Billingsgate Fish Market
Open: Tues-Sat 5am-8.30am
Dockland Light Railway: West India Quay
Bus: D6, D7, D8, 277
Billingsgate fish market moved to this modern warehouse location in 1982 from Lower Thames Street in the City, from where it had been trading for nearly a thousand years. The market continues the great tradition of London’s fish trade and still has a great atmosphere. If early mornings are not a problem for you, and you are after the best fish in London, this is the plaice (sorry) to visit for an opportunity to see the largest selection of fish in the United Kingdom.
Daily arrivals from the coast and overseas ensure fresh supplies and, with some 65 merchants trading in close proximity in the market hall, competition is keen. Every type of fish, and seafood you can imagine is here, from white sturgeon and salted cod to Norwegian salmon and lobsters from Canada. Some of the traders are wholesale only, but many will do business with individuals, and it is certainly worth asking. In addition to the wide selection of fish and shellfish, you will also find stalls selling utensils and specialist catering supplies. If you want a bite to eat, there are two cafés on the premises.
New Covent Garden Market
Nine Elms Lane
Open: Mon-Fri 3am-11am, Sat 4am-10am Closed: 24 Dec-5 Jan
Tube: Vauxhall Bus: 2,77, 77A, 88, 322, 344 Mainline Station: Vauxhall
Fee: Cars visiting the market are charged £4 per visit, visit www.cgma.gov.uk
Now located at Nine Elms in Vauxhall, the famous wholesale market now houses some 300 companies in two principle buildings – the Fruit and Vegetable Market, with its annexe, the Pavilion, and the Flower Market. Some 70% of the food available is imported from abroad, so you can find almost anything in the world here in its season.
This is primarily a wholesale market, but individuals are welcome as long as they buy in wholesale quantities – though this can be as little as a kilo of mushrooms. On Sundays, when the main market is closed, there is a small retail food market which offers meats, cheese, eggs, bread and some fruit and vegetables.
Off Stockwell Street
Open: Sat, Sun 9am-5.30pm
Mainline Station: Greenwich Bus: 53, 53X, 177, 180, 188, 199, 286, 386
A visit to Greenwich deserves at least a day: there is the National Maritime Museum, the Greenwich Observatory, the Cutty Sark – and the markets. Sunday is the most popular day for the latter, which offers antiques, bric-a-brac, crafts, books, and new and old clothes in a variety of locations, both under cover and in the open air. Saturday, though, is the day to go for food. By the side of the Village Market, some half a dozen or so traders offer organic foods including olives, olive oils, eggs, cheeses, bread, meats, sausages, fruit and vegetables.
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