Famous Food Markets in Central London
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Famous Food Markets in Central London

London has seen a huge boost in nourishing its quality food markets and to the relish of foodies everywhere London now offers a tantalizing range of food markets in the city centre. If you're visiting London, head to a food market for an insight into local life and delicious food.

Borough Market, London Bridge

This is one of London’s most famous and oldest food markets situated under the railway arches near London Bridge and has a wide variety of organic, exotic and specialist food.  Here you can savour the delights of British and international food: fruit, vegetables, meat, cakes, homemade jams and chutneys, cheeses, breads...the list is endless...including organic ciders and beers.  The market is open between Thursday and Sunday but if you can get there early it’ll be less busy and give you more time to taste some of the delicious products.  Due to its popularity, prices have soared compared to more local food markets but if you want to soak up the atmosphere and sample the culinary produce then this food market is where you’ll want to visit.   For the person with a sharp eye you might even recognise some of the architecture from films such as Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Bridget Jones.

Billingsgate Fish Market, City

 Admittedly, you’ll be able to smell this market before you arrive but once you’re allured in, you’ll find the best fish market in London.  This market is over a hundred years old and its sellers are fishermen and wholesalers who bring in fresh catch from the UK’s coastal waters so be prepared for a lot of shouting and haggling.  Many restaurateurs buy their fish here but they do tell to Joe Public, although some will prefer you buy a large quantity. I usually go (wearing old clothes) with a few friends and we spilt the deal which works out brilliantly on a bag of prawns, crabs, mussels, tuna steaks or any fish you’d care to buy. Even if you don’t decide you need fish, it’s worth going there just for the mayhem and the fine-looking Victorian building itself.  The downside is you’ll have to get there early, around 5.30-6am, from Tuesday to Saturday, to get the best bargains as the market shuts at 8am but don’t let that, or the smell, put you off. 

Leadenhall Market, City   

Housed in a beautiful Victorian building close to the city is one of London’s best traditional food markets where traders have been selling fish and meat since the fourteenth century and the site itself is more than two thousand years old! In the present day, marketers now sell game, poultry, fish, cheese and other fresh food under a stunning glass and wrought iron roof.  The surrounding shops, bars and restaurants are furnished with yet more food but also clothes, and makes an ideal setting for a afternoon’s excursion although you might want to avoid the scramble of city workers at lunchtime.  Fortunately, the market is open every day, Monday to Friday, leaving you enough time to amble through the cobbled alleyways.

Sourced Market, St Pancras    

A relatively new market compared to most, this food market is the first of its kind having been established inside the famous St Pancras International railway station.  Why put up with the usual bland train buffet food when you can create your own gastronomic delights bought from the stalls?   Although it doesn’t fall into the traditional backdrop of a market as all the stalls are set out as shops, albeit rustic looking, all the food is locally sourced: produce such as cheeses, breads, fruit, vegetables, pastries and cakes, to name but a few, can be bought by the gourmet traveller before setting foot on a train. If you have the time, you might want to hang around for a tasty snack washed down with an organic wine or ale, and its open seven days a week.

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