Opening Times: Full Market – Wed to Sun, 10am-5.30pm, open for lunch – Mon to Tues – 10am-5pm.
Getting there: 8 Southwark Street, London, SE1 1TL, nearest tube: London Bridge (you only have to cross the road!).
This is the “Daddy” of all London food markets and its spectacular success has turned Borough into an unmissable destination district for Londoners. There have been markets in this area for more than a thousand years, and Borough Market has been at its present site since 1756. Now world famous for selling top quality, British produce, they are also on a mission to become the best food market in the country.
Walking around the sprawling market, there are more than 100 individual stalls, you can’t help but be tempted by the tasters of cheese, olives and meats. All the stall-holders are more than willing to share their expert knowledge and they can be a persuasive bunch. Many a person has visited with the aim of buying just one thing and left laden down with more top-class produce than they bargained for.
The list of top-quality traders is a long one, but rest assured that you can find everything from dairy to fish and game to tea at the market. To make things even easier check out the Borough Market Map, which literally points you in the direction of every stall and you can search by either name (ideal if you have been given a recommendation) or by type of wares (if you are looking for some particular ingredients).
What can you buy?
- Bakery and confectionery (from baguettes to bon-bons)
- Charcuterie (from cold cuts to hot snacks)
- Dairy (cheese, cream and all in between
- Drinks (tea, coffee, alcohol)
- Fish and seafood (from prawns to pike)
- Fruit and vegetables (from posh plums to the perfect parsnips)
- Spices, preserves and condiments (from jellies to jams)
- Meat, poultry and game (from steak to ostrich)
If the hustle and bustle of the market is all getting a bit too much, and it does get pretty busy, why not visit one of the bars or restaurants at the market for a bit of a pick-me-up. Bedales can be relied on for a wonderful glass of wine in a relaxed atmosphere and the Monmouth Coffee Company, makes exceptional coffee if caffiene is required.
While the market may be the beating heart of the area, it is also surrounded by award-winning pubs and restaurants and top tourist attractions; making it a place where you can easily lose an entire weekend. Within five minutes walk you can sip a pint at the historic George Inn, the last remaining galleried inn in London, or visit the Clink Prison Museum, which is built upon the site of one of England’s most notorious prisons and showcases Borough’s less genteel past.
You can check out the market on Facebook and Twitter. They also have a fabulous blog, wtih guest chefs and food bloggers contributing to it weekly; a great way to find out more about one of London’s favourite markets.
To read our other special market features, including our “Guide to London Markets” – check out the links below.