London's best street food

Pitching up in weekend markets, an ever-expanding troupe of London street food traders are revolutionising the London dining scene

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Like a cheap eat? Want to know where to eat when you're at one of London's food markets? Here’s our guide to affordable street food in London's best food markets, from sit-down cafés to takeaways, tried and tasted by Time Out's Eating & Drinking reviewers.

  • Honest Burgers

  • Elephant café

  • Wishbone

  • Franco Manca

  • KaoSarn

Honest Burgers

Brixton Markets

Brixton Village Market & Market Row, both accessible from Coldharbour Lane or Atlantic Road, SW9 (www.bmtf.org.uk). ) Brixton. Arcades open 8am-6pm Mon-Wed; 8am-midnight Thu-Sat; 8am-5pm Sun. Café and restaurant times vary. Check out our video guide to Brixton Village Market here.


The covered arcades of Brixton Market have been transformed over the last couple of years. Once shabby, neglected and with too many empty units, Brixton Village Market (formerly Granville Arcade) and Market Row are now home to more than 20 cafés, restaurants and takeaways. These areas have become Brixton’s culinary and cultural hub and, unlike the other markets featured here, there is proper seating. The community atmosphere ramps up on Thursday and Friday nights, when the market stays open late and musicians play. Many restaurants open for lunch too, though not every day (Mondays and Tuesdays are particularly quiet), so phone ahead if you’re making a special trip. Some serve alcohol, some offer BYO, many take cash only. Premises can be cramped and seating limited, though you’ll find tables ‘outside’ too, in the covered alleys.


Our picks of the bunch in Brixton Village Market includes French & Grace (Unit 19, www.saladclub.wordpress.com), a tiny outfit with just three tables that offers a selection of Middle Eastern dishes, notably salads and wraps. Next door, family-run Mama Lan (www.mamalan.co.uk) specialises in Beijing-style street food, from pan-fried or boiled dumplings to deep-fried vegetable dough balls and noodle soups. You can watch the dumplings being made by hand; the king prawn and water chestnut version is great. Also family-run, Thai restaurant KaoSarn conjures up complex and authentic flavours that you can only dream of finding at Thai restaurants charging twice the price elsewhere in London. One of the most popular choices is the grilled half chicken with som tam (spicy papaya salad) and sticky rice. Okan (www.okanbrixton village.com) deals in Japanese okonomiyaki, an iconic savoury pancake dish, while teeny Pakistani café Elephant (www.elephantcafe.co.uk) serves a very concise menu at very low prices: own-made samosas, curries and three types of thali (minced lamb, chicken or vegetable). Brixton Village Grill (www.brixton-villagegrill.com) is a Portuguese/British crossover specialising in chargrilled meat and fish, served with rice or chips and the restaurant’s own-made spicy piri-piri sauce.


For more fishy fare, this time with a Caribbean slant – ackee and saltfish, or seafood curry with rice and peas, say – and a warm welcome, there’s Etta’s Seafood (www.ettaskitchen.com). With a kitchen, eating area and shop in different units, Cornercopia (07919 542233) is pricier than some places, but takes its ‘local-is-best’ ethos very seriously, sourcing ingredients for its seasonal menu from the market itself or the wider South London area. Seasonality is key to the fresh pasta dishes and own-made breads at Italian restaurant Bellantoni’s (www. bellantonis.co.uk). Also here is the original – and still very popular – branch of Honest Burgers.


The other covered arcade is Market Row, where the premises tend to be bigger and lighter, more like conventional restaurants. Here, you’ll find acclaimed pizzeria Franco Manca, one of the first of the Brixton new wave, and charcuterie specialist/eaterie Cannon & Cannon (www.cannonandcannon.com). Cocktail bar Seven at Brixton (sevenatbrixton.wordpress.com) serves Spanish pintxo and tapas, and Casa Morita (www.casamorita.com) is a popular option for its crowd-pleasing blend of Mexican food and margaritas. Fried-chicken joint Wishbone (www.wishbonebrixton.co.uk) is one of the newest, serving pimped-up junk food (chicken nuggets, mac ’n’ cheese) and cocktails in a noisy, colourful, self-consciously trendy setting.


