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A guide to Borough Market in London.

A guide to Borough Market in London.

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If you’ve never been to London before then Borough Market should be on your list of places to visit for your London trip. Borough Market is a bustling market filled with stalls selling produce from all over the UK and beyond. It’s London’s most well-known market and, because of that, it’s also super busy. Especially around lunchtime and expect crowds at Borough Market on Saturday. There are so many delicious places to eat in Borough Market, London that picking just what to have can be a tricky decision. The best thing (in my opinion) is to head there with a group of people and then all get something different to share. That way you get to try lots of different food at Borough Market! But, if you’re visiting Borough Market alone, or just don’t like sharing, then here’s a guide to Borough Market’s best food to help you pick where to eat in Borough Market. 

best stalls at borough market london uk pin

About Borough Market in London

Unsurprisingly, Borough Market is a big market. It’s London’s oldest food market and has been around for over a thousand years; just not always in the same form! The revival of artisan food in the 1990s helped transform Borough Market into the bustling place it is today. Nowadays it’s not just the UK’s best-known market but one of the most famous food markets in the world!

The market is owned by a charitable trust and prides itself on a commitment to transparency in food production and works with the Slow Food movement. Borough Market also aims to be as environmentally friendly as possible.

Where is Borough Market?

Borough Market is in the Southwark area of London. It’s pretty much opposite the Shard and borders the Thames. It’s a great area to explore with The Hinde ship, Clink Prison Museum and Shakespeare’s Globe all within walking distance. 

map of borough market london

img: BoroughMarket.org.uk. Map showing nearest tube station to Borough Market

The Borough Market Map to the right shows the main roads and the location of the London Bridge tube station which is the nearest tube to Borough Market.  As you can see getting from London Bridge to Borough Market is very easy. 

How to get to Borough Market

London’s public transport system is great. Having lived in London as well as living and travelling in cities all over the world, it’s the best transport system I’ve come across. Using the London Underground (‘taking The Tube’) is the easiest way to get from anywhere in London to Borough Market. 

London Underground to Borough Market 

The best way to get to Borough Market is to take The London Underground to London Bridge. The closest Borough Market tube stop is London Bridge.

The Borough Market tube station, London Bridge, is on the Northern and Jubilee lines as well as mainland rail. The market is signposted from this station and it’s just under the bridge. 

There is no customer parking at Borough Market. It’s also worth noting that Borough Market is located in the congestion zone of London where you’ll have to pay extra in advance to drive here. There’s not really much point to driving in London as public transport is really good and waaay quicker than getting stuck in traffic if you drive! 

Cost of getting The London Underground

If your credit or debit card has wireless technology/touch, then you can just tap your card on the gates at any Underground Station or on any bus and you’ll automatically be charged the correct price (just remember to tap out too).

If you’re planning on travelling a lot in London in one day then you can also buy a Travelcard. For visitors to London, a travel card for zones 1-6 is usually more than sufficient. 

When is Borough Market open?

Borough Market opening hours are typically Monday to Saturday all year round. However, on Monday’s and Tuesdays, not all the stores will be open. Therefore, Wednesday to Saturday are the best days to visit the market to get the full experience.

Borough Market hours

Borough Market openings times are as follows: 

  • Monday to Thursday: 10 am – 5 pm (Monday and Tuesday have limited traders)
  • Friday: 10 am to 6 pm
  • Saturday: 8 am to 5 pm 
  • Sunday: Closed

From Monday 4th December to the New Year, Borough Market is open seven days a week including Sunday.

Tips for visiting Borough Market

  • If you can visit on a weekday and just either side of lunch, then do. The market will be super busy on Saturday and also at lunchtimes during the week with workers nearby.
  • DID YOU KNOW?: If you’re a fan of Bridget Jones you might recognise Borough Market as the area just outside Bridget’s super nice flat!
  • Don’t forget to check out the special events that go on throughout the year. I visited during Apple Day once and there are lots of extra things going on.
  • Go BEFORE you’re hungry. That way you won’t be annoyed if you have to queue at a stall before being fed.
  • Do at least one lap of the market trying samples and getting your bearings before choosing what to buy.
  • Take a canvas bag (or three) so you have plenty of space to carry all your foodie treats home.

