9 affordable street food markets that every traveler in London should try.
Because of London’s massive size and wonderful mix of different cultures, the food scene is one of the best in Europe. Cuisines from all over the world mingle within the city’s kitchens, whether they be in restaurants, in people’s homes, or on the side of the road. Many people tend to opt for kitchens on the side of the road, also known as street markets. Unique street markets exist in every corner of London, bringing delicious, affordable food into a casual and accessible setting.
Street markets are perfect for a quick meal on the go, and the prices tend to be much cheaper than sit-down restaurants. There is no better way to get in touch with the authentic flavors of London’s own citizens than to sample food from their trucks and stalls.
Here are nine of London’s most incredible street markets, where you can indulge in wonderful food for decent prices.
1. Borough Market
Located right across from London Bridge tube station in Southeast London, Borough Market is a true foodie’s heaven.
The gigantic market hall is a maze of artisan goods that are pleasing to the eye and adventurous for the taste buds. For example, the shop “Spice Mountain” has endless shelves of aromatic curry mixtures and spice blends, and the shop “Taste Croatia” has traditional Croatian treats including fig and lavender jam and pumpkin seed oil.
Borough Market also has ready-to-eat food stalls outside, where you can choose between fresh duck wraps, vegan burgers, British scotch eggs, or Ethiopian cuisine for lunch. The full Market is open Wednesdays to Saturdays from roughly 10am to 5pm.
2. Brixton Market
The Brixton district of south London is known for its cultural diversity, as many African and Caribbean immigrants have settled here over the years. The international cuisines are reflected in the local market, open Mondays through Saturdays from 8am to 6pm. In addition to delicious hot lunch food filled with Caribbean spices and flavors, tons of produce stalls sell fruits and vegetables for a fraction of the prices of central London.
3. Brick Lane Market
Open on Sundays from 10am-5pm, all of east London flocks to Brick Lane for a food extravaganza. The whole street fills with mini food trucks and two warehouses along the road fill up with food vendors as well. These indoor spaces are known as The Boiler House, and the Sundayupmarket, and between these two spaces as well as the outdoor street food, there is no shortage of interesting meal choices.
4. Leather Lane Market
For a quick lunch during the week, visit Leather Lane in Central London. This street hosts a food market on Mondays through Fridays from 10am to 2pm. Here you can find falafel and hummus wraps, greek salads, juicy burgers, Indian food served on naan breads, sweet pastries, homemade breads, and fresh coffees. There is also a produce stand at the end of the street selling seasonal fruits.
5. Camden Market
A true charm of north London, Camden Market is an enormous cluster of indoor and outdoor vendors selling vintage clothes, antiques, and of course, food. A highlight of the indoor space is “Cookies and Scream”, a vegan bakery famous for their giant cookie sandwiches. Delicacies you can find at the outdoor food stalls include traditional Spanish paella, flavorful pad thai, homemade gnocchi, and sweet desserts like thick fudge and crispy churros.
6. Portobello Road Market
Portobello Road, in the Northeast corner of central London, is home to a famous antique market. But there are some hidden food gems in this bustling street that make stopping by around lunch time worth it.
Produce stalls pop up on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays from 9am to 6pm. These stands sell the freshest local produce for incredible prices, so grocery shopping best done here rather than the supermarket.
On the Market’s busiest days, Fridays and Saturdays, hot food stalls serve typical snacks like burgers, hot dogs, sandwiches, wraps, and coffee. The entire street is also lined with adorable cafes that are open every day.
7. Greenwich Market
Located right on the edge of London’s magnificent Greenwich Park, an indoor market hall serves wonderful food every single day from 10am to 5:30pm. Before taking a look at the beautiful arts and crafts for sale here, indulge in some sushi, pasta, curry, noodles, vegan treats, chocolates, or any other type of food your heart desires.
8. Maltby Street Market
For a hearty weekend breakfast in Southeast London, head to Maltby Street Market on Saturdays from 9am-4pm or Sundays from 11am-4pm. This little street may be narrow, but every inch of space is utilized by stalls ready to feed hungry pedestrians. Here you can find interesting dishes like a fluffy waffle topped with yogurt and figs or a vegetarian scotch egg made from lentils.
9. Southbank Centre Food Market
Just a short walk from the River Thames, the Southbank Centre hosts a weekend food market open from noon until 6pm. Also open on bank holidays, traders come to this popular area to share their local cuisines with London’s citizens. For drinks, you can find cold-pressed juices, loose-leaf teas, high quality coffees, sparkling wines, and artisan beers and ales all located at various stands around the market.
As for the food, a melting pot of traditional treats from Poland, Korea, India, New Orleans, Italy, Mauritius, and Portugal brings interesting flavors to the center of London. But you can also find local goods straight from the UK, with grass-fed beef burgers made by “Jacob’s Ladder” , fresh bread loaves made by “The Flour Station”.
London’s street markets are perfect for those who want to sample a bit everything, or just browse through the incredible array of cuisines available in this multicultural city. Almost all street markets here offer not only a wide range of hot meals and fresh produce, but free samples are common so you can taste new things.Though London offers many more than just nine street markets, these ones do a great job of showcasing high quality foods for great prices, and they are all easily accessible through public transport.