Visiting Chor Bazaar reminded me of how many great markets there are in London and I used to love spending my weekends there and one of them would feature on every weekend tourist tour I would go on with visitors. I'd like to give you an A-Z guide but turns out most of the start with B or C so I'll just go with the ones that come to my mind
- Borough Market: Close to London bridge, this is probably the best place for foods lovers. It has an amazing selection of fruit and veg and bread stalls but also places where you can grab a proper lunch and also small restaurants in close proximity. We once went to Elliot's Cafe which was an amazing dinner in a nice atmosphere. Two pieces of advice - don't go on a Saturday if you can avoid it. Fridays and Thursday are much more quiet and a lot more pleasant. And it's worth hanging around until the end when you get a good deal on fruit and veg baskets
- Brick Lane: I don't think I ever liked Brick Lane as much as it probably deserves. It's probably a bit too hipster for a South London girl like me but they do have a good variety of food, shops, random stalls and of course cream cheese bagels.
- Broadway market: Open air so don’t come on a rainy day but nice food stalls with some cafes nearby and located close to the river so perfect for a stroll afterwards. I’d say less touristy than Borough market but then also a bit more out of the way but worth the trip
- Brixton Market (ever wondered why they all start with B? I’m starting to): Located in proper South London, Brixton market is a place to get a taste of jerk chicken and some more exotic food. It has lots of butchers and other small stores and is definitely less done up than many other markets. The best thing though is Brixton Village and Market row which has been the starting point of many small eateries that have expanded or even become chains (think Franco Manca, Honest Burgers, KaoSarn or the Joint for some pulled pork to just name a few of my favourites). A great location for breakfast, lunch or dinner!
- Camden Market: From south to north, Camden is probably one of the most famous London markets with its arty houses, tattoo studies and 50,000 stalls selling “I love London” T-shirts. There is more to Camden though and the Camden lock and the Stables have some cool shops and food for every taste. It gets very busy so I always took people for a walk along the canal and then up Primrose hill. Regents Park Road has some very nice shops and is beautiful to walk along and you can even see a real Banksy if you pop into “The princess of Wales”
- Covent Garden Market: Another very popular tourist place less of a market than a collection of proper shops these days, Covent garden attracts people all day and all night. Even if you don’t like the tourist crowds, the market halls are very pretty (particularly around Christmas with some great decorations). There is no shortage of places to eat and drink around but two of my favourites are “Le pain quotidien” (right in the market hall) and Balthazar, a French brasserie concept from New York on Russel Street but with prices on the much higher side. The tartare de boeuf is amazing
Right, these are some of the ones that came to my mind immediately. This covers only two letters so you can imagine how many more markets there are but think it is a good start for now. Hope I can find a few more in Mumbai and will report back on them as well…