You can barely swing a tote bag without hitting an artisanal street food stall or provenance-first farmers market in London these days. They’re everywhere. To make traversing them a bit easier, we’ve collated food-focussed markets and food halls old and new (that is, where ready-to-eat food is available) into the city best and the still-notable rest. Whether it’s a quick coffee, lunch-on-the-go or a perch down dinner you’re after, you’ll find it here.
We're not picking favourites, but Kerb's Camden Market site is pretty hot stuff at the mo. Get a whirlwind tour of its best eats (as of October 2017), here:
London's best street food markets and food halls
Meet Bang Bang Oriental: a gargantuan pan-Asian food court in Colindale (Colindale!). That’s a schlep for most, but it’s worth the trip. Bang Bang is, after all, the largest Asian food hall in Europe, with 33 individual kiosks offering a range of Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Indian, Vietnamese, Singaporean, Taiwanese and Malaysian cuisines, and seating for up to 450 people. The 32,000 square foot space also hosts the 300-cover flagship Golden Dragon restaurant. Don’t know were to start? Here’s our list of five things not to miss, from dim sum platters to fried intestine. Yum.
Monday-Thursday 11.30am-9.30pm; Friday-Saturday 11am-10pm; Sunday 11am-9pm
A bastion of ‘old Soho’, Berwick Street Market is a vibey strip dotted with shouty fruit-sellers, florists and fabric merchants in among the foodie offerings. Snaking lunchtime queues are a daily sight, with local workers hankering for jam-packed falafel wraps, riffed up salads, Greek souvlaki, old-school sarnies and modish puds. There’s no seating, but Soho’s swell for wandering. Ever in danger of gentrification, this market’s a slice of trad London to treasure.
Monday-Saturday, 8am until 6pm
Venue says: “Beatbox now open! Pieminister pies and small batch coffee by day, music and events by night. Come down and have a drink and dance soon!”
Shoreditch can be a bit of a raucous hellhole on weekends, but Boxpark – a shipping container complex next to the Overground station – is worth braving the boozy throngs for. Cram into one of the teeny units to scoff fare from small traders, from decadent duck burgers and Greek skewers to vegan fast food and pearl teas. It’s been open for half a decade now, making it an old hand on the street food scene. Doesn’t time fly?
Monday-Saturday, 8am-11pm; Sunday 10am-10pm
You can’t move in Brixton for fab food spots these days – and Brixton Village (aka, the old Granville Arcade, located down Coldharbour Lane) is a gastro ground-zero of sorts. Its strengths lie in its whatever-ya-fancy variety. Superlative BBQ? Got it. Japanese okonomiyaki pancakes? Sure! Unfinishably gigantic plates of home-style Colombian cooking? Si señor! The vibe’s a little more refined and less yuppified than nearby Pop Brixton, too.
South London’s finest is a Saturday morning staple. Stylish SE4 locals mill around, stocking up on succulents and farm produce while snaffling down artisanal coffee, imported wines and fine street food. It’s long been a trendsetter: foraging heroes Mike + Ollie and cult burger faves Mother Flipper started out here, and still ply their trade on a weekly basis. Queues can be lengthy – and seating’s limited to a few benches – but everything here is worth the wait.
SE5’s transformation from grimy transport deadzone to bona-fide foodie haven continues apace, bolstered by the teeny gem that is Camberwell Market. Its location on the Green gives it a fêtey feel (there are used book and vintage thread stalls, and the Salvation Army band have been known to parp up), but the food is anything but amateur: think grilled-cheese sarnies, Japanese soul food, Malaysian home cooking and mega mac’n’cheese.
Street Feast’s Shoreditch base is a tastemaking street food hub, having chucked up folks such as Smokestak, Breddos Tacos and Farang. It does a roaring good trade from Thursday to Saturday, dishing up a mish-mash of global fare (from pizza and steamed dumplings to chargrilled seafood and Swedish BBQ) and punchy drinks (craft beer and shots abound at such subtly named spots as FünkenPümper and German Sex Dungeon), across a party-vibed former bullion truck depot. Not a quiet night out then, but a delicious one.
Thursday-Saturday, 5pm-late. Entry is free before 7pm, £3 thereafter
Please note: Druid Street Market is currently closed. Time Out Food editors, September 2017.
Amorphous the sprawl of sunny weekend morning food stalls around Druid Street may be (Maltby Street and Spa Terminus are within stroking distance) – but the road’s namesake market holds its weight in this cram-packed little arena. It’s marginally less touristy than Maltby, and operates later hours than Spa, offering up everything from Instagram-ready breakfast bowls and cakey bits, to Bajan fish balls, pretty Peruvian salads and (squeal!) stilton and kimchi toasted sandwiches. This canny curation comes from food mag ‘At The Table’. Well done them.
This snazzy food court and bar/venue, sprawled through a few Borough railway arches, may look a tad sheeny, but don’t be fooled: this is keenly curated stuff. Fab fare – from manti dumplings to ramen, Levantine bits and tip-top toasties – can be scoffed in the midst of the indoor crowds, or on outdoor tables under heaters (there are a couple of sit-in restaurants too). FYI: one of the guys behind it is Jon Spiteri, king of London maître d’s and a co-founder of St John. Respect.
Daily, check www.flatironsquare.co.uk for opening times of individual stalls.
The big daddy of London’s fertile food market scene, Kerb’s original King’s Cross site (back when it was called Eat Street… memories!) helped kick-start the area’s foodie regeneration. Now it’s doing something even more unlikely: making Camden cool again, with a hot host of global grub sellers doing genuinely interesting things around the canal. You’ve seen the Cheese Wheel, but how about Venezuelan cornbread pouches, New Orleans-style po’boys and Swedish/Mexican/Korean mash ups? YUH-HUH.
Monday-Thursday, 11am-6pm; Friday-Sunday, 11am-7pm
More street food markets and food halls in London
Fancy more fab street food?
Prime Burger St Pancras
This once-roaming burger stall was clearly keen to lay down some roots – not only is it now in situ here at St Pancras station, there's a second branch over at Euston, too. They could, of course, just love train stations. It's mostly about the burgers here, with their patties made with prime cuts from the forequarter and rib of Charolais, Limousin, Hereford and Angus cattle. Options range from the simple (the 'original' is just beef, tomato, lettuce, onion and house ketchup) to the busy (the 'bad boy' features two patties, double cheese, bacon, onion strings, lettuce, ketchup and gherkins). Veggie options also feature, as well as kids' meals, breakfasts, shakes and coffee.
Venue says: “Brilliant food for busy people on the move. Burgers are served in eight minutes or less, or you get your money back. Guaranteed.”