A Complete Guide to London’s Best Markets

A Complete Guide to London’s Best Markets
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I love a good market. That’s where you will find me most weekends doing some browsing or grabbing some street food. I just love the lively atmosphere and that people are selling things that they are passionate about  – whether it’s handmade jewellery or curry made from their mum’s recipe. London has some brilliant markets and if you’re visiting I’d highly recommend you visit one on your trip to get the full London experience. Whether it’s food or furniture, clothes or antiques there is a market in London for whatever you’re looking for. Markets are also a great option for a free day out if you just want to do some browsing and window shopping.  To make it easy as possible for you to choose the right one for you, I’ve listed out 14 of London’s best markets and I’ve included what it is best for, the opening hours and the best way to get there. Enjoy!

1. Maltby Street Market

What is it? Maltby Street Market is an outdoor weekend street food market nestled in the arches of a 19th-century railway. Maltby is home to over 20 different independent street food vendors and has a cool, trendy and edgy vibe.  The market is hidden off the beaten track in what can only be described as a small passageway so you wouldn’t stumble across it if you weren’t looking for it which makes it feel that extra bit special. However, don’t be fooled because word has got out and Maltby gets super busy from around 11 am on weekends.

Best for? Food & drink.

Opening hours: Friday 12pm-2pm, Saturday & Sunday 10pm – 5pm

Nearest stop: Take the Jubilee line to Bermondsey – 13 min walk

37 Maltby St, London SE1 3PA, www.maltby.st

 

 

2. Borough Market

What is it? Borough Market is London’s oldest, largest and most established food market. The many stalls are adorned with an abundance of fresh fruit, veg, meats and cheeses brought to you by passionate artisan producers from across the UK who are always willing to give you a sample or two before you buy.  At Borough, there is also a huge choice of street food vendors to grab lunch at or you prefer to sit down there are also a whole host of great restaurants – a few of my favourites being pasta at Padella, Japanese at Bao and tacos at El Pastor.  Borough Market is steeped in history and dates back all the way to 1276. It’s also been the filming location for Harry Potter and Bridget Jones’s Diary. Borough is probably the most tourist-heavy market out of them all and Saturday’s get SUPER busy and I mean busy! Go as early as you possibly can. Borough isn’t just a market it’s an entire destination!

Best for? Food & drink.

Opening hours: Monday – Thursday 10am – 5pm, Friday 10pm – 6pm, Saturday 8am – 5pm, Sunday CLOSED

Nearest stop: Take the Northern or Jubilee line to London Bridge – 4 min walk

43 Borough High St, London SE1 9AH, boroughmarket.org.uk

 

3. Covent Garden

What is it? Covent Garden is not your traditional market. In 1654 it opened as a fruit and veg market but in 196o was moved to South London where it still lives today aptly named ‘New Covent Garden Market’. Unfortunately, it is only accessible for wholesale buyers. The market as we know it today is made up of high-end designer shops and restaurants rather than stalls, all nestled under its beautiful architecture. Also, just a few minutes walk away is Seven Dials , which is another area off Covent Garden with even more to see, do and eat.  You can’t come to Covent Garden without sitting on a kerb and watching one of its iconic street performers which have known to act there since the 17th century.

Best for? Shopping, gifts, food & drink.

Opening hours: Monday – Saturday 10am – 8pm, Sunday 11am – 8pm

Nearest stop: Take the Piccadilly line to Covent Garden – 3-minute walk

Nine Elms Ln, London SW8 5BH, www.newcoventgardenmarket.com

 

 

4. Portobello Road

What is it? The main reason I know of Portobello Road Market is because of Disney’s Bedknobs and Broomsticks. Do you remember when they go to look at the antique market and sing with all the traders and street performers?  That’s set at Portobello Road! Anyway, Portobello is an area in West London’s Notting Hill most famous for the mega Instagrammable multi-coloured houses and the iconic market. The great thing about this market is its several markets in one with each day bringing something different to shoppers.  You’ll find bric-a-brac, vintage goods, fresh fruit and veg, as well as many antiques. Despite its name, the market isn’t just one road and it winds around the streets of Notting Hill with endless things to browse. You can read all about what’s on each day here.

Best for? Mainly antique but also bric-a-brac, vintage goods, furniture.

