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Eat your way around London's Markets with Fluid London!

By Jane Venables (05 Mar 17)
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The weather is warming up (slowly but surely) and the daffodils are sprouting their cheery yellow heads which means Spring is well and truly on its way. So why not hop out of hibernation and get on over to one of London's amazing markets to grab yourself a bite to eat (and maybe do a little shopping too!). London is a veritable treasure chest when it comes to markets and we're so fortunate to have such an exciting variety of them. They've also become a hub for food, whether it be the myriad of tempting food stalls dishing up mouth-watering bites to wander around with or one of the restaurants and bars lucky enough to live close to one of them. The Fluid London team thought we'd kick start the new season with a look at a few of London's bigger markets to see what's cooking close by.

Borough Market

A foodie paradise, Borough Market is jam packed with wonderful stalls selling all kinds of fabulous things to eat and has become a rather fashionable hangout over recent years. Its location close to The Shard has helped but it's the outstanding produce sold at London's oldest food market that attracts the crowds, with high quality British produce sitting side by side with amazing products from around the world. If you don't fancy heading home with your wares to cook up a storm in your own kitchen, then why not check out one of the many wonderful restaurants surrounding Borough Market?

The brilliant Roast is well worth a mention, an award winning British restaurant championing the very finest of seasonal ingredients. Many of the markets stalls and producers are supported by this fantastic eatery where views over Borough Market and the dome of St Paul's in the distance only add to its appeal further. Prepare to be impressed!

Another Borough Market stalwart is Tapas Brindisa, a hugely popular Spanish eatery dishing up the very finest of dishes using ingredients imported directly from Spain. Expect top class cured meats, cheeses, fish stews and much more. Oh yes, and expect a queue as this place is always heaving.

Just around the corner from the market is the lovely Elliot's Café, owned by the same duo from the wonderful Pavilion Café over in Victoria Park in Hackney. Seasonal ingredients mostly from the market dictate the menu at this great eatery, with the wood fired oven being put to good use to bring out the very best in them. A Bib Gourmand from Michelin four years in a row says it all!

If you fancy going upmarket (pardon the pun) then take a short stroll down to The Shard and head 31 floors up to the spectacular Aqua Shard. Modern British cuisine is the order of the day here with some of the most spectacular views in the city to match.

Portobello Market

OK, so it may be overcrowded with tourists these days but we still love Portobello Market. Dating back over 150 years, it is famous for its antique and bric-a-brac stalls selling a wide selection of fashion, art, crafts, books and music. Friday, Saturday and Sundays see a mile long stretch of stalls with people selling all kinds of items old and new and the vibe is laid back and friendly. There's plenty to shout about as far as eating out around Portobello Market is concerned too, with some great bars and restaurants to check out if you fancy a bite to eat.

Tucked neatly along the main stretch of Portobello Road, we adore The Portobello Organic Kitchen. This cute little dining room filled with old black and white photos of yesteryears market is just the ticket for a home cooked meal. The kitchen uses first class, locally sourced ingredients and is always busy with satisfied diners.

A legend amongst Portobello eateries, Electric Diner sits next to the Electric Cinema and serves up a mouth-watering French-American menu of easy eats. The red leather booth seating against exposed brick walls offer a cool setting in which to grab a bite.

The brilliant Goode & Wright certainly hit all the right notes with their exciting globally inspired menu of small sharing plates. The perfect little neighbourhood eatery, Goode & Wright offer up a creative set of dishes including the amazing hake ceviche with almond milk and kimchee crumb. Oh and don't forget to check out their brunch too - perfect for weekend dining after a browse around the market.

A great market boozer which also happens to serve some pretty good food, The Duke of Wellington is always a winner in our eyes. Expect retro rock and roll memorabilia, award winning ales and beers and a mixed clientele of locals and tourists at this Portobello landmark. Oh, and don't forget to try the signature lamb Wellington – it's divine!

Old Spitalfields Market

Even if it rains, Old Spitalfields Market has a roof so it's the ideal all-weather London market to head to, especially if you love your fashion, art and jewellery. Expect up and coming designers touting their wares and plenty of vintage clothes to browse through at this popular London market. You're also spoilt for choice when it comes to eating too, with some great places to eat in the market and the surrounding area.

You may be in London, but the amazing Taberna do Mercado brings the authentic flavours of Portugal to the table with award winning chef Nuno Mendes inspiring menu of traditional Portuguese tapas. Perfect for sharing and accompanied by a stellar Portuguese wine list, this is the place to head to with friends for a lazy post market lunch.

If you fancy something a little more British, then Poppies Fish & Chips is bang on. This award-winning stalwart of Spitalfields is always brimming with punters, all there for some of the best fish & chips in London. The fish is the finest sourced from Billingsgate and the chips are fluffiest and crispiest. Oh, and they also serve jellied eels for those who want some proper East End grub!

Just around the corner from the market heading towards Brick Lane, The Frog E1 is an exciting dining proposition from hot young chef Adam Handling. His eclectic menu has taken the foodie world of London by storm yet the restaurants laid back vibe and cool interiors mean it fits right in with its trendy surroundings. Beer comes from local microbreweries whilst the daily changing five course taster menu always delights and surprises.

If too much market browsing has left you with an aching hunger, then one of Hawksmoor's mouth-watering steaks might just be the solution. This Spitalfields outlet of the award-winning Hawksmoor steakhouses that have taken London by storm is a fine choice for those who want to tuck into something hefty after a stint at the market. Expect the finest cuts of meat, great British puds and a brilliant cocktail bar to boot.

Camden Market

With over 1000 stalls selling music, fashion, clothes, food and so much more, Camden Market is probably the number one market destination for visitors to London. It may be a bit of a tourist hot spot but we all love Camden Market for its special vibe and it's no nonsense attitude. We also love to eat and there are some brilliant options when it comes to grabbing some food over Camden Market way.

Camden restaurant legend Gilgamesh in The Stables Market dishes up Pan Asian cuisine in the most ornate and decadent of surroundings. Even if the décor isn't your cup of tea, the food is simply superb and the main reason this eatery has such a huge following.

For an American style chow down, Porky's BBQ has to be the number one choice in Camden, with a menu filled with classic southern barbecue treats including ribs, pulled pork and chicken. Expect huge portions, plenty of flavour and a bar full of craft beer.

With a restaurant, bar and basement club, Miusan fits right into its Camden surroundings, offering a decadent but fun style with velvet seating and brocade drapery. Tuck into delicious Pan Asian cuisine at this cool Camden restaurant, knock back a cocktail or two and head downstairs to dance the night away.

Popular Camden music venue The Blues Kitchen is always a top choice for a bite to eat in the area, dishing up a southern style BBQ menu to an eclectic group of hungry diners. The bar is always heaving thanks to the craft beers, classic cocktails and southern Bourbons whilst rhythm and blues is played late into the night.

Of course, we've only just scratched the surface, there are loads more great places to dine close to these top London markets so keep an eye out for our Top Ten lists on where to eat close by to each as well as Top Ten's on many of London's other fantastic markets!

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