The 18 Must-Visit Food Markets And Food Halls In London

London is home to a wide variety of celebrated chefs and Michelin-starred restaurants set inside beautiful buildings with many boasting breathtaking views over the city. Over the last few years, London and other cities within the U.K. continue to give examples of why the old-fashioned perception of British cuisine is just that — an out-of-date misperception. And, while our aspirational eating tour of the city would suggest a few of the 66 Michelin-starred restaurants located within the Big Smoke, some of the city's most delicious food is actually served street-level.

London is a city essentially made up of villages. Though it is also home to century-and-a-half-old public transportation helping to connect these villages, these communities each have their own personalities, identities, and cuisines defined by the residents within them.

One of the best ways to get to know London is through visits to local shops and markets rather than restaurants. Not only will doing so help you save money and have access to just about every cuisine you can imagine but visiting markets allows for the opportunity to chat with vendors and mingle with the locals for a deeper understanding of what it means to be a Londoner. Here are some of the city's best markets and food halls to visit.

Borough Market

Borough Market is undoubtedly one of the capital city's most famous food markets, and for a good reason. The market, up and running since 1756, was a place for South London's greengrocers (a longstanding tradition and name given to produce merchants) to sell their products within a wholesale market. Now run by a non-profit that puts the profits back into the community, the market is known for its dedication to sustainability and food waste reduction. Each evening, excess products are donated to Plan Z Heroes, a non-profit that redistributes food to those in need.

No longer just for produce, there are plenty of vendors serving hot foods from Iraqi-inspired street foods at Juma, to Venezuelan produce at La Pepiá, French cuisine and wine at Le Marché du Quartier, and a wide variety of British cheeses at Neal's Yard Dairy. Your best bet to beat the crowds is to visit during the weekday rather than the weekend. Market hours are between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Tooting Market, Tooting

While Borough Market seems to have the spotlight constantly shining upon it, Tooting Market is a lesser-known but equally excellent hidden gem and winner in the Best Small Indoor Market category at the Great British Market Awards in 2017.

Located in the Southwest of the city since 1930, it has just about everything you could ever want, including food, grocery, drink, and textile vendors from around the world. Shop and then unwind with a glass or two at Unwined. Owned and run by the knowledgeable duo Kiki and Laura, this unique business offers customers a relaxed wine bar, shop, and monthly guest chefs with coordinating wine pairings.

The market also supports community events, including free chess meet-ups every Monday evening and parent-and-toddler art classes on Thursday mornings, (via Tooting Market).

Bang Bang Oriental Food Hall

This recently opened food hall aims to be the largest conglomeration of Asian cuisines in England's capital. According to its website, Bang Bang Oriental Foodhall offers the broadest range of Asian cuisines within the entire U.K., with room for up to 450 customers to sit and enjoy at once. Choose from Indonesian, Japanese, Malaysian, Vietnamese, Thai, and more. It feels like there's something for everyone here under one roof.

The venue is also home to a separate restaurant, The Golden Dragon, on the ground floor, featuring dim sum and hot pot for those looking for more of a traditional Chinese restaurant experience.

Lastly, Bang Bang hosts an active community center within its sprawling venue, focusing on providing events and activities for Chinese diasporas in London.

Mercato Metropolitano Elephant & Castle

Though Mercato Metropolitanos seem to be springing up all over the city, the first site in Elephant and Castle is our favorite, opening in 2016. The market's original Italian theme has now expanded to host a wider variety of vendors on its premises — a once working now abandoned paper factory. The website proudly notes this was the first sustainable community market in the city, with indoor and outdoor seating available to accommodate London's ever-changing weather.

With three other London-based markets and a fourth launching this spring, the group is bringing its values of sustainability and equity to each new operation. For those looking to support sustainable food businesses, a requirement for all vendors housed within the Mercato Metropolitano markets, it's worth stopping at any of the sites.

Eataly, Broadgate

Eataly, intentionally pronounced like the country, proudly celebrates all things Italian. The market, an offshoot of the already up-and-running business, was a project nearly three years in the making and navigated the unfortunate overlap of a global pandemic before its official opening in April 2021, (via Secret London). Whether you are missing the tastes and smells of your home in Italy or are simply a fan of the cuisine, this food hall sells over 5,000 products from various regions across the country under one roof in Broadgate.

Here you'll find fresh mozzarella, baked goods, produce, cured meats, wine, and freshly-made pasta, alongside items you didn't know you needed, (per Eataly). Set your sites on Liverpool Street tube station if you want to hit up this market and a few others, including Spitalfields and The Truman Brewery, all within a short-for-London walking distance.

Broadway Market, Hackney

Broadway Market on the historic Broadway Market Road is situated in one of the city's coolest boroughs, Hackney, and runs daily, with additional stalls available on Saturday, the market's most popular day of sales.

