One of my favourite places we visited in London was the Borough Market. What a fabulous selection of mouthwateringly delicious food all under one roof! Hot and steaming roasted pork belly sandwiches, homemade venison scotch eggs, enormous pans of seafood-laden paella, large vats of bubbling Malaysian curry, piles of oozing fragrant soft cheeses, fruits, vegetables, spices, sausages, salami, croissants, chutneys… it’s a complete assault on the senses and a wonderful place to take a wander – particularly if you are hungry. Bear in mind though that it is also hugely popular, so be prepared to queue for your meal if you arrive over lunchtime.
The Borough Market is London’s most renowned food market, having existed here in some form or another since the 13th Century. Over 100 individual stalls are still based here today, dishing up a vast array of British and International produce, with the majority of stall owners making, growing or rearing the produce they sell themselves. The market employs a ‘food quality panel’ of impartial experts whose job it is to ensure the quality of taste, provenance and quality of the food on offer meets the market’s high standards, plus – competition is fierce, so you can be sure you won’t leave here disappointed.
There are so many delicious smells and enticing sights to take in that it can be completely overwhelming for a newcomer, particularly a greedy one with a fear of missing out on the best stalls through ignorance. We were lucky enough to be staying just round the corner from the Borough Market so had plenty of opportunity to make a few return visits and check out where all the best stalls were. Here we highlight what we found to be the best food on offer at the Borough Market:
Chorizo Sandwich at Brindisa
The Brindisa shop is packed full with a delicious range of Spanish food, including hand-carved Jamon Serrano, chorizo, olive oil, boqerones and Manchego cheese. Outside the front doors is where the real magic happens though – at the Chorizo Grill.
Here, hot sizzling paprika-fuelled chorizo is plucked from the grill and plunged into a chewy ciabatta roll alongside sweet, slow-roasted piquillo peppers and fresh peppery rocket, before being finished with a drizzle of fruity olive oil. Heavenly.
Roasted Pork Belly and Bramley Apple Sauce Sandwich at Roast
Roast Restaurant is renowned for its classical British cooking, using fresh seasonal ingredients from Britain’s farmers and local producers. Their Roast to Go stall downstairs rustles up sandwiches made from their famous roast meats, to a line of hungry fans.
While wandering past, I took one look at the knife slicing through the crispy crackling on a large slab of pork belly and knew that I had to indulge my tastebuds. A soft floury bun was crammed full with succulent pork belly and bubbly salty crackling, then slathered with sweet Bramley apple sauce to give a sensational explosion of soft and crunchy, salty and sweet.
Toasted Cheese Sandwich at Kappacasein
You may think it’s a waste to come all the way to the Borough Market and settle for a cheese sandwich for lunch – but let me tell you, this is no ordinary cheese sandwich. The Kappacasein Toasted Cheese Sandwich is made using three types of cheese – Montgomery Cheddar, Ogleshield and Comte – and five types of onion, all mixed together and pressed between slices of Poilane sourdough bread before being grilled to perfection. Voted by my children as the “Best Cheese Toastie Ever”, and I now have a lot to live up to at home.
Bomba Paella at Furness Food Hut
It’s hard to walk past and not be impressed by the enormous paella pan at the Furness Food Hut. Tubs of piping hot, perfectly cooked Bomba paella rice steeped in seafood stock and topped with a generous portion of chicken and seafood are served up here. We visited in summer, but I can’t imagine anything more perfect on a cold winter’s day. Also on offer at this popular stall – Shetlands Salt & Pepper Squid, Wild Highland Venison Steak Burgers and Traditional Malaysian Chicken Curry.
Cheese from Une Normande a Londres
There are several cheese shops scattered around Borough Market, but one of the most impressive selections I came across was at Une Normande a Londres. Their beautiful display includes an incredible variation of French cheeses, including old favourites such as Brie de Meaux and Reblochon, as well as some more unusual cheeses sourced from obscure French villages. There’s a fabulous selection of cured meats, saucisson, pates, terrines and jams on offer too. A cheese lover’s dream, come true.
Coffee at Monmouth Coffee Company
The Monmouth Coffee Company has people queuing round the corner to get their hands on a great cup of coffee. Renowned throughout London, Monmouth Coffee Company sources their beans from single-farm estates and co-operatives throughout the world, and roasts them at their premises in Bermondsey. Their highly trained baristas whip up some of the best coffee you will find anywhere in London, making this the perfect end to your lunchtime binge.
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The Borough Market is fully open Wednesday – Saturday. Some stalls are also open for lunch on a Monday/Tuesday. Check the opening times on the Borough Market website all the stalls have different opening days and hours.