Street food is always evolving.
It’s a fast-moving, exciting industry and London’s best food halls, markets and stalls are ideal for experiencing it first hand. The capital is a melting pot of up-and-coming vendors pushing the boundaries, often in kitchens the size of a wardrobe. Many of them are trying a new concept, like duck confit burgers or the UK’s only cheese conveyor belt. Others have picked one dish like mac and cheese, then honed it to perfection. Others still aim to showcase perhaps less seen (and tasted) cuisines such as Uzbek or Guyanese.
One virtue of street food is the amount of choice there is. Food halls and markets typically have at least 20 vendors to choose from, often with a huge amount of variety between them. It’s almost daunting, wandering around browsing the sights and smells, trying to decide which kiosk best deserves your custom. We all know the feeling of deciding, ordering and the food arriving, only to then see an even better dish go past.
This is why street food is best enjoyed in groups. That way you and a team of fellow foodies can cover as many bases as possible. Some places are historic markets, soaked in history and boasting beautiful architecture, while others are more modern concepts, offering live music, DJ sets and more. Either way, these food hubs make great places for a day (or night) out, with any size of group (or a date for that matter).
We’ve scoured the city and picked our absolute favourites, including both indoor food halls and outdoor markets. Each one has a summary of why we like it, which cuisine it is, our favourite dish, where to find it, and a link to some more info. What more could you need? So, let’s dive into the best street food in London.
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The best indoor food halls in London
As we all know, you can never rely on nice weather in London. Luckily, these food halls all have a roof!
Mercato Metropolitano, Elephant and Castle
Mercato Metropolitano’s name might suggest that this food hall is all Italian. Actually, the name comes from the market's first location in Milan, and Mercato has over 40 traders serving up global food. While there is plenty of Italian food (artisanal pizza, pasta and Italian craft beer just to name a few), there is also Vietnamese, Venezuelan, Japanese, Uzbek and more. There are multiple cocktail bars and beer stalls, a huge covered outdoor area, an on-site microbrewery and even a hidden music theatre. And, when it first opened in 2016, it was London’s first sustainable community market. Located in Elephant and Castle, not far from the station, this is one of south London's biggest and best food halls.
Don't miss: The thali at Tandoori Tadkaa
Where: 42 Newington Causeway, London, SE1 6DR
Find out more: Mercato Metropolitano
Bang Bang Oriental, Edgware
Often referred to as ‘big enough to rival Chinatown’ or ‘the Now That’s What I Call Music! of Asian Dining’, this oriental food hall has a serious amount of choice (24 kiosks, to be exact), as well as 450 seats. Taste Malaysian nasi goreng from Coconut Tree, Japanese Okayodon from Ichiban, Chinese dumplings from Xi Home and much, much more. The only catch when it comes to Bang Bang oriental is that it’s not quiute as central as the other halls and markets on this list.
Don't miss: Pork dumplings at Xi Home
Where: 399 Edgware Road, London, NW9 0FH
Find out more: Bang Bang Oriental
Tooting Market, Tooting
Probably the most affordable market on this list, Tooting Market has won numerous awards including Best Small Indoor Market and Wandsworth Business of The Year. Aside from chains like Franco Manca, there are lots of independent kiosks offering a huge range of global food including Guyanese and Mauritian. Don't miss the wine bar Unwined, which turns out great small plates alongside a lovely range of wines.
Don't miss: The jerk chicken wrap at The Lone Fisherman, a glass of Lismore 'The Age of Grace' Viognier at Unwined
Where: 21-23 Tooting High Street, London, SW17 0SN
Find out more: Tooting Market
Mercato Mayfair, Mayfair
The second member of the Mercato family, Mercato Mayfair is housed in a Grade-I listed church on North Audley Street. The two-floor space is home to authentic global cuisine, including artisanal gin, bao buns, pad thai, pizza and more. It also boasts a rooftop terrace, wine cellar and community space in the basement. There are even free music classes and performances for all ages, with the aim of making jazz and opera available to local families. Walk-ins are welcome, although booking is recommended for larger groups.
