With people feeling more at ease leaving the house, we have seen some of London’s most cherished street markets come alive again. Here are the best to try:
Maltby Street market – Bermondsey
Located in South-East London, Maltby Street Market is hidden away in a tangle of streets between London Bridge and Bermondsey stations. Perfectly placed under Bermondsey railway, the market has some permanent arch-filling concessions as well as some other guest rotating spots, which keeps it fresh every time you visit.
The market is run on a central alley known as the Ropewalk with delicious tapas from Bar Tozino, Italian and Spanish cheese and charcuterie from The Ham & Cheese Co., bread and pastries from St. John Bakery.
On the other side of the Ropewalk the street food stalls include Japanese cuisine from Gyoza Guys, juicy steak from The Beefsteaks and the famous Cheese Truck, where you will find some of the best grilled cheese sandwiches London has to offer.
Navigate the one-way system implemented throughout the market to help market goers adhere to social distancing rules, sip on gin from Little Bird, grab an energising hot drink from Craft Coffee, and indulge in a sweet dessert at Waffle On.
Maltby Street market will be open on Saturday from 8am to 3pm and on Sunday from 10am to 4pm.
Mercato Metropolitano – Elephant & Castle
Just off Borough High Street, close to Borough and Elephant and Castle tubes (but also walking distance from London Bridge and Waterloo), this street food market is a great hidden gem within a quiet area, with a large outdoor space and food hall.
There is a total of 26 different stalls to choose from, with a large majority of these being Italian cuisine – pizza, fresh pasta and arancini. The variety of food selection doesn’t stop there, you can also find Japanese noodles and gyoza, French cheese in the form of gooey melted raclette, and BBQ stalls serving tasty pulled pork baps and mouth-watering ribs. Turkish, Indian, Mexican and Lebanese cuisines are also on offer so you really are spoilt for choice.
What makes this street food market one of the best is the selection of drinks available. There is a large specialist gin bar where a mixologist will make you a superior gin and tonic, or a bespoke gin based cocktail. You can also pick a special craft beer, delicious wine or a variety of cocktails from the other bars. For all those non-drinkers, there is a smoothie bar where drinks are whipped up from a choice of fresh fruit.
Its founder Andrea Rasca has reassured market goers that the market is following all the guidelines to create a COVID safe environment.
Mercato Metropolitano is open Monday & Tuesday 9am-7pm, Wednesday & Thursday 8am-11pm, Friday & Saturday 8am-12am and Sunday 11am-10pm.
Brixton Village and Market Row – Brixton
Brixton’s outdoor markets include open air markets of fresh food and all kind of goods, including a range of fruits, fishmongers and butchers with some great deals on fine foods. If you find yourself here, head to Dombey & Son for fresh and high quality meat: this old-fashioned butcher and poultry shop is standing resistance from supermarket chains and their produce is bound to bring something different to your weekend BBQ.
You will also find a selection of small restaurants – which are now taking bookings! Make sure you book well in advance, as they are only allowing four people per table. There’s something for everyone here – from Latin American food at The Provincial, to Mexican sharing dishes; tacos, tostaditas and home-made salsa at Sala Piquin and a definite favourite – Nanban, which serves ramen, gyoza, tempura and plum wines.
Finally, once you have done your weekly fresh food shop and filled your tummy , Brixton Market is also home to some furnishing and textiles shops. Head to Rachel and Malika’s to have a browse of their colourful fabrics and homeware.
Victoria Park Market – Bow
Despite regulations allowing markets to open last month Victoria Park Market in East London only just reopened on 6th July. They have also implemented some safety measures: they have reduced the number of people they allow into the main market area and there is a one way system in place. Unfortunately though, this does mean a lower number of stalls which have had to be spaced out around the park.
Whatever you need, Victoria Park Market will undoubtably have it – seasonal fruit and veg, organic farm butchers, fresh fish, locally baked bread, cheeses, farm made pies, olives, pasta, sauces, flowers, oils, organic coffee, juice bar, craft beer – the list goes on. Top it all off with grilled cheese sandwiches and Mexican fried chicken and the biggest cookies you have ever seen from A Pie Party.
If the food isn’t enough to get you here then rest assured the aesthetics of the park and the atmosphere surely will. The market is located along a beautiful pedestrianised street inside the park and each week they have live music playing.
Victoria Park market is open on Sundays from 10am – 4pm.
Vinegar yard – London Bridge
This street food market had only been open and operating for under a year before the pandemic hit, and despite being relatively new it has been hugely popular. Based in the heart of London Bridge, this market is entirely al fresco.
Vinegar Yard is packed full of street food and pop-up shops, but it also houses plenty of repurposed art and design, including an incredible train carriage installation. Many of the pieces were created by British artist Joe Rush, who has made various sculptures for Glastonbury Festival, and has worked on collaborations with Vivienne Westwood and The Rolling Stones.
Having reopened its bars and flea market last month, Vinegar Yard will finally be serving up food from this weekend (July 11th). Nanny Bills will be serving its unmissable juicy burgers and their famous croquettes or enjoy Baba G’s Indian inspired pachos, burgers and signature ‘naanwiches’.
With unobstructed views of The Shard, giant outdoor garden and original art pieces. There are also a good mix of ethical and sustainable shops too, as well as Flea London pop-up that takes place every weekend, offering gorgeous vintage clothing, homeware and books.
Vinegar Yard have also worked hard to keep the place COVID safe. They are accepting a reduced capacity of market goers and have increased spaces between the tables. They are only allowing a maximum of six people per group and you must stay seated at the table at all times. They are encouraging you to book tables and pre-order in advance and are using single use glassware and you must purchase a free ticket before visiting to ensure the Track and Trace program can be used.
It will be open 5-10pm on Wednesday and Thursday, 5pm–midnight on Friday, 11am-midnight on Saturday, and 11am-8pm on Sunday.
Greenwich market – Greenwich
The best thing about Greenwich market is without doubt Greenwich itself. Situated on the River Thames, Maritime Greenwich is a World Heritage Site and has spectacular views of the city from the top of the small hill in Greenwich Park.
With 47 food stalls, 11 antique stalls, 36 fashion market stalls and 24 jewellery market stalls on rotation at Greenwich Market it’s not short on variety. Check the website to see which day has what.
A notable street food vendor at Greenwich market is Da Fish Ting, well-known for providing one of the best soft shell crab burgers in the UK, served in charcoal brioche buns.
Otherwise, head to La-Mian for super fresh and delicious noodles and dim sum that is cooked right in front of you, all ingredients are organic and come from china.
Finally you must indulge your sweet tooth at the Brazilian Churros stand near the entrance, these crispy on the outside and soft on the inside prism-shaped doughnuts really are tremendous. This quirky sweet treat can be coated in cinnamon and sugar or filled with homemade ‘dulce de leche’ and chocolate fudge sauces.
Greenwich Market is open from Thursday – Sunday 10am to 4.30pm and all food is takeaway only.