A guide to the best markets in London [2023] Where to Shop and What to Eat

Borough Market London

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Last Updated on August 24, 2023 by London City Calling

Last Updated: August 2023.

There are so many amazing markets in London that attract locals and visitors alike throughout the year.

No matter where you are in the city, it’s likely that you’ll be within walking distance of a market, whether it’s a small street lined with local fresh produce stalls or one of the larger and more iconic tourist hotspots.

You can pick up almost anything at London’s markets, from international street food and fresh produce to clothing, homeware, and antiques.

And with special events and festivals taking place at the markets all year round, a visit to any of London’s markets never fails to make a great day out!

So today I’ve decided to share my list of 12 of the best markets in London you absolutely shouldn’t miss, including many of my favourite stalls at each of the markets…

Borough Market

Borough Market London

Borough Market, which is located in Southwark just a few minutes away from London Bridge, is one of the largest and oldest food markets in London, with a market on the site dating back to at least the 12th century.

The market is still as relevant today as it has ever been. There are over 100 stalls selling fresh produce, including fruit, vegetables, meat, fish, cheeses, bread, and alcohol, as well as specialty traders from across the world.

Even if you’re not after fresh produce, Borough Market is a great place to pick up a delicious cooked lunch, with plenty of food traders on-site, fresh juices, or even a cup of Pimms to enjoy wandering around the market on a sunny day.

Borough Market is closed on Mondays, while the full market is open approx. 10am to 5pm Tuesday to Sunday.

Must Eat at Borough Market

JUMA Kitchen

My most recent Borough Market obsession has to be the deliciously smokey Iraqui kababs and amazing homemade mushroom kubba (stuffed dumplings) from Iraqui-inspired street food stall JUMA Kitchen. The kebabs are cooked right in front of you on a charcoal grill and served on freshly made flatbread and the taste is PERFECTION! And if you’d don’t believe me, believe the 4.9-star Google rating.

Borough Market London

Comptoir Gourmand

Annie from London-based blog ‘Knickers & Shift’ – “I really love a mille-feuille. So much so that our family points them out every time we go past a patisserie. So Comptoir Gourmand, with its eye-catching display and custardy, flakily perfect pastry, is a winner for me. The sweet delicacy of the mille-feuille helps me imagine I’m in France, not by the Thames (as nice as it is!)”

Borough Market London

Le Marché du Quartier

Hatty from London-based blog ‘Knickers & Shift’ – “For me, it’s the duck confit at Le Marché du Quartier that draws me in every time. That delicious marriage of creamy blue cheese, salty duck, and the tang of rocket sends my tastebuds on a journey that I can’t turn down. Topped off with a glass of bubbles from Cartwright Brothers Vintners next door, it’s the perfect way to spend an afternoon regardless of the weather.”

For more, you can also now check out my full guide to the best food in Borough Market.

Maltby Street Market

Located in Bermondsey, just a 15-20 minute walk away from Borough Market, Maltby Street Market owes much of its success to its nearby big brother.

Due to Borough Market’s ever-growing popularity, several street food traders decided to move up the road and set up stalls under the railway arches near Maltby Street, leading to the opening of Maltby Street Market back in 2010.

Now this small but compact weekend street food market is probably one of the prettiest street food markets in London, with the railway arches adorned with rows of colourful bunting dancing in the breeze above the bustling market underneath, giving it an almost village fete-type vibe.

There is a diverse variety of food and drinks on offer at Maltby Street Market, from succulent beef at The Beefsteaks and DEVI’s plant-focused slow food to the unique Dhan Waffle (described as cake crossed with waffle meets doughnut) and even gin cocktails at Little Bird Gin.

Open Saturdays 9am to 5pm and Sundays 11am to 5pm.

Must Eat at Maltby Street Market

The Gyoza Guys

The Gyoza Guys are the ones not to miss at Maltby Street Market. The award-winning artisan gyozas are prepared by self-proclaimed ‘dumpling don’ Chef Amir Pem, former personal chef to Sir Paul McCartney. The street food traders dish up a delicious range of innovative gyoza flavours from all across the world, from Vietnamese lemongrass chicken to Japanese Yakuza mushrooms and many more.

You can find Gyoza Guys at Maltby Street Market Saturdays 10-5 and Sundays 11-4.

Camden Market

Camden Market

Camden Town is well known for its iconic market, drawing in locals and tourists alike throughout the year.

Camden Market actually refers to several adjoining markets that compromise the majority of Camden Town and attract around a quarter of a million visitors every week, making it not only one of the best markets in London but also the fourth most popular tourist attraction in the city.

Firstly you have Camden Lock Market, which as the name implies is located on the lock next to the Regent’s Canal. This is the original arts and crafts market in Camden with numerous retail units specialising in the likes of homemade jewellery, vintage clothing, custom items, artwork, and gifts.

