Monday markets in London
Kick start your week with a trip to one of London's Monday markets
The tourists and weekend amblers have cleared; Monday's your chance to get some serious market shopping in. Early (carnivorous) birds will find edible bargains at Smithfield, but if your bleary eyes can't take the sight of dawn you may prefer to get lunch on Leather Lane or Berwick Street.
Good for: Fruit and veg, baked goods, lunch
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.
- Berwick St, W1F
Good for: food, cafés
Compared to the culinary homogeneity of Borough market et al, Brixton is a sensory fiesta. The air is thick with the sizzle of jerk chicken stalls, tinny reggae riddims and yam-based price disputes while the multi-coloured hues of exotic fish displays glimmer like a whiffy rainbow. And for every hipster rammed into one of the (justifiably) rave reviewed eateries in the newly trendified Brixton Village, a stack of bargain basement exotic produce still teeters like a nutritious Jenga set.
- Electric Avenue, Pope's Road, Brixton Station Road, SW9 8JX
Good for: clothes, accessories, souvenirs
Camden’s sprawling collection of markets offers a real smörgåsbord of street culture. Wander past loitering goths and punks to join the throng of tourists, locals and random celebs fighting it out at the vast and varied selection of shops and stalls. To avoid the rough and tumble visit on a weekday, though weekends are better for variety and atmosphere.
- Camden High St, (junction with Buck St), NW1 8NJ
Good for: antiques, gifts
This London institution may appear too commercial and crowded to provide a characterful retail experience, but some quirky gems lift the experience. The colonnaded nineteenth-century Piazza building houses Apple Market, where tourist-friendly crafts are the staple. Over in the South Piazza, Jubilee Market is a little more eccentric: Mondays are for antiques lovers.
- Covent Garden Piazza, WC2E 8AA
Good for: household goods, clothing, lunch
Popular, upbeat lunchtime market selling cut-price clothing and household items, plus flowers, gifts, fruit and veg and excellent street food.
- Greville St and Clerkenwell Rd, EC1N 7RG
Good for: clothing, jewellery
A street market since Victorian times, there’s some quality veg, women’s clothes, decent jewellery and vintage shops.
- Lower Marsh, Westminster Bridge Rd to Baylis Rd, SE1 7AB
Good for: food, flowers, clothing
Decent fruit and veg, flowers, ceramics, vintage clothes, plus the Antiques Market (no.155A, 7228 6850) and some excellent independent shops.
- Northcote Road, SW11
Good for: clothes, antiques
Portobello is actually several markets rolled into one, all penned in by Notting Hill Gate tube at one end and Ladbroke Grove tube at the other. The stalls start with antiques (between Chepstow Villas and Elgin Crescent); further up are the grocers (between Elgin Crescent and Talbot Road); and emerging designer and vintage threads are found under the Westway.
- Portobello Road, W11 1LU
Good for: food, household goods
Everything from domestic and exotic fruit and veg, fish and meat to cheap clothes, bric-a-brac and fabrics from Africa and India.
- Ridley Road, off Kingsland High Street, E8
Good for: food, household goods
While Shepherd’s Bush Market is just a hop and a skip away from Europe’s largest urban shopping centre at Westfield, it’s a world apart in every other sense. At this gritty, multicultural market you’ll find a fantastic range of ethnic foodstuffs (Indian, Caribbean, African and Polish).
- East side of railway viaduct, between Uxbridge Road & Goldhawk Road, W12 7JA
Good for: meat
Smithfield Market (also known as London Central Market) provides a colourful link to an age when the quality of British beef was a symbol of national virility and good humour. This is not for the casual shopper, though: the market is at its best before 7am.
- Charterhouse St, EC1A 9PQ
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There's nothing more satisfying than finding specialist ingredients, unique gifts and armfuls of bargains at London's markets. Visit our guide to markets in London to find the very best wares.
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