Okay, so it’s faff to get to unless you live in Hackney already. But it also has some of the most delicious food in London so it more than makes up for it. Go around 11ish and make yourself a little hodge podge brunch of sorts while you wander. Start off at Schoolyard Market - nice and early - to snag some fat little pockets of perfection from Dumpling Shack before they sell out. Pick up some pastel coloured treats at the Meringue Girls stall. Then meander over to Netil St Market at go to the original BAO to have a fluffy steamed bun full of delicious pork or, better yet, try their fried chicken. Also near Netil St Market is the fantastic Yeast Bakery, hidden under a railway arch. They do perfect little kougin amann pastries in a multitude of flavours. Then go home and rub your tummy while crying tears of happiness.
Broadway Market, London E8 4QJ
Sat 9am - 5pm
Maltby St Market
This tiny little collection of stalls nestled alongside the railway arches of Bermondsey is a great little place to while away the afternoon. There’s some amazing food to be found here (the cheese toasties are incredible!), not to mention the GIN! Bermondsey is home to a number of truly excellent craft gin distilleries and they can be found every Saturday plying punters with their delicious, botanical wares. Little Bird Gin is a cute little place to tuck into for a few hours on a cold day – they give you blankets and hot water bottles (and gin!) and during the summer, Jensen’s cops a lot of sun and slings some excellent off the wall gin and tonics for about a fiver.
Maltby St Market, Ropewalk, London SE1 3PA
Saturday 9am - 4pm
Sunday 11am - 4pm
I could wax lyrical about how great Borough Market is but you probably already know. It’s also horrendously expensive. I’m talking £10 for a small wheel of cheese, expensive. My tip is to lose your sense of shame and rinse the free samples. Seriously. If you find yourself with a bit of cash, wander around the edges of the market for the best treats. Firm favourites around the area are Kappacasein for raclette (your Snapchat game will never be the same), Chin Chin Labs for gelato and Padella for the best goddamn pasta you’ll ever have in your life. And after all that, go to Richard Hayward’s Oysters (directly across from The Market Porter pub) and pick up half a dozen delicious bivalves and a glass of prosecco for around about a tenner. Win.
Borough Market, 8 Southwark St, London SE1 1TL
Monday to Thursday 10am-5pm
🎼'Portobello Road! Portobello Road! Street where the riches of ages are stowed.'🎼 This delightful street in Notting Hill is full of hidden nooks and crannies peeping with treasures like Alice's. We love this shot from @wallis_p_. Points to anyone who can guess the song! #OMGB #London #PortobelloRoad
Portobello Road Market
Yes, it’s chock full of tourists on a sunny day. Yes, all the London tourist tat is incredibly cheesy. But if you go when it’s a little drizzly, or early when the vendors are just getting sorted and the crowds aren’t up yet, it can be pretty great. This is my local market that I go to for groceries and weekend morning snacks. Visit the great little Spanish grocery store (grab a huge bag of padron peppers for £2!), the European providores on Elgin Road for delicious rillettes and Acklam Road market for some amazing street food. The vintage clothing ranges from utterly beautiful to beautifully bedraggled to keep an eye out for the good stuff. There’s even a real life Banksy on the north end of the road to gawk at if you’re so inclined.
Portobello Road Market, Portobello Rd, London W11 2QB
Monday to Wednesday 9am - 6pm
Thursday 9am - 1pm
Friday to Saturday 9am – 7pm
Brick Lane Market
Like Portobello Road, this market is absolutely choked to the gills with people on a sunny day. Go when it’s cloudy and you’ll get to eat some of the best street food in London at your leisure. Go to Dark Sugars Chocolatiers (there’s one at either end of the street) to sample the most delicious chocolate truffles. The Boiler House Food Hall has treats from all over the world – from Nepalese momos to Lithuanian dumplings to Ethiopian injera. So tasty and so, so cheap. Heading north, you’ll eventually come across what I call the ‘bagel bit’ of Brick Lane. I prefer Beigel Bake (the white one) over Beigel Shop (the yellow one selling rainbow bagels). Get a salt beef bagel with mustard and don’t forget the pickle. Also around this bit is one for the hipsters - the infamous Cereal Killer Café (I’ve been once – it’s pretty great!).
Brick Lane Market, Brick Lane, London E1 6QR
Saturday 11am - 6pm
Sunday 10am - 5pm
Billingsgate Fish Market
Canary Wharf at the butt crack of dawn is a post-apocalyptic wasteland. Not a single besuited banker wanker to be found. What you will find is Billingsgate Market – the UK’s largest inland fish market. Doesn’t exactly sound like a rollicking start to the weekend, I know. But trust me when I say the Scallop and Bacon butties at the market caff are well worth the early start. And it is definitely an early start – the market opens at 4am and all the good stuff is generally gone by about half 8. This is where London’s best restaurants source their seafood and you’ll find all manner of sea creature here. At wholesale prices. Oh yes. Even better are the real life Cockneys you’ll find working the market - though fascinating as they are, given the early hour, it’s probably best to keep out of their way!
Billingsgate Fish Market, Trafalgar Way, Poplar, London E14 5ST
Tuesday to Saturday 4am to 9:30am