Whether you’re hunting for gourmet, garments or goods, alfresco markets are the go-to destination for shopping, dining and socialising for Londoners and tourists alike.
Here's our pick of our favourite markets in London - including food, fashion and everything else - to kick-start your autumn shopping spree:
1 - Berwick Street Market, Soho
One of London's oldest markets - dating back to 1778 - Berwick Street is also one of London's best-loved food destinations and an important part of Soho's DNA. When there were threats to its future in 2016, there was a huge petition to save it from privatisation.
Thankfully, the petition succeeded and today, it's a real foodie hub and perfect for satisfying those lunchtime cravings. We highly recommend sampling the sumptuous pastries at Continental Bread, and picking up some really rather wonderful free-range jerk chicken, jerk pork, curry goat and tasty sides at The Jerk Drum.
WHERE: Berwick Street, London, W1F 0PH
WHEN: Open Monday-Saturday, 8am-6pm
2 - Borough Market, London Bridge
A haven of fresh produce, including cheese, bread, cured meats, pastries and sandwiches, there isn't much you won't find at one of London's most iconic markets. It's also an Instagrammer's paradise, so if you’re heading there to buy supplies for a weekend brunch, our advice is to visit early in the morning to avoid the chaos.
Alongside dinner essentials, the Southwark-based market is sprawling with street food vendors, bars and restaurants. You can try everything from gently smoked ham at Alpine Deli to French wines at Bedales of Borough – and don’t miss the incredible puddings at Humble Crumble. What better way to spend a day than eating your way around London’s most diverse food spot?
WHERE: Borough Market, 8 Southwark St, London SE1 1TL
WHEN: Open Monday-Thursday, 10am-5pm; Friday, 10am-6pm and Saturday, 8am-5pm
3 - Greenwich Market
Worth the commute from central London, Greenwich Market has an eclectic mix of stalls that vary from day to day. The food stalls are regulars – look out for the vegan doughnuts at Brazilian Churros, Sicilian cannoli at Casa Canoli, handmade sushi at Koyul Ltd and Japanese and Korean dishes at Teriyaki-Ya.
Pro tip: if you’re going for a particular stall, check the schedule online beforehand.
WHERE: Greenwich Market, London SE10 9HZ
WHEN: Open daily, 10am-5.30pm
4 - Camden Market
We defy anyone to walk past this buzzing, canal-side spot and not be tempted by the delicious smells of Yorkshire pudding burritos and Dutch pancakes. What started as just 16 stalls has now grown to become London’s biggest market. With over 1,000 stalls sprawling along the canal and the surrounding alleyways, you’re sure to find something to float your boat.
WHERE: 32 Camden Lock Pl, London NW1 8AL.
WHEN: Open daily, 10am-6pm
5 - Flat Iron Square, Southwark
This could possibly be the only market in London where you can eat Thai, Malay and Cantonese street food (we recommend Ekachai), drink craft beer and learn how to make a mean Bloody Mary at a brunch masterclass.
A combination of a listed Georgian townhouses, six archways and a courtyard, Flat Iron Square is the social hub for brunch through to late night-drinks and everything in between. Expect a relaxed vibe under garland lights in the courtyard, with a soundtrack of lively music.
WHERE: Flat Iron Square 68 Union Street, London, SE1 1TD
WHEN: Open Monday 12pm-9pm; Tuesday-Friday, 12pm-12am; Saturday, 11am-12am; Sunday 10am-8pm
6 - Pergola, Paddington
Known mysteriously as a ‘botanical bolthole’, Pergola Paddington has taken a somewhat unloved corner of London and transformed it into a market paradise. About as upmarket as markets go, the part-alfresco venue's decor is basically overgrown ivy and exposed brick walls.
Head there for dinner and drinks with friends – we recommend the slow-smoked meats from Salt Shed washed down with a Pergola Spritz. For unparalleled views of London, get there in time for sunset.
