Borough Market is London’s oldest, and arguably most famous, food market. You can sense the pride in it’s heritage as you delve under the famous green arches immerse yourself in an Aladdin's cave full of tantalising treasures of taste. The Market manages to embody tradition whilst also exuding a dynamic energy that secures it’s spot at the forefront of the ever-evolving food scene. Check the website before you visit; not only is it a full of foodie insights, recipe inspiration and interviews on everything from foraging to food waste, it also contains details on events and cookery demonstrations that run throughout the year. It is also worth signing up to their ‘Cookbook Club’.
Where Smithfield is famed for it’s meat; there is something for everyone at Borough. You can travel the world through your tastebuds with an extraordinary number of cuisines on offer...
Head to La Tua Pasta to try the Boggian family’s authentic Italian food - made using the finest ingredients. Founder Francesco is passionate about celebrating pasta; offering a variety of shapes and fillings; think hand folded ravioli, pappardelle or gnocchi swirled through rich, flavoursome sauces. You can also buy packets of their multi-award winning pasta to enjoy at home!
No trip to the Market is complete without a visit to the Bread Ahead stall - famous for their delicious donuts, freshly baked focaccia, towers of cinnamon buns and stacks of sumptuous straws (from tomato and olive to rich and cheesy). You can learn the artisan secrets behind the perfect pastries and brilliant breads from master tutors at the Bread Ahead Baking School with a variety of courses on everything from Gluten-free baking to Nordic, French, Middle-Eastern, Italian and, of course, Great British classics!
Fans of nutty rye breads should head to Karaway Bakery who specialise in wholesome loaves and artisan sweet treats. Their innovative brioche bakes and moorish granola bites offer the perfect balance of top trends and time-honoured tradition. For irresistibile Israeli cuisine head to Balkan Bites where you can enjoy their signature homemade hummus and falafels alongside a range of bourekas (from tomato and basil to spinach and feta). Don’t miss Scotch Tails for top quality scotch eggs in innovative flavours. I bought one of each of their veggie options (beetroot & lentil and sweet potato & falafel) to try at home (you can also have them in a box with sweet potato fries, rocket and your choice of sauce). Pieminister offer a range of meaty, veggie, vegan and gluten-free hot and cold pies to enjoy with your choice of sides.
Head to Gujarati Roti to try the incredible vegetarian and vegan Indian cuisine (I went to their Dalston restaurant during Veganuary and had the most delicious meal of Bhujia (a traditional crispy, spiced dish) followed by a wonderful chickpea Palak). They serve curries in ‘thali’ boxes alongside street food snacks of bhujia (my favourite!) and samosas. Now we are basking in the warmer weather you can now enjoy a cooling selection of Indian ‘ice-creams’ from their Kulfi cart (I loved the lemon flavour - they also offer mango, pistachio and vegan options). Horn Ok Please also have vegan (and gluten-free) Indian street-food including moong dal dosa (lentil pancake), samosas and aloo tikki (little spicy potato patties - I asked for the recipe!). If you want to create your own authentic Indian cuisine - do check out Spice Mountain where you will find every spice under the sun!
Something More Substantial...
Having shopped ‘til you dropped there are plenty of places to sit down and soak up the market atmosphere. Alongside the street food stalls and artisan producers you will find a host of restaurants to enjoy something a little more substantial. Padella is often credited for engineering the resurgence of pasta’s popularity. This incredible little place is famous for serving fresh, handmade pasta and antipasti (you can watch the chef’s work their magic while you wait). The menu is short, seasonal and affordable - but be prepared to queue as they adopt a ‘no bookings’ policy. Having tasted their food I promise it is well worth waiting for.
For fast, fun and flavoursome food head to Wok It - an ideal place to introduce children to Asian cuisine as the concept is built around ‘personalising’ your plate. Simply choose your base, protein, veg and sauce to create your dream dish. The ingredients are sourced (where possible) fresh from the market ensuring a unique nutritious - and more importantly delicious - meal.
Be sure to check out Rabot 1745; a bar, cafe, restaurant - and chocolate lover’s heaven. This promises to be something special with a mindblowing menu that acts like an ode to the cocoa bean...from imaginative cocoa-inspired cocktails to contemporary cuisine - each dish is infused with chocolate in some form (think white chocolate mash and cacao pesto). Open for breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and supper - you can even try their legendary ‘Light White Raspberry and Blueberry Cremeux Dessert’ which was served to the stars at the BAFTAS!
Treats To Take Home...
Borough Olives offer an astounding range of olives, antipasti and pestos which are perfect gifts for foodie friends.. Don’t be afraid to ask the stallholders about each of the sauces - they offer a wealth of knowledge and top tips on how to create your own delicious dishes. Pate Moi is a must for mushroom fans as they sell a vegetarian, handmade organic mushroom pâte using freshly-picked field, button, chestnut and in-season wild mushrooms (a vegan option using cashew curd cheese has recently been launched). Bring a pot home to as a dip for crisps, to stir through pasta or spread thickly on toast. There are a vast number of stalls so you can stock up on every fruit and vegetable you can imagine… or order a refreshing freshly squeezed juice smoothing from Total Organics.
Don’t forget to pick up a copy of Borough Life - a complimentary magazine containing market musings, trader tips and cookery creations…
STAR SPOT - Which famous film(s) with a very handsome Mr Darcy was partly filmed in this London location?
If it's good enough for Bridget, it's good enough for us!
The piece was created by Sophie Richmond on behalf of Goupie.