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The 10 best markets in London from street foods to antiques

Londoners love their markets and there are 160 or so in the city. They include a host of covered, outdoor and street markets. Most sell all kinds of things but some specialise in particular items. There are some that are open only on weekends and others most days of the week.

With prices cheaper than the main street, you can stretch your money a lot further at the markets. Clothes, accessories, arts, crafts, antiques, souvenirs and flowers are some bargains you’ll find. But it’s more than shopping. They are also the best places to sample the city’s street foods and are certainly worth making a beeline.

There are so many wonderful markets to mention. But if you’re looking for the most popular or best, here are the ones to put on your bucket list. They are well-known among Londoners and are local favourites. Each has its own unique character and vibe. Without further ado, here are the top picks of 10 famous markets in London.


Borough Market

Borough Market in London, England.
Borough Market | MOs810
  • Location: Southwark Street, Southwark
  • Tube station: London Bridge (Jubilee and Northern Lines)

Borough Market is a wholesale and retail food market, the largest and oldest in London. Its history began in the 13th century but the current site goes back to the 19th century. This famous old London market is not far from the south end of London Bridge and is tucked inside a Victorian building under a glass-domed roof.

Opening times are from 10 AM to 5 PM on weekdays, 8 AM to 5 PM on Saturdays and 10 AM to 3 PM on Sundays. Inside is a winding maze of passageways and stalls. During peak times, it’s an elbow-to-elbow crowd. Many Londoners come here to shop as well as curious tourists. So come early to avoid the crowd.

Borough Market’s emphasis on quality makes it the best food market in London. And that includes fresh produce, speciality foods and ingredients. So it’s no surprise that many items here find their way to some of the finest restaurants in London. Foods here are not only from the UK but across Europe as well.

There are piles of artisanal foods including cheeses, preserves, bread, pastries, pies and handmade fudge. There are also loads of tasty street foods that it’s best to come here on an empty stomach. Seafood tortillas, falafels, kebabs, curry dishes, paella, stir-fried stews and succulent sandwiches are some of the tasty foods to sample.

Check out hotels near the market in Southwark – home to many famous attractions and cheaper hotels.

Camden Market

Camden Market in London, England.
Camden Market | Editor5807
  • Location: Camden Town, Camden
  • Tube station: Camden Town (Northern Line)

Camden Market is in the heart of Camden Town. It’s actually a combination of Camden Lock Market and adjacent Stables Market weaved into one. Londoners love coming here on weekends and a top attraction with many tourists. Come any day of the week but weekends are the busiest days when all the little shops and stalls open.

More than 1,000 stalls and shops occupy the myriad of passageways and courtyards. There’s something for everyone here. With plenty to see and buy, you could easily get lost wandering through the jumble of mazes. There’s not only an awesome range of what to buy but you’re also spoiled with choices of what to eat.

This is one of the best clothes markets in London. Check out the mod, punk, goth and cybergoth fashion. Not to mention fetish clothes! But there’s a bit of everything including leather goods, accessories and jewellery. You can also find good bargains for souvenirs, artworks, crafts, antiques and a host of trinkets.

It’s also one of the best food markets in London. For some Londoners, it’s the only reason to come here. There are a plethora of stalls offering cheap and splendid foods. And you can expect a wide variety from around the world. Try the egg tarts, kebabs, falafel, souvlaki, curry dishes, pizza, schnitzels, sushi or whatever you fancy.

Check out hotels near the market in Camden Town – an artsy neighbourhood famous for shopping, food and entertainment.

Portobello Road Market

Portobello Road Market in London, England.
Portobello Road Market | Chmee2
  • Location: Portobello Road, Notting Hill
  • Tube station: Ladbroke Grove (Circle and Hammersmith & City Lines)

Notting Hill is a multicultural neighbourhood in the Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. It’s a charming area of attractive Victorian townhouses and communal gardens. Running almost the entire length of Notting Hill is Portobello Road. This 1 km (0.6 miles) stretch is home to London’s famous Portobello Road Market.

Business days are Monday-Saturday from 9 AM to 6 PM. More than 1,000 stalls line the road on weekdays but it’s full gear on Saturdays with over 1,500 stalls. There are sections devoted to clothes, secondhand items, foodstuffs, homeware and most of all antiques. On Saturdays, the stretch turns into the largest antique market in London.

This is the best place if you love and looking for antiques. It’s certainly a large treasure trove of collectables, especially on Saturdays. And for the serious collector, you could spend hours wandering the stalls rummaging for hidden gems. Most are for a bargain but expect to pay more for those rare or unique items.

You’ll find collectables from the fifties, seventies, eighties and even from the Victorian era. Items include books, stamps and coins. There are also old clocks, cameras and vinyl records from bygone times. Other items include glassware, silverware and crystals. More on the list include vintage fashion and accessories for the wardrobe.

Check out hotels near the market in Notting Hill – a great location if you prefer to stay outside the tourist areas.