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Users say

21 comments
Mark B
Mark B

 Are there some missing here?  There were more in the actual magazine which said see the website for more.  It seems to be see the website for less.

Helen Edwards
Helen Edwards

Lovely photo of my husband Mark dishing up his schnitzel at Kerb... Fleisch Mob.. check him out in his Lederhosen! www.fleischmob.co.uk

doesthebellyrulethemind
doesthebellyrulethemind

Bahn Mih 11, is amazing, now at Shoreditch and other places. Can't believe you missed them.

James
James

Spinach & Agushi is very tasty but the prices are not what it says above its more like rice and 2 stews £6 small and also they have half prices deals at the end of the day where I got sick of the food they served me next morning, they need to warm the food before serving people.

Sophie
Sophie

Happy Vegetarian falafel stall in Portobello - the best, freshest falafels and friendliest service in London. And cheap to boot, highly recommned this one.

NoodleDo
NoodleDo

Goddards Pie & Mash- Are we referring to the one on Deptford High Street? If yes, then it is still open to business.

BanhMi SaiGon
BanhMi SaiGon

Just to let you know that Ca Phe VN has launched its own Banh Mi brand - BanhMi SaiGon from our Broadway Market Saigon Street Cafe. We have ended our association with Banhmi11 and now will compete with them head to head at Broadway every saturday ! Let the Banh Mi Battle commence! My partner Tuyen is back in the business after giving birth to our daughter Lotus last year & is preparing the ingredients for our excellent South Vietnamese Five Pork Banh mi, we are also in the finals of the British Street Food Awards in September! our press release below Ca Phe VN has launched its own Banhmi – Banh Mi SaiGon – every Saturday at the Saigon Street Cafe – Benjamin Close, Broadway Market E8 10-5 5 pork, traditional Southern style baguette – excellent light bread with cha bong, steamed pork, cha, gammon ham, pate, pickled diakon & carrot, cucumber, spring onion, coriander, gravy, Vietnamese mayonaise & chilli. Ca Phe VN 07780784696

Pienmash
Pienmash

The shop did close, but there is a Goddards stall in the Fountain Market near the railway, selling the pie and mash we have loved for years!

Hannah Chamberlain
Hannah Chamberlain

Goddard's in Greenwich closed in 2007 at least, if not earlier, and this review was posted in July 09! It was a sad loss that this review doesn't see fit to register at all. Does Time Out ever actually visit the places it reviews?!

Pete
Pete

Goulston St by Petticoat Lane has an embarrasment of choice when the market's on in the week (not sure about weekends) - 2 Thai vans, 1 Chinese, 1 Indian. And then there's the chippie and other delights like the Brazilian cafe nearby. The sort of quality stalls they had in Spitalfields before it turned into Centreparks.

Guacho
Guacho

WE LOVE DE LA PANZA!!!!!

jojo
jojo

it would be useful to actually review some of these stalls. luardo's does wonderful freshly cooked burritos, with homemade guacamole, salsa etc at a very reasonable fiver. whereas Caribbean Food sells offcuts of terrible chicken in flavourless tepid water also for a fiver. Sunny's olive tree has 15 salads, all freshly prepared, offering a great variety of flavours and textures. In the summer, the most popular stall in the market...

Chiswell
Chiswell

What about the great Whitecross Street Food Market

Anita
Anita

Most of the markets are in East London except for Portobello.. how about stalls in Acton Market, Berwick Street, Ealing etc?

Steve
Steve

You missed out the Leather Lane market in Farringdon - Some great food from around the world...its right outside my office door!

Sarah
Sarah

Good point about Lower Marsh, I recently worked in the area for a few months and it's a great little street with a regular street market which has a good range of tasty food.

Rob
Rob

Spinach & Agushi is the best but it's also some of the spiciest food I've ever eaten.

Eggmeister
Eggmeister

Time Out missed out the REAL London street food .... those disgusting unidentified ingredient sausages frying with onions on illegal (but still rife) grills wheeled about the west end.

Sally
Sally

What about Lower Marsh?

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