In this post, I’ll review the places in Borough Market I’ve tried, let you know what I think, and tell you if they’re worth the money!
About Borough Market
When I lived in London, I was lucky enough to live next to one of my favourite places in the world: Borough Market. It’s located in Southwark, close to Shakespeare’s Globe, Southwark Cathedral, London Bridge and The Shard. It has been located there since the 13th century, with traders selling grain, fish, vegetables and livestock. Today, there are over 100 stalls that sell local as well as international foods. All of them are amazing and most even give out free samples. While the produce and cheeses can get a little pricey, the prepared meals are affordable for a meal out in London. I’ll guide you to the best of them.
Upon entering the market, your senses will be immediately overwhelmed by the crowds, smells, and the myriad of options before you. I always head straight to the row of food stands running parallel to the Southwark Cathedral fence. Here you’ll be able to purchase just about any meal from around the world: English pies, roast hog, Balkan Bites, Ethiopian food, German food, Indian food, Boston sausages, soul food, Asian food, Egyptian food, salt beef, and so much more.
Easily one of my favourite meals in London. And also the best (and most) food for the best value! This always-crowded stand will draw you in with its oversized sautée pans cooking delicious-smelling chicken and beef.
For £4 you get rice, chicken and two vegetables filled to the brim in a paper box. It is the most filling meal for the least amount of money I have been able to find in London so far! For an extra 50p you can get beef instead of chicken and for an extra pound and a half you can get a large portion with meat, bread, rice and three vegetables, although I’ve never needed that much food!
The food is flavourful and should be one of your first stops at Borough. Fair warning: the beef is spicier than the chicken. They don’t make it to the market on Saturdays though.
Nana Fanny’s Hot Salt Beef & Falafel
My first ever salt beef experience was a fantastic one. The salt beef is hot, delicious, and tender and the sandwiches, either served on a bagel (£5) or on rye bread (£5.95) have pickles, English mustard, and cabbage. You can add cheese, which is melted on with a blowtorch, for a completely worth it 50p.
The salt beef is added to the sandwich by weight, so everyone gets the same amount. Due to the price difference, you get more meat with the rye bread than you do with the bagel. You can’t go wrong with either choice.
I haven’t personally had their falafel, but for £5 you get only 3 falafel balls and, after my experience in Paris with a pita filled with 8-10 falafels, it’s definitely not worth it in my opinion. I know people who have purchased their falafel and liked it, I just can’t shell out the money for it when I already know the magic of l’As du Falafel in Paris!
This place is perfect for a light snack or a small meal. Made on site, their light and flaky bourekas (börek) (basically phyllo dough filled with different ingredients), are served warm. I usually opt for the potato and onion one but they also have spinach and cheese and a three cheese one.
Each individual boureka is £3, but for £5.50 you can add chickpeas and some of the best hummus I’ve ever eaten to create a little meal. It’s good enough to eat plain with a spoon.
It is very interesting to see the hog you’ll be eating roasting over a spit right before you are served. I was able to put that fact behind me to try what I discovered was a very delicious meal.
The roast hog is served either in a wrap or on ciabatta bread with applesauce and drippings. The amount of meat varies with who is serving you, so sometimes it’s not worth the money.
Inside the market…
Upon leaving the area by Southwark Cathedral, you’ll enter the fully-covered portion of the market, filled to the brim with food options. Many stalls simply hold fruit and vegetables, cheeses, truffles, or meats, but there are many meals to be found!
Your first option can be seen in the left of the above picture. The chicken wrap and chicken burger are both fantastic, filling options. The queue is never too long and you won’t shell out more than £6.50.
The chicken in the wrap is pulled and tender, while the chicken in the burger is formed into a patty. Both are freshly prepared by friendly staff and served with mayo, a sweet and sour sauce, and chicken skin.
More Salt Beef & Burgers
If Nana Fanny’s salt beef is not to be seen (which is unfortunately the case sometimes), walk to the Butchers stand, which can also be seen in the above picture, at the centre.
While this salt beef sandwich isn’t as good, it’s still worth it to get that craving from your system. The beef is pulled, not sliced, and is served on rye bread with the usual pickles and English mustard. You will be served a lot of meat at this stand, so come with an empty stomach!
At the same stand, you can also purchase a large, greasy burger. While it will be one of your more expensive (and unhealthy) meals at Borough, they are freshly prepared in front of you. Add whatever toppings you want, and even make it a double decker.
Bread Ahead Bakery
Not necessarily a meal, but a delicious snack nonetheless, head to the Bread Ahead Bakery stand for what is continuously ranked one of the best doughnuts in London.
You’ll shell out a completely worth it £2.50 for a soft, sugar-coated doughnut filled with the perfect amount of jam. Try to resist purchasing a second!
Konditor & Cook
Not a stall inside Borough, but still right by the market, I still had to mention this place. Supposedly they have fantastic hot chocolate but I love their mince pies (voted best in London). They’re also the cheapest I’ve been able to find on sale individually at £1.20. Definitely stop by here after you enjoy your Borough Market meal, either for mince pies or another delicious baked good!