Camden Lock Market West Yard is home to a number of London’s top street food traders, including Oli Babas and their famous halloumi fries, freshly rolled pasta from The Cheese Wheel, and delicious burgers from Burger & Beyond.

Camden Stables Market

Venture in further and you’ll reach the Stables Market, which occupies the site of a former horse hospital. The Stables Market is home to many small stalls and shops selling alternative clothing, quirky furniture, household goods and antiques.

This particular market is also popular with alternative sub-cultures such as punks, goths and cybergoths, which can be seen most notably in the well-known shop Cyberdog, which sells unique cyber-style neon PVC and rubber clothing.

Buck Street Market is located inside a colourful 3-story building made up of recycled shipping containers. It is the UK’s first dedicated market for the conscious consumer, with 26 sustainable food brands and 50 ethical fashion traders.

Camden Market is open from 10:00am to 6:00pm every day of the year other than Christmas day.

Must Eat at Camden Market

Halloumi Fries in London

Oli Babas

Halloumi Fries has long been a London favourite. And there’s nowhere better to sample this delicious dish than Oli Babas street food stall in Camden Market’s West Yard. Here you’ll find the tasty strips of deep-fried cheese topped with za’atar yoghurt, pomegranate seeds, mint, and sumac, creating an all-around taste sensation!

Yorkshire Burrito

Picture enjoying a traditional British roast dinner but in a convenient, on-the-go meal. That’s precisely what Yorkshire Burrito offers with their signature dish. Yorkshire Burrito has taken the classic burrito and given it a British twist. They use a large Yorkshire pudding to wrap up slow-cooked roast beef (or other options like roasted chicken and cheesy cauliflower), along with potatoes, veggies, and a healthy serving of gravy.

For more, check out my full guide to the best things to eat in Camden Market.

Portobello Road Market

Portobello Road Notting Hill London

That pretty little row of colourful pastel houses in Notting Hill that you’ve seen all over Instagram… well that’s probably Portobello Road.

The road that is home to Nothing Hill’s local antique market which owes much of it’s fame to High Grant and Julia Roberts’ 1999 film of the same name.

The full market runs the length of Notting Hill between Notting Hill Gate and Ladbroke Grove tube stations, with different sections of the market specialising in different things.

The southern stretch of Portobello Road Market is predominantly dedicated to antique stalls and shops, making it one of London’s best markets for antique lovers.

The middle of the market is where you’ll find the food stalls, as well as modern fashion and household goods. North Portobello is home to both vintage and new clothing, accessories, collectibles and bric-a-brac. And finally, Westbourne Grove is where you’ll find more antique stalls, particularly on a Saturday.

Portobello Road Market London

The best day to visit Portobello Road Market is definitely on Saturdays which, despite being the busiest day, is the main trading day where you’ll find the most traders lining the streets. Friday is the dedicated antiques day at the market so is particularly popular with antiques collectors.

During the rest of the week the offering is a bit more limited, with mostly fruit and vegs stalls, household goods and some clothing traders catering mainly to locals.

Portobello Road Market is open 9am to 6pm Mondays to Wednesdays, 9am to 1pm on Thursdays, and 9am to 7pm Fridays and Saturdays.

Must Visit at Portobello Road Market

Alices Portobello Road Market London

Alice’s Antiques

It’s difficult to miss the pretty red storefront of Alices when wandering through Portobello Road Market, with its window full of antiques and tables covered in cute little knick-knacks and fun souvenirs on market days. Alice’s is a great place to pick up a bargain like a Notting Hill teapot or some quirky household decor. If you’ve never been to this London market before but recognise the shop, that’s probably thanks to its starring role as Mr. Gruber’s shop in the iconic 2014 film Paddington.

Covent Garden Market

Market in Covent Garden London

Although the area of Covent Garden manages to find its way onto almost every ‘must do in London’ list out there, Covent Garden Market rarely seems to get mentioned, which is surprising considering the area’s long history as a market.

For a large chunk of its past, Covent Garden was home to a world-famous fruit and vegetable market, but due to problems with congestion in the area, in 1974 the market was relocated to the ‘New Covent Garden Market’ in Nine Elms, where it has remained ever since.

These days, Covent Garden is better known as being a tourist location with many restaurants, bars and shops filling the iconic square. However, two small markets do remain on the site.

Covent Garden Market London

The Covent Garden Apple Market is a craft market in the central building. From Tuesday to Sunday, the market is filled with handmade goods, artwork and beautiful crafts, whilst on Mondays you’ll find a one-off antiques and collectables market.

The Apple Market is probably most well known for its giant mistletoe lights decoration during the Christmas season.