Best places to stay near Borough Market

One of the best things about London is that its public transport makes it super easy to get around. That means you don’t have to find a hotel near Borough Market. However, if you are looking for somewhere close by then be sure to check out these hotels in London.

Where to eat in Borough Market – the best places to eat in Borough Market

Borough Market food is varied and delicious. Your favourite stall will depend on the type of food you personally like. However, you can’t go wrong with some of the Borough Market stalls I’ve picked out below. The best way to experience Borough Market is to walk, smell, taste and talk to the producers!

Bread Ahead, Borough Market

guide to borough market

cc. time out

Bread Ahead are famous for their delicious doughnuts! They’re packed with filling and often topped with something tasty too. My parents bought myself and Thom a doughnut cookery class there a few years ago and it was a great experience. They also make great bread to buy and take home with you too and if you’re looking for a Borough Market breakfast then one of their croissants always goes down very nicely!

Rabot 1745

Rabot 1745 is another firm favourite with sweet tooths. It’s a restaurant, bar and shop dedicated to cocoa and every dish on their restaurant menu uses cacao beans for both savoury and sweet purposes. If you just want to sample something quickly then opt for a rich hot chocolate.

Spice Mountain

Spice Mountain is home to over 100 herbs, spices and blends. It’s owned by Magali Russie who sources her spices from all over the world include Goa and Kerala in India, Mauritius and Spain. You’ll find some super rare spices here so it’s a great place to come if you’ve been trying to track down a spice for a recipe you want to make!

The Flour Station

At The Flour Station, you’ll be able to buy sourdough bread, cakes and pastries. They’re all handmade using traditional techniques and natural ingredients. The Flour Station actually began in Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen restaurant and came to Borough Market back in 2004.

The Ginger Pig

The Ginger Pig has three farms in Yorkshire which are home to some British rare breed animals. They’re all reared outdoors and the meat sold here covers all cuts with offal turned into pies and sausages so that nothing is wasted!

Neal’s Yard Dairy

neals yard dairy guide to borough market

cc. Visit London

Founded in 1979, Neal’s Yard Dairy was one of the first retailers to set up in the empty warehouse spaces around Borough Market in the ‘90s. Cheeses sold here are sourced from around 70 specialist cheesemakers in the UK and Ireland and many are aged in nearby Bermondsey.

You absolutely HAVE to add this Borough Market cheese shop to your Borough Market itinerary. 

Kappacasein

Another popular cheese producer is Kappacasein. The Ogleshield cheese is made in Bermondsey and has one of the best smells to it. It works great as a raclette cheese with potatoes, gherkins, pickled onions and some charcuterie. If you’re craving a Borough Market grilled cheese sandwich then this is the place to go to! 

Brindisa

Brindisa was one of the first places to start introducing high-quality Spanish ingredients to the UK. Here you’ll find world-famous ibérico bellota ham and manchego cheese.

If you’re after a tasty Borough Market lunch make sure to get a hot chorizo and rocket roll from outside the shop! It’s without a doubt one of my Borough Market best food options for lunch! 

Cool Chile Co

Cool Chile Co has all you need to create a delicious Mexican dish at home. There are herbs, spices, corn and dried chillies which are usually pretty difficult to find in London! You can also get preservative and gluten-free corn tortillas at Cool Chile Co as well as authentic Mexican sauces like molé, all freshly made in north London.

Gastronomica

Gastronomica arrived in Borough Market in 2000 with the aim of importing only the finest quality ingredients from Italy. At Gastronomica you’ll be able to buy pulses, sauces, jam, mustard, balsamic vinegar, charcuterie and cheese from all over Italy.

