London is in the midst of a street food revolution. From Walthamstow to Wimbledon, every cuisine imaginable is popping up in courtyards, car parks and high streets to delight locals and visitors alike.
Once upon a time, London was not considered a great global food destination for travellers with a taste for the finer things. However, across the city, an innovative and award-winning restaurant culture has developed, quickly followed by the emergence of an incredible variety of street food markets and experiences.
At Expedia, we’ve put together our own interactive guide to London’s finest street food destinations, working with both vendors and food bloggers to share with you top tips on when to go and what to enjoy.
Delve into our guide, or get a run-down of some of the best, with our swift compass-point introduction below. We also want you to vote for your favourite market, so be sure to choose the one that most whets your appetite!
It may not feel like a natural environment for street food, but amongst the rush and hubbub of the city centre, there are many great places to grab a spectacular snack. Moments from the Thames and Westminster, both the Southbank Food Market and Maltby Street offer an eclectic array of taste experiences, while the many stalls of Leather Lane – just ten minutes’ walk from St Paul’s Cathedral – delight hungry lunchtime crowds Monday to Friday, with everything from Spanish spice to Jamaican jerk. Soho – long famed for culture and creativity – is home to both Street Food Union and Berwick Street Market, a short hop from Theatreland and the sights, sounds and sophistication of Covent Garden.
North London is home to some of the capital’s most fashionable boroughs. Islington has become a must-visit destination for foodies, home to both fine dining and much-loved brunch institutions. Amongst the charming boutique stalls of Exmouth Market, there are many lunchtime treasures to be discovered, while towards Old Street, Whitecross Street Market continues a long tradition of trade with a new generation of delicious street eats to discover. An icon of London’s market landscape, Camden Lock remains a hugely popular destination for all things cool – including fine foodie-pleasing fare from around the world.
Many visitors to London remain tethered to the river and zone one, but there’s so much discover south of the Thames – particularly if you’re on the hunt for incredible street food. Brixton has long been a hub for global cuisine, and now its markets cater to an increasingly mixed crowd of locals and enthusiastic visitors. Further afield, Venn Street Market – on the fringes of Clapham Common – is ideal for grabbing a bite to eat and heading out into one of the capital’s most popular green spaces. Lewisham, in the south east, is also rapidly emerging as an acclaimed weekend street food destination. Brockley Market is an award-winning Saturday market, while the Model Market is a popular nightspot that attracts an excited crowd across Friday and Saturday evenings.
The fashionable enclaves of London’s East End are often credited with being the engine room of the capital’s street food revolution. Shoreditch is almost over-burdened with day and night markets to enjoy, from Brick Lane to Kingsland Road. But if you look closer, there are many more hidden treasures to be discovered. Hackney’s Netil Market combines cuisine with local craft and creativity, offering visitors an authentic and characterful market experience. Broadway Market remains a hugely popular fixture of the neighbourhood, too – with food from across the world perfectly complemented by many local pubs, bars and cafés.
An area of the city commonly associated with luxury, the West End doesn’t strike many people as a street food destination – you couldn’t be more wrong. Partridges Food Market in Chelsea has become a fixture of the community, bring fresh, quality produce to hungry shoppers from Sloane Square and the Kings Road. For something a little more homespun, try the Little Feast Market, tucked away by the tracks between Shepherd’s Bush and Goldhawk Road. Quaint, colourful stalls, great food and a warm welcome await you – the perfect spot to eat, drink and relax in the sunshine.
So…which of London’s myriad street food markets makes your tummy truly rumble? At which one are you most prepared to part with you hard-earned cash? Which one would you take your friends to? We’re on the hunt for the finest street food market in the capital, so make sure you vote for your favourite below.