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Love at first bite: match with your perfect street food market

From the low-key lunch spot to the hype-generating hub, we’ve rounded up the best markets in London for every foodie personality


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While terraces can be marvellous, a typical British Spring doesn’t usually boast terribly tempting weather for dining alfresco. So what to do, if you want to go out but don’t fancy sitting in a pub garden, slowly but steadily falling victim to frostbite? Happily, there is a solution: the street food market, a category in which London excels. Easily navigated at a brisk pace to ward off the chill, open-air (and therefore, mostly open) and home to some of the capital’s best and most adventurous food, markets are a win-win option. Whether you’re an organic-only north Londoner or more of a dirty-burger-with-extra-fries kind of person, we’ve rounded up the best the city has to offer.

Who? The discerning classicist

What? Maltby Street Market


Hidden down a somewhat uninspiring alley in Bermondsey lined with railway arches is the standout brilliant Maltby Street Market, home to a constantly changing mix of traders. Smaller and quirkier than nearby Borough Market, this is one for you if you like a classic market feel, without an overwhelming choice of stalls. Make sure you drop by Bad Brownie for a sugar hit, The Cheese Truck for to-die-for toasties and – just as you’re feeling a little overindulged – Bumpin’ Rinds, purveyors of fresh juice, for a health reset.

Open Saturdays 10-5pm, Sundays 11-4pm | Maltby Street, SE1 3PA

Who? The minimalist magpie

What? Netil Market


Those seeking a more under-the-radar option in London Fields should bypass Broadway Market and head straight to Netil Market around the corner. A lowkey, cool gem that’s open every Saturday, expect to find stalls ranging from vintage homeware and jewellery to top-tier street food. Many stalwarts of the London foodie scene made their names here, including BAO and Lucky Chip. Drop by Diwine Grapes, the sister-run, boutique wine shop and Italian deli, before a trip to Palm Greens, which does the most flavour-packed salads around.

Open Saturdays 11am-6pm | 13-23 Westgate Street, E8 3RL Who? The lunch break lover

Who? The lunch break lover

What? Street Food Union


If you happen to find yourself in Soho around lunchtime, thank your lucky stars that Street Food Union’s Rupert Street Market exists. Frankly, we’re surprised it does: food this delicious and affordable in central London just feels too good to be true. Grab a sandwich from Che Sandwich and be prepared to kiss goodbye to your usual supermarket choice, or try Lil’ Falafel for one of their ten-out-of-ten wraps.

Open Monday-Friday, 11.30am-2.30pm | 51-53 Rupert Street, W1D 7PQ


Who? The eternal hypebeast

What? Leather Lane Market

An oldie but a goodie, Leather Lane Market in Holborn has been around for 400-odd years and still deserves its reputation as one of London’s very best markets. Once known (unsurprisingly, given its name) for shoes, it’s now earned a reputation for kickstarting some of the city’s best street food successes, like Daddy Donkey and Crosstown Doughnuts. If you consider yourself to have a good eye for the next big thing, spend an afternoon wandering the stalls here.

Open Monday-Friday, 10am-3pm | Leather Lane, EC1N 7TJ

Who? The Italian enthusiast

What? Mercato Metropolitano


Honestly, there’s hardly any need to book a flight to Italy this summer if you can get yourself to Mercato Metropolitano in Elephant and Castle. This is a behemoth of a space (45,000 square foot, to be exact) housing over 40 vendors, a micro-brewery, a cinema, a barber, a co-working space, a mushroom farm and a few community projects to boot. Phew. Though you’ll find dishes from around the world on offer, as the name would suggest, MM is really a homage to all things Italian: the fresh pasta, mozzarella and gelato are wildly good, and the artisanal Italian supermarket is just like something you’d find in Florence. Bellissima.

Open daily from 8am-late (11am on weekends) | 42 Newington Causeway, SE1 6DR

Who? The second-hand sourcer

What? North Cross Road Market

A lesser known South London secret, North Cross Road Market in Dulwich deserves more recognition for its enviable mish-mash of stalls selling homeware, street food and fresh produce. As if that weren’t enough, the street is also home to a highly perusable selection of independent shops, to mix things up. All we recommend is that you arrive as early as you can, to get the best deals. You’ll go for a pastry and a browse and end up leaving with six new dining chairs, a bicycle and a loaf of bread – and you won’t regret a single thing.

Saturdays 9am-5pm | Northcross Road, East Dulwich, SE22 9ET

Who? The Goop disciple

What? The Spread, Primrose Hill


More of an upscale farmers’ market than your typical street food fest, The Spread on Primrose Hill gathers 53 traders in a school playground every Saturday. It’s well worth a visit to pick up seriously fresh produce (think organic vegetables, cured meats and excellent smoked salmon) and have a browse of the food stalls. We recommend grabbing a crepe or a kebab, before finding yourself a spot on the hill for a picnic. A great lunch and an even better view – how could you say no?

Saturdays 10am-3pm | St Paul’s Schoolyard, Elsworthy Road, NW3 3DS

Who? The trend setter

What? River Walk Market


Founded by Real Food Festivals, who also run the Canopy Market in King’s Cross, the River Walk Market in Battersea is a relatively new addition to London’s street food scene. Set beside the river, next to the revamped Battersea Power Station, there’s a healthy selection of cheesemakers, bakers, charcuterie traders, sandwich makers and whatever else you fancy on offer. A great option if you’re looking to sound out a future classic. Follow them on Instagram at @riverwalkmarket for an update on opening times, post-pandemic.

Saturdays 10am-3pm | St Paul’s Schoolyard, Elsworthy Road, NW3 3DS

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