaded with Keens Cheddar, onion and bacon cooked to a lovely crisped, chestnut brown.
Spend some time on the Bermondsey Beer Mile where you can crawl to ten different microbreweries or park yourself at Hiver Beers and drink your fill of the brewery’s signature honey beer.
Maltby Street Market is located at 37 Maltby Street, London SE1 3PA, UK. This market is open on Saturday and Sunday.
Hackney comes alive every Saturday when the Broadway Market opens for business. Here, you can eat burgers and sip on Vietnamese coffee while soaking in a gentrified yet still cool East London neighborhood vibe.
It’s not just about prepared food at this market. Vendors sell buckets of olives and trays of treats like the salted caramel whoopie pie we scarfed down at the Eat “n” Mess stall.
Although Broadway Market is only open on Saturdays, the neighborhood bustles all week long with a selection of cafes and boutiques.
Broadway Market is located in Hackney, London E8 4QJ. This market is open on Saturday only.
At first glance, Mercato Metropolitano is an upscale Italian market selling a variety of meat, cheese and dried goods. However, a massive, modern food court hides in a 45,000 square foot warehouse just behind the Elephant and Castle shop.
Guests dine on yellow communal tables with food selections ranging from Kansas City BBQ to Vietnamese Pho to Lebanese wraps. However, it would be difficult to beat the authentic Neapolitan pizza at Mercato Metropolitano’s La Pizza Napoletana.
The yeasty flavors and slightly crunchy texture transported us straight back to the pizza we ate in Naples Italy. Shoppers can also dine on pasta or just enjoy a plate of charcuterie with an aperitivo.
You won’t go thirsty at Mercato Metropolitano. The market has an enoteca (Italian wine bar) and craft beer in addition to the food.
Mercato Metropolitano is located at 42 Newington Causeway, London SE1 6DR, UK. This market is open Tuesday through Sunday.
Brixton Village and Market Row
Situated inside a former arcade, Brixton Village Market is an indoor market with rows of cafes, restaurants and shops. The market’s crowd includes hipsters sipping on third wave coffee and locals getting hair weaves, a mix that results in something that’s funky yet congenial.
Though we may not be hipsters, we went the third wave coffee route with flat whites at Federation Coffee. Just outside the market, international vendors sell fresh produce alongside fishmongers and Halal butchers making Brixton a one-stop location for shopping and people watching.
Don’t get fooled by all of the outdoor vendors. To us, the best Brixton market action is inside the covered market.
Brixton Village and Market Row is located at 10-11 Coldharbour Lane, Brixton, London SW9 8LB, UK. This market is open Monday through Sunday.
Leather Lane Street Market
A veritable newcomer by British standards, Leather Lane Street Market has been on the London food scene for the past 400 or so years. Dozens of food market stalls cater to a hungry weekday lunch crowd that enjoys a diverse lunch selection with vendors from Japan, Spain and even England serving hearty fare at reasonable prices.
Despite its name, you won’t find leather apparel at this food-focused market.
Leather Lane Street Market is located at Leather Lane, London EC1N 7TJ, UK. This market is open Monday through Friday.
Brick Lane Market
This busy East London market comes alive on Sunday when masses arrive to pig out at the Sunday UpMarket. The street literally swells with people nibbling on food sold by outdoor vendors as well as inside the Old Truman Brewery. London street musicians add to the festive atmosphere, though the international food selection is the real star of the show.
Stop by nearby Beigel Bake for London’s greatest bargain – a bagel with cream cheese and smoked salmon.
Brick Lane Market is located at 91 Brick Lane, London E1 6QR, UK. This market is open on Saturday and Sunday.
Partridges Food Market
We stumbled upon this weekly market on our way to the Sloane Square tube station and were quickly dazzled by the selection of artisan goods like cakes, scotch eggs and quiche. Not as famous as other London markets, Partridges Food Market offers a well-rounded London market experience in the tony Chelsea neighborhood.
Operating in the Duke of York Square since 2005, the market hosts 70 vendors selling to hungry families and neighborhood locals.
Pop into the flagship store Partridges to shop for British food souvenirs at the posh shop. Options include tea, biscuits and preserves.
Partridges Food Market is located at 2-5, Duke of York Square, King’s Road, Chelsea, London SW3 4LY, UK. This market is open on Saturday only.
Old Spitalfields Market
Originally operating as a wholesale market in 1875, Old Spitalfields Market is now an East London fixture with its rows of stalls selling both food and clothing. Whether you splurge on oysters or indulge in a cupcake, there’s no need to worry about the inevitable London rain.
Since the market is covered, you won’t get wet at Old Spitalfields Market. The market also features Abondance, an authentic French cheese shop that sells a wide variety of top fromage from all over Europe.
Other Notable Food Markets
There’s never enough time to see and do everything in London! If you have extra time, be sure to include these additional markets in your London itinerary:
- Camden Market – This is the food market stalwart in London’s fun, kitschy Camden neighborhood.
- Portobello Market – You can get your Hugh Grant on at this market which features antiques and food stalls (food on Friday and Saturday only) in Notting Hill.
- Fortnum & Mason – The market under the historic Soho store has just about everything one would need to plan a smashing party.
- BOXPARK Shoreditch – This trendy food hall on Shoreditch High Street is an excellent place for a quick bite before walking to the adjacent Overground train station.
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About the Authors
Daryl & Mindi Hirsch
Saveur Magazine’s BEST TRAVEL BLOG award winners Daryl and Mindi Hirsch share their culinary travel experiences and recipes on the 2foodtrippers website and YouTube. The married Food and Travel content creators live in Lisbon, Portugal.