Karaway Bakery

Another great bakery in Borough Market is Karaway. Karaway is a family run London bakery that specialises in rye bread. Using a long fermentation process and natural ingredients these loaves are some of the best you’ll ever come across. You can also get more unusual types of loaf such as Lithuanian scalded rye and Russian borodinsky.

Gujarati Rasoi

If you love Indian cuisine then swing by Gujarati Rasoi where Urvesh Parvais and his mother, Lalita, recreate recipes that have been passed down through generations. Browse the range of cooking sauces, chutneys and chai spices and leave with plenty of new ingredients for your home cooking.

Monmouth Coffee

monmouth coffee guide to borough market

cc. monmouth coffee

There’s always a queue outside Monmouth, Borough Market. Personally, I think you’ll find a better Borough Market coffee without the queue not too far away, but hey, it’s popular for a reason, right?

This coffee shop in Borough Market was one of the first retailers at Borough Market along with Neal’s Yard. They import a range of single origin coffee beans from farms, estates and roast them in Bermondsey.

Horn OK Please

“Horn OK Please” is a slogan commonly found emblazoned across the back end of vehicles in India and the pair behind this stall are determined to bring the best of Indian vegetarian street food to Borough Market.

Grab a lunch of moong dal dosa, aloo tikki chaat and pani puri the moment you get hungry.

Ethiopian Flavours

Ethiopian food is becoming more present throughout London and it’s delicious. There’s usually a queue at this stall but you’ll soon know why once you’ve tasted missir, ye kik alich’a, gomen, fasolia or dubba.

Make sure to get yours with an ingera. This is a spongy, sour, crepe-like bread that acts as both a platter and a wrap. This is one of my top picks for what to eat at Borough Market! 

Portena

Porteña (meaning ‘girl from Buenos Aires’) sells traditional Argentine street food. Specialities include empanadas, yerba mate (a South American drink) and alfajores which are homemade biscuits filled with the stall’s famously sweet and gooey dulce de leche.

Local Honey Man

One of the more specialised Borough Market food stalls, The Local Honey Man is only open on Saturdays so make sure you visit Borough Market on a Saturday to try some pure, raw and local London and British honey. You can also buy fresh pollen granules here. You’ll be surprised at just how many types of honey there are!

Elsey and Bent

One of Borough Market’s bigger fruit and veg stalls is Elsey and Bent. You’ll find a great selection of fresh, seasonal produce here and even if you don’t need anything, go to gaze at the colours!

Butternut

If you’re a nut butter lover then you’ll love Butternut. It began at a home in Tooting, South London, and includes a range of nut butter including a cashew, maple and turmeric butter with many, many other varieties.

Alsop & Walker

guide to borough market alsopp and walker cheese

Alsop and Walker are self-taught cheesemakers. They use milk from a local farmer in Sussex (where they’re from) to make their cheeses with the most successful being Lord London. This is a semi-soft, cow’s milk cheese which received a silver medal at the World Cheese Awards and ended up on the breakfast table at a royal wedding!

Tartufaia

Named after the Italian word for a woodland in which truffles are found, Tartufaia imports truffles from all over Italy. It’s a great stall to visit as you can also smell the different truffles before you buy and find all kinds of truffle-infused products.

 

Top things to do near Borough Market

  • Walk along the Thames and take in views of London Bridge, The London Eye, Houses of Parliament and Big Ben
  • Visit The Shard
  • Grab a drink at The Sky Garden (free entry)
  • Take a foodie tour of London
  • Find Bridget Jones’ flat in Borough Market! 

Want more Borough Market posts?

Slow Food & Living Market, London | That AdventurerThat Adventurer

Monday 30th of March 2015

[…] offices, Costas and Starbucks there’s a new market in Holborn. Not as big or well known as Borough Market (yet, anyway), it’s open only in Sundays and is in the rather luxurious settings of the […]

Rosie

Wednesday 16th of October 2013

Oh my goodness, those olives look amazing! Craving some now...

Hannah Kacary

Thursday 17th of October 2013

I get the feeling you really like olives having commented on these and the olive paste from my Flavrbox review haha. Olives are awesome though!