Broadway Market guide

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Broadway Market's status as a promenade for the East End fashion set is legendary – but it's the high-quality fashion, vintage clothing and independent boutiques that excite the rest of us. Get up on a Saturday to explore one of London's most successful local markets

  • Broadway Market guide

    Broadway Market for coffee, cakes and sartorial peacocks

  • The lowdown


    Broadway is less a market than a meeting place for winsome young men sporting Lord Kitchener moustaches and fey-looking girls armed with the Saturday style supplements and the odd chocolate éclair. It’s notorious for its East End fashion kudos, but it’s the high-quality produce (Broadway is primarily a specialist food market), well-edited vintage clothing and independent boutiques that make it worth perusing on a regular basis.

    It wasn’t always like this: after years of decline, in 2004 volunteers from the local traders’ and residents’ association set about transforming their ailing fruit and veg market. Now, Broadway is one of London’s most successful (and most gentrified) local markets with 80 stalls heaving with cheeses, meat and fish, cakes and preserves and a fruit and veg stall that’s traded on the market for the past 50 years.

    Much smaller and less frenetic than Brick Lane, Broadway Market is also pleasingly eco-edged, with a ban on plastic bags and a stall selling souvenir cotton totes – perfect for the local trendies. Go to show off (and do your weekly shop at the same time).

    Don't miss...

    The majority of Broadway’s cake stalls are excellent, from Violet’s cupcakes (www.violetcakes.com) to the Ion Patisserie, Georgeta Decuseara’s small stall near Dericote Street. Each pastry and cake is fastidiously made and her obscenely huge éclairs packed with vanilla cream are worth queuing ages for.

    Downside...

    The impromptu tat stalls at the edge of London Fields selling scratched CDs; fashion students lolling about outside the Cat & Mutton still drunk from Friday night; the public toilets; trying too hard on the fashion front: it may be the closest thing London’s markets have to a catwalk, but you’ve still got to make it home through Hackney afterwards.

    Refuel at…
    Try Australian-run café Climpson & Sons (No 10), the epicentre of the market (and a tangle of buggies and vintage bikes from noon onwards); the Dove (No 24) with its Belgian beers and portions of chips served in pint glasses.

    Broadway's top stalls

    Jewellery makers Jessie Chorley and Buddug Humphreys’s stall is an outpost of their fairy-tale-like shop on nearby Columbia Road. At Broadway Market, look over their trademark enamel pendants and pins, watch-face necklaces and headbands with chubby feathered birds perched upon them.
    www.buddug.com


    Paul Goby’s vintage
    Paul has traded at Broadway for five years, offering high-quality men’s and women’s vintage, all sourced in the UK. Buying large quantities and passing on the discount means that Paul’s stock is well priced, and he seems to have a rather shrewd eye for a label – we spotted a Burberry mac for £15 and more than a couple of stylists rooting through the racks. Look out for Paul’s famous £2 rail that pops up on occasion. Excellent value and friendly service.
    Outside The Dove pub.

    Insider tips


    Our insider
    Fashion designer Geoffrey J Finch, whose label Antipodium (www.antipodium.com) is created in a studio just a few minutes away from Broadway Market. 

    When should you visit Broadway Market?

    ‘On Saturdays at around 9am – it’s quite civilised –  but some stalls open earlier. It winds down about 5pm-ish but stocks may be depleted.’

    Top spots
    ‘I love Artwords at 22 Broadway Market – all the latest and rarest fashion and art rags and an inspiring selection of books: great for gifts and appearing in the know. The vintage men’s and ladies’ clothing stalls outside Artwords and The Dove are a must-visit. Look out for the grumpy stall owners and rakish customers.

    'The flower stall, outside the Off Broadway bar and café, is great value; I find a large, showy bunch of blooms makes a great accessory. L’eau à la Bouche at No 49 makes totally delicious salads, with cheeses, meats and poncey pink drinks from France. There’s a great vintage furniture store, The Dog and Wardrobe, owned by an interior design couple, on St Andrew’s Road, overlooking the canal. Finally, I love the reassuringly expensive gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free cake stall that is conveniently outside Holistic Health at No 64. The perfect place for a smug, post-yoga treat.’

