London’s Best Food Markets by Abbie Goes

Contributor Stories is a brand new way to get an insight into the mind of a traveller. The series will combine Featured Interviews with Blog posts, created by travellers from all over the world who want to share their stories with you.

Next in this series is a post by Abbie Schofield, a 22 year old Londoner who, after leaving university, was inspired to start blogging as a way to fill a creative outlet. What better way of doing it than sharing adventures around her hometown and the world; a perfect way to practise both her writing and photography.

Abbie Schofield
Food, glorious food! It can bring us together, from family roast dinners to 2am kebab shop conversations with strangers. But equally, it can tear us apart. I’m talking, of course, about the controversy that has gripped humanity: pineapple on pizza, yes or no?

Whilst Great Britain doesn’t have the best international reputation for food (despite the existence of exquisite dishes like cottage pie, the humble Lancashire hot pot and Heinz baked beans), London is becoming more well known for its fantastic foodie scene.

From Michelin starred restaurants to fried chicken shops, England’s capital city has much to offer when it comes to culinary delights.

Here are London’s 7 best street food spots and food markets that you have to visit:

Spitalfields Market – ££
Other than a hub of cool people being cool, East London’s Spitalfields Market boasts an impressive selection of food stalls, from sushi to gluten-free donuts. Come rain or shine, the covered marketplace is a great spot to sample some of London’s best street food. An unmissable Spitalfields food destination is Dumpling Shack, which serves authentic, Chinese – you guessed it – dumplings. Try their classic pork and leek shengjianbaos for a simple and satisfying lunch.

Beigel Bake, Brick Lane – £
A ten minute walk from Spitalfields is Brick Lane, where you’ll find two of the oldest bagel shops in London almost next door to each other. Yes, two, because one is clearly not enough. I’m pretty sure these bagel shops are owned by the same people as they have identical menus, but that doesn’t stop customers from having their preferred eatery. They serve delicious, freshly cooked bagels with a variety of fillings at an even more delicious price. My recommendations are the cream cheese with smoked salmon and the salt beef with mustard and pickles. There’s often a large queue, but these shops are open 24/7, so everyone from early morning commuters to late night ravers can enjoy them. Bagel? More like bagel. (Sorry).
© Abbie Schofield, Brick Lane 

© Abbie Schofield, Brick Lane 

In Southwark lies the Bermuda triangle of London food markets. I call it the ‘Berfooda triangle’ because once you’re in the midst of it, it will be impossible to tear yourself away, leading to the destruction of your wallet (and probably, your digestive system). The first of the three markets that make up this dangerously delectable food market triangle is…

Borough Market – ££
Probably one of the most frequented food markets in London, Borough Market is a foodie dream. There’s something for everyone from moules frites to traditional Ethiopian cuisine. Whilst at most stalls, you’d be pushed to find a meal for less than £6, there is an exception: Brindisa’s famous chorizo roll – spicy grilled chorizo in a ciabatta roll with rocket and piquillo peppers for just £4.50.

Flat Iron Square – ££
A five minute walk from Borough Market is Flat Iron Square, a less well known but still immensely popular spot with locals and those who work in the area. Flat Iron has a good-sized outside seating area with picnic style benches, two bars and plenty of food outlets. Plus on weekends, there’s often live music in the evening. The Pad Thai from Eckachai, fried chicken from Mother Clucker and pizza from Baz & Fred are all worth the trip.

© Abbie Schofield, Flat Iron Square

© Abbie Schofield, Flat Iron Square

Mercarto Metropolitano – ££
Next, make your way back down Borough High Street to Mercato Metropolitano in Elephant and Castle. This 45,000 square foot Italian food market comes alive at night and has plenty of both indoor and outdoor seating as well as bars and food options to satisfy your every need. I once spent 6 hours here – it’s that good – and it’s the perfect place to share a bottle of wine and lots of tasty treats with your friends. You have to try the carbonara rigatoni and the sharing plate of prosciutto and mozzarella from Bar Del Mercato (with a glass of the house red, of course). There aren’t just Italian food stalls though; the Argentinian steak with chorizo and sweet potato fries is also fantastic. What’s more is Mercato is home to Backyard Cinema if you fancy catching a movie after you munch.
© Abbie Schofield, Mercato Metropolitano

© Abbie Schofield, Mercato Metropolitano

Broadway Market – £
Not in the ‘Berfooda triangle’, but amazing nonetheless is Hackney’s Broadway Market. For meat lovers, try Street Pig BBQ, whilst veggies should check out Broadway Vegan Market which runs from 10am-4pm on Saturday at London Fields schoolyard.

That concludes my favourite London food markets and street spots – what are yours? Where should I try next?

Well that made us hungry! Thanks Abbie for a great insight into the food markets in London, we'll be sure to check them out!

To follow Abbie's journey, check her out on Instagram, @abbiegoes!

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