top of page
  • Writer's pictureIna

Borough Market – London's Most Vibrant Food Market

Updated: Apr 28, 2023

History, food, buzzing atmosphere, welcome to London’s most effervescent shelter from the bad weather. Whether you’re a local, an excited tourist, or a famous chef, the Borough Market is perfect for stocking up on fresh produce for the week ahead, catching up with your mates, or simply widening your gastronomic horizons. Let’s see what makes Borough Market a must-visit place for everyone.

Centuries-old History

First of all, Borough Market’s history spans over a millennium, no wonder it’s widely considered London’s oldest wholesale and retail food market. It originated around 1000 years ago, at the foot of London Bridge and it moved to its current location in 1756. During the 19th century, due to its tactical position near the riverside wharves of the Pool of London, it became one of London's major food markets.

Although it currently sells produce to the general public, in the 20th century, it was the main supplier of specialty foods along with Covent Garden, being a wholesale market selling fresh fruits and vegetables in quantity to retail greengrocers.

Spectacular Architecture

The quaint buildings were designed between 1851 and 1860s by Henry Rose. Many of them have been refurbished and modernized over time, preserving the market's rich architectural history. In 1932 an Art Deco entrance was added on Southwark Street. Overall, the market's architecture reflects a seamless mix of styles, old and new, including Victorian, Art Deco, and Modernist influences.

One of the most notable buildings is the Floral Hall, which was built in the 1860s and is now home to a number of specialty food stalls. The building features a stunning glass roof that allows natural light to flood in, creating a bright and welcoming atmosphere.

Another notable building is the Market Hall, which was built in the 1850s and is now home to a variety of vendors selling fresh produce, meats, cheeses, and more. The building features a grand entrance with ornate ironwork and a clock tower that adds to the market's historic charm.

Massive Size

The renowned market is one of the largest food markets in the capital: it covers about 4.5 acres and features over 100 stalls. Its space is divided in three main areas: Green Market (small, specialist produce traders), Three Crown Square (larger producers and merchants), and Borough Market Kitchen (street food traders). But don’t think this is everything – the surrounding streets feature a complementary blend of equally tempting bars, restaurants, and shops.

Striking Diversity

The secret to its colossal popularity? There’s something for taste buds of all walks of life to be found in this historic icon of the City of London. If you’re a chef, an explorer, or a hungry Londoner looking for a delicious cheese toastie, here you’ll find the freshest local and international ingredients, gourmet food, alongside mouth-watering dishes from all over the world that you can take away or eat on the spot – yes there are plenty of tables where you can unwind and just dig into the tastiest bites ever.

Uk, Europe, and Beyond

Stallholders from all over the UK and Europe trade at the market. Amongst the produce on sale are fresh fruit and vegetables, cheeses, jams, meat, sweets, olive oil, beautiful pastries, baked bread, meat, fish, coffees, oysters, pies, honey, cakes, smoothies, and ciders. If you’re looking for interesting, beautiful, and specialty foods, this is your place.

Cinematic Links

Borough Market and the surrounding area were a film location for many movies, including Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998), Bridget Jones's Diary (2001), Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004), and The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus (2009).

Where is Borough Market?

Borough Market is conveniently located on Borough High Street and Southwark Street just south of Southwark Cathedral on the southern end of London Bridge, which means it’s right in the heart of London.

What day is Borough Market open?

The retail food market is open Monday to Friday from 10 am to 5 pm, Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sundays from 10 am to 3 pm.

Is Borough Market worth visiting?

Borough Market is not just one of the most amazing places to visit in London, especially if you’re a foodie - it’s also one of the best food markets in the world. With dozens of wonderful shops, stalls, cafes, restaurants, and pubs it’s always a fun experience for both tourists and local visitors.

From cheese to lavender, tea, or coffee, you’re spoilt for choice. The selection of fresh hot food stalls is equally impressive and there’s open-air seating which means it’s perfect for weekend outings or just a quick bite. Prices are reasonably high but not exorbitant. When visiting during the weekend, make sure you go early to avoid the crowds.

What's the best day to visit Borough Market?

Since not all vendors trade on Monday and Tuesday, the best time to visit Borough Market is between Wednesday and Saturday when you get the full experience. Don’t forget that on Sundays, the market runs only from 10 am to 3 pm and street food is not available.

Is Borough Market indoors?

Borough Market is an indoor food market dotted with atmospheric halls, passageways, and plenty of al fresco dining spaces. Such a pleasure to explore in any weather, all year round.

📍 8 Southwark St, London SE1 1TL.

⏰ Borough market opening times: Monday - Friday (10 am - 5 pm), Saturday (8 am - 5 pm), and Sunday (10 am - 3 pm).

🚇 Borough Market is right beside the London Bridge rail terminal and London Underground station (for the Jubilee line and the Northern line (Bank branch). *All photos were taken by Ina/WithinLondon, unless stated otherwise.


bottom of page