Markets are a characteristic trait of London. There are many different ones to explore throughout the city and are great for wandering around during the weekend. Below are my recommendations of the ones you shouldn’t miss out on:
1. Borough Market
Highly popular Borough market is great for a lunch bite or grocery shopping. You can find all kinds of fresh produce, meats, baked goods, condiments and specialized ingredients.
Although there are a quite a few food establishments in the market, I suggest eating from the food carts which are lined up on the side of the market. You can get anything from oysters to Argentine empanadas.
2. Portobello Road Market
Also known as Notting Hill market, Portobello Road has been a market since the 1800s. It is popular for its antiques but you can find anything from groceries to vintage clothes, cool posters and used clothes.
I love having a coffee or a glass of wine here. Another great recommendation is visiting the Electric, one of the oldest working cinemas in the UK. The seats are leather couches with foot rests and you can get cocktails, beers and snacks before the movie starts. Isn’t this a great combination?!
3. Columbia Road Flower Market
I must admit this market was a late discovery but one I quickly grew fond of. Columbia Road market offers a plethora of plants and flowers in East London. It’s surrounding shops offer gardening tools too.
A tip is to go later in the afternoon around 2pm as prices are slashed up to half! There are some great deals, whether you want a bunch of flowers or a larger potted plant.
4. Covent Garden
In the middle of central London lies Covent Garden, located in the iconic Market Building. You can stroll down the stalls and watch live performers around the plaza. Just recently Paul McCartney played an impromptu concert in Covent Garden. The multi-city event Diner en Blanc also organized their first ever London dinner in this plaza, which I was fortunate to attended.
As it’s centrally located, you can do your shopping around the area, grab lunch or coffee in Covent Garden and stroll the market stalls whilst at the same time, do some people watching.
5. Old Spitalfields Market
Known for its independent designer stalls, here you can find anything from unique clothing items to art and food. After having shopped and eaten, head over to the clubs and bars in Shoreditch which are just down the road.
I loved the diversity of designers I found in this market. After having moved out of Argentina, I met an Argentine jewelry maker who I bought a gorgeous necklace from. Similarly, you find fashion students and independent artists selling their unique designs.
6. Camden Market
Camden market offers about 100 shops and stalls throughout. This market has an alternative feel to it and you can find a mix of vintage, funky and emerging designer fashion.
Don’t miss out on visiting the Cyberdog store, which is a unique shop that offers futuristic and fluorescent fashion at the beat of trance music in the background.
7. Brixton Village Market
This is the ultimate place for eating on a budget in South London. There are a vast number of small restaurants offering Thai food, one of the best oven pizzas in the UK, hand made Chinese dumplings and more.
Nothing beats a Sunday lunch at Brixton Village Market, where you can go food hopping from one small joint to the other with a small group of friends.
8. Brick Lane Market
Last but not least, Brick Lane market spreads across various streets in East London. Here you can find all kinds of vintage clothes, second hand furniture and anything else you can imagine!
I love eating here, particularly Indian food as it’s London’s largest and most famous enclave of Indian eateries. I would also suggest stopping by a shisha bar for a break.
What other markets in London do you like?