For a lot of lucky Londoners, Saturday equals a long lie in and the exciting prospect of not going to work. When we do finally change out of our pyjamas, snooping around one of London’s marvellous markets makes for a wicked weekend activity.
Whether you want to fill up your fridge with fresh veggies, grab a gift for that friend who already has everything, go searching for one-of-a-kind vintage wears to add to your wardrobe or just stuff your face with ace street food, London’s markets have you covered. Looking for something to do in central, north, east, south or west London? Here’s our pick of the best London markets open on Saturdays.
RECOMMENDED: The best markets in London
London markets open on Saturday
Venue says: “Sunday the 24th June, Antiques Anonymous reconvenes it's Flea Market Extravaganza! With over 70 antique & art dealers, live music & food!”
Good for: furniture, antiques
Alfies is packed to the rafters with heart-flutteringly handsome twentieth-century home decor. This market hosts more than 100 dealers in vintage furniture and fashion, art, accessories, books, maps and more. We especially like Dodo Posters, who sell 1920s and ’30s ads.
Good for: food
The famous Borough Market is London’s oldest – dating back to the 13th century. Now, it's also the busiest and most popular for gourmet goodies. Here, traders satisfy the city’s insatiable appetite for beautifully displayed organic fruit and veg, cakes, bread, olive oil, fish, meat and booze. They say "don't go shopping on an empty stomach", but there's a lot to nibble on at Borough Market, and it'd be rude to say no.
Good for: food, cafés, textiles
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, your ears are serenaded by tinny reggae riddims and you can't help but overhear yam-based price disputes. You better rock down to electric avenue (but also plan your trip because not all of the market is open late).
Good for: food
If it’s Saturday, then it must be Hackney’s Broadway Market. Well, at least as far as east London’s foodie-fashionistas are concerned. Relaunched in 2004, Broadway market is beaut for indulging in top-notch snacking options from an array of hot food stalls. Expect to find locals congregating at the market, picking up well-priced fresh fruit and veg, artisan cheeses, rare-breed meat, and luscious cakes.
Good for: clothing, food
Held in the attractive cobbled yard of St Marylebone parish church, this market was started by food-loving fashionista Angela Cash. The Saturday crowd is drawn to a host of fashion retailers as well as mouthwatering grub, so go early if you want to find something special.
Good for: clothes, accessories, souvenirs
There are several markets under what you might call the Camden Market umbrella. Once you're in Camden they're all pretty easy to spot - a sprawling collection that offers a real smörgåsbord of street culture. Saturdays are not for the faint-hearted - you'll see endless crowds swarming over lava lamps, skull rings, fashion, interiors, music and vintage items, too. There's a lot to see, do and eat here, so we recommend making a day of it.
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 collonaded nineteenth-century Piazza building houses Apple Market, where tourist-friendly crafts are the staple, as well as cutesy chain stores – although it’s worth keeping a lookout for independents still holding their ground such as Eric Snook’s Toyshop and the specialist tobacconist/cigar shop Segar & Snuff Parlour. Saturdays and Sundays are reserved for arty knick-knacks and crafts largely geared toward tourists.
Good for: fruit and veg
If the bellowing, clattering traders selling a good mix of fruit, veg and tat aren’t Albert Square enough for you, then the frequent presence of a real-life ‘EastEnders’ actor on the street might be. It’s not unusual to see locals Martin Fowler or Cindy Beale here picking their way through the apples and pears. Predominantly a local market, Chapel Market has no airs and graces despite the Islington area that surrounds it.
Good for: food, arty homewares
Most of Deptford Market is your standard south/east London fare: three-pack pants, timber wolf fleeces, Duracells and lighters. Head towards Deptford Market Yard, however, and you'll be greeted by a new collection of stores that are a bit more arty. Don't miss: Mama's Jerk - a totally tasty Carribean Street food joint.
More London markets?
Deptford Market Yard
A host of retailers beneath the railway arches of Deptford station. Featuring Little Nan's cocktail bar, seasonal British restaurant Dirty Apron, a kickboxing gym, and homeware and gift shop Win and Ruby. Plus pop-up events, such as exhibitions and sample sales.
Venue says: “Deptford Bites Market brings the best produce, street food and designer/makers to Deptford Market Yard.”