Yeah, I said it — London's Borough Market is where your foodie dreams come true. At least that was the case for me during my first (but certainly not last) visit.
Borough Market is for the food lover in you. It’s the perfect place to indulge your senses: sight, taste, smell, touch… it can all be experienced here almost every day of the week. I first ventured to Borough when I was a grad student in the UK, admittedly cynical about London's food offerings. Those doubts were blown away within weeks of living in the city. Here was this place full of competing smells and colors and an endless array of culinary treats. I'm not ashamed to admit I think I spun around in delighted awe the first time I entered the market. And then I whipped out my camera to capture some of what makes this place so great:
Yes, it's full of tourists and likely one of the most popular places to visit in London, but it's also a market for locals. Londoners pick up fresh produce or grab a cup of coffee at Monmouth and a bite to eat from one of the countless vendors. Borough has everything from smoked salmon ravioli to pistachio cake (it's amazing) to my personal favorite, a toasted cheese sandwich with a mixture of three types of cheeses, five kinds of onions and Poilane sourdough bread. I mean, how can one resist this? The truth is you can't. The smell draws you in from yards away and before you realize it, you're joining the line, pulling out a five pound note and biting into this cheesy concoction with immense satisfaction.
There are also options for the foodie who is not so keen on grab and go. The market has several sit-down restaurants scattered around the area, like fish!, a seafood venue with a take away outpost next door. Personally speaking, my preference would be to grab the outpost's £8 fish and chips and find a place to sit and chow down, but if you want to sit in an actual chair with an actual table (totally reasonable request), the restaurant offers the same combo along with mushy peas for double the price.
Borough Market continues to be one of my favorite places to visit in London. It's where my foodie dreams were realized, though now we're thousands of miles apart. But as the saying goes, distance only makes the heart grow fonder.