London is filled to the brim with fine food and delicious dishes: the metropolis is a magnet for chefs and foodies alike and thus produces some of the finest restaurants, the quirkiest cafes and, most importantly, some of the most awesome food markets in the world. If you’re travelling, food markets are your best friend, serving up delicious grub and quickly too.

As a devoted food lover and resident Londoner, I’ve had my fair share of London food market experiences, and so I’ve got you covered as far as where to go. All you have to worry about then is which mouthwatering dish to sink your teeth into.

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Fun and games at Borough Market. All photos by the author.

BOROUGH MARKET

The market to end all food markets, Borough Market is probably the biggest, oldest and most famous of them all. Rumour has it the market has existed, in some shape or form, for around 1000 years, conveniently located by The Shard (the tallest building in the UK) and London Bridge (right by the Thames). Being as old as it is, Borough Market has had to go through a number of battles, deaths and rebirths to become the dynamic foodie hub it is today: a daily celebration of colours, tastes, people and produce (except on Sundays).

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From gigantic vats of paella to fresh truffles to coffee beans to oysters so fresh you can almost smell the sea, you’ll be at your wits’ end on what to sample first.

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Borough Market also hosts a variety of events, such as cheese evenings, cookery demonstrations and the historic annual Apple Day festivities which celebrate the glorious Autumnal British harvest with performances, choirs, and everything to do with the majestic apple.

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BROCKLEY MARKET

Having lived in South-East London for a good few years, Brockley Market, in my opinion, trumps most of the street food and market produce found elsewhere in the city. This award-winning market is rather small and humble, and further from the centre of London than most (being located in the borough of Lewisham) but its small size doesn’t detract from the quality. In fact, it’s open from 10 am to 2 pm every Saturday, where you can find organic, seasonal fruits and veggies alongside locally produced beer, pantry items and even raw dairy.

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If you’re hungry for a meal, whether it’s breakfast, brunch, lunch or all of the above, you can satisfy any craving with the food vendors’ offerings. Personally, I always go for Tongue n Cheek’s’ sourdough breakfast sandwiches packed with grilled pork belly or bacon, homemade mayo, a fried egg, lettuce leaves and a slice of tomato. If you have room for more, check out the vegan cake stall by Mydetoxdiet’ which also serves fresh juices and smoothies (to offset all the cake).

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Other amazing vendors to look out for include: Blackwoods Cheese Company’s amazing locally made cheese, Vadazs Deli’s freshly made pickles and krauts, and the Blu Top ice-cream van for the most delectable ice cream sandwiches you’ll ever taste.

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BRICK LANE MARKET

This charmingly chaotic, artistic and hipster hub welcomes a bustling food-market-scene every Sunday that spills out from its main warehouse-venue, the Boiler House Food Hall of the Old Truman Brewery, onto Brick Lane and its adjoining roads. This East-End market has a massive selection of not only extremely delicious and diverse street food but everything else you could imagine, from vintage clothing to pre-loved film cameras to unique and random antiques.

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For food, I recommend the freshly steamed Bao buns and Korean BBQ plates from the Boiler House Food Hall, as well as comforting ramen from KOI Ramen, found a bit further up on Brick Lane itself. Grab some grub, search for a bargain, watch the energetic live music and street performances and admire the famous Shoreditch street art plastered on every wall and corner produced by world-famous artists like Banksy, Stik and ROA.

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MALTBY STREET MARKET

This unlikely East-London location is a new addition to London’s best food markets, having opened in 2010. Located under picturesque and slightly rough-around-the-edges disused railway arches in Bermondsey, Maltby Street market is open on Saturdays and Sundays.

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Here at this intriguing location, the vendors dish up supremely delectable gourmet street food (think figs, maple syrup, blueberries and goats cheese on warm crispy waffles) and the tastiest fresh produce (check out St. John bakery and restaurant for bread, pastry and doughnut galore).

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GREENWICH MARKET

Greenwich has a very special place in my heart, being a sort of tiny village in the middle of the gargantuan city. The market also has an amazing view from the top-most part of Greenwich Park – right by the Observatory and the Greenwich Meridian Line.

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It’s also the only market in London located in a World Heritage Site. The scenic surroundings coupled with the delicious foods have resulted in there always being a quite a few visitors here, though the market is especially busy on weekends.

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A must-try are the Brazilian Churros, filled with chocolate ganache and/​or dulce de leche – churros so good that even Brazilians I know say they’re the best they’ve ever had.

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COLUMBIA ROAD FLOWER MARKET

Columbia Road Flower Market isn’t exactly a food market but for a real London experience this has to be on your list when visiting the capital. Open every Sunday morning, cries bellow across the small cobbled road: TWO FORFIVER!’, C’MON LUV, TULIPS FORTENNER’. South-East London men and stylish London ladies shout out flower-offers from their stunning stalls lining both sides of the narrow street. On each side of Columbia Road are also cute little bakeries, cafes and lifestyle stores.

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A must-try are the tiny and adorable cakes at The Lily Vanilli Bakery tucked away on a side road about half way down Columbia road. This market is a great visit if you’re heading to Brick Lane or Old Spitalfields market, being located in Hoxton and only a ten minute walk away from Shoreditch.

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