13 Best Markets in London to Shop, Eat and Wander

13 Best Markets in London to Shop, Eat and Wander

These markets in London are where you can find clothes, crafts, antiques, vintage goods and also FOOD. Find one that fits your interest!

If you’re done with mall shopping in London and still have some steam left, step into these London markets where you can eat or shop – or in fact, do both! Here’s our list of 13 open-air and covered markets to start with! Some of them are the best places for vintage and antique shopping, while others offer a fantastic variety of food.

1. Camden Market

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Camden Market, located at the northern end of Camden Town, is a shopping paradise with several markets connected together. It is one of the popular sites visited by both tourists and locals. The most well-known market, which is also regarded as the heart of the shopping area, is the Camden Lock Market.

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Opened in the 1970s as Camden’s, or rather London’s first crafts and antiques markets, Camden Lock continues to uplift its name and purpose in the years that passed and will definitely continue to do so in the years to come. The market is indeed a prime location for the trade of artisan creativity. You can find a wondrous collection of goods — from vintage clothing and handmade jewellery to gifts and music memorabilia, and even food!

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There is also the Buck Street Market where you can shop for slogan-style T-shirts, trainers, cheap jeans as well as summer dresses. The Stables Market is a place for all things boho as well as other vintage accessories, crafts and antiques. Camden Market is open everyday from 10am till late. Some sources have said they only close on one day each year, and that is Christmas.

2. Brick Lane Market

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Located at the northern end of Brick Lane along Cheshire Street, Brick Lane Market is a large flea market concept with vendors laying out their vintage and handmade clothing, accessories, crafts, jewellery, music and antiques — anything from dodgy old videos and CD players to broken dolls — on large blankets or wooden tables, and selling them at great bargain prices. These are even valued by many bargain-hunters residing in London!

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The market is also known for its street food as well as its Bangladeshi curry houses, noting that by the 20th century, the market received great transformation from the influx of the Bangladeshi immigrants.

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Brick Lane also houses several markets at the Old Truman Brewery. The Backyard Market, with 80 over stalls, is the place for young artists and designers to showcase their work through their independent businesses and multiple retail outlets such as cafes and boutiques, all of which glorify the beautiful arts and crafts culture of London. The Sunday UpMarket, which has over 200 stalls, boasts a large collection of vintage and handmade clothing and accessories, greeting cards, jewellery, print artwork from a variety of designers as well as stacks of classic vinyl.

Other markets include the Boiler House where you can visit the historical landmark of Brick Lane — its food hall with over 30 over stalls offering international cuisines including Japanese, Mediterranean and Peruvian delicacies. You can enjoy a huge variety of tea and coffee along with traditional baked goods at the Tea Rooms while also checking out The Vintage Emporium, just a level below, for vintage clothing and other specialities that carry the charming period of the Victorian Era and beyond. And if you can’t get enough of vintage, there is the Vintage Market to feed all your wants, desires or interests!

Opening hours do vary but the markets usually start operating between 10am to 11am in the morning and last till 5pm to 6pm. The Sunday UpMarket, however, are only opened on Sundays, while the Vintage Market opens on Thursdays and Fridays.

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Don’t forget to stop and admire Brick Lane’s street art!

3. Old Spitalfields Market

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Just a five to ten minutes away from the Brick Lane Market by foot, the Old Spitalfields Market screams of classic Victorian era. It is a must-visit if you’re still around the area. The market is packed with cutting-edge fashion and accessories offered by both designer brands and independent boutiques that explore both the vintage and modern. There are also handcrafted wooden toys along with today’s creations. Although the market opens each day, the main market days are from Thursdays to Sundays. The Antiques Market on Thursdays offers a splendid range of collectable vintage and antique treasures, while Fridays are packed with shoppers with a liking for fashion and art. However, on the first and third Friday of each month, music lovers will be enticed as the market draws a loyal crowd to its record fair that offers a brilliant mix of different musical styles, which also includes the classic and never-forgotten vinyl.

