Artisan sourdough stalls. Tibetan tsampa sold off a trestle table. Tents peddling bowls of Hanoi style pho. Market saturation just doesn’t seem to be a term found in the London lexicon when it comes to food. And to its 8 million curious, hungry residents, that can only be a good thing. The appetite for new cuisines and Instagrammable bites, it seems, just can’t be sated in the capital. Doing their darndest to feed the caped, unicycle-riding masses of the city’s East are these; our 5 IDEAL East London food markets.
Spitalfields Market has a slicker, smoother feel than some of the more cobbled together markets in the city, but that’s not its detriment at all. It’s large, covered (great for sheltering from the ever present London rain) and has a great variety of the good stuff, both in stall and fully-realised- restaurant form. Indeed, there are plenty of Spitalfields restaurants to choose from and the much renowned Galvin Brothers have two places here if parking your bottom and taking your time is more your thing. If snacking, shopping and switching cuisines does it for you, then Smokoloku, The Duck Truck and Ebby’s are particular favourites.
Dinerama, just off Shoreditch High Street, has plenty of serious foodie competition as neighbours; perhaps the best ‘hood for food in the Capital, in our humble opinion. Within a sustainably sourced stone’s throw away there’s Smoking Goat, Brat, Leroy, Som Saa, St. John’s Bread & Wine…..we’ll stop listing, our keyboard needs a wipe.
Dinerama offers a different proposition altogether; an opportunity for friends to meet after work, enjoy a few reasonably priced (London-speaking) craft beers and have broad, fickle palate’s satisfied. The rotating cast of food purveyors keeps things interesting; on our last visit, Club Mexicana’s meat-free take on Mexican street food classics had us all cooing. Open Wednesday through to Saturday; plan accordingly.
BRICK LANE MARKET, E1
Brick Lane is world renowned for its curries and spicy food, but did you know that it also has a fantastic market, spanning several global cuisines and streets in the area? Visit on a Sunday to experience the event in full swing, with wares peddled and bargains to be unearthed. It’s chaotic, bustling and utterly charming. On any other day of the week, the famous restaurants are still open, serving their aromatic, heady offerings. Brick Lane Food Hall, open only on weekends, has 30 food stalls to appeal to all tastes.
BROADWAY MARKET, E8
Okay, so Broadway Market has more of a reputation for fashion. Indeed, it’s the place for fashionistas to be seen in East London, but that doesn’t mean the fine food here should be given short shrift. The location, alongside Regent’s Canal, makes it the perfect place to spend a Saturday, and we’d highly recommend the superb Vietnamese coffee from Ca Phe VN as you gear up for an afternoon on the harder stuff. And by harder stuff we mean the excellent chorizo scotch eggs from Eat My Pies, leading into Makatcha’s beef rendang. And then home for a long, well earned sleep.
NETIL MARKET, E8
Close to the previously mentioned Broadway Market, but less packed with peacocking young fashion students, Netil Market operates weekly on Saturdays and at a slower, more manageable pace. This is where Bao earned its cult following, and still has a stall here to this day. Reason enough, we think, to get amongst it.