According to the market's website, this Victorian street market might have inspired the long-running famous British soap opera EastEnders. The borough has been a welcome destination for many migrants and refugees, including Jewish, Kurdish, and Caribbean communities. Their presence creates a uniquely diverse neighborhood and hub for various creative expressions and delicious food, (via Hackney).

Not surprisingly, the food reflects the community. Here you can find just about everything you could want on offer, from Indonesian to Indian to Ghanaian cuisine, including sandwiches stuffed to the brim with roasted pork, apple sauce, and crackling, a must-have with accompaniment for any proper Sunday roast. Visit the Broadway Market Instagram page for the full spectrum of offerings, including vintage clothing and flower vendors.

Portabello Road Market, Notting Hill

Those with a penchant for antique markets, vintage clothing shops, and fresh produce should head over to Portobello Road to have all your itches scratched. While the market is open and bustling six days a week (closed on Sundays), Fridays and Saturdays are when the market comes alive.

The mile-long stretch that includes Portobello Road Market and Golborne Road Market is worth a wander, lined with enticing specialist food stalls and plenty of vendors selling freshly made hot street foods from around the globe. Make sure to visit the adjoining Golborne Road Market to delight in vittles from the local Moroccan and Portuguese communities that aren't there Monday through Thursday (via Visit Portobello).

While there, visit one of London's best bookshops for foodies and cookbook lovers. Books for Cooks stocks both new edition cookbooks and old ones. Flick through the books while enjoying snacks from their cafe if you aren't too full already.

Berwick Street, Soho

Nested in the heart of Soho in an area once known as the red light district is one of the city's oldest markets. Berwick Street Market has been running since the late 18th century, watching the city grow and change. Home to Ronald Stannett, which claims to be the oldest flower market stall in the town, you'll find both history and edible representations of London's present-day communities and cultures from across the globe.

The market is open Monday through Saturday, serving fresh produce and street food from Malaysian, Caribbean, Balkans, Greek, Jerusalem, and Afghani communities. Though the market leans towards the current food trends and the number of stalls fluctuates depending on the day, it can be an affordable way to try a variety of cuisines all in one place. After fueling up, we recommend visiting some of the street's indie shops and designer boutiques (via This is Soho).

Seven Dials Market, Covent Garden

This is the food hall that never sleeps. Located on Earlham Street, Seven Dials Market is open from 11 a.m. until after the sun sets, seven days a week. This food hall is a product of KERB, an organization founded by Petra Barran in 2010. KERB's mission at the time was to improve the city's street food markets by creating a trade group, a collection of street vendors, set up in more permanent and prominent areas of the city to develop a mutually beneficial experience. Small food businesses would have the opportunity to reach customers while providing Londoners with a better lunch experience than a lackluster generic sandwich.

Look for the neon banana sign to find this indoor food market wonderland. Inside, you'll find two bars, snacks in the "Cucumber Alley" section, and more substantial meals under the "Banana Warehouse."

Selfridges Food Hall

Selfridges food hall, much like the shop, is iconic, even if to do nothing else but wander through for the sheer people-watching of it all. The shop tends to draw some of the city's flashiest and most designer-discerning customers, who don't bat an eyelid at dropping thousands of pounds within one shopping spree.

Selfridges food hall has everything carefully selected to delight customers known for their discerning taste. This includes a Champagne and oyster bar by Caviar House & Prunier, a curated selection of delicacies and groceries from some of the world's best producers, a ramen bar, and The Brass Rail, Selfridge's oldest restaurant. The Brass Rail is a much-loved institution, a Kosher-style Jewish delicatessen serving overstuffed Reuben sandwiches and golden chicken soup with matzoh ball soup since 1966.

Maltby Street Market

Since 2010, in the southeast borough of Bermondsey, Maltby Street Market has become an increasingly popular destination for many local Londoners. Situated in the Victorian-aged railway arches known as Ropewalk, the market hosts outdoor and indoor seating alongside a curated selection of vendors.

Maltby Street is worth a visit, lined with intriguing shops and restaurants, including 40 Maltby Street, that is worth visiting even during the weekday when the market isn't up and running.

You can get a lot done with a visit to this market. Pop by the barber shop and the fishmongers, complete with an oyster and Champagne bar. Or, pick up thinly sliced slivers of cured jamon, take a flower arranging class, or treat yourself to a plateful of Ethiopian cuisine. While you're here, pick up a few gyozas from the market's vendor Gyoza Guys, recently voted Time Out London's best street food.

Lower Marsh Market, Waterloo

Unlike many other markets here that are around during the weekdays but explode on the weekends, Lower Marsh Market does the opposite; it is a weekday-only event, shutting down on the weekends. Given the central location, right near the busy transportation hub of Waterloo Station, and positioned close to London's Southbank, this strategy might be in place to help the market to prioritize the local community rather than catering to the many tourists that flock to the area on the weekends. The market has been up and running since the 1800s (via Lower Marsh Market), and it features vendors serving hot food from across the globe.

