We like to wax poetic about the fantastic markets in London. They are truly one of the best things about the city and we make a point to visit as many as we can. When spring is springing, the markets come to life – new vendors join the ranks, stalls overflow with produce and blossoms, and performers come out to entertain the crowds. The opening of the seasonal markets in May proclaims the unofficial start of the summer season.

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On one of the first warm and sunny Saturdays in April, we made our first visit of the year to Broadway Market, one of the lesser known market darlings. If forced, I’d say it’s my favorite market of them all.  This region of the city, south of London Fields, has undergone a transformation of sorts recently and the market is one of the crowning jewels of the gentrification. While my focus is clearly on tasting as many offerings as possible as we wander, I also love looking in the windows of the busy shops that line the street. In particular, there are three small bookshops along the stretch, and I love getting lost in the stacks.

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My favorite way to experience Broadway market goes something like this: iced Vietnamese coffee, banh mi or pho from the amazing Vietnamese stall at the end, a sample of something new (crepe, or falafel, or pulled pork), and then a takeaway treat from one of the fantastic bakery stalls, usually in cupcake form.

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There is a newer market within five minutes of Broadway called Netil market, which we also visited on this warm April day. It is best known in town as the birthplace of Bao, the bao restaurant that Drew is obsessed with. But it also is home to fantastic BBQ, a tea cake shop, lots of fun vintage clothes, homemade soaps, lotions and candles, and even doughnuts. You bet I’ll be coming back for one of those.

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  • June 2, 2015

    One of the things that I was saddest to say goodbye to when we left Asia was the incredible markets you find everywhere… and then we landed in London and I realized that the markets there were just as wonderful as the ones we had left behind! I mentioned in one of your recent posts that some of our best food memories of the city were had at the markets there, and I definitely stand by that. From 2×1 Pimms to incredible roast pork belly sandwiches and some of the best pancakes ever, London markets made us very happy indeed! We only visited 2 during our time in the city, but on our next visit, I’m going to make it a priority to visit many more.
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    • June 3, 2015
      Julie

      OMG, you’re right about the 2-for-1 Pimms. Those are THE BEST. And now that we’re in June with the strawberries everywhere, the Pimms start flowing. Next time you’re in town, just email me and I’ll give you my crazy Excel list of all of the markets to visit!

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