    What should you avoid?
    ‘Beware of the buggies! The creative professionals have started breeding.’

    Top tips
    'Wilton’s (63 Wilton Way, E8 1BG) is a great local café and not usually as packed as Broadway Market’s Climpson & Sons, and you can walk off a coffee buzz by sauntering across London Fields to Arch 389 (Mentmore Terrace, E8 3PN), where you’ll find a selection of retro furniture and bric-a-brac.’

    Broadway Market, E8 4QL (www.broadwaymarket.co.uk). London Fields rail. 9am-5pm Sat.
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Users say

20 comments
Ellie
Ellie

Perfect for a hangover wander, coffee fuelled stroll or boozy lunchtime hang out. Calm and happy atmosphere with lots of local food and drink mixed in with old style pubs. A little bit on the trendy pricey side but a nice place to go and surprise yourself with something a bit special from one of the stalls or to soak up a proper East London flavour. Worth a visit, head down early for a good spot

KTB
KTB

Took my mum to Broadway Market today. Having recently moved from SW London to E London I have been checking out the local markets (and pubs and restaurants!) and this was top of the list to take my mum / visitors to when they visit. My mum really enjoyed it, especially for people watching (in her mid 60s she felt really old...). I think its a little gem of a place which draws people to the area so can only be good. It may not be ideal for day to day shopping for the locals and the area may get very busy but there's a really good vibe and people will end of exploring the area / spending money away from the market as well.

Jo
Jo

Lisa's Yumbuns are worth getting up and braving the trendies for on a Saturday, mmmmmm!

Juliet
Juliet

Great feature this week, just wanted to point out that you've combined the schoolyard with Netil market but they are actually two separate areas. The schoolyard is an extension of the community-run street market (and I think profits go to the school). Netil market is in the carpark of Netil House further down, both on Westgate Street.

Camilla
Camilla

there was a little market stall called "J & B" and it said their shop was online but i cant find it anywheere, it sold cards and old books made into new ones. it was very pretty i'd love for someone to give me a link :)

Lor
Lor

Haha, just read JW's comments and couldn't agree more! Pretentious and over-priced - many customers would do better spending their money on a bar of soap and a comb!

rose
rose

gosh!only just read this article and stunned by JWs rant! its nearly a year on since his comments so am hoping he's relocated! I'm a stall holder and before that was a regular visitor and local- I'd say JW completely misses the point of the market with such up tight views.....I enjoy serving my lovely customers and am lucky to be a part of the market! I'm also lucky to not have to deal with sinics such as yourself and as I wouldn't dream of choosing local Iceland and Tesco in favour of Broadway(yes despite the buggies and cyclists!!) I have no chance of ever running into the JWs of Hackney.

London Fields Man
London Fields Man

I was born in Hackney and have lived in London fields for the last 13 years. The market prior to 2004 had been dead for 20 or more years. John the fruit and veg man was it's sole trader for much of that time. Many of the shops were empty and so weren't contributing anything to the community. Now we have a thriving market and those preexisting shops such as the butcher, fruit and veg stall, hardware, chemists etc are do a roaring trade because of the increase in footfall and money on the street. I struggle to see how what broadway market has become is in any way worse than what it was previously . For those who thought it should have been a different market , what were you doing for the last 20 years and why didnt you set up something yourself? There's still plenty of cheap shops and stalls in hackney, broadway market is just something a bit different most of us to enjoy. JW get that chip off your shoulder.

SB
SB

Watch out for the fit sellers on the fruit and veg stall

Labo
Labo

Will love to visit.

Karine
Karine

To jw: my god u r so grumpy! I went there last saturday and i liked it....am french so we had a laugh when we saw the 'la vie en rose' cafe! So cliche but brits do love that! I prefer that market, its much cheaper than borough market for e.g which is really full of tourist (live in east london for 7 years) Am happy i discovered that nice place wich is closed to the canal so hopefully at summer time we can have a walk along the canal and the market (if they reopened the path!) For the one who r complaining about bikes and buggies...well all year long everywhere we have to bear cars! So give us a breath! Cant see why hackney could not b a cool place! Go further in east london if u like to contemplate poverty! Am a foreign east ender working and paying tax so i think i deserve to splash my money the way i want! Trendy east market or posh sloane square! I apologise to the brit benefit...fraudster? Lol take it easy!

