There’s nothing you can’t buy at Shepherd’s Bush Market. Everything from a bra to a budgerigar, hardware to haberdashery, a three-piece suit to a three-piece suite – plus your week’s grocery shopping – can be found among the stalls and stores of this 95-year-old local landmark, which actually comprises two independently run markets nestled together under the Hammersmith & City Line tracks between Goldhawk Road and Uxbridge Road.
The market’s string of halal butchers, falafel stalls and greengrocers specialising in tropical fruit and veg reflect the multicultural make-up of the surrounding area, with Caribbean, Sikh, African and Arabic tastes all catered for. People come from all over town to visit London’s largest concentration of ethnic fabric shops, which spill out of the market on to neighbouring Goldhawk Road, but the many traders selling ready-made clothes have seen their sales decline since the Westfield shopping centre opened in 2008. However, the retail behemoth may only be partly to blame: while Shepherd’s Bush Market always feels busy, many locals – kids, teenagers, old ladies, the homeless – are simply there to hang out and meet their friends. It’s easy to linger in this welcoming environment without spending much more than the price of a cup of tea, but if you’re in need of something a bit more substantial, hit Abu Zaad for hearty, tasty, authentic Syrian food with a great selection of freshly squeezed juices.