London's best farmers' markets

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London’s your oyster when it comes to finding mouthwatering produce. We pick the city’s best (and most easily accessible) farmers' markets that specialise in quality, well-sourced wares

  • London’s best farmers' markets

    Vernal abundance at Cabbages and Frocks © Natalie Pecht


  • Central | North | East | South | West

    Central

    Pimlico Road Farmers’ Market

    Incredibly chi-chi, but not without a bit of eccentricity – sure there are lots of straw hats, tea dresses and wicker baskets, but on our visit a jovial old man was entertaining the market goers with a hearty song played on his battered accordion. Suddenly, it felt like Paris. Pimlico Road is a six-year-old market, though Orange Square was once host to roaming sheeps and donkeys as well as a local vegetable market way back in the eighteenth century. In 1764, a young Mozart penned his first symphony nearby at the tender age of eight. A statue of him, in all his frock-coated glory, stands proudly in the midst of the square. BEST BUY There’s a higher concentration of fresh fruit and vegetables, meat and baked goods here, though notable vendors include Kingcup Farm , which deserves kudos for its unusual pickings (radish pods, edible flowers, leek flowers), and EFJ Gould for an interesting selection of cheddars. The jury’s still out on its Marmite cheese, though. Popina’s elderflower-and-gooseberry tart is bang on season and delicious to boot. CAVEAT EMPTOR? The square is a perfect spot for winding down, with its tree-shaded benches dotted about the area – but there’s disappointingly little hot food (apart from 12 Green Acres’ sausage baps) to tuck into. No wonder most, at a loss, seem to retreat to Daylesford Organic across the street instead.Pimlico Road Farmers’ Market, Orange Square, corner of Pimlico Rd and Ebury St, SW1 (020 7833 0338/www.lfm.org.uk) Victoria tube/rail or Sloane Square tube. Open Sat 9am-1pm.

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    Grab lunch at Whitecross Street Food Market

    Whitecross Street Food Market

    This market started a year ago as a monthly operation, but the wait became unbearable for regulars – so it now operates weekly. The workaholics of Clerkenwell and Hoxton descend upon this energetic food market every Thursday and Friday for a slap-up lunch on the go. Follow your nose, or gravitate towards the vans with snaking queues – always indicators of quality grub. A world of cuisine means everyone is catered for. Luardo’s, purveyor of Latin-American street food, is a good bet, with fluffy burritos that may rival some of Mexico’s best offerings; keep an eye out for their mint-green vintage Citroën van. Another hit with regulars is Mario and Carol’s Italian food stall, where an order of classic Roman-style grub comes with friendly banter from the opinionated yet charming Mario. Grab some olive oils or pesto, or choose from a selection of fruit and vegetables.BEST BUY For a twee treat, buy your friends an egg carton full of vanilla-rich mini fairy cakes from Netty Poskitt. THEN WHAT? Waddle off sated, then pop into Bread & Honey (205 Whitecross St, EC1; 020 7253 4455) – one of London’s finest streetwear shops – and realise you can’t fit into anything after your gluttonous adventure.                                                           Whitecross Weekly Food Market, Whitecross St, EC1Y (020 7378 0422/www.whitecrossstreetmarket.co.uk) Old St tube/rail. Open Thur, Fri 11am-4pm.

    Berwick Street Market

    It lies between seedy Soho strip joints at one end and the elegant restaurant Yauatcha at the other. Bellows can be heard all round from the stallholders, vying for the attention of the harried denizens of Soho. The market is one of London’s oldest, going back as far as 1778, when people started (illegally) displaying their wares on the pavement outside their shops. In 1883, the occupant of 101 Berwick Street had action taken against him by the vestry (church council) for ‘placing out baskets and boards containing vegetables’ and obstructing the street. It wasn’t until 1892 that the vestry officially recognised it as a proper market.
    BEST BUY
    Besides the usual fruit and veg, knick-knacks and knickers, there are flowers and fresh seafood. CAVEAT EMPTOR? Berwick Street seems in steep decline – sadly, the number of stalls in this once-bustling market has shrunk, and the quality of produce on sale is now usually sub-supermarket. Berwick Street Market, Berwick St, W1. Piccadilly Circus tube. Open Mon-Sat 9am-6pm.

