Food markets and halls are all over the place. Check out these tried and tested London gems.
There was a time when the words food and hall would conjure up images of a badly-lit department store’s grab-and-go food section. Not exactly where you’d want to spend Friday night with your friends.
But this term has been getting somewhat of a revamp recently, as innovative foodie entrepreneurs see the appeal in getting lots of delicious nosh together in one place.
Taking inspiration from pop-up markets and the enduring popularity of street food vendors, the food venues in London are buzzing gastronomic hubs, offering a cool vibe and great food. After all, why would you want to go to one restaurant when you can go to 10 at once?
They all bring together a selection of vendors in a permanent space, with most seating hundreds of people. So if you’re planning a group night out, office get together, or uni pals reunion, one of these could be the perfect place.
What we love most about these must-visit spots, though, is the clash of culture and design that come hand-in-hand with a mix of the foodie options.
Market Hall, for example, maximises on buildings that have special architectural or historical value, while Bang Bang Oriental puts on Asian dance classes and performance pieces for its visitors.
Essentially, the reason trying out a food hall or market feels like you’re getting so much more is because you really are, in every sense. More food, but also an entire concept designed to incorporate shopping, events and activities. We think these gems are just the beginning of a soon-to-be prominent food trend.
Check out these food destinations in London to get you started, and we’ll keep you updated as more pop up.
Dating back to the 12th century, Borough Market is one of the oldest and largest surviving markets in London, serving the London community for almost a millennium. Today it houses hundreds of food traders including a wide range of great quality street food, delis, butchers and fish mongers.
It’s become so cult that they have their own homeware shop and came out with a cookbook last year that features recipes and stories from the market. They also host events such as Demo Kitchen every Thursday, where guest food experts come and demonstrate recipes in front of a live audience.
Where: 8 Southwark Street, London, SE1 1TL
When: Monday-Thursday 10am-5pm, Friday 10am-6pm, Saturday 8am-5pm.
KERB King’s Cross
In the middle of Granary Square, right by Central St. Martin’s, complementing Coal Drop’s Yard, is a cute group of food stalls. KERB at King’s Cross is only open three times a week, and gathers a variety of different cuisines.
Check out the taco stall, the Afghan and Pakistani cuisines, and a stall called Liberty Kitchen, which is run by a Michelin chef and works with ex-prisoners in an initiative to decrease reoffending.
Where: Granary Square, King’s Cross, London, N1C 4AA, but also check out its other four exciting locations.
When: Wednesday-Friday 12-2pm.
Yes, you heard that right. Nando’s is opening a whole yard dedicated to their PERI-PERI cuisine, including a new brunch option that fetaures chicken sausage and crispy corn browns. Set in the heart of Shoreditch, the new summer hang out will host a range of surprise gigs and live shows including an appearance from British rapper Stefflon Don. She’s also collabing with Nando’s to create the Don Drip Wrap.
For those wanting to get stuck in, there’s the promise of DJ workshops, dance classes and baking lessons, along with fitting East London vintage pop ups. For those just wanting to chill out there’s gaming lounges and movie marathons. On top of all that meditation and breathing classes will be offered.
Tickets are on sale from 15 July, with the Yard open form 1st to 18th August.
Flat Iron Square
A street food newbie, Flat Iron Square launched in 2016, taking over seven old railway arches in Bankside and making them into cosy food and drink stall spaces. With its industrial feel, and twinkle lights, this venue hosts fun events that make this space great for summer nights in the city.
Where: 64 Southwark Street, London, SE1 1RU
When: Monday 12pm-9pm, Tuesday-Saturday 12pm-12am, Sunday 10am-8pm.
Brick Lane House of Vegan
A vegan heaven in the middle of Brick Lane, the House of Vegan is in Truman’s Brewery every weekend. From vegan burgers and hotdogs, to falafels, Ethiopian cuisine and vegan ice cream, this spacious vegan market is great to hang out and eat with friends while shopping in the vintage shops of Brick Lane.