Don't miss: The rotisserie chicken pita at Rico Coco
Where: St Mark’s, North Audley Street, London, W1K 6ZA
Find out more: Mercato Mayfair
Seven Dials Market, Covent Garden
Seven Dials was street food incubator KERB’s first step indoors. This glass-roofed, airy space in Covent Garden is home to a range of up-and-coming vendors. Downstairs, you’ll find communal tables and street food, while upstairs is more countertop cafés. Vegans can chow down at Club Mexicana, cheese-lovers can enjoy the world’s first cheese conveyor belt at The Cheese Bar, and carnivores can enjoy nose-to-tail BBQ delights at From The Ashes. Drinks-wise, Bar Nana serves up tropical cocktails and Gipsy Hill beers, while the Chai Guys serve authentic cups of aromatic tea. There’s even a bookshop!
Don't miss: The guava-glazed wings at El Pollote
Where: 35 Earlham Street, London, WC2H 9LD
Find out more: Seven Dials Market
Kingly Court, Carnaby
Kingly Court is a three-floor, alfresco food court in the heart of Carnaby. Well, there are three floors to the untrained eye. Actually, there is a fourth floor below ground, which is home to the tube station-themed speakeasy Cahoots. On the ground floor, you’ll find the main communal eating area, with staple restaurants like Shoryu Ramen, Pizza Pilgrims and The Good Egg. One up, you’ll find some lesser-known gems like Señor Ceviche, which specialises in Peruvian-Japanese fusion. Ascending further still, you’ll find Imad’s Syrian Kitchen, more foodie favourites and even a yoga studio.
Don't miss: The chifa chicharrones (slow-cooked pork belly with smoked sweet potato puree and chancaca soy) at Señor Ceviche
Where: Kingly Street, London, W1B 5PW
Find out more: Kingly Court
No street food list would be complete without a pile of shipping containers. Boxpark Shoreditch is branded as a pop-up shopping mall, but really it’s a food market too. After perusing the exterior level of shops, head inside for some quality dining. There’s a real range here, from healthy acai bowls to not-quite-so-healthy burgers and pizzas. For dessert, there are churros, cookies, frozen yoghurt and soft-serve ice cream, and the bar will keep your cups full throughout your visit. Keep an eye out for the new Boxparks popping up all over London.
Cuisine: Street food
Don't miss: Smoked pastrami bun with creamy slaw and sweet dill pickles at Salt Shed
Where: 2-10 Bethnal Green Road, London, E1 6GY
Find out more: Boxpark Shoreditch
Peckham Levels, Peckham
It would be pretty reductive to call Peckham Levels just a food hall, since it’s also a club, venue and community centre, with classes, workshops, gigs and more happening across its seven floors. But, since it does have some great street food, it still deserves a place on this list. Aside from the drinks courtesy of Near & Far, there is a curated selection of food here, including Neapolitan pizza, Korean fried chicken, jerk chicken and more. Don’t miss the rooftop bar on the seventh floor, boasting some of the best views in south east London.
Cuisine: Street food
Don't miss: Gochujang fried chicken at Green Choy (paired with a margarita from Near & Far)
Where: 95A Rye Lane, London, SE15 4ST
Find out more: Peckham Levels
Market Hall, Victoria and Oxford Street
Another big hitter in the street food game, Market Hall offers over 200 dishes across its two (soon to be three) prime locations. Each hall is different, so we recommend checking out both (and the Canary Wharf one when it opens). However, they all have a bar, delicious food traders, plenty of communal seating and great transport links.
Cuisine: Street food
Don't miss: Roti canai at Gopal's Corner (sister to Roti King)
Where: 9 Holles Street, London, W1G 0BD; 191 Terminus Place, London, SW1E 5NE; 25 N Colonnade, London, E14 5HD (coming soon)
Find out more: Market Hall Victoria, Market Hall Oxford Street
Arcade Food Hall, Oxford Street
Arcade Food Hall is being reimagined by Michelin-starred JKS Group, whose success stories include Bao, Berenjak, BiBi, Brigadiers, Gymkhana, Hoppers and more. So far, two of the soon-to-be residents have been announced, both coming from chef Luke Farrell. Plaza Khao Gaeng will be a southern Thai eatery offering primarily curry and rice dishes, while Bebek! Bebek! will be a street food stall turning out Indonesian dishes grilled over charcoal. We can't wait for it to open!
Where: 103-105 New Oxford Street, London, WC1A 1DB
Find out more: Arcade Food Hall
The best outdoor food halls in London
If the sun comes out, head to these outdoor food havens ASAP. We never know how long it will last!