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    Marylebone Farmers' Market

    Marylebone Farmers’ Market

    Sunday morning sees Marylebone mums and Waitrose types who aim to get their weekly shop done before a posh coffee and croissant on the nearby high street. Part of the recent regeneration of Marylebone High Street under the auspices of landlord Howard de Walden Estates, this relative newbie’s been running in a car park since June 2003. BEST BUY Classic French nosh from Madame Gautier, or stop by Downland Produce for a portion of their whole hog roast.
    CAVEAT EMPTOR?
    Get too distracted by the pretty boutiques on Marylebone High Street and you’ll miss the market; clearer signs would be handy. Marylebone Farmers’ Market, Cramer St car park, off Marylebone High St, W1 (www.lfm.org.uk) Bond St tube or Baker St tube/rail. Open Sun 10am-2pm.Central | North | East | South | West

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Sunday morning sees Marylebone mums and Waitrose types who aim to get their weekly shop done before a posh coffee and croissant on the nearby high street. Part of the recent regeneration of Marylebone High Street under the auspices of landlord Howard de Walden Estates, this relative newbie’s been running in a car park since June 2003. Classic French nosh from Madame Gautier, or stop by Downland Produce for a portion of their whole hog roast. Get too distracted by the pretty boutiques on Marylebone High Street and you’ll miss the market; clearer signs would be handy. Central | North | East | South | West

Users say

23 comments
Alex S
Alex S

So if Berwick Street Market is "in steep decline" and "the number of stalls in this once-bustling market has shrunk, and the quality of produce on sale is now usually sub-supermarket", why does the writer list it as one of "London's best farmers' markets"?

Bingo bongo
Bingo bongo

Chapel market deserves amention, although its gone into a bit of a decline its still a proper shopper! Can't get brown shrimps and cockles no more but you can get top notch English veg, meat and seafood, I bought two live crabs and a whole salmon for £15! Set them free in the canal afterwards but the crabs just sank and seagulls attacked my dog.

red heels
red heels

This is a good blog post, I was wondering if I could use this write-up on my website, I will link it back to your website though.

frankie
frankie

Although Whitecross St food market is open mon-fri, according tp its website 'the weekly specialist food market, which runs every Thursday and Friday, has been instrumental in the revitalisation of Whitecross Street.'

Helen Fox
Helen Fox

Whitecross food market is open every day and bread and honey closed down ages ago

Eve
Eve

I've moved to Bankside, and although Borough Market is a charming tourist attraction, I can't afford their prices! Where is my neares taffordable market for fresh fruit & veg??

mark johnson
mark johnson

The much loved Chiswick Farmers and Fine Foods Market is now over ten years old and going stronger than ever. Its great for fresh quality produce and treats. Being near the river and with the new play areas provided by the Dukes Meadows Trust its a great place to spend some time on a Sunday and there are lots of lunchtime food offers. Worth a visit.

nino vitanza
nino vitanza

dear time out, i sell my own home pasta, pestos pasta sauces and chocolates truffles, at the alexandra palace farmers market, and i notice that many of the stall that you mention are not there anymore!! you need an update! all the best, nino.

Tesring angchok
Tesring angchok

The sushi stall at greenwich has change their name its call now koyul hand made sushi specialist.delisious sushi.

Rowena Bond
Rowena Bond

The old and traditional Ridley Road market in Dalston, Hackney has not received a mention. Perhaps, because vegetables and friut bought in bowls for £1 is not trendy, there is little organic available -- usually bananas and eggs -- but there is atmosphere. Music wise it is possible to hear soul, sacred, rock and rap during the day. Towards clearing up time Arabic/Turkish sounds and the fishmonger who calls the seagulls down to eat leftovers. A diverse market selling everything from pots, material, incense and most foods. Check out the fabulous fabric cave towards the east end of the market. I enjoy the relatively new markets and have supported Spitafields organic stalls for over 10 years but Ridley Road should not be ignored. Best days Friday and Saturday but it is open from Monday; there are more stalls later in the week.

Clare
Clare

Re North End Road: I've been going there for five years and not had that problem. Thanks for the warning though. As with most markets, it's all about being judicious and picking the best from each stall. And about getting to know the traders, I suppose. There are some stalls on the market I would definitely avoid and some which are brilliant - each to their own, I guess.