In the South Piazza, you’ll find the lesser-known Jubilee Market, with an antiques market on Mondays, a general market on Tuesdays to Fridays, and an arts and crafts market at the weekends.

Covent Garden Markets are open every day from 10am to 6pm.

Spitalfields Market

Old Spitalfields Market London

Moving over to East London you have Spitalfields Market, located in Spitalfields close to Liverpool Street station. The market is covered, making it a great option for the colder winter months, and has a focus on fashion, antiques and food.

The large Spitalfields Market is comprised of two main sections:

  • Old Spitalfields Market is a quirky covered market with plenty of fashion and food traders housed inside one of the best surviving Victorian Market Halls in the capital.
  • Spitalfield’s Traders Market is home to a range of independent traders selling unique, artisan and hand-crafted goods.

The market hosts regular and special events, including a Thursday antiques market, a bi-monthly vinyl Market (1st and 3rd Friday of the month), monthly swing dance evenings, Sunday yoga, food festivals, live screenings of special events and much, much more.

Spitalfields Market is open from 10am to 8pm Mondays to Fridays, 10am to 6pm on Saturdays and 10am to 5pm on Sundays (stalls shut earlier than the kitchens during the week).

Must Visit at Spitalfields Market

The Last Stop For The Curious

Everyone knows hats are so in right now! Whether you’re off to the races, at a wedding, or simply enjoying a sunny day out in London, a hat completes a great outfit. And there’s nowhere better to pick up quality vintage, retro, and modern hats than The Last Stop For The Curious. Their beautiful collection of hats caters to any age, gender, look, and occasion. If you have a slight hat obsession like myself, make sure not to miss this little stall at Old Spitalfields Market.

Brick Lane Market

Street sign for Brick Lane in Shoreditch

Also in London’s East End sits Brick Lane Market, located on – you guessed it – Brick Lane.

The area itself is the hub of London’s Bangladeshi community and is famed for being home to some of the best curry restaurants in the capital.

However, in recent years, this Shoreditch hotspot has also become increasingly popular with London’s young, edgy and artistic crowd, with quirky bars popping up all over.

Brick Lane Market is also known as the Truman Markets, due to being located in the area of the Old Truman Brewery. It’s comprised of five different markets; the Boiler House Food Hall, the Tea Rooms, the Backyard Market, the Sunday UpMarket, and the Vintage Market.

With its combined offering, Brick Lane Market is one of the best markets in London for those who love one-of-a-kind items and hunting down a bargain.

The Backyard Market and the Sunday UpMarket specialise in unique clothing, hand-made accessories, arts and crafts, and bric-a-brac. Both of these markets are seen as platforms for young artists and emerging designers to showcase and sell their goods.

The Vintage Market is pretty self-explanatory, selling clothes and accessories from the 1920s to the 1990s, whilst the Tea Rooms (which does serve tea) also has a selection of antiques and second-hand homeware such as typewriters, taxidermy, and vintage maps.

Finally, the Boiler House is the market’s dedicated food hall, with over 30 traders serving a variety of international dishes. You can also now head outside to Ely’s Yard Street Food for even more options.

Brick Lane Market’s main day is Sundays, with all areas of the market open between 10am and 5pm. The Backyard Market, Vintage Market, Boiler House, and Tea Rooms are open on Saturdays from 11am to 6pm, whilst the Vintage Market is also open Thursdays and Fridays from 11am to 5.30pm.

Must Eat at Brick Lane Market

The Rib Man

Setting up shop at Bricklane Market each Sunday, The Rib Man (aka Mark Gevaux) cooks up what is without a doubt some of the best rib meat in all of London! You can choose between a rack of ribs, rib roll, or rib wrap, all topped with the stall’s famous “Holy F**k Hot Sauce.” Trust me, you’ve never tasted anything quite like it!

Greenwich Market

Greenwich Market London

Greenwich Market is London’s only historic market set in a World Heritage Site.

The market is located in Greenwich town centre, close to the Old Royal Naval College, National Maritime Museum, Cutty Sark, and Greenwich Park, making it the perfect addition to a day out exploring Greenwich.

The market features stalls offering vintage goods and artisan products, as well as many arts and craft stalls selling unique gifts and quirky items.

If you’re on the lookout for one-of-a-kind artwork, unique furniture and household items, personalised gifts or handmade greeting cards, this is probably London’s best market for you.

Greenwich Market London

In the courtyard, just outside of the main covered market, you’ll find the majority of Greenwich market’s street food offerings, including Pimp My Ramen’s quirky noodle burgers, Victus & Bibo’s delicious lamb and halloumi wraps and the Red Cow Carvery’s classic roast beef dishes.

Inside the main market area, there are also plenty of traders serving sweet treats such as artisan cakes, chocolates, churros and mini pancakes, as well as the Coach and Horses pub so you can stop for a much-deserved (obviously!) drink.