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There are also themed markets on Saturdays each week and this ranges from anything between affordable vintage to even the finest of the Old Spitalfields traders and makers. Sundays are for the family, with a little bit of everything for everyone! The restaurants and fresh food market stalls also offer high quality and affordable cuisines, which includes deli-style dishes and artisan bread, as well as fresh organic produce.

Old Spitalfields Market opens at 10am each day, except for Saturdays at 11am, and closes around 5pm. Timings may change for certain public holidays.

4. Broadway Market

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At Broadway Market, you will be stunned by the mouth-watering food choices with its fantastic quality ingredients. From freshly grilled burgers, rare-breed meats, cheeses and bread to sweet seasonal cupcakes and a deliciously chilled Vietnamese coffee, you’d be set to feast once you’re here, in the heart of Hackney in the eastern part of London. There is also a farmers’ market with a great mix of local produce, alongside goods from artists and craftsmen. You can also stop by the Broadway Bookshop and even the fabric store or the florist! Broadway Market is open on Saturdays from 9am to 5pm, unless otherwise stated!

5. Covent Garden Market

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An architectural jewel within the collonaded Piazza, the Covent Garden Market is a must-visit, at least for its beautiful 19th-century facade.

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The market houses a pretty good shopping loot. The Apple Market, over at the North Piazza, sells British-made crafts, leather goods, toys, clothes and much more. Be sure to check out the independent stores like Eric Snook’s Toyshop — it sells toys that encourage creative play among children as well as interesting crafts great for kids to experiment their artistic creativity. There’s also the Segar and Snuff Parlour if you’d like to check out what a specialist tobacconist or cigar shop looks like.

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Image credit: Peter

At the South Piazza lies the Jubilee Market that offers different goods at different times of the week. On Mondays, you’d see many antique lovers around the area admiring all things classic, while from Tuesdays to Fridays, the area turns into a general market plaza selling clothing and household goods. The weekends are for the artsy-fartsy patrons! The eastern side of the piazza has a variety of stalls such as those selling handmade soaps, jewellery, handbags, sweets, artwork, homeware, and even a magician’s stall! The Covent Garden Market is open from 10am to 7pm from Mondays to Saturdays, while Sundays run from 11am to 6pm.

6. Greenwich Market

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Known to provide items not available anywhere else in the world, Greenwich Market offers a unique collection of arts and crafts, as well as enticing products from designer makers and small cottage industries. All these range from logo T-shirts and leather bags to antique jewellery, vintage collectables such as typewriters, old books and ceramics. Moreover, on Wednesdays, you’d see fruit and vegetable stalls while Thursdays would be reserved for the antique collections, and the weekend for the crafts. If you check out their website, you would be able to see the stalls available on each day before planning your trip down! There are also tearooms for you to refuel yourself after long hours of walking and shopping. You can also grab some sushi while shopping too! Greenwich Market is open from 10am to 5pm daily!

7. Southbank Centre Market

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Image credit: sebastian.dahler  

Image credit: sebastian.dahler  

Come down here for food and only food! Southbank Centre Market is one of the best food markets in London, offering an astounding quality of food and produce, all thanks to the efforts of the 40 over food producers in the capital. They cater to London’s diverse ethnicity and serve anything from cheeses, fresh pasta, Korean BB, curry and chapatti rolls to desserts and craft beers. Southbank Centre Market is open at 12 noon on Fridays and Sundays and closes at 8pm and 6pm respectively. Saturdays see a huge bustling crowd from 11am till 8pm. If you’re down at London on bank holiday Mondays, you can drop by anytime between 12 noon and 6pm.

8. Maltby Street Market

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Another market famous for its food collection is Maltby Street Market. Just a five-minute walk from the iconic Tower Bridge, the market offers a superb range of street food sellers down its narrow aisle over the weekend, selling New York style sandwiches, creamy doughnuts, hot dogs and buns, seafood and grilled meat, gin cocktails, coffee, tea and much more! Maltby Street Market opens at 9am on Saturdays and 11am on Sundays and closes at 4pm on both days.