Opening hours: Monday – Wednesday 9am – 6pm, Thursday 9am -1pm, Friday 9am – 7pm, Saturday 9am – 7pm, Sunday CLOSED

Nearest stop: Take the Circle and Hammersmith & City line to Ladbroke Grove – 4-minute walk or  Take Circle, District or Central Line to Notting Hill Gate – 10-minute walk

306 Portobello Rd, London W10 5TA, www.portobelloroad.co.uk

 

 

5. Brick Lane

Brick Lane is probably London’s liveliest market. The atmosphere on a Sunday is electric with street art, live music and so much to see and eat – there is an INSANE amount going on. The main market runs on Sundays with more than 200 stalls encompassing fashion and food. As well as the main market, Brick Lane also has a  bunch of mini-markets including the Backyard Market for art, the Boiler House for international cuisine and the Vintage Market for vintage clothes and furniture. See, I told you there was lots going on! Brick Lane isn’t just famous for the market but is known all around the world of being THE place to come to eat Indian food at one of its many curry houses. Brick Lane is a great afternoon out and a real feast for all the senses – and your wallet!

Best for? Art, vintagegoods, crafts , food & drink.

Opening hours: Sunday 10 – 5 pm. Surrounding shops open on Saturday’s as well.

Nearest stop: Take the Overground or Central line to Liverpool Street – 12 min walk or take the Overground to Shoreditch High Street – 5 min walk, or take the district line to Aldgate East – 10 min walk

 E1 6QR, www.bricklanemarket.com

 

 

6. Hawker House

What is it? Hawker House is a huge indoor food market in South East London. The market lives inside what can only be described as a large warehouse where small ‘shops’ serve some of the best street food around from pizza to noodles, burgers to vegan tacos. The market is only open in the evening so it’s probably not one to take a young family to and is more suited to large crowds of friends getting a bit boozy over good food. The market has a summer and winter set up so you can eat outside in the summer and hide away from the cold in the winter.

Best for? Food & drink.

Opening hours: Friday – Saturday 5pm – 12am

Nearest Station: Take the Jubilee line or Overground to Canada Water – 6 min walk

Canada St, London SE16 7PJ, www.streetfeast.com

 

 

7. Dinerama

Dinerama is brought to us by the same people who brought us Hawker House (above).  It’s located in East London’s Shoreditch, one of the trendiest places in London and where all the cool kids flock to on the weekend. Like Hawker House, Dinerama brings together some the top street food vendors in London under one roof. It can get pretty loud and boozy in the evening so bear that in mind.

Best for? Food & drink.

Opening hours: Saturday 2pm – 12am, Wednesday – Friday 5pm – 12am

Nearest Station: Take the Northern line to Old Street – 9-minute walk

Canada St, London SE16 7PJ, www.streetfeast.com

 
 

8. Brixton Village

Brixton Market or Brixton Village as it is known is a great place for any food lover and someone who wants to eat somewhere a little bit different. The market itself sits inside an Art Deco arcade building and the restaurants are disguised as little shops. Here you’ll find foods represented from all over the world including Europe, India, Asia, Africa, South America and the Caribbean. The idea is you order at the restaurant and take a seat outside in the ‘streets’ of the market amongst all the other market-goers. The diverse cuisine,  the lively atmosphere and colourful scenery make it feel like you’re not in London at all and is the perfect place for brunch, lunch or dinner!

Best for? Food & drink (plus, a small bit of shopping)

Opening hours: Technically 8 am – 11 pm but shops have their own opening times so check on an individual basis.

Nearest stop: Take the Victoria line to Brixton – 3-minute walk

16B Electric Ave, Brixton, London SW9 8JX, brixtonmarket.net

 

 

9. South Bank Food Market

What is it? The South Bank Food Market gets in name from the fact it is sat just behind the south bank of the River Thames. The market is exclusively food and drink and even though it’s located in one of London’s most touristy spots it has done well to keep its originality and focus on providing high-quality food to the masses – despite the queues. It’s a great one to visit if you’re around Central London with a group of people and everyone wants something different.

Best for? Food & drink.

Opening hours: Friday – 10am to 21:00 pm, Saturday – 10am to 21:00pm, Sunday – 10am to 18:00pm.

Nearest Station: Take the Northern, Jubilee or Waterloo & City Line to Waterloo – 5-minute walk

Belvedere Rd, South Bank, London SE1 8XX, www.southbankcentre.co.uk

 

 

10. Old Spitalfields Market

Spitalfields is an undercover daily market home to a selection of craftsman, artists and artisans selling handcrafted and bespoke products from jewellery to art, fashion to beauty. The market is very picky about its traders and only source quality tradesman so you know what you are getting is the best of the best. When you get hungry, in the centre of the market floor you will find ‘ The Kitchens ‘ showcasing exceptional contemporary, street food cooking which you can enjoy at one of the many sharing tables around the market. Spitalfields is a short walk away from Brick Lane (number 5 on this list) so you get two great markets for the price of one.