Sue
Sue

As someone who has lived in this area for 12 years, I have to disagree with JW's suggestion that the Saturday market at Broadway has done nothing to help the local economy regenerate the area. When I moved here, 70% of Broadway Market shops were closed down; there was no Saturday market, and local amenities were limited to the fruit and veg stall (who is still there and has done very well out of Saturday), the butcher (ditto), a few local grocery stores and the ironmongers (all still there) and betting shops (one of which has admittedly now closed down, but what did they do to boost the local economy anyway?). As a local (if 12 years is long enough to qualify), I have marvelled at the positive changes that have taken place; the market does need to continue to support local traders and encourage a range of stalls run by and for local people (the traders and residents association gives generously to local projects), and yes, it often gets very crowded and the overspill from the pubs can be hard to negotiate in the summer, but to say it has done nothing for the local area is quite frankly wrong.

JW
JW

Broadway Market on a Saturday is a total rip off aimed at gullible young people with more money than sense and easily misled tourists. It has done nothing to help the local economy or regenerate the area. Apart from the hooigans who burn the grass in London Fields with their non eco friendly barbeque trays it has allowed local shop keeps to raise their prices to an unrealistic prices for local people. Far from helping the community it has greated a further divide with more people having to go to the big chain supermarkets because it has destroyed what used to be a useful local market with appropriate shops. And as someone else has mentioned it brings out the worst behaviour of self pleased cyclists whose lack of manners and dangerous antics makes Broadway Market a really stupid place for anybody with any sensibilities to visit. And as to the yummy mummies with their 4 wheel drive buggies clogging up the pavements if they weren't so offensive in the self engrossed little ones they would be an object of ridicule. Even more silly are the people who pay for poor quality coffee at inflated prices. Cant young people boil a kettle for themselves. They are so busy re-enacting so psuedo life style that the media has told them exist that they sit outside having their breakfast coffees as though aping mediterraean life styles make them cool. Only for fashion victims and people with disposable income. If you care about the community don't go to Broadway Market donate to a local charity. And as to London Fields Lido which local people save against an apathetic local council, it is one of only 2 polls in Hackney that does not allow free swimming to local residents. Yet another consequence of thinking your right to turn up once a week and flash your cash around in more important than proper regeneration. PS even the cobble stones aren't real - why not just go to disney land at least they dont pretend they are anything other than a fantasy.

Ton
Ton

Opens only at Saturdays but nice small market, just on the end of the street of our locksmith shop for who ever visited us before, go see the market and come visit us if you need something while you're there, there used to be a very good stall with pickles I don't know if still there but is recommended. http://locksmithinlondon.org/#/locksmith-24-hour/4537770534

Bill Robinson
Bill Robinson

The Mushroom sandwich from Dave at spoorboys is superb!

jackie o'farrell
jackie o'farrell

The main reason to go to Broadway Market is for the fabulous flower shop 'Rebel Rebel'. I love it. It is every girl's dream of owning a flower shop, all pink and orange and fluffy and slightly eccentric (in a good original way). Also extra stuff to buy like vases, candles and other original things. Friendly, trendy....perfect. What I do is go for a swim at the London Fields Lido when I've got a Friday morning free, walk across London fields to Broadway market, have a coffee and buy some lovely flowers. Perfect!

Neil Burgess
Neil Burgess

There are now 4 book-sellers on Broadway Market on a Saturday. Two specialist in art, one in photography and the brilliant generalist Broadway Mkt Books.

story
story

Saturday is the only day the market is open. 9-5pm. They are thinking of opening a friday market as well but that hasn't made any progress.

Aya
Aya

Can anyone tell me which day would be the best to visit??

patsy
patsy

Just watch out for the plethora of people with bikes and/or pushchairs!