Greenwich Market

Pub and restaurant at Greenwich Market in London, England.
Pub and restaurant at Greenwich Market | Ewan Munro
  • Location: Greenwich Church Street, Greenwich
  • Pier: Greenwich Pier (Uber Boats and City Cruises)

Greenwich Market is in the heart of Greenwich, a historic district and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Though outside Central London, you can easily get here on the Uber Boats by Thames Clipper or cruise boats by City Cruises. The location is next to the old Royal Naval College, housed inside a 19th-century glass-roof building.

It’s not the largest or oldest but certainly pleasant with a welcoming feel. The market opens daily from 10 AM to 5 PM. There are more than 100 stalls under the roof. Independent boutiques, restaurants, cafes and pubs surround the stalls and are part of the scene. What’s more, there’s also a lovely food court.

There’s a little bit of everything under the roof. But Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and weekends are special days for arts and crafts. And Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays are special days for antiques and collectables. So come on a certain day if you have a special interest. For most visitors, any day is a good day to come.

If looking for art, you’ll find paintings, drawings, prints and photographs. To add further, many vendors are the artists themselves. Other items to look for include vintage fashion, handmade knitwear, crafted jewellery, greeting cards and gifts. Old treasures to look for include out-of-print books, vinyl records, stamps and medals.

Check out hotels near the market in Greenwich – a quiet and historic area of London located outside the city centre.

Covent Garden Market

Covent Garden Market in London, England
Apple Market | Txllxt TxllxT
  • Location: Covent Garden, West End
  • Tube stations: Covent Garden (Piccadilly Line), Charing Cross (Bakerloo and Northern Lines)

Covent Garden Market is in an old quarter of London packed with centuries-old building. It’s not one but 3 indoor markets near the Piazza or square. They include the Apple Market, East Colonnade Market and Jubilee Market. Browse through, they are filled with a wonderful mix of stalls and small shops. Come any time of the week.

There’s been a market in Covent Garden since the 17th century. Initially, a place for farmers to sell their produce. Today, it’s brimming with stalls, independent shops and a few high-street retailers. Not to mention overflowing with dining options. Last but not least are the entertaining street performers near the piazza.

Apples Market is a covered stretch packed with small independent shops, restaurants and cafes on the sides and a jumble of stalls in between. There’s plenty to browse and buy. But Tuesday to Sunday are special days for jewellery, art and craft from the stalls. Mondays are special days for antiques and memorabilia.

At the Jubilee Market, you’ll find stalls selling a hodgepodge of items from Tuesday to Friday. But it’s a lovely day for antiques on Mondays and arts and crafts on weekends. The East Colonnade Market is another mix of stalls. You can spend your money on handbags, knitwear, handmade soap, homeware, art and even sweet treats.

Check out hotels near the market in Covent Garden – a lively location and nearby many of the city’s top attractions.

Brixton Market

Brixton Market in London, England
Market Row | Felix
  • Location: Electric Avenue, Brixton
  • Tube station: Brixton (Victoria Line)

Brixton Market is in Brixton, a working-class and multicultural neighbourhood in south London. It’s mainly residential, home to a large Afro-Caribbean community but there are others as well. You’ll discover a marvellous mix of cultures at Brixton Market. And any day of the week is a good time to come.

Brixton Market is a medley. It includes the stalls lining Electric Avenue and the covered Brixton Village and Market Row. They are all nearby, so you can easily explore the area. Businesses here are run by local traders. Focus is on the Afro-Caribbean community but there are also South American and Asian.

After exiting Brixton station, you’ll first meet up with the street stalls lining the pedestrian-only Electric Avenue. Here stalls offer all kinds of fresh foods including an interesting mix unique to Africa, the Caribbean, South America and Asia. It’s also a paradise for shoppers looking for bargains from clothes to kitchenware.

Stroll through Brixton Village and Market Row. The maze is crammed with stalls, tiny shops and compact size restaurants. Shop for clothes, jewellery, vintage, arts, crafts and lots more. There are even exotic fabrics, clothes, handicrafts and ceramics from Africa and the Caribbean. For food, you’re spoiled with choices from around the world.

Check out hotels near the market in Brixton – a multicultural enclave and buzzing with activities.

Maltby Street Market

Maltby Street Market in London, England
Maltby Street Market | William Harold Amos
  • Location: Ropewalk, Maltby Street, Bermondsey
  • Tube stations: Borough (Northern Line), Bermondsey (Jubilee Line)

Maltby Street Market is a weekly street food event in Bermondsey. It’s less than 10 minutes walk from the south end of Tower Bridge. Opened in 2010, it’s in an unlikely place in the backwaters of southeast London. But within a short span, it’s become one of the best food markets in London.

Around 30 street food vendors pack under the railway arches. Dining is outdoors along a narrow walkway. Opening hours on Saturdays are from 10 AM to 5 PM and Sundays from 11 AM to 4 PM. Having said that, there are a couple of vendors that serve in the evenings and a few small restaurants that are open Wednesday-Sunday.