Where: 152 Brick Lane, London, E1 5EG
When: Saturday and Sunday 11am-6pm.
The Brick Lane Market
And for our non-vegan readers, check out the Brick Lane Market that goes down Brick Lane every Sunday, filling the narrow street with stalls of different foods, coffee, and vintage sellers. And the Truman Upmarket by the Truman Brewery for even more food options.
The diverse history of Brick Lane, along with its buzzy atmosphere and beautiful street art, makes it the perfect location for a food market. So while browsing through the shops and stalls of the self-acclaimed ‘Vintage Mecca’, make sure you grab a bite on the go.
Where: Brick Lane, London, E1 6QR
When: Sunday 10am-5pm, Truman Upmarket Saturday-Sunday 11am-6pm.
Bang Bang Oriental
It claims to be the capital of London’s Asian food scene, so we’re expecting big things from Bang Bang Oriental, the new, largest collection of Asian specialist restaurants in the UK.
Set out in typical food court style and decorated with traditional red-and-gold lanterns, this is the ideal place to bring a hungry gaggle of mates, thanks to its spacious structure and impressive 450 person seating capacity.
As well as loads of food choices, which we’ll get on to in a minute, there’s a huge screen playing popular films from the Asian cinema scene which you can watch while you chomp.
The food hall is comprised of 25 vendors who have been selected to give guests a varied selection of cuisines and meal time options. From ramen and sushi to bubble tea and Japanese patisserie, it won’t matter if you stop by for breakfast, lunch or dinner with all the delicacies on offer.
But more than a food hall, Bang Bang Oriental aims to be an entire cultural experience. Throughout the year (averaging a couple of times a month), the hall is host to events like costumed dance, live entertainment and festival celebrations taken from Asian holidays.
The venue also incorporates traditional performance classes into its schedule, teaching Chinese Classical Dance, Chung Ching Lion Dance and Akido Japanese Martial Art throughout the week, making Bang Bang Oriental more of a cultural hub rather than just a stand-alone food market.
Where: 399 Edgware Rd, London NW9 0FH
When: Monday to Thursday, 12-9.30pm. Friday and Saturday 11.30am-10pm. Sunday 11.30am-9.30pm.
The market as we know it today has been in Greenwich since the 1800s. Nowadays the indoor market houses stalls with jewellery, art and antiques as well as 48 stalls of a great range of street food. From Brazilian churros and Andes empanadas to vegan burgers and ramen burgers, the market is a wonderful destination to explore new tastes.
Where: 5B Greenwich Market, Greenwich Peninsula, London SE10 9HZ
When: Monday-Sunday 10am-5.30pm.
A millennial paradise of alcohol and food stalls, Dinerama is a wonderful source of Instagramable foods. Home to Instagram cult Chin Chin Labs ice creams, burgers, mac and cheese, and a great selection of craft beers, Dinerama is great for a day out drinking and eating comfort food with friends.
With its colourful, industrial look, homogenous to its Shoreditch location, and vibrant energy, this is a must-go for the summer.
Where: 19 Great Eastern Street, London, EC2A 3EJ
When: Wednesday-Friday 5pm-12am, Saturday 4pm-12am.
This wonderful outdoors market goes down from Hackney all the way to the Regent’s Canal. The Victorian street market that has lasted to the 21st century, offers great baked goods, raw vegan snacks, noodles, its famous Jewish Deli, and the greatly named ‘Lord of the Wings’.
Don’t forget to check out the shops down Broadway Market (which are open every day) and other stalls that sell flowers, records, art and handmade beauty products.
Where: Broadway Market, Hackney, London, E8 4QJ
When: Saturday 9am-7pm.
A great street food destination in south London, Pop Brixton is home to great independent street food and alcohol stalls. With its engaging atmosphere and a great range of foods including Greek gyro, jerk, pizza, and many more comfort foods on hand, and a good mix of craft beers and cocktails.
