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London's Top 5 Food Markets

  • 3 Sep 2015

Each month we ask a London expert to give us their Top 5 for the best in the capital's shopping, dining, nightlife and more. This week: Laura Porter, aka @AboutLondon, shares the best street markets for foodies.

FOS Gaz 6 Southbank © The Gaztronome 448x300

1. Borough Market 

The grandaddy of them all

BoroughMarket 448x300

What's it like?
London's oldest food market is rightly the most popular. Meet the producers who farm organic meats, create artisan cheeses and bake organic bread. It's a permanent Victorian covered market that's crowded on Saturdays but always worth exploring. See, try and buy the best seasonal produce as there are always samples on offer to help you select the freshest riverside picnic, or choose from the tantalising aromas of hot street food.

Who goes there? Close to London Bridge and the South Bank, this food market is loved by Londoners and tourists alike for its top quality produce. 

Why I love it: A glass of Sangria from Cartwright Bros and olive tasting at The Turkish Deli make every lunchtime special.

How to find it: 8 Southwark Street, London, SE1 1TL. 020 7407 1002
Monday-Thursday 10am-5pm, Friday 10am-6pm, Saturday 8am-6pm, Closed Sunday

2. Maltby Street Market

A more intimate Borough Market

Maltby Street Market - Little Bird Gin Pop Up 448x350

What's it like?
Local produce rules at this small weekend street market, with smoked salmon from east London and gin distilled in south London. Sandwiched down a paved avenue lined with Victorian railway arches, festooned overhead with brightly coloured bunting, this market has that 'secret find' vibe. The arches have bars and restaurants too and outdoor seating encourages you to stay and be part of something special.

Who goes there? Foodies who want to be seen at the right market without the crowds.

Why I love it: The best Bloody Marys at the Little Bird Gin pop-up bar, sublime grilled cheese sandwiches from The Food Truck, and gooey salted caramel brownies from Bad Brownie. 

How to find it: Ropewalk, 41 Maltby Street, London, SE1 3PA.
Saturday 9am-4pm, Sunday 11am-4pm

3. Broadway Market

Hackney hangout for young hipsters

What's it like? This Saturday-only street market is ideal for sleep-deprived parents in need of a cup of trendy small batch coffee to wake up to the weekend. And foodies will love the spices, cheeses, breads, rare-breed meat, cute cupcakes and sumptuous olives, whilst the cool kids will adore the vintage clothes stalls and organic fair trade products. The street is lined with cafes and restaurants and The Schoolyard Market, near the Cat and Mutton pub, has great street food.

Who goes there? East London's fashionable hipsters and yummy mummy families.

Why I love it: Gorgeous cupcakes from Violet and chilled Vietnamese coffee from Cà Phê VN combine perfectly with lounging on the grass in London Fields.

How to find it: Broadway Market, off Lansdowne Drive, London Fields, London, E8 4PH. (Broadway Market runs from London Fields park to the Regent's Canal.)
Saturday 7am-7pm

4. Whitecross Street Market

Lunchtime street food at its best

What's it like? World cuisine is well represented here with Thai, Indian, Vietnamese, Italian, Brazilian, Mexican, Turkish, hog roast and more. Traffic-free during market times, this is the place for the freshest street food cooked in front of you. Queues start around midday and stalls start running out after 1pm on Thursdays and Fridays. This is real worker's fare so expect generous portions and often change from a fiver.

Who goes there? Near to Old Street, the market gets regular trade from the local office workers at Silicon Roundabout.

Why I love it: So much choice and so cheap! Burritos from the Luardos 'Mexivan' are superb and the veg thali from the popular Indian stall is perfect to share. On more virtuous days a Buddha Bowl is a healthy vegan treat.

How to find it: 1 Whitecross Street, London, EC1V 9AB.
Monday-Friday 10am-5pm

5. Southbank Centre Market 

Top South Bank location

Southbank Market © Gaztronome 448x300

What's it like?
Around 40 curated stalls make up this open-air foodie heaven of street food and fresh produce. This is quality over quantity with meat specialists plus amazing cookies and chocolates. The craft beer or fresh juice is a great accompaniment to sausages, sliders or cheese samples. 

Who goes there? Londoners and tourists love London's South Bank so you'll find a good mix of holidaymakers and locals enjoying al fresco nibbles.

Why I love it: The location can't be beaten and neither can the Frenchie Duck Confit burger with Truffle Honey cheese topping. If the seating is taken, wander round to Jubilee Gardens for iconic views. 

How to find it: Behind Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London, SE1 8XX. 020 7960 4200
Friday 12-8pm, Saturday 11am-8pm, Sunday 12-6pm Monday (bank holidays only) 12-6pm

Visit golondon.about.com for more insights from Laura on the best that London has to offer.


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