Borough Market is one of the most famous attractions in London. When I first visited nearly 4 years ago, I was in awe of the all of the traders and magnificent food. Back then, the market was only open on Fridays and Saturdays. A lot has changed over the past few years and Borough Market has nearly doubled in size and is open every day of the week with the exception of Sundays.
Steeped in history, Borough Market dates back to the 11th Century and was a market even back then. Being right near London Bridge, the market was a haven for traders selling all sorts of goods. In the 13th Century, the traders relocated to Borough High Street as there was so much foot traffic from people travelling across the bridge and Borough Market has existed ever since! Pretty cool, huh?
Today, Borough Market is the ideal spot for tourists and locals alike who share a passion for culinary delights and great for anybody who simply loves eating and drinking! With the sheer amount of traders, where does one begin their culinary adventure and what are the best vendors to visit? Read on to find out..
In the summer, I took a foodie tour through Borough Market with Celia Brooks, an incredibly talented chef and food writer. Celia hosts a number of London Food Tours, all of which are a great opportunity get an inside look into London’s burgeoning culinary scene. If you’re a real foodie, I can’t recommend her tours enough! The tour we took through Borough Market opened my eyes to some amazing spots I had missed over the years, but will now be sure to visit regularly. She showed us the best that Borough Market had to offer and we got to taste several different types of unique foods and drinks along the way.
Before Christmas, Ciaran and I decided to have a festive day exploring Borough Market and it was a great opportunity to revisit a lot of the awesome places Celia had introduced to me and try out some new places too. We started off the day at The Wine Pantry, where you can buy British champagnes, sparkling wines and English produce. They host regular tastings and you can buy some fantastic gifts here.
Next up, I took Ciaran over to Richard Haward’s Oysters, which have the BIGGEST and most delicious oysters I’ve ever had. Richard is a 7th generation oysterman, so it’s no surprise that the oysters are of the utmost quality. Ciaran’s not the biggest fan of oysters, so more for me! Creamy, plump and fresh from the sea, I could eat these oysters everyday. I’d also like to note for the large size of these oysters, the prices are outstanding. Also, what’s better than oysters and bubbles? Nada.
We were both a bit parched, so we headed over to the New Forest Cider for sparkling English cider. This is a great spot to try traditional English cider if you’re visiting London for the first time. I can’t recommend it enough. When I studied abroad four years ago, a lot of us visited this stall to try out all different types. We couldn’t get enough! You can buy a few bottles to bring back home with you.
I don’t know about you, but I am a sucker for truffles. I could have truffle on anything and everything if I could. Tartufaia is the best place in Borough Market for truffles. We lifted the lids up and inhaled the dreamy aroma of these little delicacies. Even if you don’t buy any, head over just to smell the truffles. It’s worth it, trust me.
I took Ciaran over to Khanom Krok in the older part of Borough Market for these gorgeous coconut puddings I had tried on the tour with Celia. I can still remember the taste of these sweet little pancake-type desserts. Bottom line, they were so good and really unique. If you see them the next time you’re at the market, wait in the queue and order some to try – you’ll love them.
The best stall to grab dumplings from is L’ailOlive in the green market. Plump and juicy chicken and vegetable gyoza drizzled with their renowned garlic and chilis oils is outstanding. L’ailOlive will be trading at Alexandra Palace Market beginning on 3rd January.
Cheese please! For your parmesan craving, grab a slice from the The Ham & Cheese Company in the Green market. Sourced directly from farmers across France and Italy, the Ham and Cheese Co brings some top notch charcuterie and cheese to us lucky ones in London.
Who could resist all this charcuterie goodness? Awesome to bring to parties and for hosting your own. Borough Market is filled with some great charcuterie traders. One of the best is Brindisa for jamon Iberico.
We took a little stroll around the rest of the market to walk off some of the goodness we just inhaled. It was gorgeously decorated for Christmas and really got us feeling festive.
This is MY FAVOURITE Olive Oil ever. It’s pumpkin flavoured olive oil and is incredible for dipping bread, using as a marinade or even as a light salad dressing. I bought it four years ago when I first visited Borough Market and I have looked for it every time I’ve been back but failed to find it again. Keep an eye out for it the next time you’re there and sample some. Let me know what you think!
There’s other little trinkets and treasures to be found here as well – from tea towels and tea pots to unique cutting boards and serving plates. You never know what you may find.
Pate Moi is a delicious mushroom pate. I personally love this spread and think it tastes great on crackers!
Shellseekers is fantastic for scallops and seafood. The fish is delivered fresh daily and the prices are great as well.
Northfields is fantastic for naturally reared meats. Northfields has incredible burgers and the filet is so tender. A note to Americans, you’ll love the taste of this meat. It tastes very similar to meat you would eat in the US.
We wrapped up the day with something sweet at Rabot 1745 with iced chocolates and salted caramel hot chocolates. For chocolate fiends, definitely visit Rabot 1745 the next time you’re in Southwark.
It was quite the gluttonous day but calories don’t count at Christmas, right? I’m glad I got to show Ciaran some awesome traders Celia introduced to me a few months ago. If you’re a first time Borough Market visitor, I would recommend going sometime during the week to avoid massive crowds and to have a better experience. During the weekends, it can be quite manic. For those of you who have visited Borough Market already, what are some of your favourite spots? I’d love to visit them!
Thanks for reading! x
8 Southwark Street
Southwark, London SE1 1TL
- Open for lunch on Monday – Tuesday from 11 am – 5 pm
- Full market is open on Wednesday – Thursday from 11 am – 5 pm, Friday from 10 am – 6 pm, and Saturday from 8 am – 5 pm (closed on Sunday)
To sign up for Celia’s foodie tours or to get more information about them, click here.