Greenwich Market is open from 10am to 5:30pm 7 days a week including bank holidays.

Must Eat at Greenwich Market

The Red Cow Carvery 

The Red Cow Carvery in Greenwich Market is well-known for its roast-dinner street food dish of beef, roast potatoes, and Yorkie puds. However, the stall’s steak baguettes certainly shouldn’t be underestimated. The huge baguette is stuffed with salad and freshly carved roast beef, then covered in a thick layer of raclette cheese. Certainly not the healthiest of dishes. But this tasty sandwich will last you for both lunch and dinner at the reasonable price of just £10.

Columbia Road Flower Market

Columbia Road Flower Market

Every Sunday Columbia Road in East London is transformed into a colourful oasis of beautiful flowers and plants being sold by local traders.

Fellow London blogger Eppie had this to say about Columbia Road:

“I live down the road from Columbia Flower Market, London’s famous road that is bursting with the scent of florals and the sound of bargaining sellers every Sunday.

I tend to head down from 3pm to pick up end-of-the-day deals whilst being able to manoeuvre through the cramped street. When the market isn’t on, Columbia Road is still worth a visit for its quaint cafes, pottery shops and galleries.”

Columbia Road Flower Market is open every Sunday from 8am to 3pm.

Broadway Market

Broadway Market is located between the Regent’s Canal and London Fields in Hackney and is known for drawing in London’s hipster community and creative types who live nearby.

The market was renovated and relaunched in 2004, turning it from a small fruit and veg market into a bustling street of 135 stalls selling everything from international street food and artisan cakes to vintage clothing, homeware and gifts.

Even during the week when the market isn’t on, Broadway Market is still worth visiting for its cute coffee shops, traditional British Pubs (try The Cat and Mutton), and hipster boutiques.

Broadway Market is open every Saturday from 9am to 5pm.

Leather Lane Market

Leather Lane Market London

Here’s another one for the foodies out there. Leather Lane is a weekday lunch-time-only street food market in Clerkenwell, between Farringdon and Chancery Lane tube stations.

In my personal opinion, it is one of the best markets in London for grabbing a tasty and affordable lunch, and a highly underrated hidden gem on London’s foodie scene.

As the name implies, Leather Lane was once a popular clothing and footwear market. To this day the market is still home to a couple of clothing stalls, however, it is much better known for attracting local office workers for its great lunchtime food options.

The down-to-earth market tends to stay away from the bigger chains and more widely known street food traders, and instead has a wide variety of international dishes, from falafel wraps to jerk chicken and more, cooked up by small traders with a real passion for their food.

One particularly unique selling point of Leather Lane Market is that it is one of very few London markets where you are unlikely to see a tourist or camera in sight.

People come to Leather Lane to eat great food and that’s it! So whether you’re a local trying to avoid slow-walking tourists fumbling for a photo, or a tourist looking for an authentic London food experience, this is one not to miss.

Leather Lane market runs on weekdays from 10am to 2pm.

Must Eat at Leather Lane Market

Yum Bowl

Yum Bowl is one of the first stalls you will come across when entering Leather Lane Market from Clerkenwell Road. Serving up classic Vietnamese dishes such as Tom Yum Noodle Soup and Meat and Rice bowls for just £6.50, Yum Bowl is undoubtedly one of the most popular stalls on Leather Lane. My go-to is always the delicious BBQ Pork Rice Bowl (if you can’t handle the heat like me, ask them to go easy on the chili).

Smithfield Market

Smithfield Market

Last but certainly not least, I’ve decided to include something a little different. Smithfield Market, located in Farringdon, is the largest wholesale meat market in the UK and one of the largest of its kind in Europe.

Not one for the vegetarians or the late sleepers, Smithfield Market is open from 2am until mid-morning and has been nicknamed the ‘cathedral of meat’, with the Grade II listed Victorian building playing host to 30 traders selling fresh meat to central London’s butchers, shops and restaurants.

The market is open for both trade and to the public, so if you’re interested you can turn up early to wander around the market and watch the daily trade in full swing. You can even take an organised tour of Smithfield Market once a month – check it out here.

Smithfield Market’s official opening times are weekdays between 2am and 8am and if you want to see the market at its best it’s advisable to arrive before 7am, however, the trade does often continue until mid-morning.

So did I cover all of London’s best markets or did I miss your favourite?

Let me know in the comments below…

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London City Calling

Emily is a born and raised London girl, starting life in the north of the capital then moving down to Fulham in the southwest. She has a master’s degree in Social and Cultural Anthropology from University College London and now works full-time running this blog and as a freelance travel writer, splitting her life between London and travelling the world as a digital nomad.

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