Martha Marsupial
Martha Marsupial

North End Road market? Only if you don't mind stuff that's a bit ropey. It's only market - at home or abroad - where I have ever actually fallen victim to that trick where you choose one and then they give you another (older) one from round the back of the stall. Don't bother. Or pay attention, one of the two.

SE Londoner
SE Londoner

Please do not forget Deptford market, with its amazingly fresh veg and fruit stalls, incredible fabric and bric-a-brac bargains, and of course the fabulous Housewives Cash and Carry!

Clare
Clare

Don't forget about the great market on North End Road in Fulham. It's a proper London market, none of yer fancy organic stuff, just good quality fruit and veg. I go there every week for my whole week's shop and it's brilliant. Gets a bit hectic on a Saturday though.

BMTRA
BMTRA

Thanks this is a great review but minor correction, Broadway market was researched funded and created by Broadway Market Traders (not Tenants) & Residents Association who still operate it, they work in partnership with Hackney Council in their role as Regulators...! It was the local people who wanted a farmer and Producers market along side tradition designers makers, collectors and some old time traders. This market really is for the people by the people. Ps you should check out violets new line in Little biscuits like scrummy Oero's yum

Louise brewood
Louise brewood

Exmouth Market Shopper - not. sadly Islington Council didn't renew the license to trade to the organiser of the new Exmouth market -one of the founders and manager of Broadway market- Exmouth was run both Friday and Saturday for a year and was building fantastically as a Broadway market did, Islington have now turned it into a hot food lunch stop. sadly the local residents and real food shoppers all have lost out.

Enfield Reader
Enfield Reader

Don't forget that there is a nifty, modest sized farmers market behind the Palmers Green train station. Excellent fish, bread and local veg, along with some stuff from further south (eg Isle of Wight Garlic and tomatoes), and more. Worth a go if you live near by! Also, I have just found out there is a farmers market Sundays at Ally Pally - haven't checked it out yet, so I don't know about variety of produce for sale. Anyone out there know about it?

Time Out admin
Time Out admin

We’ve taken down the entry for Exmouth Market, as there seems to be some dispute at the moment about its status. Kitty, you’ll be pleased to see Broadway Market has been added. It’s in the nature of the (organic) beast that details about such things change frequently and without notice, which is why we want users of this site to let us know when things have changed, and to make constructive criticisms. The Time Out team

Kitty
Kitty

How can you list the best food markets and not include Borough Market and Broadway Market in London Fields, Hackney??! The former an institution, the latter a great place for all things fresh - and the best samosas and vietnamese coffee in London!

Exmouth Market shopper--NOT
Exmouth Market shopper--NOT

On Saturday, April 5, 2008 I decided to venture to Exmouth Market after perusing this article. The article specifically states that the street market is open on Saturday from 9 am to 4 pm, as does the website link provided. Unfortunately, the information is inaccurate, which we only learned after trekking out there. We arrived at 1pm on Saturday--there was no street market. A later web search brought up http://www.exmouth-market.com/, which states that the market is only open on Fridays now. It does seem that perhaps the author did not do all the necessary research in writing this article, and I would be hesitant in relying on any of the information provided.

Laura
Laura

There is definitely no need to make this a personal issue but Time Out should realise the impact an erroneous statement such as the above could have. Closer attention is called for.

Objective reader
Objective reader

As a precaution, do not take the previous reader comments into consideration too much. I thought comments on this page were supposed to deal with the markets and the foods being served; not act as personal attacks on the author of the article. Anyways, this is a review: Charmaine Mok would have [and indeed, has] done their research. Even if something he/she wrote does not settle well with what you believe, it is no reason to say disparaging things regarding Mok's journalism itself. Personally, I thought the review was articulate, well written, and informative.

kate masters
kate masters

i would also advise readers to not take charmaine moks journalism too seriously. i have also seen and bought fresh groceries at greenwich. Alas it seems she is more intent on writng negative things about places she knows very little about to boost her own writing credentials than the truth. its the secont time in one week ive seen a display like this. in another piece she was complaining about fillet steak not being fatty....