Who are they?
Borough Market has been trading – in one form or another – for more than 1,000 years, but the bustling market you know and love today really only came into its own in the 1990s, when Neal’s Yard Dairy and Brindisa moved in. Over the many years it’s been open it’s gone through some changes, but the sense of history and community that has always been a key part of London’s oldest food market remains intact.
The area has also become a hub for artisan producers and charitable initiatives, many of whom teamed up with food writer Ed Smith for a celebration of the market, The Borough Market Cookbook.
What’s on the menu?
Anything your heart (or stomach) desires; season permitting, of course. Borough Market’s biggest draw is its seasonal greengrocer stalls, charcuterie producers and cheesemongers, but dotted around the market are plenty of stellar street-food options such as last year’s Foodism 100 winners Gourmet Goat; Roast Hog; and famed doughnuts and sourdough loaves from Bread Ahead. That’s not to mention the array of incredible restaurants and cafés around its edges, including the aforementioned Brindisa as well as Elliot’s, El Pastor, Padella and Monmouth Coffee Company.
What’s more, none of Borough Market’s waste ends up in the landfill, so you can eat your way around knowing that any surplus food will end up in the hands of charity Plan Zheroes or at an anaerobic digestion plant. All cardboard, paper, plastic, glass or wood is recycled, and almost every piece of packaging from the traders is biodegradable or compostable.
Where can I find them?
Wander straight out of London Bridge station and hop over to Southwark Street and you’re there, or it’s close to London Bridge itself if you’re walking. Follow the smell of delicious food being prepared (and the crowds of fellow Borough Market-admirers) and get exploring.
If you want to make a real day of it, start with a coffee from the historic Monmouth, grab lunch at one of the many food traders (we’d suggest a kid goat kofta wrap at Gourmet Goat, for reasons described above), then, after a spot of shopping, while-away a couple of hours at one of the pubs in the market or nearby. Finish with dinner at Padella or El Pastor. London eating truly doesn’t get much better than this.