9. Portobello Road Market

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Portobello Road Market, started in 1800s, had been drawing tourists for its antiques in the 1950s but now it offers a huge array of goods such as modern and vintage fashion, accessories, music, toys, second-hand goods (bargain alert) as well as fresh fruits, vegetables, bread and cheese! Yet, if you’re an avid fan of vintage, the market holds its main antiques trading on Saturdays from as early as 8.30am. Here, you can find antiques dating to the BC till the 1960s — glass, crystals, silver, books and many other classic collectables. Well, Portobello Road Market is called the world’s largest antique fair for a reason!

The market opens around 9am and closes at 6pm from Mondays to Wednesdays and at 7pm on Fridays and Saturdays. On Thursdays, it closes at 1pm. On Sunday, however, there is no street market but there will be some vintage clothing and bric-a-brac at Portobello Green!

10. Golborne Road Market

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At the northern end of Portobello Road lies Golborne Road Market with the same opening times as that of Portobello. With a unique and quirky ambience, Golborne Road Market is packed with a diverse range of international food stalls as well as restaurants ranging from the simple cafes to gastro pubs as well as high-end cuisines. On weekdays, the market sells mainly fruits, vegetables, takeaway as well as necessary household products. Therefore, Fridays and Saturdays will be the best days to visit as the market usually comes alive with traders and shoppers getting the best deal out of the second-hand and other collectables! There are also vintage goods and antiques available in the shops along the street. So if you’re trying to make your way out from the bustling Portobello Road Market on a Saturday afternoon, be sure to catch a glimpse of the quieter antique shopping area down at Golborne!

11. Surrey Street Market

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Also known as the Croydon Market, the Surrey Street Market is the oldest market in London with its history far back till the 1200s. The market is popularly known for its stunning range of fruits, vegetables, cheese, home-made cakes, and much more. Don’t forget the amazing street food that offer specialities from different ethnicities such as the Chinese, Caribbean, Mexican and Afghan. There are also local retailers selling a good deal of goods such as clothes, gifts and fashion accessories. Surrey Street Market is open from 7am to 6pm daily, with the Sunday market as a recent addition.

12. Brixton Market

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Down at South London, Brixton Market is both an indoor and outdoor market, and offers an eclectic mix of food, art, music and great cultural diversity. It’s also known for its African and Caribbean produce. The market houses the Electric Avenue, an open air market of fresh produce and cooked dishes from fishmongers and butchers, as well as a whole range of fruits that caters to all taste buds. At Brixton Village, you can get your coffee fix along with a hearty brunch, or even enjoy Portuguese cuisine on top of the classic British dishes at the Brixton Village Grill, which also offers chargrilled sirloin steak and spare ribs as well as grilled fish! And if you still have space for dessert, try their cheesecake too! Apart from food, you can also shop for home furnishing, jewellery and textiles at the Brixton Village. You can also find fresh and quality meat at the Market Row, alongside restaurants serving up mouth-watering choices of dishes from breakfast to dinner. Brixton Market opens at 8am each day and closes at 6pm on Mondays and 11.30pm on all other days.

13. Exmouth Market

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Exmouth Market, located at Clerkenwell in the London Borough of Islington, is popular for its myriad of exciting food stalls and restaurants serving up a great mix of international and local delicacies such as shawarma, pizzas, burgers, pho, bagels, burritos, and the list goes on. There are also great cafes for coffee, such as Caravan and Brill. However, the market is lesser known for its shopping space where you could get some great finds such as leather goods, designer gifts, bespoke furniture, jewellery, books as well as clothes! Exmouth Markets opens at 7am each day and closes at 7.30pm on weekdays and 7pm on weekends!

Also read: Food Markets Around The World – How Many Have You Been To?

What do you love to do most at markets like these — eat, shop or just wander?

About Author

Parveen Maghera
Parveen Maghera

An avid non-fiction reader, Parveen loves digging deep into stories of unique individuals, be they from Europe or the Middle East. Indeed, if travelling was free, you won't see her again. It is her wish to embark on a world tour some time in her future. You might just see her selfie-ing with the Eiffel Tower, or even consuming the aura of Swat Valley with other native Afghans.


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