With the reopening of pubs and restaurants in outside settings also comes the return of one of London’s best Sunday activities: markets.
Sunday markets are a staple of London living and its been too long since we’ve been able to spontaneously nip down to a good street market, grab a big halloumi wrap, get half of it around our mouths instead of inside them, and pick up a bouquet of flowers for half the price of Bloom and Wild.
Some of London’s markets are world renowned and others are more hidden gems. But what with a month of sitting at home under our belts, I’d literally consider a child’s lemonade stall on the side of the road to be a good day out at this point.
To plan your perfect Sunday market trip, here’s a guide to some of the best and most underrated markets our fair city has to offer.
For more news and features about London directly to your inbox sign up to our newsletter here.
Stroud Green Market in Finsbury Park
Stroud Green market in Finsbury Park is a market on every Sunday, but has been tragically missed for the last however-many Sundays due to Covid. It returns this week though, and promises ‘top notch’ food and drink that’s “some of the best around”.
This Sunday promises sellers such as Sara Nyborg’s Danish Bakery, which has an ‘amazing variety of authentic rye bread, cinnamon buns, jams, granola’, Perry Court farm selling Kentish fruit and veg, Holy Sugar selling pies and cakes made right there in Finsbury Park and Itadakizen/koji fermentaria selling vegan Japanese bites.
That’s not all, either, there’s handmade furniture made from reclaimed wood on sale, vintage clothes stalls and a whole load of fresh fish and perfectly prepared pies. It’s a hidden gem, for sure.
Spitalfields Market in East London
Spitalfields Market is back and roaring with excitement. The street market is a stones throw from Shoreditch High Street and Liverpool Street Overground stations and not too far from Old Street either, for Underground types.
The street market runs every day and promises an ‘uncompromising array of independent stall holders’ with the mouth watering scent of endless food vendors lining the street.
There’s authentic pie and mash (some of the best you’ll ever get), generous salad bars and curries like no other.
Brick Lane Market, Shoreditch
The Brick Lane Markets, also known as The Truman Brewery Markets, are open every Sunday from around 9 to 5pm. One of the most infamous markets in London, Brick Lane incorporates about five different markets all rolled into one.
That includes The Sunday UpMarket, the Vintage Market, Backyard Market, The Tea Rooms and The Boiler House markets. It’s the first stop destination for anyone seeking vintage clothes, but next-level street food is also very much on the menu.
Not only that, but it’s right next to iconic London eatery Beigel Bake – so you can’t lose. (And yes, Beigel Bake has reopened, don’t you worry).
Columbia Road Flower Market, Bethnal Green
This iconic Sunday market is reopening today for the first time since the newest wave of restrictions, and bunches upon bunches of flowers are sitting there just waiting to be picked.
Columbia Road is often considered one of London’s most ‘visually appealing’ markets because of the sheer mass of flowers on display, it’s like walking into a big street garden.
It’s also a prime spot for any fans of houseplants, with shrubs, bulbs, succulents and everything you could wish for on sale every Sunday.
Camden Market, North London
While it may be a favourite of tourists and year nine school trips, Camden Market has maintained the cool it always had – it’s one of the biggest markets in London, in both reputation and size.
The market boasts over 1,000 unique shops, stalls, bars and cafés. There’s traditional Camden fish and chips, shawarma, souvlaki and Portuguese tart galore.
Many of the Camden shops and stalls are award winning, including outfitters Modfitter and Camden Tea Company.
Plus, you have the extra beauty of being able to take your finds and food over to the canal, sitting on the side and dangling your legs over the water while barges go by. Bliss.
Borough Market, Southwark
Borough Market is London’s ‘premier food market’, and is as equally exciting as it is accessible. Borough Market remained open for much of lockdown as an essential retailer, but following April 12 the vendors were able to kick into full swing and now many offer outside seating, right into the evening.
The Central London market promises an ’emphasis on high quality food, sustainable production and social connection’. It is also famously the market British fictional icon Bridget Jones lives next to, which can only mean it is responsible for the ingredients in her trademark blue soup. Yum.