Best for? Handcrafted gifts, clothes, food & drink.

Opening hours: Monday – Friday 10am – 5pm, Saturday 11am – 5pm, Sunday 10am – 5pm

Nearest stop:  Take the Central line or Overground to Liverpool Street – 7 min walk, Take the Overground to Shoreditch High Street – 10 min walk – Take to District line to Aldgate East – 10 min walk

16 Horner Square, London E1 6EW, www.oldspitalfieldsmarket.com

 

 

11. Greenwich Market

Even though it’s pretty large, Greenwich Market is what I would call a local market. The stalls sell things like handmade chocolate, local honey and handcrafted knitwear made by traders who are super passionate about their products. There is none of this mass-produced business and it’s very cute and quaint. Greenwich is a really historic place and once you finish at the market you won’t be far away from the National Maritime Museum, The Royal Observatory or The Cutty Sark if you want to visit afterwards and make an entire day of it.

Best for? Gifts, homemade bits & bobs, takeaway food.

Opening hours: Monday – Sunday 10am – 5pm

Nearest stop: Take the DLR to Cutty Sark – 3-minute walk

5B Greenwich Market, Greenwich, London SE10 9HZ, www.greenwichmarketlondon.com

 

12. Broadway Market

Every Saturday people flock to East London to experience Broadway Market. The market is quite small in comparison to others in London but has a real reputation for being trendy and hipster. It has a great community feel and is chockablock with local producers & businesses selling things like fresh oysters cracked and eaten right there, homemade olive oil & quirky pieces of art. My personal favourite stall is the mushroom man who knows everything there is to know about mushrooms and sells his freshly cooked homemade risotto! The market is near London Fields which is a great spot to chill & enjoy any food you’ve bought. Remember, the market stalls are only there on a Saturday but the restaurants on the road are also open during the week.

Best for? Food & drink.

Opening hours: Sundays only 9 am – 5 pm

Nearest Station: Take the central line to Bethnal Green – 15-minute walk

Broadway Market, London, https://broadwaymarket.co.uk/

 

 

13. Columbia Road Flower Market

Every Sunday, Columbia Road in East London is transformed into an oasis of foliage and flowers. People come from all over to stock up on greenery and leave with arms full of goodies. Yes, it is predominantly a flower market but the street also has 60 independent shops including small art galleries, cupcake shops, vintage clothes stores, and antique shops. There is also a wealth of great pubs, cafes and restaurants. The ideal time to come to Columbia Road is at 8 am when it opens, otherwise, by 10 am the streets get so chockablock you’ll be back to back with the other flower enthusiasts. The other option is to visit just as the market is closing and a lot of the flowers go down to half price.  A really unique and quirky market. P.S It’s just a short walk from the above-market I mentioned, Broadway Market.

Best for? Flowers, gifts, cakes and antiques.

Opening hours: Sunday only 8 am – 3 pm

Nearest station: Take the central line to Bethnal Green – 17-minute walk

Columbia Rd, London E2 7RG, www.columbiaroad.info

 

14. Camden Market

Camden is probably the most famous market of all. What’s great about this market is there’s so much going on and around every corner, there is something new to see. It has over 1000 stalls to browse for clothes, homemade gifts & vintage furniture. Plus, it’s got a huge selection of top food vendors & restaurants. It’s edgy, quirky and a little bit grungy. I mean, where can you buy a leather corset, get a tattoo and buy a nice gift for your mum on the same street, eh? Not many places. The entire market is open every day and if you can, I’d suggest going midweek when it doesn’t get crazy busy.

Best for? Vintage clothes, gifts, homewares, food & drink.

Opening hours: Monday – Sunday 10am – 6pm

Nearest station: Take the northern line to Camden town – 5-minute walk

Camden High Street Camden, NW1 8AL https://www.camdenmarket.com/visit-us

 

 

15. Victoria Park Market

Victoria Park Market is a small but mighty food market in East London’s Victoria Park. Every Sunday hundreds of people come to feast on great food from a selection of street vendors and enjoy lunch while sitting or walking around the beautiful surroundings of the park. Because it’s a little out of the way, Victoria Park Market is a bit less touristy than some of the other food markets in London.

Best for? Food & drink.

Opening hours: Sunday 10am – 4pm

Nearest station: Take the central line to Bethnal Green  – 15-minute walk

 56-57 Gore Rd, South Hackney, London E9 7HN, http://victoriaparkmarket.com

 

 

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