Somewhere, in the heart of London, there is a place similar to heaven. It goes by the name of Borough Market. Its pearly gates welcome you with an understated collection of Spanish cuizine and rabbit bombers… But inside you find an even more amazing selection of specialty foods, produce, drinks, and products in the plethora of food stalls and drink kiosks
The first time Borough Market was open for business is said to be from as far back as Roman times. It was first mentioned as a market on High Street in 1276, and has been at its current location on Southwark since 1550. It is a wholesale market on all weekdays from 2am - 8am, but open as a retail market during daylight hours on Thursday, Friday, and Saturdays. In 2010 Borough Market received the award of London’s Best Market, and is one of the largest in the world.
When I first walked down the stairs next to the Southwark Cathedral to enter the market area, I was greeted with large vats of authentic Spanish paella (which I came back for at the end - it was that appetizing), gourmet burgers, and fresh sandwiches.
After walking through the narrow passageway, you are thrust into the bustling market-stall cacophony of aromatic cheeses, heaps of fresh made bread, colorful bins of candy, vats of stuffed olives and garlic, meats and fish from around the world, and so, so much more.
Beers imported from around the world - I search for Spotted Cow (an exclusively Wisconsin brew), but no luck.
Two pigs chilling (no pun intended) with their body parts.
Fresh stuffed olives that I couldn’t walk away from. Ended up with a large jar of caper stuffed, red pepper stuffed, and lemon stuffed olives.
Lunch. Chorizo, rocket, and red pepper sandwich. Amazing.
Before visiting this market, I was not very impressed with the diversity of affordable food in London. Sure, you can find authentic ethnic delicacies at the latest and greatest gourmet restaurants somewhere in between a 50 course tasting menu and your credit limit. But at Borough Market, you can taste the world in 2 hours without zeroing out your bank account.
Along with the diversity and pricing of the food, what I loved about this market was the atmosphere. Granted it was much more crowded that I prefer public places to be, it was easily navigable and there were sitting areas to enjoy your goods. The warm, sunny weather didn’t hurt either. Spending time wandering around the diverse stalls of Borough Market resulted in one of the most enjoyable afternoons I have ever had in London. I will definitely be going back. Although I have to admit - a large reason for my revisit will be be because you can make a meal out of the tasting bits. It puts Sam’s Club to shame in the sample arena.