Are you an unashamed foodie who can’t wait to sample all London’s palate has to offer? If so, there’s no better way of experiencing London’s magnificent menu than to visit one or more of its markets (and pick up some bargains too, of course; ideal if you’re already enjoying London hotels deals special offers). From Borough to Hackney and back again, fishmonger to meat seller, all these food markets offer something to suit every visitor’s taste – but especially these three…
A list of terrific London food markets is pretty much nothing without London Bridge’s Borough Market on it. Yes, it’s touristy, rather crowded and a bit expensive nowadays, yet it remains the one-and-only locale for special ingredients such as Spanish iberico bellota ham and Mexican guajillo chili (and it’s easy to get to – especially from the likes of accommodation Paddington London). Quite frankly, queuing up outside Monmouth Coffee might be said to be a constants of London life – as is the queue for Kappacasein’s raclette stand, which serves up freshly melted Swiss raclette and toasted cheese sandwiches.
But Borough Market isn’t just about the stalls so popular it’s impossible to avoid the queues. Less queue-attracting is Brindisa, as it’s a Spanish food shop and restaurant, which vends high-quality, supremely succulent grilled chorizo sandwiches. And why not top the likes of that with a beer from Utobeer; a place that prides itself on its rare, hard-to-find-elsewhere beers. Then, on your way out splash your space cash at Mini Magoo, where the organic granola and muesli’s delicious.
This market’s nestled in the narrow, twisting lanes of Clerkenwell and its crammed with restaurants that serve London’s young professionals with efficiency. A fave with the after-work crowd then, its Caravan Restaurant/ Roastery serves up an eminent, relaxed brunch against a backdrop of irresistibly tasteful decor. Plus, there’s the likes of The Eagle gastropub and a plethora of pop-up food stalls that deal in terrific gourmet food. Scandinavian-themed Freebirds is all about the tight-wrapped burritos that are perfect for those Mexican ancho peppers and refried bean-flavoured cravings. Meanwhile, the Daddy Donkey eatery in nearby Leather Lane market’s where to go for succulent carnitas, shredded pork slow-cooked in spices and Coca-Cola. Yes, really. And then there’s Spanish-Moorish restaurant Moro’s street stall that has a loyal weekday lunch following.
Finally, the trendy-gritty district of Hackney’s foodie hub, this hugely successful Saturday market set on the edge of London Fields was almost wiped off the map about 15 years ago, but then suddenly enjoyed a resurgence that saw it gain a new, loyal clientele that appreciated its improved, discerning food stalls and dedication to local commerce. Stalls then that include Banhmi11, originally a weekend hobby for its owners Van and Anh; here the pork BBQ and pork belly banh mi are staples, while the catfish fillet’s a fine tasty offering, indeed.
And why not drop in on the East End landmark that’s Violet Bakery’s weekend stall, where so many sweet delights like cupcakes and their notorious Whoopie Pies vie for attention. Follow this with a wonderfully refreshing cold-brewed coffee from Climpson & Sons Café, whose roasted beans are enigmatically of their own single-origin. And, last but not least, pop into the wee indie Broadway Bookshop for a little browse – before heading back to your accommodation for dinner (like, say, maybe at The Grand Restaurant?).