London’s street markets

Explore the neighbourhoods that house London’s best street markets.

31 March, 2023

Borough Market, SE1

Best for: food of every description

Borough Market remains a paradise for both tourists and Londoners alike. With close to 1,000 years of heritage on the site, the current food market specialises in sustainable, traceable ingredients and meals of the highest quality. Expect lunchtime queues for Spanish importer Brindisa’s cult hot chorizo and rocket roll and Padella’s home-made pasta (there’s even a queue-jumping app for Padella). You can get literally everything at Borough, from Scottish smoked fish to home-made nut butters, Bermondsey raclette, Tyrolean charcuterie, speciality beer and of course, excellent meat, vegetables, cheese and coffee. It’s reason enough to move to SE1, where quiet residential streets of period townhouses are home to tight communities in the middle of central London.

Borough Market, SE1 - Kinleigh, Folkard & Hayward

Brick Lane Market, E1

Best for: clothes, accessories and bagels

One of London’s biggest markets, Brick Lane is made up of multiple separate markets between Bethnal Green Road and Wentworth Street. It’s a thriving area, lined with curry houses and a covered market as well as the Old Truman Brewery with its daily-changing programme of wares. Come here for antiques, furniture, fashion, art, jewellery, souvenirs and more – and visit trendy Ely’s Yard for street food of all descriptions. Properties around here range from Georgian terraces to new build flats via factory conversions. Don’t miss the countless small shops along the route selling everything from mid century furniture to artisan soaps; and stop at the 24 hour Beigel Bake for a salt beef and pickle treat. It’s a destination for all Londoners, with hip young locals mixing with tourists and a design-loving crowd.

Brick Lane - Kinleigh, Folkard & Hayward

Brixton Market, SW9

Best for: meat, fish and street food

Brixton Village is a vast sprawl of pedestrianised streets with stalls, arcades and a covered market dating back to the 1870s. You can buy everything here – as well as the staple fruit, veg, meat and fish stalls, many of them selling African and Caribbean specialities. You’ll also find textiles, electrical items, toys, books, crafts, fashion and vintage items. There’s a farmers’ market on Sunday and street food from all over the world every day. Brixton dwellers don’t need to shop anywhere else – and the area benefits from great Victorian houses, good schools and the Victoria line too.

Brixton Market - Kinleigh, Folkard & Hayward

Broadway Market, E8

Best for: people watching and artisan bread

Another Victorian trading street, Hackney’s Broadway Market runs between the Regent’s Canal and London Fields in a short stretch that’s packed with places to eat, drink and shop. Saturdays are the busiest, with traders selling artisan bread, organic vegetables, cakes, plants and street food of every description. Head to Climpson & Sons for excellent coffee and to The Dove for London’s widest selection of Belgian beers. Look out for colourful textiles from Humphries and Begg – and don’t miss independent bookshop Donlon with its eclectic selection of books on design and counterculture. The stylish Victorian terraces around London Fields are some of East London’s most highly coveted properties.

Broadway Market - Kinleigh, Folkard & Hayward

Chapel Market, N1

Best for: old school fruit and veg

N1’s Georgian squares and terraces are some of London’s most stylish and desirable properties with Upper Street’s shops and restaurants a drawcard for all north Londoners. Islington dwellers appreciate the old-school charm of Chapel Market, which has been here since the 1860s (though there were pie and mash shops here long before that). It’s a traditional market selling fruit and veg, flowers and household goods, with many traders clocking up as many as 50 years at their pitches. Every Sunday it’s also home to Islington Farmers’ Market at the Penton Street End, while antiques hunters should cross Upper Street and head to Camden Passage for its wide selection of vintage glass, fashion and decorative items.

Chapel Market - Kinleigh, Folkard & Hayward

Columbia Road Market, E2

Best for: flowers and plants

The pretty houses of Columbia Road become Instagram backdrops every Sunday, when this narrow street and its popular flower market come alive with colourful blooms that feature in viral-worthy photos. Come here to buy stunning cut flowers and houseplants, from tiny cacti to mature olive trees. The market is full of seasonal offerings, with lots of berries, fir and mistletoe in the run-up to Christmas, then bright yellow mimosa dominates in February before beautifully coloured flowers take over in spring and summer. There are a few antiques and vintage stalls too, plus great coffee and bagels.

Columbia Road Market - Kinleigh, Folkard & Hayward

Greenwich Market, SE10

Best for: art and antiques

The vibrant covered market in Greenwich was established in 1737, originally selling fruit, vegetables and livestock. Now it’s all antiques, art, fashion, gifts and independent shops and galleries, plus an international food court. Greenwich residents love the area for its elegant Georgian crescents and squares, its maritime history and its excellent schools and transport connections. For collectables and retro items there’s Greenwich Vintage Market on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, which is a great place to pick up a unique piece of furniture.

Greenwich Market - Kinleigh, Folkard & Hayward

Portobello Market, W10

Best for: vintage clothes and restaurants

Properties within striking distance of Portobello Road are some of the world’s most highly coveted homes – and no surprise because this is a thriving market with a huge variety of items on offer. Visit on Friday – it’s quieter than Saturdays – for the best vintage clothes, jewellery and accessories under the canopy at Portobello Green. Support the fruit and veg traders during the week on the southern stretch, where traditional antiques still change hands at the Westbourne Grove end on weekends. The growing street food market is open every day, with Tel Aviv newcomer Miznon doing fabulous falafel on Elgin Crescent, and new eateries on Golborne Road including the excellent Caia and Amsterdam import The Butter Club.

Portobello Market - Kinleigh, Folkard & Hayward

Tooting Market, SW17

Best for: world food and more

Dating back to 1930, Tooting Market is a popular and award-winning indoor market specialising in food from all over the globe. There is a diverse mix of cuisine spanning Jamaican and Italian to Japanese and Mauritian from long established traders as well as newcomers. Other eclectic offerings include art, records, textiles, beauty products and gin. Tooting remains a popular area, attracting families in search of more square footage and a strong community feel.

Tooting Market - Kinleigh, Folkard & Hayward

Whitecross Street, EC1

Best for: global lunch options

The Whitecross Street market dates back to the 17th century, and the street was home to a well-known Sunday market during the 19th century. Today, Whitecross Street becomes a major food destination every weekday lunchtime, when stalls and trucks dish out global specialities. The range spans from tasty Katsu chicken, vegan Buddha bowls, Turkish Gozleme wraps, Mexican burritos, Caribbean barbecues, Vietnamese street food, seafood paella and much more. Whitecross Street is also home to an impressive display of street art. Residents of the highly coveted modernist apartments in the Barbican centre nearby are spoilt for choice at lunchtime.

Whitecross Street - Kinleigh, Folkard & Hayward

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