Food markets are a great way to get a sense of a new city when travelling, you can really interact with the locals, try lots of local specialties and gain understanding of different cultures. In London you can find food markets to suit any taste palette all over the city, from farmer’s markets to street food, here’s our guide to the best food markets in London:
London’s most popular and famous food market, Borough Market, has been running for over 1,000 years and is where you’ll find some of the best eats in the city. Most of the food stalls are spread out between two undercover halls so even if it’s a rainy day you can still visit. You’ll find a selection of small permanent shops lining the market hall too. Whether you’re looking for ingredients for your next dinner party or a quick bite for lunch, there’s so much to choose from, with stalls selling cheese, fruit, vegetables, bread, cakes, meat, fish, seasonings, and condiments. For street food take your pick from Japanese, Thai, Indian, North African, and European.
Pro tip: Get there as soon as the market opens to beat the crowds.
When: Wednesday to Saturday from 10am (8am on Saturday)
Closest Station: London Bridge
Southbank Centre Food Market
Southbank Centre Food Market specializes in street food from around the world and is another good lunch spot if you are on a budget. Asian street food stalls include Korean barbeque, pad thai, and Indian curries, whilst in the European section you can choose from traditional French crepes, Sicilian desserts and Italian bruschetta. To accompany your food there’s craft beers and ciders, cocktails and coffee stands to stop by. Due to the market’s location on London’s Southbank, it’s an ideal spot to rest after visiting some of the attractions in the area such as the Tate Modern or London Dungeons.
When: Friday to Sunday (from midday on Friday and Sunday, 11am on Saturday)
Closest Station: Waterloo
Technically more of a pop-up mall rather than a traditional market setting, Boxpark is located in London’s hipster capital, Shoreditch, and has taken the concept of the street food market and placed it inside old shipping containers. In addition to the 20 or so food outlets, you can also find a range of boutiques selling clothing, gifts, accessories, and records. Food-wise there’s gourmet burgers, Greek souvlaki, doughnuts, gyoza, and jerk chicken to name just a few items.
When: Open daily from 11am (midday on Sunday)
Closest Station: Shoreditch High Street
Seven Dials Market
One of the city’s newer additions to the food market scene, Seven Dials Market in Covent Garden is operated by Kerb out of a former banana warehouse. Kerb organize street food markets around London to include their original site in Kings Cross. The Covent Garden site opened in late 2019 and includes street food from Latin America and Asia, along with British and European bites. Most exciting however, has to be the addition of the world’s first conveyor belt cheese restaurant, Pick & Cheese.
When: Open daily from 11am (midday on Sundays)
Closest Station: Covent Garden
In addition to the above, there are plenty of other markets to explore throughout the city, from the Sunday Farmer’s Market in Blackheath village, to the street food in Camden market in north London.