Pop Brixton, Brixton
A kind of hybrid food hall/market, Pop Brixton has remained immensely popular since it opened. A Swiss army knife of a pop-up, this open-air ring of shipping containers boasts bars, cafes, street food, restaurants, a music venue, a barber, a record shop and much, much more. You can truly sample global cuisine with stalls representing every continent, as well as a good selection of places to drink. Don’t miss out on the music here though - it’s often free and always good.
Don't miss: The paneer saag burger at Baba G's
Where: 49 Brixton Station Road, London, SW9 8PQ
Find out more: Pop Brixton
Southbank Centre Food Market, Bankside
Another south London stalwart, the food market at the South Bank Centre is well-established in the street food sphere. Thanks to its proximity to the river, the market is a firm favourite for first dates (with so much choice, there’s plenty to talk about). There’s a good range here when it comes to portion size: from dinky pasteis de nata at Galeta all the way up to duck confit burgers with goats’ cheese and truffle honey. There’s plenty to drink too, including a range of beers at The Hop Locker and sparkling wines at Grays and Feather. There isn’t much seating, though, so watch out for spillages.
Don't miss: The dosa chaat at Horn OK Please
Where: Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London, SE1 8XX
Find out more: Southbank Centre Food Market
Berwick Street Market, Soho
This bustling market in Soho dates back to the 18th century and shows no signs of slowing down. Boasting sound 25 food vendors at any given time, there is always plenty of choice here. Be sure to check out every stall before you make your decision, otherwise you risk the dreaded food FOMO. Big bites include burritos at Freebird, wraps at Jerusalem falafel and halal curries at Afghan Delights. Smaller bites include pastries at Continental and hot drinks at Filthy Coffee.
Don't miss: Falafel wraps at Jerusalem Falafel
Where: Berwick Street, London, W1F 0PH
Find out more: Berwick Street Market
Vauxhall Food and Beer Garden, Vauxhall
Vauxhall has always been a fun and rowdy place, and this food and beer garden is no exception. Since it opened in 2014, this garden has been celebrating great food, drinks, culture, music and comedy. Visitors can sip at the Smirnoff bar, or watch the magic happen in the various open kitchens. There are lots of different booking types here, including bottomless brunch, happy hour, sports tables, limitless booze and even exclusive hire of the whole space.
Don't miss: The pork wrap at Get The Greek
Where: 6A South Lambeth Place, London, SW8 1SP
Find out more: Vauxhall Food and Beer Garden
Jubilee Market, Covent Garden
While it doesn’t have as much food choice as other markets and food halls on this list, there’s no denying how nice Jubilee Market is for a little stroll. A favourite of visiting tourists, there are kitsch stalls to buy jewellery, fudge and posters from as well as hot food kiosks. Tutti Frutti offers visitors smoothies and juices to drink and waffles to eat, perfect for breakfast. Later in the day, you might want to check out Prima Sapori D’Italia, which turns out classic Italian dishes.
Don't miss: A savoury crepe, followed by a sweet crepe at La Creperie
Where: 1 Tavistock Street, London, WC2E 8BD
Find out more: Jubilee Market
Borough Market, London Bridge
Arguably the most famous food market in London, Borough Market needs little introduction. Originally a wholesale market, this prime London Bridge location is now home to street food, restaurants, bars, coffee stands and more. Popular chains like Brindisa, Bao and Bob’s Lobster have set up shop here, while street food stalls include Flat Cap Coffee, Gourmet Goat (Cypriot) and Joli (Malaysian).
Don't miss: Oysters at Richard Haward
Where: 8 Southwark Street, London, SE1 1TL
Find out more: Borough Market
London food halls coming soon...
Street food is always evolving, so we've included some places so cutting edge they're not even open yet.
The UK’s first African food hall will open later this year, orchestrated by TGP International, a global hospitality firm. Their previous projects include the critically-acclaimed 3 Henrietta Street. Alexander Smalls, a New York-based chef, however, is the mastermind behind the food itself. Exactly which food stalls will have a spot in Alkebulan is not decided yet, but we can certainly expect a range of top-notch African food vendors. There will also be live music and entertainment at Alkebulan, so we’re really looking forward to it.
Find out more: Alkebulan
If you're looking for something a little more lively, check out our list of fun places to eat in London.