London’s food markets have shaken off the image of downmarket stalls selling soil-caked carrots, limp lettuces and home-baked buns. When you visit one of the capital’s new breed of food markets, you can choose anything from exotic, International cuisine to old English classics. Purely for research purposes, we’ve been out sampling the best of the produce on offer. Our expanding waistlines are testament to the hard graft we’ve put in to tracking down London’s best gastro markets.
For foodies who love street fare, look no further than the Whitecross Street Market every Thursday and Friday. Although the general market is open daily, Whitecross comes in to its own on the two days each week that it holds its specialist food market.
From classic Italian pesto or Mexican burritos through to Tucker’s ethically-sourced springbok sausages, there’s something to tantalise everyone’s taste buds. Indulge in a little piece of pastry-filled heaven from “Eat My Pies” or, if you’re feeling adventurous, try one of their eclectic range of Scotch eggs.
On Saturday, take a trip to Partridges Food Market on Duke of York Square. At first glance, it may seem odd that an upmarket, royal-warranted food retailer runs a weekly food market, but the two seem to complement each other beautifully. With around 45 small, specialist producers in attendance every week, it may take you several visits to sample the wares of every stall that catches your fancy. Thai Cuisine rubs shoulders with Gourmet Falafel, Aki Maki Handmade Sushi and Malmo Nordic Dining, making Partridges Food Market a truly international, artisan experience.
Borough Market is the granddaddy of London’s gastro markets. Established in the 13th century, it now boasts over 100 stalls every week.
You can find everything from artisan cheese, bread and honey to Turkish, Indian and Caribbean delicacies.
Regular live events take place in the Demonstration Kitchen. You can learn to put together all those fabulous ingredients that you purchase from the produce stalls.
Or take the easy way out and sneak off to one of the nearby cafes, restaurants or bars, where you can sit and sip a cool beer or chilled glass of wine while someone else chops, peels, sautés and serves.
Marylebone Farmers Market, held on a Sunday, is top of the list for those who want to buy ethical, local produce.
With Adrian Izzard’s organic lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes and peppers grown in Cambridge; organic mushrooms cultivated by The Mushroom Table on the Essex / Suffolk border; and the Old Hall Farm Rare Breeds reared on Romney Marsh, there’s no need to feel guilty about unnecessary food miles.
Ring the changes with a visit to Brick Lane Sunday UpMarket. Browsing the unique jewellery, clothing and craft stalls will allow you to walk off some of the calories consumed at the unpretentious food stalls.
Boasting the best Spanish omelette in London, complemented with genuine Andalusian gazpacho, Spanish Caravan offers delicious tapas, paella and empanada.
Alternatively, you can munch on falafel, pad Thai or pumpkin curry as you hunt down that elusive vinyl LP or pick out the perfect print.
Share your favourite London food market and tops tips in the comments section below. Alternatively click here to book accommodation in London and discover some of London’s best markets for yourself.