As a true capital of the world, London boasts incredible variety of authentic national cuisines, so you no longer need to travel to Peru, Nigeria or Vietnam to feed your gastronomic curiosity. Well ehh – you do need to travel there, but for hundreds of other amazing reasons, while food wise you can have it sorted in London. And the coolest thing about it is that you no longer need a high end restaurant tour and several digits in your card account to explore dishes from all corners of the Earth. Indigenous stalls with affordable food can be found in various street markets – one of the 21st century visit cards of the UK capital
We’ve been living in London for a few years now, and at most times we work in the central areas of the city, where you cannot help but go and grab some street food during your lunchtime. It is such a nice break in the middle of a busy day, as well as opportunity to support small businesses and their culinary talents. And now it is time for us to take you through the narrow cobbled roads to some greatest London street food markets hiding among maroon Victorian buildings
SOHO: STREET FOOD UNION
Thousands of hungry tourists stroll everyday along Piccadilly towards China town and Leicester square. Hardly any of them knows that turning at Rupert street and walking a couple of blocks up towards Brewer street would bring them in the middle of a busy food empire. There are some 20 vendors here with a spoiling selection of national cuisines – Thai, Peruvian, Argentinian, Taiwanese, American – just to name a few. Be it juicy meat grilled in front of you or vegetarian boxes full of flavours – food tastes good overall. There are also several loft benches with tables nearby, so that you can sit down with your hunted food treasures and enjoy watching a regular day of life in Soho.
Times: Monday to Saturday at lunch time, even though we noticed some vendors missing on Mondays or Tuesdays.
Nearest stations: Piccadilly Circus and Leicester square
SMITHFIELD: LEATHER LANE and CURSITOR STREET
Leather Lane is an old super favourite among the London crowd, and not without a reason. There is a vast variety of options to choose from, ranging from Brazilian and Mexican to Lebanese and Moroccan, from American to Mediterranean, with Korean, Japanese and dozen others in between. Therefore you face two minor ‘risks’ 😛 when visiting this market: getting lost in abundance of options and spending all your lunchtime in queues that can be rather long here at a specific unlucky time of the day and next to some most popular stalls. Nevertheless, it is definitely worth to visit, and more than once if you are a foodie.
Times: Working days, morning to mid afternoon
Nearest stations: Farringdon and Chancery Lane
If you happen to explore the area on Wednesday, there is another cool market just 10 walking minutes away. Cursitor street gets filled with numerous flavoursome stalls fortnightly during the lunch time and is good alternative for funs of Asian and European cuisine.
Times: every second Wednesday
Nearest stations: Chancery Lane
VICTORIA: CARDINAL PLACE and STRUTTON GROUND
Cardinal Place food market is another rare catch, they organize it only once a week at lunchtime. Be prepared to queue a bit, because all the nine-to-fivers in Victoria area know about this place and look forward for Thursday afternoons. Market offers good choice of Argentinian, Creole, West Indian, German, French and Portuguese food, and for sweet tooth (and this definitely makes the market stand out from the rest) there is also a great selection of sweets from different corners of the world. Once you’ve grabbed your meal, head off to the roof garden – an awesome green area with layers of stone benches and nice megapolis views
Times: Thursday 12-3pm
Nearest stations: Victoria, Cardinal place exit
Strutton Ground food market stretching along a narrow street in between Victoria station and Westminster is a great spot with plentiful selection and rather affordable prices. It is a bit smaller than some places we mentioned earlier, but is one of the fastest growing street food communities nowadays and has more than enough to make anyone happy. It features mostly Mediterranean and Asian cuisine, you can find different fish dishes here, as well as quite a few vegan and vegetarian plates, so perfect if you are going light today
Times: Market unfolds from Monday to Friday during business hours
Nearest stations: St. James’s Park, Victoria, Westminster
CHELSEA: FINE FOOD MARKET
Got hungry on a Saturday afternoon exploring beautiful Chelsea neighbourhood? In this case the best place to go to replenish your energies would be Duke of York square. Here a colorful street food market offers artisanal and locally produced food and true London vibes. The selection is impressive even for spoiled locals: a wide range of international cuisines, some of the best burgers in the city, sparkling wine and oysters, vegetarian options, sushi, desserts, bakery, fresh juices, great coffee and more –
Bon appetit, and enjoy your time in the city
Times: Every Saturday 10 am to 4 pm
Nearest stations: Sloane Square