The venue also hosts different events each week such as vintage sales, talks, workshops and parties. Pop Brixton will keep you busy throughout the day.
Where: 49 Brixton Station Rd, Brixton, London SW9 8PQ
When: Thursday- Saturday 9am-12am, Sunday-Wednesday 9am-11pm.
An underground food hall, near Piccadilly Circus, the Japan Centre offers everything Japanese. With a mochi bar, and sushi, to warm noodle bowls, Japanese alcohol, a food store, homeware and books, you’ll get a beautiful taste of Japan.
With its minimal and casual style, it’s great for lunch dates, browsing, and grabbing ingredients to attempt the Japanese cuisine at home.
Where: 35b Panton Street, London, SW1Y 4EA
When: Monday-Saturday 10am-9.30pm, Sunday 11am-8pm.
Market Hall, the three-site brand transforming the way Londoners dine, is the embodiment of the growing food hall trend.
With a mission to redefine the British concept of food halls, Market Hall is turning unloved public spaces with a certain something, be that historic or architectural appeal, into must-visit foodie destinations. The brand aims to bring together the best of the best when it comes to good grub all under one roof, creating social, atmospheric spaces.
Currently there are two sites open, in Fulham and Victoria, with one more coming to Oxford Circus this summer.
Each venue has a different selection of street food vendors, which gives you more reason to try them all out. Head over to Fulham and fill your boots with treats like churros, fried chicken, pizza, poké, kebabs and speciality coffee – all housed in an Edwardian Underground station. With a seating capacity of 250, you should be able to grab a seat easily, but it’s possible to book if you’re with a group of eight or more.
At Victoria you’ll find three floors packed with 11 kitchens, a coffee shop and three bars proud to champion independent British-made beers and spirits. There’s also a 150 person drinking roof terrace which will launch in spring 2019. Foodie highlights include traditional homemade pasta, fish and chips, dim sum and nose-to-tail British cooking.
Check out Market Hall’s website below for details about its different venues.
Camden Food Market
Located in the heart of Camden Town, right on the edge of Camden Lock is one of the busiest and most exciting food markets. Now one of the largest markets in London hosting hundreds of businesses, the area roots back to the 19th century when Camden was a site of gin distilleries, in the 1970s Camden Market started as a small trade with only 16 stalls.
With a nice buzzy atmosphere, and an array stalls to keep you busy all day, Camden Market has a diverse range of food choices. From halloumi fries and curry, to vegan hot dogs, Dutch pancakes and sour dough pizzas the food options are endless.
While there, make sure you check out the rest of the market stalls filled with jewellery, vintage clothing, antiques and all the small shops and pubs that make Camden so distinctive.
Where: Camden Lock, Camden Town, London NW1 8AF
When: Monday-Sunday 10am-6pm.
Located handily in the Shepard’s Bush Westfield shopping centre, Ichiba is Europe’s largest Japanese food hall and brings together the best of Japanese cuisine, drinks, books and homewares in London.
With a clean, informal design, this place is ideal for a full day of shopping and lunching, as opposed to just being somewhere for evening dinner and drinks. The canteen-style food area serves up every kind of Japanese dish you could hope for, from udon, ramen and soba to poké, sushi, sashimi. There’s also a bakery and cafe with freshly baked treats like melon pans and dorayaki (Japanese filled pancakes)… Need we say more?
A trip to Ichiba wouldn’t be complete without picking yourself up some sort of souvenir, so make sure you don’t miss out on the shopping part of the experience. As well as groceries and cupboard-snacks, check out the traditional homewares and gifts. Perhaps a bento box or sushi-making kit will catch your eye.
Where: Level -2 Westfield London Shepherd’s Bush W12 7HB
When: Monday to Saturday, 10am-10pm. Sunday 11.30am-7.30pm.
Images: Instagram / Vita Marija Murenaite