top of page
  • Writer's pictureMatias

Best London local shops & markets worth a visit

Updated: Mar 7

Finding inspiration and the right ingredients for a dinner party isn’t always straightforward and most of the time, visiting local shops or markets does the trick. The entire experience of interacting with the owners and seeing those ingredients you didn’t even think of when planning your dinner party only happens when you’re there. The colours, variety, smells and conversations with the locals can and always will end up inspiring me to go beyond my initial plan.


The first locations that come to mind when considering amazing ingredients are markets, but in reality, those have turned into tourist destinations. These are now established commercial zones where you will find the same 'popular' stalls, rather than being locations to find locally produced goods and unusual stuff. And the outrageous prices are one of the reasons I no longer enjoy shopping in well-known and fashionable marketplaces. Don't get me wrong; I still enjoy them, but only when I'm out on London's streets getting a quick bite or a drink. I’m referring to the ever trendy Broadway market, Borough market, etc., but there are still three unique markets that still act as a pantry for restaurants and amateur cooks like myself, i.e. Smithfields (meat) Billingsgate (fish) and New Spitalfields Market (groceries and flowers). If you’re an enthusiastic cook and would like to get all those amazing ingredients you see at the well known markets but at affordable prices and even better quality, head to one of these, you’ll thank me later.


Pictures: Billingsgate, Smithfields, New Spitalfields, Broadway, Borough and Seafood stand


However and as with many other good things in life, these markets come with a catch. You need to go early in the morning, between 5:00 - 6:00am the latest. The reward will be huge; you’ll get inspired by the variety of products and enjoy a unique experience, where you can even get breakfast in one of their local cafés.

If you’re not willing to make that ‘early bird’ sacrifice, don’t despair, because I’ve put together a list of my favourite butchers, fishmongers and green grocers. I’ve spent countless hours visiting as many local shops around the North / East London area as possible to find great supplies, which have resulted in the following list of recommendations, including a few hidden gems.

 

Tufnell / Camden

  • Cramers Butcher in York Way. A family run business where you'll find the dad and two daughters behind the counter. Here you can find classic butchery and if you’re lucky, you can get the butchers cut (it might take you a few visits to become a regular and benefit from that).

  • Jonathan Norris Tufnell Park. The best fishmonger in London, period. They have the freshest fish and normally the delivery gets there by Friday morning. You will be able to find stuff you can sometimes only find in Billingsgate.

  • Fam Market grocery. Following years of success, in 2022 they expanded and moved across the road. They now have a bigger shop, offering a wider variety of products, beyond just fruits and vegetab;es.

  • Meat NW5 Tufnell Park. Upscale and going beyond the meat but still offering a fantastic range of meat cuts, from veal to game.


Newington Green

The market corner, everything in one corner off Newington Green, you can find a fishmonger, butcher, grocery and cheese shop, one shop next to the other.

  • All Green Newington Green. This has been one of my favourite grocery shops in London, but the only catch is that you need to keep an eye on prices. Sometimes, a few products might be ridiculously pricey but they do have a fantastic range of seasonal and imported products.

  • Oeno Maris fishmonger. It only opened earlier this year and it’s a fantastic upscale, environmentally conscious and friendly fishmonger. You can grab a glass of wine and oysters, or attend their monthly food and wine tasting events.

  • Stella's butcher. This shop opened more than a year ago and it focuses on a few but quality products. Bonus, every Thursday and Friday they turn the butcher into a bar.

  • Jumi Cheese. An artisan Swiss cheese shop, where you can find chutneys and amazing bread too. An added benefit is that over the Christmas and winter period, they run fondues and raclette nights.


Broadway Market (London Fields)

  • Fin and Flounder fishmonger. Friendly little shop, with a reduced but premium quality offering. For example and when in season, you can find delicacies such as sea urchins.

  • Hill & Szrok butchers (same group of Stella’s in Newington Green). Disclaimer, I have never been to this one, even though I’ve passed in front of it countless times. They offer prime meat but their focus is more on their dining experience.


Essex Road (Angel)

  • James Elliott butcher. Traditional English shop with classic cuts, you can’t go wrong.

  • Steve Hatt Fishmongers. One of the friendliest fishmongers in town and good value for money.

  • Neil’s Yard cheese. Upscale and well known cheese shop with various locations such as Borough Market and Covent Garden.

  • Turner & George butcher. One of the most iconic butchers in the area, not far from Smithfields markets.


Highbury Fields>

  • Godfreys.co butcher. Traditional shop, where you can find a vast variety of prime cuts as well as marinated meats.

  • Bourne's Fishmongers. Premium quality but limited offering. They have one of the best oysters I’ve ever tried.

  • La Fromagerie. Top quality French cheese shop, to complete your shopping in the neighbourhood.


Hampstead


Dalston

  • Sutton and Sons Fishmongers. Convenient and more traditional fishmonger, which also has a fish & chips restaurant in Kingsland and Essex Road.


Stoke Newington

  • Meat N16 butchers. Upscale butchers but a smaller version of the one in Tufnell Park.


 

I hope you like these ones but always happy to hear about other great shops around the area.

Recent Posts

See All

Comments


bottom of page