Borough Market holds a special place in the heart of every London foodie. Sure it’s touristy, and locals tend to eschew its mainstream appeal in favour of lesser-known food markets, but many who profess a love of dining in London will have started their culinary journey there as a wide-eyed stranger to this enthralling city. And it’s somewhere we take our friends and family when they come to visit, because it is iconic, because the food is fantastic, because you can’t imagine the swell of human life and activity there on a Saturday afternoon unless you see it for yourself.
When news of a terror attack on innocent pedestrians, diners and staff at Borough Market broke last weekend it had a profound affect on many in the restaurant community. We know people who work there, we dined there just last week, we work nearby – it brings the tragedy home to you when you have to text friends to find out if they were there, if they were working that night. What happened last Saturday night was truly shocking and saddening – eight dead and at least 48 injured – but the bravery of ordinary Londoners was incredible. Read our news story on the terror attack here.
What also shone through was the resilience of this city and the people who live here. One man, David Angell, returned to Borough Market’s Arabica the next day to pay his bill and tip staff, saying his experience would only make him want to go out and enjoy London even more. In that spirit we have picked our favourite Borough Market restaurants and stalls – we hope you will pay them a visit soon, we certainly will…
“Arrive early: the queue can be a killer”, but this “simple, easy and unfussy” new Italian near Borough Market (from the team behind Trullo) is “one of the few places worth enduring them” – “amazing, freshly made pasta, and so wonderfully cheap” is the highlight of the “short menu”.
“Great food, with a great story and people behind it!” – after two years of trading outside at Borough Market, this rising street food star has opened a new fixed indoor unit on one of the market’s main byways, Rochester Walk, serving Greek/Cypriot-influenced goat dishes.
“The queues can be ridiculous” for these “shrines to coffee” but “the sheer quality of their beans makes it a first choice” and “service is five-star even when they are manically busy” (i.e. mostly). The famous Borough Market shop suffers “an annoying number of hipsters outside” but otherwise “makes a wonderful place to watch the world go by”, and enjoy “delicious bread and jam” too. All branches serve “a few yummy pastries”.
“Taking the cheese toastie to another level (by using three cheeses, plus onion, leek, and shallots in sourdough bread)” – this Borough Market stall is arguably “the nicest way to take in five or six hundred calories” all in one go, even if “the queuing and purchasing tedium aren’t the best”.
“The best fish pie ever…”, “The best scallops ever…”, “The best fish ’n’ chips ever…” – this “vibrant” café and fish shop provides “memorable” dishes. It’s “excellent value” too, even if “it’s edged upmarket since Borough Market became so highly fashionable”.
“Some of the most inspiring and inspired tapas anywhere” – from a menu featuring “meat, meat, and more meat” – is waiting to be discovered in this “very squished” year-old dive in Borough Market. It’s the creation of alumni from nearby Brindisa, and “brilliant”.
“A terrific oyster selection”… “fabulous dressed crab”… “superb mussels” – such are the “fuss-free” delicacies at these extremely popular, “friendly” and “always buzzing” seafood specialists.
“Excellent Middle Eastern fare” – “delicious, authentic and good value” – can be found at this bustling Lebanese outfit in the “great location” of foodie Borough Market.
Having conquered Spanish cuisine, Barrafina bros Sam & Eddie Hart are setting their sights on the Latino market with this November 2016 Mexican opening, by Borough Market. The venue will primarily be a taqueria, specialising in tacos. To drink there’s to be mezcal, tequila, cocktails and Mexican beers.