When I moved to London, I knew exactly where I wanted to live. I had spent a few trips living with my sister in Hackney and the area resonated with me. Between the aesthetically-pleasing couples dressed head to toe in organic cotton, to the betting shops on most corners, it had its charm. Organic grocers are dotted everywhere, all selling the famous Hummus chips that every millennial is addicted to and you won’t see one Starbucks for a few miles. WONDERFUL.
East London hosts some of the best and relatively untarnished, food markets London has to offer. Locals visit to get exactly what they know they want. There are very few aimless newcomers, slow-walkers and people dawdling outside stalls blocking you from getting a takeaway coffee which is crucial to any Saturday ritual.
Broadway Market on a Saturday:
Broadway Market happens every Saturday from 9am-5pm. This is the ultra-hipster Saturday morning hangover hotspot. The juxtaposition of girls’ who’ve just finished their Hotpod Yoga Class (conveniently close by) and boys who haven’t brushed their teeth but need their Deeny’s toasted sandwich pronto, is what makes this my favourite East London hangout. My routine involves kicking it off with an americano from Climpson and Sons. Sometime after this, I sink an oyster from Fin & Flounder for my zinc for the week.
Amongst the self-serve olive, truffle mushroom risotto and sourdough doughnut stands, there are plenty of places to secure your fresh produce for the week. My favourite is the fruit stand that has a taster of every apple around. I’m personally a pink lady type of girl.
Be sure to check out Wilder for your natural tinctures and skincare. I’ve read their book and love what they are selling. My suggestion is to grab a pint at The Dove afterwards. You might even be lucky to get some live music outside too.
Come Sunday, I like to spread myself between the Chatsworth Road and Victoria Park market. Both are very different, but both have tons to offer. The sounds of the setup of Chatsworth roads’ market was once my unappointed Sunday alarm.
Chatsworth Road Market on Sunday:
We take a stroll past this one every Sunday. We grab our meat products that will provide one meal for the week. When it’s coming from Downland Produce, you know it’s top-notch. Amongst the plant stand which sells reasonably priced foliage, there are local crafters selling their wares. It’s the perfect market for a pre-birthday/ pre-Sunday lunch at your mate’s house as you can never leave empty-handed. Nothing says “thank you for having me” better than a new house plant that doesn’t break the bank. Triangle is a great store for grabbing a quick gift for someone. However, in my case, that someone is often myself.
Victoria Park Market on Sunday:
Victoria Park market is the unsung hero of Sunday markets. Not very popular with those who don’t live nearby, which is why it’s one of my favourites. It’s the perfect post-park-stroll or, sometimes when I’m feeling ambitious, post-park-run/walk/run pitstop. I’ll never forget my first time having a buckwheat crepe here and feeling closer to heaven than ever. Goats cheese, tomato, walnuts and honey are all enveloped in a crispy, earthy buckwheat crepe. It tasted like a delicious French hug.
This is definitely the place to bring your mates with all the intolerances / dietary restrictions. With vegan pizza, dairy-free curries, gluten-free galettes, and even sulphate-free natural wines, everyone can enjoy a piece of the proverbial pie (unfortunately not the coeliacs but you get my drift.)
These three are all very much ingrained into my London routine. At least 40 minutes of my time are spent waltzing around these spaces deciding what I’m going to try that’s new. Eventually, I settle on what I go for every single week and I wouldn’t spend my weekends any other way.