Is there a better way of travelling around the UK than by embarking on a tour of the best food markets? We think not. Start planning your route now…
In our opinion, Britain is largely underrated when it comes to culinary kudos. Just look at how many wonderful food markets there are around the country, selling fresh produce and world-class street food. Here we select our favourites – your bellies can thank us later!
The Best Food Markets in the UK
Trading six days a week, St Nicholas’ Market houses Bristol’s largest collection of independent retailers and is a go-to for the weekly grocery shop and delicious food on the go alike. The Glass Arcade is the place to go to satisfy your every craving with its wide array of world food on offer, while on Wednesdays the farmer’s market comes along to flog local fruit and veg as well as other local produce.
The historic cathedral city of Winchester boasts one of the biggest farmers’ market in the UK, specialising in local produce as everything on sale comes from within Hampshire or close to the border. And why would anything need to come from further afield, when the county produces such excellent meats, cheese, ice cream, bread, fish, fruit and veg (and much, much more)? It’s a favourite of Rick Stein’s, so keep your eyes peeled…
A classic – for a reason. Borough Market is one of the country’s oldest markets (dating as far back as the 12th century) and attracts hordes of tourists and locals alike. You’ll find a vast selection of produce (some even driven over from France) and a buzzing street food scene which is a hotbed for British culinary talent.
Oxford’s most popular street food market has only been around for a few years, but has already made the all-important move from Brookes to Oxford Castle Quarter. A mecca for foodies far and wide thanks to its top class street food stalls and vans which ooze personality and big flavours. Head down every Saturday for fabulous grub and an even better atmosphere – excellent study fuel, too.
The buzzword du jour is ‘seasonal’, and that’s exactly what Orton Farmers’ Market specialises in. Great for a foodie day out, the market is held on the second Saturday of each month and is themed depending on the time of year. Expect tomatoes and salad for summer in June, picnics and pies in July and burgers, bacon and BBQ specialities come August. All produce comes from within 50 miles of the market, so it’s as local as it gets.
From what is widely considered the best seafood selection in Ireland to the local Armagh beef and award-winning cheeses, St George’s Market has become an absolute must-visit for visitors of the Northern Irish city. One of Belfast’s oldest attractions, the Victorian site was given a much-needed revamp a few years ago and has continued to grow in popularity ever since. Pick up a bunch of colourful blooms on your way out, too.
Selling food ‘from source to city’, Edinburgh’s Farmers’ Market is certainly one of the most picturesque in the country – set against the breathtaking backdrop of the Castle. Pop along on the first Saturday of each month for produce hailing from around the UK as well as the odd cooking demonstration. Particularly pleasant when the sun is shining (one can always hope…).