Discover our quintessential guide to the local markets of London, from charming antique markets to bustling food markets. Read here.
A Local Guide To The Best Markets In London
Markets are the ideal way to make shopping in the capital more enjoyable, sustainable and romantic. Your retail therapy needn’t be a struggle through shopping centres or supermarkets, but rather a joyful stroll through the stalls of a local market, with independent suppliers selling their unique wares. Whether you are a London local looking for ways to while away a few hours on a Sunday or a visitor to the city hoping to discover some rare treasures off the beaten track of Regent Street, we have put together our Ritz guide to the best markets in London to find the perfect match for you. From date ideas to family activities, the famous markets in London offer something for everyone.
Although the recent popularisation of street food has raised the profile of many London markets in the age of social media, London has a rich history of market trading dating back centuries and is a core part of the city’s culture and communities. From wholesale markets, such as Billingsgate, known as the place to be in the early hours of the morning for the freshest fish in the city since the sixteenth century, to Borough Market, established in 1756, brimming with fresh fruit and vegetables, these famous markets in London have stood the test of time and remain essential trading places for businesses and individuals alike.
The Different London Markets to Visit
London boasts a wide variety of markets from the everyday to the fantastical. Walks in the park are brought to new heights with farmers markets offering temptingly delicious produce. The billowing aromas of street food markets brighten up the lunchtimes of office workers in the city. Sundays are made special by the sight of blooming bouquets at flower markets. There truly is something for everyone in London, so come with us for our guide of London markets to visit.
Food Markets in London
Thanks to its central location in London Bridge, Borough Market is the perfect pit-stop during a day seeing the iconic sights of London. Expect high-quality food vendors offering produce and meals from every corner of the globe. Artisan cheese, freshly caught fish, still-warm bread, handmade chutney, regional cured meats… it’s a food lover’s dream. What’s more, if you are visiting with children, family-friendly attractions, such as the London Dungeons, are just around the corner to continue the fun.
A little further afield from Piccadilly is Spitalfields Market, near Shoreditch, which is not only London’s oldest, but also one of the best food markets in London, making it one of the city’s most popular foodie destinations. Boasting 110 stalls, you’re spoilt for choice for where to go for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Once you’ve wandered through and sampled the savoury and sweet delights of the food market, there are plenty of jewellery, fashion, homeware, and book stalls to enjoy too.
Victoria Park Market
If you are looking for a London farmer’s market, head to Victoria Park’s Sunday market. Set within the beautiful surroundings of one of London’s largest green spaces, Victoria Park Market is an idyllic weekend activity. Sip on a refreshing glass of natural wine while browsing the unique selection of stalls, from bone broth and biltong to empanadas and chai. There are even some handmade treats for your furry friends to enjoy during a walk in the park afterwards.
Antique Markets in London
Set within the vibrant pastel-coloured backdrop of Notting Hill, Portobello Road antiques market is a treat for the senses. Whether you are seeking a hand-carved grandfather clock, a silver cutlery set, or crystal glassware, Fridays and Saturdays are the best times to stroll the half mile from Chepstow Villas to Elgin Crescent, where every inch of street space is filled with antique wonders. You certainly won’t be leaving empty-handed.
Alfies Antiques Market
Marylebone’s Alfies Antiques Market is an absolute must for all antique collectors. London’s largest indoor antiques market, Alfies is home to four floors of antique jewellery, vintage fashion, fine art, interior furnishings, ceramics, glass, silverware and more. While you are in the area, there are plenty more gems of antique boutiques along Church Street, perfect to get lost in on a rainy day.
Just a short walk from The Ritz is Grays Antiques Market on Davies Street, Mayfair. With a vast collection of antique jewellery and watches, Grays vintage market in London is just the spot to pick up a treasure for your special someone that is certain to become a coveted heirloom. Looking for an occasion to wear your new jewellery finds? An evening of dining and dancing at Live at The Ritz would have your jewels sparkling in a whole new light as you are transported back to the golden era of swing with music by the London Dance Orchestra.
Flower Markets in London
Colombia Road Flower Market
A round-up of London flower markets wouldn’t be complete without Colombia Road. From succulents to orange trees, hydrangeas to sunflowers, and herbs to bedding plants, there is everything to satisfy your flower and foliage dreams on this quaint East London road. The market opens at 8am every Sunday, but the independent stores that line the street are open to explore all week long. For a truly romantic day out, pair a morning at the flower market with an afternoon tea at The Ritz. Blushing roses and dainty patisserie, what could be sweeter?
New Covent Garden Market
Primarily a wholesale market, supplying florists and food & drinks businesses, New Covent Garden Market is also open to the public and provides a handy pedestrian map to navigate the urban jungle. Opening at 4am this is a destination reserved for the most dedicated floral enthusiasts, but it doesn’t disappoint with a vast space filled with flowers as far as the eye can see. Don’t be fooled by the name, New Covent Garden Market is located near Battersea, so why not head to Battersea Power Station for a spot of breakfast once the sun rises?
For a more leisurely approach to purchasing your new house plant or fresh bouquet, try Broadway Market, open every weekend. Although not exclusively a flower market, Broadway has a beautiful selection of flower stalls to peruse before stopping for a refreshment at one of their delicious food stalls.
Art Markets in London
Spitalfields Art Market
If you are searching for a new piece of art for your home to brighten up that blank white wall, Spitalfields Art Market is a wonderful place to start. With art from the latest up-and-coming talent in the industry and established artists alike, there is a wealth of styles and media to choose from for the newest addition to your collection. Additionally, as you can purchase directly with the artists themselves, you have an ideal opportunity to learn all about your work of art, from the inspiration behind it to how it was created, before it becomes yours forever.
Stunning photography, handmade ceramics, dreamy watercolours, precise prints and much more are waiting to be explored at Greenwich Market. In addition to art, the market is also home to plenty of craft, antique and food stalls so it’s worth making a day of it, before strolling to the top of Greenwich Park to watch the sunset over Canary Wharf.
DIY Art Market
The DIY Art Market is a quarterly market, which hosts artists of a diverse range of creative metiers. Located in a new area of London for each event, there is always something new to discover at an affordable price. As the artists and creators attend the market themselves, visitors have the unique opportunity to meet and discuss the works of art, making for a truly inspirational day out.
That brings us to the end of our meander through the best markets in London. We hope you make some delicious and inspirational discoveries, all while supporting the independent retailers of our wonderful city.