Petticoat Lane Market

© Nick Ballon

If the promenade of trendies at the nearby Spitalfields Market gets a little overbearing, head a few streets south to the famously salt-of-the-earth Petticoat Lane Market. Note, however, that the stalls are actually located in and around Middlesex Street – the Victorians deeming the road’s original name a touch too saucy. Wares range from knocked-down toiletries to knocked-off designer clothing, batteries, cleaning products, toys and everything in between. Behind the main stalls are luminous rows of African styled fabric and luggage retailers, a residue of the old rag trade that was established when persecuted Huguenot silk weavers settled here in the late seventeenth century. In recent years the weekday market has hosted one of the city's least known about food courts: around ten gazebos and food trucks offering everything from dim-sum to empanadas, jerk chicken and Thai fishcakes to workers from the neighbouring City. Especially worth sampling is one of Tomo’s chicken katsu wraps, a delicious Japanese-Kurdish fusion food that is both in tune with the area’s long multicultural heritage, and exemplary of the twenty-first century East End.

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