Broadway Market, London

Clothes at Broadway Market

When you first visit London, it seems pretty overwhelming. It’s just so immense. You arrive in any airport but London City and find yourself on a train or bus for an hour before you even hit ‘London’ and from then it just stretches indefinitely. The trick once you live there is that it’s just a collection of towns and villages, and the West End. You think you’ll find yourself going from Ruislip to Brixton to Stoke Newington on a daily basis, but in reality you find your area and you stick with it. My area consisted of drawing a 5 mile radius around Clerkenwel, with a heavy focus on Hackney.

Flowers Broadway

Cakes broadway

If Hackney is a village, Broadway Market is its village market. Every Saturday, a selection of stands line the red brick Monty Python set street that joins the Regents Canal with London Fields. The focus is mainly on food, with some clothing, flowers, and fixed gear bikes thrown in. The street itself is lined with cafes, pubs and quirky shops like a wonderful haberdashers, a bookshop and a mixed purpose vintage furniture and wine shop. It is also home to an original pie and jellied eel shop, a local delicacy which I never quite managed to stomach.

Jellied Eels

broadway books

Unlike my other favourite, Borough Market, this is very much a local market with a small town feel. Neighbours find themselves reaching for the last organic rye bread, colleagues from the local graphic design collective split a chocolate brownie. The clientele is divided between the bright eyed and bushy tailed older crowd who got eight hours sleep and are shopping for purple sprouting broccoli, and the younger crowd who have seen better days and just want something deep fried. You will definitely see more than a few people still up from the night before, clutching a banh mi like it’s their last meal on earth.

Banh Mi


The selection of food is great, from standard market fare of roasted pork, falafel and Scotch eggs, to Ghanaian, Persian and Polish. There are stalls selling fresh vegetables, fish, meat, cheese and cakes. You can get all the makings of a dinner party here, or you can just get the hangover food you so desperately need on a Saturday morning. You  pick up a bottle of organic cider in the convenience stores along with the street, where the guys behind the counter will open it for you with a wink. Lunch in hand, you decamp the grass of London Fields, or along the canal.

Roast pig

Ghanaian stall

If that isn’t enough, on the London Fields side of things there are two more markets within a minute walk. First is the largely food based Schoolyard Market at the back of the imposing Victorian Fields School, where the vendors vary from month to month. Further along lies the small and perfectly formed Netil Market selling second hand furniture, records, and knick-knacks, along with some more permanent food stalls. This is home to the Lucky Chip, which has some of the best burgers London can offer.

Schoolyard Market 2

Netil Market

For my part, I have spent many a Saturday morning browsing the stalls but I always return to the same stands and the same favourite: pierogies from the Polish Deli, Banh mi from Banh Mi 11, pies and croquettes from The Pie Cart and bhajis from Gujarati Rasoi. Not all at once. London doesn’t seem quite so intimidating once you have eaten something deep-fried.

Broadway Market, Hackney, E8, London

Schoolyard Market


6 thoughts on “Broadway Market, London

  1. Love Broadway Markets! Speaking of jellied eels, did you try Tubby Isaac’s jellied eels, near Aldgate Tube station? I use to go past every day and try to muster enough courage… I never did and it’s now one of my life’s biggest regrets! My other other favourite market (like you, Borough Market holds pride of place for me) is Columbia Flower Market – also in East London (I lived in the area – love!) which is colourful, local, and filled with East End geezers touting their wares. Great post, brought me back some great memories! xo

    • I never managed to actually eat jellied eels. The boyfriend did, while I looked on in disgust. Even he didn’t much like them and he is a huge eel fan. I lvoe the traditional shops though. Columbia Road was my favourite non-foodie market. I used to go there every Sunday at 2 to pick up the discount flowers they sold at the end. Loved the atmosphere. Glad you enjoyed the post!

    • I have to agree. The markets in London are outstanding. I also loved knowing in London that you could find just about any kind of food from any culture you could think of.

  2. Pingback: The Second London Marathon | Canal Cook

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