It’s hard to narrow down the best food markets in London with all the foodie fare this city has to offer. But we’ve given it a go with these top five picks.
And while there are plenty of dining options in London, nothing beats picking up produce from a market.
In a city that feels worlds away from the countryside, in a market you can find local farmers and their harvests; seasonal, organic and free-range food; and independent artisan businesses.
So, if you’re staying in an apartment with a kitchen or just want to browse, here’s our pick of the best food markets in London.
1. Borough Market
We have to start with the most famous market in the city: Borough Market. As the oldest food market in London—it’s been going for more than 1,000 years—this place is a historical attraction in itself. Tucked away just off South Bank, you’ll find stalls selling everything from fresh produce to ready-to-go dishes.
Stock up on cheese, bread, fish, meat, fruit and vegetables and treat yourself to homemade fudge, cakes and cookies. There’s also always an assortment of pantry items like preserves, jams and specialist teas and plenty of vegan inventions too.
If you’re interested in the story behind the food you’re eating, head to Borough Market as many of the stallholders are also the farmers and producers.
And if all that shopping works up your appetite, grab a ready-to-eat street food snack from one of the Middle Eastern, Asian or European stalls. There’s even the British favorite: fish and chips.
It’s open every day except Sunday, so it makes for the perfect stop off on a walk along the Thames.
2. Broadway Market
Based in Hackney in North London, Broadway Market lines the streets with more than 100 stalls. Here, you can pick up food essentials like milk, eggs, vegetables and bread. It’s only open on Saturday, but it does open every Saturday of the year.
Along with basic foods, you can pick up a fresh bouquet of flowers, candles and clothing, artisanal chocolate and donuts, and a wide variety of sizzling street food. And there are plenty of shops lining the nearby streets to duck into should the British weather take a turn.
Fun Fact: Fan of British soap operas? It’s rumored that Broadway Market inspired the market in “EastEnders.”
3. Maltby Street Market
A relative newcomer to the food market scene in London, Maltby Street Market started in 2010. Found in Bermondsey, tucked under railway arches, this market is now gaining popularity with locals and tourists alike.
Stock up on oven-fresh bread, meat, cheeses, preserves and pantry goods as well as unique items like Mozambique-inspired hot sauces and Egyptian loose-leaf tea.
For street food, there’s everything from Venezuelan to Taiwanese to the classic burgers and hot dogs. Wash it down with craft beer, small-batch gin, fresh juice or grab some artisanal coffee beans to take home.
The market is only open weekends, but it makes for the perfect addition to a day of exploring East London.
4. Notting Hill Farmer’s Market
Notting Hill Farmer’s Market is one of the best food markets in London to visit as a tourist looking for a glimpse into local life. So, if you’re here on a Saturday, be sure to head west to check it out.
Every Saturday morning, stalls sell essentials like bread, eggs, meat, fish, fresh fruit and seasonal vegetables. Along with the basics, there are also things like local honey, wild mushrooms, raw milk and craft cider. Many of the stallholders are local farmers and most of the produce is seasonal, organic, chemical free and free range.
Insider’s Tip: Arrive early as many stalls sell out and locals have been known to queue before the 9 a.m. opening time to get first dibs on the best produce.
Looking to pick up an antique? The nearby Portobello Road Market is the largest antique market in the world—there are more than 1,000 dealers here—so you’re sure to find a collectible, or at least a bargain.
5. Southbank Centre Food Market
The Southbank Centre Food Market is found just behind the Southbank Centre, making it perfect for a pre-show bite to eat or a place to pick up some food on your way home.
Open every Friday, Saturday and Sunday, there are 40 stalls selling local produce and food including specialty tea and coffee, spices, preserves, meat, cheese and confectionary. There’s also a growing street food scene here with pizzas, curries and vegan options all cooked up fresh and ready to eat.
Got some time to spare? Head to the nearby Southbank Centre Book Market to browse the secondhand and antique books, comics and prints.
Counting down the days to your trip to London mainly so you can start devouring all the English food in sight? We feel you—that’s how we travel too.
Let’s hang out while you’re in town, preferably on our food tour! Let us feed your curiosity and show you our London.