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Curated butchers
Photograph: Andy Parsons

Top chefs select their favourite places to buy meat, fish and veg

Great local greengrocers, butchers, fishmongers and delis – all recommended by London’s best cooks

Written by
Kate Lloyd
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The next instalment in our Local Lifesavers series is dedicated to London’s specialist shops: delis serving up incredible hams, butchers that’ll do you a decadent leg of lamb, greengrocers whose apples sparkle in the sun, fishmongers with the freshest flippers in town. Like last week’s round-up of incredible cornershops and mini supermarkets, we’ve asked some of our favourite chefs to reveal shops they love. And, once again, they’ve delivered. This is a list of absolute gems. Do you have a favourite local store? Let us know at hello@timeout.com. We’ll be rounding up readers’ favourites in a few weeks.

This year we’re showing our support for London’s amazing independent makers in the Time Out Christmas gift guide.

Top butchers, fishmongers and greengrocers in London

Picked by Abby Lee, Mambow

‘This is a super-low-key deli which has a real charm. You’ll find Spanish wines, cheese, ham, anchovies, things like that. I usually get a sandwich filled with juicy olives, artichokes, a Spanish tomato spread and lots of olive oil.’ 246 Dalston Lane, E8 1JG.

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Picked by James Cochran, 12:51

‘It's one of the oldest in London. (It’s been around since 1862.) It’s great for high-quality rare-breed meat and there’s always a queue on a Saturday.’ 126 Lordship Lane, SE22 8HD.

Picked by Emily Roux and Diego Ferrari, Caractère

‘Our favourite local shop is Vallebona, run by husband-and-wife team Stefano and Naoko. The Wimbledon store only sells the best quality produce and everything is done with so much love. We often buy top-quality pasta, cheese and charcuterie and would also highly recommend their panettone.’ 70a High St, SW19 5EE.

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Picked by Jacob Kenedy, Bocca di Lupo

‘It is a [throwback] to a style of deli that remains, in Italy, the hub of the community. It has a great Aladdin’s cave vibe – all you could need from a supermarket, inside a shoebox. I became a real regular when Bocca opened. We’d come by on a daily basis to pick up something we’d forgotten to order. I now buy a panino there for lunch on days when I’m running too short on time to sit down, or come to pick up odd shapes of pasta for recipe testing.’ 61 Old Compton St, W1D 6HS.

Picked by Avi Shishandra, Pali Hill

‘An absolute favourite. He has a variety of farmed and wild fish from local and tropical waters. You can find fresh mackerel, octopus, live crabs, wild sea bass, lobsters or even tuna and pomfret. Get there before 3pm or they run out of the good stuff.’ 119 Shepherd’s Bush Rd, W6 7LP.

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Picked by Su Tran, Mien Tay

‘Our favourite local shop is Billingsgate Market. It sounds strange but my wife and I go there three or four times each week, more than any other shop. We take the time to talk, deliberating over the brightest-eyed seabass for frying whole with fish sauce and mango.’ Trafalgar Way, E14 5ST.



Picked by Robin Gill, Bermondsey Larder

'It was recommended by my mate Damiano who heads up Tutto wine. They have some of the best cheese and cured meats sourced from crazy fanatical farmers, small-batch honey and olive oils. You simply can’t source the same quality ingredients from anywhere else. There’s always wafts of incredible smells.’ Arch 10, Dockley Road Industrial Estate, SE16 3SF.

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Picked by Matteo and Salvatore Aloe, Berberè Pizzeria

‘One day, after a run on sunny Clapham Common, we finished outside Moxons and looked in at all the amazing produce and fish on offer. It seemed like a sign from God. It has all you need for a fantastic fish dinner: fresh turbot, great bottles of wine, garlic, parsley and ready-to-eat marinated sardines. Don’t forget the French butter. The fishmongers are kind and they are ready to cut fillets for you and keep the bones for a good fish stock.’ Unit E, Clapham South Station, SW4 9AE.

Picked by Nick Buckland, Yard Sale Pizza

‘It's a great little fruit-and-veg shop. When we first opened our shop we would get our veg from there daily. They’re always stocked up with an array of interesting produce from around the world. It’s my go-to place when I’m on the hunt for more obscure ingredients in recipes!’ 13 Terrace Rd, E9 7ES.

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Picked by Max Venning and Brodie Meah, Top Cuvée

‘An amazing greengrocer. It’s a godsend when we need ingredients to finish a special at the last minute but without compromising on our use of seasonal, organic produce.’ 92 Highbury Park, N5 2XE.

Picked by Francesco Mazzei, Sartoria

‘I get as much meat as I can from this butchers. All of the staff are brilliant and really knowledgeable. If they don’t have something specialist in stock that you want, they’ll source it for you and it’s always the best quality. They usually have to kick me out because I’ve been in there too long chatting.’ 399 St John St, EC1V 4LD.

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Picked by Nick Fitzgerald, Tacos Padre

‘A shop serious on selection when it comes to fine produce from the sea (and now wine too), and is a cornerstone in east London. Brendan, Danny and Sam will go to serious lengths to find the best of the best from the depths. They love what they do and a good chat. Take the prices as a guide – there are great bargains to be had once they call you “mate”!’ 1 Broadway Market, E8 4PH.

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