foodie paradise. pure and simple.
This small but jam-packed market is located a stone's throw from London Bridge tube station and no matter how insane my thursday and saturday were, I always made it a must stop. Borough Market is set beneath the railway viaducts between the river Thames and Borough High Street in South East London. Its main area is set up throughout a series of zigzagging streets and walkways, and there are two additional self contained markets.
It is a 'food and drink' market, but that description does not do it justice. I used to salivate at the mere thought of one its famous grilled cheese sandwiches -- two thick slices of country bread encasing french raclette and a homemade red onion relish, pressed to perfect slow-melted perfection...
The market has an endless variety of fare on offer, and even more on Saturdays when its additional spaces are crammed with extra vendors purveying everything from stichleton cheese (not to be confused with "stilton cheese", I've only encountered this cheese at Borough market) to 100s of flavored specialty olive oils. The main space has an excellent line up of usual suspects including a wonderful artisan chutney and jam company -ENGLAND PRESERVES- I have still found nothing that compares to their product line here or elsewhere...pear and port chutney made its way into my luggage...
The market is also a standout for its produce (local and organic)-- I swear I have never seen rainbow chard like that..."so beautiful, what does it mean??" springs to mind...
If you get bored by the stalls, there's always the local restaurants and shops surrounding the market to sate you...including the incredibly cute 'jam and bread' cafe - MONMOUTH COFFEE - where with every coffee you are entitled to grab a bench and indulge in some fresh baked bread and homemade jam -- free and unlimited! I DON'T HAVE AN IMAGE FOR THIS CAFE BUT FOUND ONE HERE.
Market Stalls: Monday to Friday, 10am - 4pm and Sundays,
9am - 5pm. Thursday: Antiques
Sunday: Busiest day
9am - 5pm. Thursday: Antiques
Sunday: Busiest day
Spitalfields Market is an urban mecca I discovered towards the end of my stint of living in the UK...had I found it earlier on, I would have been there every Sunday rather than the two times total I was able to visit! :(
|FRUIT AND NUT VENDOR, SPITALFIELDS MARKET|
The market is simply exceptional. It dates back to the thirteenth century (!) and is THE place for crafts, art, fashion, furniture, food and much more. The vibe is very bohemian, as are the crafts, clothes and furniture on offer.
|FUNKY T-SHIRT VENDOR, SPITALFIELDS MARKET|
Pretty eclectic stuff and set up. I was particularly blown away by the clothes -- there are several stalls selling beautiful, one of a kind designs...but this is a FOOD BLOG!
|FRESH LOCAL ORGANIC RAINBOW CHARD FOR SALE, SPITALFIELDS MARKET|
The food stalls offer all sorts of artisan products and exceptional produce. What really caught my attention was the British and Asian food for sale. The British food included artisan pot pies, sausages and cheeses. The Asian foods included fresh fish cakes and the heavenly aroma of Okonomiyaki...
|RAINBOW ROTI VENDOR, SPITALFIELDS MARKET|
|TOO CUTE, JAPANESE FISH CAKE VENDOR, SPITALFIELDS MARKET|
|PIEMINSTER POT PIES, SPITALFIELDS MARKET|
|JAPANESE FOOD VENDOR, SPITALFIELDS MARKET|
The market is enormous. There is a main stall area in a huge glass-ceiling space. This building extends to other surrounding stall buildings and then beyond to a series of older windy surrounding streets where more can be bought from vendors...I recall the further down the rabbit hole of streets I ventured, the shadier the products became...in fact several were simply large blankets on the ground covered with miscellaneous trinkets, think garage sales as far as the eye can see...
|PEOPLE SNACKING OUTSIDE SPITALFIELDS MARKET|
|OUTSIDE SPITALFIELDS MARKET|
If you venture far enough on a SUNDAY, you'll reach BRICK LANE and the COLUMBIA ROAD FLOWER MARKET where you can gather beauty out of chaos by selecting some 5-quid bundles of stunning flowers...simply BREATHTAKING.
|PEOPLE SNACKING EN ROUTE TO BRICK LANE MARKET|
I would make CAMDEN MARKET my home...if it weren't as dirty and dodgy as it is :)
I remember thinking "this is like kensington market in Toronto, only 3X bigger and 100X more awesome..." Which is exactly why I frequented it whenever I got the chance. Home to funky clothing, great music, the London punks all set up on a Canal, Camden Market is just too cool for words. It sprawls through some major streets, with funky storefronts and random food takeaways (waffle stands etc.). crams itself with endless funky attire for sale in the camden/buck street market and climbs its way over an old bridge where the market really opens up to the huge lock market hall (on the canal) where you can find amazing arts and crafts on three levels, and a huge variety of antiques. You can also find an amazing variety of food stalls in this part of the market and also in an area known as the West Yard. The food is very ethnically diverse and very tasty.
|CAMDEN MARKET FOOD HALL|
I particularly enjoyed the Indian and Middle Eastern food. That aside, there is something for EVERYONE.My favorite food
experiences there were an excellent falafel sandwich complete with great pickled turnips and tahini sauce, and an amazing grilled vegetable and goat's cheese quesadilla with a first rate fresh tomato and cilantro salsa, tangy guacamole and good quality sour cream.
The food stall area is as chaotic as the rest of the market, accented by glowing neon signs. Not in it for a full meal? Not to worry, you can buy some Guylian chocolates by the pound to take away in the West Yard, or simply grab a doughnut from the incedible donut stall outside the lock's main entrance...
|INCREDIBLE DONUT-VENDOR, CAMDEN LOCK MARKET|