Whether you’re looking for a monster novelty burger you can barely fit into your mouth, or you’re after some fancy local produce in the form of raw organic cheese, London really is your oyster when it comes to food variety. No matter your palette or dietary requirements, there is quite literally something for everyone’s cravings, and with markets popping up left right and centre across the capital, you probably have one or two right on your doorstep.
This week ELL is whetting your appetite by taking a look at just five of the best food markets dotted around the East London area. Grab your napkins and your wooden forks and get yourself down to one of these colourful arrays of culinary goodness for the ultimate foodie experience. What better way to spend your weekend?
Where? – Broadway Market, near London Fields
When? – Saturdays, 9am – 5pm
Set on a quaint little street in the centre of Hackney that’s lined with a whole host of its own indie music shops, cafes, pubs and restaurants, Broadway Market is arguably the market with the most fashionable, ‘hipster’ vibes of them all. Saturday market days, accompanied by the sound of the street buskers to help you soak up the atmosphere, are a bustle of culinary creations from every kind of cuisine, books, crafts, plants, jewellery and even handmade lingerie. This market is particularly good for those with special dietary requirements, with many gluten free, vegetarian and vegan options available.
Just in case you were still hungry, tucked just around the corner is also the market’s little sister, the Schoolyard Market.
Finest Fayre – gluten free, vegetarian and seafood scotch eggs. Something a bit different!
Floris Bakery – an entirely gluten free stall with everything from quiches and arancini, to doughnuts and cookies. Amazing treat for those sensitive to wheat.
Where? – 13-23 Westgate Street, near London Fields
When? – Saturdays, 11am – 6pm
Put together by Eat Work Art, a Hackney based creative community that works with charities and young people to give space and opportunities to local neighbourhoods and designers, Netil Market offers more than just food. Keeping it fresh with both regular resident traders and rotating weekly stalls, this cute little market sells everything you can think of. While the permanent traders offer everything from a barber shop, vintage clothes, bicycles, spectacles and antique furniture, Saturday Market days bring 15 more brilliant vendors to the street. Get your hands on vintage cameras, designer labelled jewellery and clothing, ceramics, crafts, greetings cards, homeware and of course a great selection of street food. Netil Market even has a heated dining area, so the cold weather is no excuse to miss out on the fun.
Morty & Bobs – posh grilled cheese sandwiches and Bloody Mary’s. The perfect lunch spot.
Pizzas Don’t Cry – tiny little pizzeria serving up sourdough bases with fancy seasonal toppings.
Where? – Lewisham College Car Park, near St John’s station
When? – Saturdays, 10am – 2pm
One of the smaller markets of the bunch, this award-winning delightful car park market focuses on locally-sourced seasonal and artisan food, be it organic vegetables, free-range meats, charcuterie, sauces and marinades or homemade fresh pasta. Pick up a cup of locally roasted coffee from Dark Fluid, the uniquely adventurous Vietnamese duck and pork burger from Bill or Beak, or try authentic Austrian schnitzel from Fleischmob. Whether you’re after a quick snack or some quality groceries for a special occasion, breakfast lunch and dinner is catered for at Brockley Market.
Luardo’s – tasty and filling Mexican burritos with gluten free and vegetarian options available.
Blackwoods Cheese Company – lovely fresh artisan cheeses and curds made with real passion.
CHATSWORTH ROAD MARKET
Where? – Chatsworth Road, Lea Bridge
When? – Sundays, 11am – 4pm
The very market Sir Alan Sugar has to thank for kick-starting his entrepreneurial ventures back in the day via a shampoo stall, Chatsworth Road Market is a classic friendly London locals market with a trendy twist. With over 50 percent of traders living in surrounding postcode areas, you can shop knowing you’re really supporting the local economy and community. After the rise of supermarkets in the area made for tough competition, the market was forced to close its doors in the 1990s. Over ten years later the traditional market is back with a massive 40 stalls, offering a medley of produce and crafts including ethical clothing, original paintings, handmade baked goods and a huge range of food stalls.
Deeney’s – strangely genius and absolutely delicious haggis toasties. Don’t knock it til’ you’ve tried it.
Makatcha – deliciously fragrant Indonesian food with vegan options available.
Where? – Shoreditch Yard, Shoreditch.
When? – Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, 5pm until late.
Make a night of it at Street Feast’s renowned Dinerama, a cosy and roofed three-storey affair that’s open until late, with 10 different bars to wash down all that tasty street food. With up to 1,000 visitors a night, this is where some of the biggest names in London’s street food take their residence. Try the delicious beef poutine fries from Cheeky Italian before heading to the German Sex Dungeon (it’s just a bar, we promise) for a few whisky shots. Grab your mates and get down before 7 and you can join the fun for free.
Smokestak – a meat lover’s dream with sticky smoked BBQ brisket inspired by the cuisine of the Deep South of the U.S.
Baba G’s – an interesting take on Indian food, with Jalfrezi burgers, poppadum nachos and tikka nuggets.