The place is a popular hangout with food-craving Londoners but unknown to most visitors. On sunny days, the walkway is buzzing with hungry customers. Though the place lacks in size, there’s an amazing variety of what you can eat. The dishes are prepared onsite from behind the carts and stalls and the quality is a thumbs up.

What’s there to eat? There are pretty good choices that’s for certain. Steak sandwiches, dumplings, sautéed meat, bangers, cheese toasties, arepas and falafels are some tasty options. For dessert, there are hot buttermilk waffles, French canelés, brownies and fluffy pastries to name a few. You can even order fresh fruit juice made on the spot.

Check out hotels near the market in Bermondsey – a homey neighbourhood with lots of indie shops and cosy eateries.

Old Spitalfields Market

Old Spitalfields Market in London, England.
Old Spitalfields Market | Pete Gloria
  • Location: Spitalfields, Shoreditch
  • Tube station: Liverpool Street (Central, Circle, Hammersmith & City and Metropolitan Lines)

Old Spitalfields Market goes back to the 17th century when farmers came to sell their produce. This famous old London market in Shoreditch today is a mix of everything under the roof of a restored Victorian building. Besides shopping, dining is also a big reason to come here with more than 40 food stalls, restaurants and cafés to choose from.

Old Spitalfields opens daily from 10 AM but earlier at 8 AM on Thursdays. Closing time is 5-6 PM depending on the day of the week. Expect to find more than 70 stalls packed under the roof but over 100 on Sundays. Besides the stalls, there’s a host of independent boutiques, cafes and restaurants around the perimeter.

There’s a gamut for the wardrobe and many are by independent and emerging labels. The range includes fashionwear, casual clothes, jackets and knitwear. You’ll also find swimwear, shoes, bags, watches and jewellery. Other items to look for include prints, scented candles, fragrances, linen and homeware.

There are special days at Old Spitalfields. Wednesday is a showcase for art, craft and fashion. Thursdays are devoted to antiques, memorabilia and vintage fashion. Last but not least, a music collector’s delight on the first and third Friday of every month. These are the days for rare vinyl records and vintage CDs.

Check out hotels near the market in Shoreditch – a cool and hip location with budget friendly hotels.

Brick Lane Market

Brick Lane Market in London, England
Backyard Market | Garry Knight
  • Location: Brick Lane, Shoreditch
  • Tube station: Liverpool Street (Central, Circle, Hammersmith & City and Metropolitan Lines)

The Brick Lane Market is a Sunday market in London’s Shoreditch. It centres on Brick Lane, the heart of London’s Bangladeshi community and famous for its curry houses. But coming here is not about spicy curry and the community. On Sundays, Brick Lane sprawls with traders that spills into the nearby streets.

The market is several rolled into one – a mix of indoor and outdoor areas. Wander around and you’ll find a sprawl that’s brimming with stalls and tiny shops selling all kinds of things. From trendy fashion to trinkets and even the odd curios, you’ll find it here. That said, there are scores of great bargains.

The Backyard Market is housed in a bright and airy warehouse. More than 80 stalls occupy the warehouse and a showcase of art and crafts by young talents. The Sunday Upmarket at the old Truman Brewery is jam-packed with more than 200 stalls. The focus is on vintage fashion, arts, crafts, jewellery and lovely street food.

There’s more at the Truman Brewery. The Vintage Market is a gem for trendy clothes, accessories and memorabilia from the good old days. The Tea Rooms is a quirky place selling home items, not to mention a nice little café. And there’s the Boiler House, a food paradise of over 30 stalls serving tasty dishes from around the world.

Check out hotels near the market in Shoreditch – a great location if you prefer to stay outside the tourist radar.

Columbia Road Flower Market

Columbia Road Flower Market in London, England
Columbia Road Flower Market | Jason Paris
  • Location: Columbia Road, Shoreditch
  • Tube station: Bethnal Green (Central Line), Old Street (Northern Line)

The Columbia Road Flower Market is another Sunday market in London’s Shoreditch. This outdoor floral extravaganza is the city’s most famous for cut flowers and ornamental plants. But that’s not all on Columbia Road. Check out the restaurants and cafés as well as little shops selling antiques, vintage clothes and a host of other things.

Trading hours are from 8 AM to 2 PM and you’ll find nearly 50 stalls on Sundays. Come early for the best displays and freshest flowers. Also, come early to avoid the huge crowd. After all, Columbia Road only teems with buckets of beautiful flowers once a week. And prices here are cheaper than the nurseries and flower shops.

Many traders have been here for decades. Some are even from the fourth generation in their family. So the traders really know their stuff. Ornamentals include locally grown and imported from growers in the Netherlands. Prices are very competitive and even cheaper by the later part of the day as traders clear their stocks.

There are pretty displays of primroses, camellias, daffodils, violas, roses and tulips to name a few. But you’ll find more than just flowers here. There are also varieties of ferns, conifers and exotic cacti for your ornamental collection. You can also buy potted plants, bulbs, shrubs and all kinds of garden accessories.

Check out hotels near the market in Shoreditch – a pleasant area with loads of dining, cheaper hotels and a vibrant nightlife.