When to hit the London street food markets*
The great thing about London street food markets is that mostly they suit both those who like to plan and those who like to be spontaneous. I’m a bit of both, so I’m probably the ideal customer (but then we knew that anyway, because I blog about street food).
Sometimes, I’ll pick a day and a market, book in time with a mate or a date and we’ll scurry off on an adventure together. But if there’s ever a time to be spontaneous, it’s when the sun’s out and suddenly you don’t feel like being inside watching TV of an evening – or when, in the case of my flatmates on Thursday, you’re at home pretending to work because of the tube strike and a sudden outbreak of sunshine means you want to go and prance about in it.
As it happened, all three of took this rare opportunity of being in the same place at the same time and walked over to POP Brixton, the new street food ‘village’ made up of a bunch of shipping containers and a some great little food and craft businesses.
Now, that one happens to be open seven days a week – how they’ll sustain that I don’t know, but that’s a discussion for another day – but I figured that what might be most useful is doing a little guide led by timings, so that the planners out there can think ahead, and those others who are happier making plans on the spot can simply check in here before heading out into the world of London street food without a second thought.
– Oh, and in this case I’ve only looked at some new and existing markets that I’ve not covered very much on here, some of which I’ve yet to visit. It’s so easy going back to writing about the places you know and love, and which get a lot of air time, but I’m shaking it up a bit this afternoon…
WHEN TO HIT THE LONDON STREET FOOD MARKETS*
… From 9am-midnight (or until 11pm on Wednesdays and Sundays)
POP Brixton, 5 mins from the tube
Food: An awesome mixture of quality food traders. There is fiery jollof rice and spicy plantain from Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen, wonderful sustainable and interesting fish and chips (you have to pick your fish, pick your batter and pick your dips) at Hook, French crepes from L’Amuse Bouche, feisty jerk chicken from Mama’s Jerk and hot ramen from Koi. And if you go on a Thursday lunch time, stick your nose into Brixton Station Market, too, because there’s a guy selling ace iced lemon tea which I recommend.
Find it: 49 Brixton Station Road, SW9 8PQ; popbrixton.org
… From 11.30-9.30pm
Vauxhall Street Food Garden, 3 mins from the tube
Food: international. Moroccan stews from Harissa & Lemon, nice Indian roti wraps from Naughty Roti, and Agua na Boca who sell Brazilian sweets including those lovely alfajores. Kusina Nova (see below for Venn Street Market) also appear every so often.
Find it: 6a South Lambeth Place, SW8; facebook.com/vauxhallstreetfoodgarden
… Fridays in August from 5-11pm
Black Market, Shoreditch – 5-10 mins from Old Street tube
Food: info coming soon but it will definitely include lots of things involving hot chilli sauce because Djim Masranger, the founder, owns Bad Mama.
Find it: Kachette, 347-349 Old Street, EC1V 9LP; Badmamaclassic.com
… Thursday and Friday evenings from 5pm until close / all day Saturdays and Sundays
Little Feast, Shepherds Bush
Food: Good, if their bigger annual market Feast is anything to go by. So far traders have included the wondrous sustainable fish wagon, Green Goat, my favourite makers of Venulezean arepas, Guasaca, Cheeky Burgers, and what is being billed (I have yet to try it) as one of the best London toasties around from Holy Toast.
Find it: Shepherds Bush Yard, Goldhawk Road, W12 8HA; wefeast.co.uk
… Saturdays 10am-4pm
Venn Street Market, Clapham
Food: Lots. Boxes of sublime slow cooked beef pare from Filipino street food traders Kusina Nova, plus rotisserie chicken from The Rotisserie Company, west Indian roti wraps from Nanny Outars, and others selling cheese, meat, pies and biltong.
Find it: Venn Street, SW4 0AT; vennstreetmarket.co.uk
*In every case, please check individual Twitter feeds to see if the people whose food you want to try are trading that day. Being the summer season, lots of them are doing festivals and private events, so their place may be taken over by someone else on a particular day.
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