Of all of London’s flurry of food hall launches in the last couple of years, Kerb Seven Dials Market has to be our favourite. It’s got the lot: great produce, a terrific indoor food hall, and even a bookshop. You head in via a breezy corridor called Cucumber Alley, where all kinds of artisanal goodies are for sale: bread, olives, charcuterie, booze, flowers, gelato and jam. (And, slightly randomly, wheelcakes.)
If you’re here to eat (let’s face it, everyone is), you can either stay at street level, where you’ll sit roughly where you’ve ordered, or head down a level, where there’s a ring of food units around lots of communal tables. Just order and pay: you’ll get a buzzer, then you’re free to go. When it goes off (hooray!), your food, usually served on proper crockery, will be ready on a tray.
The look is industrial with a soft retro edge: slatted wood and ice cream parlour pastels set against lots of exposed brick and concrete. The design – a galleried upper level with a glass-covered atrium at its centre – is clever, making the space feel both intimate and airy. Music (just loud enough) skips around from ’50s rock ’n’ roll to ’80s power ballads and everything in between. The vibe is hyper-buzzy and lovably laidback.
As for where to eat, that’s a tricky one, partly because traders (a mix of street food faves and restaurant concessions) are due to change every six months or so, and partly because there’s just too much good food to choose from. But for now, we’re big fans of the:
1) Cantonese iberico pork rice from Yin (pricy but huge. It’s worth it.) 2) Reuben from Monty’s Deli (aka the salt beef sarnie of the Gods). 3) Lamb curry noodles from Nanban (rich, spicy and plenty for two.) 4) Jackfruit burrito from Club Mexicana (best vegan wrap in town.) 5) Wedges of fromage from Pick & Cheese, the celebrated ‘cheese conveyor belt’ (top tip: it also sells toasties).
Just give Big Shot a miss: the doughnuts aren’t worth the money (great dough but ill-judged fillings) and worst of all, the service is switched-off and slow. C’mon, guys, sort it out.
We also love that water is free. And so is the wi-fi. It's just a great place to hang out. Who even needs coffee shops?