Borough Market. Been there. Camden Market. Done that. While London is plentiful in long-established and historic food markets, many new ones have been springing up in the recent couple of years.
While eager foodies attend from near and far, casual dining is only getting bigger and bigger. Street food is becoming more imaginative and experimental and the best thing about it all – it can cater to all tastes.
The food scene in London is booming and the proof is in the pudding, so go ahead and check out these amazing new arrivals.
Market Hall West End
You can’t get more central than Oxford Circus. In the very heart of the city, spread across three floors is Market Hall West End, the largest indoor food market in the UK. It’s the brainchild of Market Halls brand who delivered Victoria and Fulham Market Halls. This place features rooftop bars and a unique internet TV studio from which they can stream live cooking demos. Some of the offerings you can also find at Market Hall Victoria including colourful dumplings BaoziInn, vegan fare CookDaily and Gopal’s Corner.
Top food tips – Try Yatai by Angelo Sato for katsu sando (Japanese sandwich), this is a fairly new arrival in London. Also Gopal’s Corner is a very popular stall, they serve amazing, freshly made roti. Another contender is Pleasant Lady, famous for serving their Chinese crepes from a hole in the wall in Soho’s Greek Street.
This is a new grand food hall from market giants Mercato Metropolitano. Located inside the stunning, newly renovated St Mark’s Church in Mayfair it would be sacrilegious not to visit. Also known as the American Church due to its proximity to the former American Embassy in Grosvenor Square, it welcomed prolific visitors President Dwight Eisenhower and Eleanor Roosevelt in its heyday. The market is definitely quality over quantity, but there is also a sustainable community market with a variety of deli items and speciality products. In the crypt you will also find cheese, charcuterie and a wine cellar.
Top food tips – There is a distinct focus on Italian food – think pizza, pasta and gelato. Try Fresco for some authentic Neapolitan pizza. Also Santo Grill and Wine Italian steakhouse for some top quality meat and burgers.
The team behind Flat Iron Square delivered this beautiful new food hall carrying the spirit of New Orleans. Elaborate ironwork and floors paved with stone will transport you to the French Quarter of the city of music. The venue is a unique combo of The Courtyard area with a variety of food stalls, Sweetwater American-style bar and the live music venue Lafayette.
Top food tips – Hailing from New York City, Sushi On Jones is an omakase bar experience worth diving into. Another interesting offering is the British tapas concept Pomelo by chefs Natasha Cooke and Lucy Pedder.
Buck Street Market
You can’t get more hipster than a shipping container food market or 88 of them to be exact. Buck Street Market sends a strong sustainability message by featuring vendors who offer vegan and vegetarian options as well as ethical fashion brands. To top that off there is also a no single-use plastic policy. And if that wasn’t enough you can spend time on a pink rooftop terrace. There is a great selection of craft, jewellery and fashion shops and street food spread across three levels.
Top food tips – The highlight to try is Wildflower, a sustainable concept restaurant by Irish chef Adrian Martin that puts emphasis on food that can be grown, fished or foraged.
Sandwiched between two historic markets – Borough Market and Maltby Street Market is Vinegar Yard. Part outdoor food market, part flea market, this is a bustling hub of activity under the watchful eye of the Shard. It’s the perfect location to cool off with cocktails on hot summer days, whilst rummaging through craft stalls, pottery, antiques and clothes. There is also an indoor bar area decorated with imaginative steampunk sculpture by artist Joe Rush who creates art from scrap metal.
Top food tips – There are fewer food options here then the average market, but the novel Indian-inspired burgers from Baba G’s are worth visiting for.
Seven Dials Market
This market is in an excellent, central location in the lively Covent Garden. Perfect for theatre-goers who want to get a quick bite before the performance. The now spruced-up historic 19th century venue was used to store bananas and cucumbers and this heritage is reflected in the two market areas – Cucumber Alley and Banana Warehouse. At Cucumber Alley you will find plenty of fresh produce – olives, bread and chocolate, whereas Banana Warehouse is focused on street food vendors – and a lot of them too!
Top food tips – Conveyor belt cheese. Yes, indeed. You can’t miss out on Pick & Cheese’s Cheese Bar, who offer an amazing selection of products from British cheesemakers. Also, have the best vegan ramen at Nanban, who have infused this traditional Japanese dish with the Sicilian spirit.