WHERE: 4 Kingdom St, London W2 6PY
WHEN: Open Monday-Thursday, 4pm-11pm; Friday and Saturday, 12pm-11pm; Sunday, 12pm-10.30pm
7 - Vinegar Yard, Southwark
Fancy a mouth-wateringly juicy Nanny Bill’s burger or an extra strong coffee hit from Gentleman Baristas? Then this outdoorsy spot has you covered. Neighbouring Flat Iron Square, Vinegar Yard is a fairly new opening and makes for the perfect foodie pitstop.
Plus, at weekends Vinegar Yard hosts Flea London: an antiques and vintage market selling clothes, vinyls, jewellery and more.
WHERE: 80-82 St Thomas Street, London Bridge, SE1 3QU.
WHEN: Open daily, 10am-9pm
8 - Brockley Market
If you're a fresh produce lover, this local weekend market in south London is for you: full of stalls offering the best produce, from seafood to organic meat and delicious seasonal fruit, it's a healthy alternative to lots of the street food offerings out there.
Pick up ingredients for the week and stay for an orange blossom, elderflower, pomegranate and pistachio doughnut (that's vegan to boot, may we add) from Crosstown.
WHERE: Lewisham College Car Park, Lewisham Way, Brockley, London, SE4 1UT
WHEN: Open Saturdays, 10am-2pm
9 - Netil Market
Calling all minimalist magpies: this under-the-radar option in London Fields is a lowkey gem that's open every Saturday, and serves up everything from vintage homeware and jewellery to top-tier street food.
Many of the capital's best foodie favourites made their names here, including BAO and Lucky Chip. We highly recommend a trip to Diwine Grapes, the sister-run, boutique wine shop and Italian deli, before a stroll to Palm Greens for a flavour-packed salad.
WHERE: 13-23 Westgate Street, London, E8
WHEN: Open Saturdays, 11am-6pm
FOR FASHION - and more...
1 - Portobello Green Market
Kendall Jenner, Debbie Harry and Taylor Swift have all been spotted browsing stalls at Portobello Green Market, one of London's most famous fashion markets, so you'll know you're in good company. Friday is the best day to get your hands on vintage finds from all over the world, with traders selling everything from trench coats to oversized sunglasses, military jackets and puff-sleeve blouses.
WHERE: Under the Canopy, Portobello Road, W10, London W10 5TD
WHEN: Friday 10am-5pm
2 - Columbia Road Flower Market
It might be best known for its flora and fauna but there are also fashion finds to be had at Columbia Road Flower Market. Weave your way around the flower stalls (and pick up a bunch of blooms or two) and browse the vintage offerings in shops Glitterati and Jessie Chorley & Buddug.
Top tip: go later on in the day to pick up bunches of the best seasonal flowers for half the price.
WHERE: Columbia Road, E2
WHEN: Sunday 8am-3pm (ish)
3 - Spitalfields Saturday Style Market
Saturdays at east London’s Spitalfields Market are all about style. Alongside the permanent stores including Diptyque, The Merchantile London and Ollie Quinn is an eclectic line-up of jewellery, fashion and homeware stalls – the amount of choice is almost overwhelming. So make a pitstop at the Dumpling Shack to prepare yourself for another round of shopping.
WHERE: 56 Brushfield St, Spitalfields, London E1 6AA
WHEN: Saturday, 11am-5pm
4 - Lower Marsh Market
By week it's a food market (think Hawaiian poke bowls and Venezuelan street food) and come Saturday, Lower Marsh Market by Waterloo Station becomes a buzzing flea market. Its USP? Arts and crafts. From handmade ceramics to jewellery and even plants, there’s plenty to choose from. And stalls change every week so there are plenty of reasons to keep going back.
WHERE: Lower Marsh, London SE1 7RG
WHEN: Monday-Saturday, 10am-5pm
5 - Bermondsey Square Antiques Market
Can’t decide between buying a china set or a new brooch? You don’t have to: Bermondsey Square Antiques Market has got you covered with plenty of bargain options. A hotspot for glassware, Victorian and Georgian homeware and antique furniture and silverware, you won’t leave empty-handed.
The only downside? You’ll have to arrive early morning as traders pack up by lunchtime.
WHERE: Bermondsey Square, London, SE1 3UN
WHEN: Fridays, 6am-2pm
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