Borough Market is my favourite place in London. It is lively, vibrant, and full of everything a foodie would love. From food vendors to restaurants to fresh produce. This place has EVERYTHING. We actually spent some time one day here, and then came back because we enjoyed it so much. Located about a five minute walk from the Shard, it’s a convenient spot to kill some time or grab something to eat whilst exploring the oldest food market in London.
There are usually crowds of people bustling through, especially if it’s lunchtime and there will be queues at the most popular vendors. The market itself is pretty big as it has a covered area where the main market is and an uncovered area where there are vendors that sell quick eats.
When you walk into the main market, the first thing you will notice is the small carts that are selling breads and cheeses displayed in the most aesthetically pleasing way possible. Not to mention everything on their cart already looks absolutely delicious and you want to purchase every single item they are selling. The atmosphere is unique, artisanal, and unlike anything I’ve ever seen.
Now, I am a huge fan of Sortedfood which is a YouTube channel and also a business that runs a food club based in London. They the source of my food inspiration and the main reason why I wanted to go to London. They do a variety of series on their YouTube channel introducing the best food in London and I knew I just had to go there. They did a food marathon where they ate 26.2 dishes around London in just 24 hours and they spent some time here at Borough Market. So I decided to try them all… well not all because that pork pie looked massive but I made up for it by eating something else.
Starting with Roast To Go, there was also a queue at the counter. There is an actual restaurant called Roast that is on the second floor serving classic British dishes if you’re looking for a sit-down place. We opted for the sandwich because we wanted to try as much as we could. My mom and I decided to have the beef topside sandwich with horseradish cream. If I’m going to be honest, it was good. But it wasn’t amazing. The horseradish tasted great and it complimented the other flavours however, the roast beef as a little bit under-seasoned. It could have done with a touch of salt to help bring out that beef flavour. But overall, it was good. I would give it a 5/10. Not bad, but there is definitely room for improvement.
The next thing on my list was Scotchtails scotch eggs which was hard to find at first because I was only looking in the main market. But once you go past the stone arch, you will find a load of other vendors that give you so many more options for quick eats like coffees and macarons. I unfortunately got too excited about the scotch eggs and forgot to take a photo but it was delightful. Perfectly cooked eggs with wonderfully spiced pork sausage around it. The breading was beautifully golden and the crunchy texture added another layer to the experience. The two halves of scotch eggs were served on a bed of rocket that gave it a pop of colour and cut through the heavier flavours with its freshness. 7/10
Now I know this seems like a lot of food (and it was), but we had some more. The next stop was Turnips which sells lovely fresh produce and are displayed beautifully. They have a varieties and assortments of fruits and veg that are hard to find in Canada. I’ve never seen so many types of mushrooms and tomatoes in my life.
They had a special stand where they make seasonal dishes. When we were there, they were using their incredible array of mushrooms to make risotto. The main mushroom they use is Organic British Sharpham Park Spelt which they combine with freshly grated parmesan. The mushrooms are first roasted in the smaller of the two wok-type pans and then added to the risotto which was in a HUGE pan. The rice was perfectly cooked and the mushrooms combined with the parmesan was this harmony of umami that just melts into your mouth. The only real critique is that there are some bites that are quite salty but most of it was great. 8/10
The next stop was Fish! which were some pretty bangin’ fish and chips. This was the first of our fish and chips experiences and it was great. Make sure you have an appetite because it was super filling, even between the two of us. I do have a better recommendation for fish and chips that will come later (stay tuned). But this is a fantastic option if that is what you’re craving.
The last of the Borough Market stops was Bread Ahead doughnuts. These aren’t sold at the Bread Ahead stall near the main entrance to the market but at the Bread Ahead Bakery & School right across from Fish!. These doughnuts have a separate stall that’s how good they are. Now listen, I am not exaggerating when I say that their classic vanilla doughnut is the best doughnut I have ever had. You cannot even imagine that it was like. The fluffy dough with the slight crunch of the caster sugar coating on the outside and the smooth airy vanilla custard filling bursting at the seams. It was pure heaven. And it wasn’t too sweet. Now listen, I understand that these aren’t the cheapest doughnuts in the world. At £3 each it is a bit steep but if you’re going to take anything from this blog, please take this: these doughnuts are worth it. If you are worried about loving these after tasting one and wanting more, worry not, they have a deal. 4 for 10 quid. And that is exactly what we did.
We loved these doughnuts so much, that the next day we went back and purchased four more. One of each flavour. Salted caramel and honeycomb (top left) was the sweetest of them all and to be honest, it was my least favourite but if you love caramel, I would definitely recommend it (after classic vanilla, of course). Hazelnut and Almond praline (top right) was delicious and I love hazelnuts and almonds AND praline so you can see that there was no way it could go wrong. Velvet chocolate which was this rich and smooth chocolate-y goodness and ranked second in the best doughnut competition. The last one was the blueberry jam which is a lovely alternative to the usually raspberry or strawberry jelly. I love blueberries and the jam (you’re going to see a trend in these Europe food guides) wasn’t too sweet. It packed a punch when it came to flavour and was balanced by the fluffy doughnut. They were all great but none of them held a candle to the classic vanilla. 10/10
After eating everything, we decided to explore and roam the market for things other than lunch. There was this wonderful trader that sells these wonderful spices. There were so many blends that you wouldn’t think would exist. Like a black cherry spices, beetroot latte, coffee spice, pineapple powder, and get this, bee pollen. I didn’t purchase anything because had about thirty-seven days left of our trip but if this was the last leg, I would be hauling home kilos of their products. London is a dream for a foodie where you can get easy access to the most amazing ingredients and food experiences.
Like I said, Borough Market is my favourite place in London and I had such a wonderful time there. Yes, it is an extremely touristy spot Yes, it’s extremely crowded. Yes, everyone recommends it. They recommend it for a reason. It is definitely worth a visit to grab a not-so-quick lunch.