Top tips for exploring the area also include: Grabbing some delicious street food from one (or more!) of the vendors, peering into the many independent shops, and checking out the graffiti nearby in the Leake Street Arches.

Kingly Court, Carnaby

Those searching for rest and refueling while hitting up London's fashionable Carnaby Street should seek refuge in Kingly Court, a stylish three-story building with an outdoor courtyard. While the courtyard is open-air in the summer, it's thankfully covered in the winter.

Kingly Court hosts some of the city's most delicious restaurants, including Imad's Syrian Kitchen, Pizza Pilgrims, Dirty Bones, and The Good Egg, with many making a name for themselves within the city. Eat inside one of the restaurants or bars within the building or in the center for the spectator sport known as people watching.

For those looking for a literal watering hole, Kingly Court is notably home to the first public water station in London as part of the city's campaign to reduce the need for single-use plastic (via Carnaby).

New Covent Garden Market, Vauxhall

For those looking to obtain a lot of seasonal produce, from fruit to flowers, at a time, a visit to London's New Covent Garden Market, the U.K.'s largest wholesale market, should be at the top of your list. This unique trade market is still open to visitors. Being amazed by the sheer volume and variety of products and suppliers is worth a visit. Up and running since the 17th century, the market brings together an incredible number of specialist suppliers to provide all aspects needed for a busy commercial kitchen.

Though designed as a trade market, this unique operation keeps individuals in mind. During the first of the COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns in London, when the hospitality industry had shuttered, New Covent Garden Market shifted its focus by offering its seasonal produce directly to customers at home. This market is directly involved in the education process of new student chefs at Westminster Kingsway College and supports a unique Mission Kitchen program, a cowering space for small food-centered businesses to help feed off of and support each other.

Southbank Centre Food Market, Bankside

A quick trip to the Southbank Centre Food Market is for those wishing to see the sites but prefer not to pay for overpriced, under-seasoned touristy foods. Tucked in behind London's Southbank Centre, one of the city's best-performing arts venues, and along the often bustling Thames-adjacent Southbank is one of the city's relatively new food markets that has evolved from a seasonal event to a regular mainstay, open February through December.

Stop here for a freshly squeezed juice, bowl of pad Thai or vegan curry, fresh cup of coffee, or roast pork sandwich. Sit at one of the many picnic benches or the bright yellow stairs and soak in views of parliament across the river. Then after you've refueled, meander down the bank towards the Tate Modern or Hayward Gallery, stopping to check out the skateboarders, street performers, and musicians along the way.

Billingsgate Market

Billingsgate Market is the home of the U.K.'s largest non-coastal fish market. For those curious for a glimpse behind the curtain to see how some of the best ingredients make their way to London's finest restaurants, this one is for you. With nearly 100 stalls plus an additional 30 shops selling the catch of the day, it is a whirlwind of an experience. You'll have to plan as the market opens at 4 a.m. when the city's top chefs and restaurants make their way to bid for their ingredients. By 8:30 a.m., it's all said and done, and the market closes up for the day (via Visit London).

Given the early hours and the slipperiness of a wet market, you have to plan this. Notably, for those who wish to take photos, you will also need to obtain permission first. It is a working market that, while open to the public, requires a certain amount of understanding from visitors to best enjoy the experience without interfering with production (via the City of London).

Spitalfields Market

Old Spitalfields Market is an excellent spot for those with equal interest in seeking out new and exciting designers and makers, with a heavy helping of delicious street foods from vendors and restaurants nearby in east London. With dedicated days allocated for vintage clothing and vinyl records, the cool and creativity dripping off the crowds and vendors here should be bottled and sold separately.

The East London area, close to Liverpool tube station, has a variety of interesting markets to wander through, including rotating events at The Truman Brewery. Over the last few years, the shops surrounding the market have become increasingly aspirational. However, it doesn't mean there's not still a wealth of goods to be unearthed, especially within the markets. Spitalfields is the place to find a variety of different dedicated markets all within one area, including extensive food and drink offerings (via Spitalf1elds). The market's newest food vendor, We Are Melt, has just arrived, making waves by slinging cherry bourbon barbecued pulled beef brisket with melted cheeses and beef drippings gravy on the side.

Netil Market

Suppose you're taking a trip to Broadway Market. In that case, you'd be remiss not to make a side stop to explore the collection of independent shops, artists, and vendors that make up the creative collective of Netil Market. It's more or less like you've died and gone to sandwich heaven, with numerous overstuffed offerings available. The market is currently home to one of the city's most loved falafel and pitta joints, Pockets.

We recommend going with a group so you can try offerings from a few different vendors, including glorious burgers from Lucky Chip and everything you could possibly want between two bagel halves from The Bagel Guys. Have a seat at a shared table when the sun is out and listen to music from the market's independent radio station broadcast from a shipping container. Or you can eat on the go. Check out the variety of independent shops or creative community workspace Netil House nearby as you stroll.