Its been over 80 years, but the indoor market magic in Tooting has yet to lose its shimmer.
Tooting Market is open seven days a week and is home to a variety of traders, but it’s the food scene that has taken off most recently. Here are some of the reasons you should come hungry…
A Guide to Tooting Market
Koi Ramen: High quality ramen at low prices is the name of the game here. Enjoy shoyu, miso pork, miso tofu and tonkotsu from £6.50 as well as gyoza from £4.50. Reliably good and reliably trendy (seeing as the other outposts have gotten the thumbs up from Pop Brixton and Brick Lane Market).
Franco Manca: London’s love affair with this sourdough pizzeria extends down into South London. With a balcony seating area, this outpost of the restaurant (which employs only Italians) definitely wins in the seating arrangement department. Enjoy tomato, garlic and oregano pizza for £4.95 or Gloucester old spot ham (home cured), mozzarella, buffalo ricotta and wild mushrooms for £7.35.
Unwined: The pop-up ‘A Grape Night In’ has finally settled at this wine shop, bar and kitchen. The space can be rented out for private parties and hosts a variety of special events in addition to a regular rotation. Every Wednesday, in an afternoon session (for mums and dads) as well as an after-work session, visitors have the chance to to join in at a relaxed tasting table. A cheese and wine pairing every other month, the chance to meet winemakers and explore different grape varieties make Unwined the reason to stop wining about lack of local liquor spots.
We Brought Beer: This beer and homebrew general store may have only two fridges, but holds around 200 different canned beers, 3 keg lines for onsite and growler takeaway plus a collection of special bottles. As well as a small drinking space within the unit, there is also a communal area within the market where market-goers can enjoy drinks and have a boogie if thats the mood.
Brickwood Coffee and Bread: is the answer to brunch in Tooting. The Australian themed cafe serves a mean coffee and toastie if you’re on the go. For more leisurely food-instagraming go for the toasted brioche with caramelised banana, strawberries and berry compote or the ‘Kumara’ with sweet potato, feta, poached egg, kale pesto and pumpkin seeds on toast.
Boom Bap Burger: Is it an indoor market without a burger and craft beer joint? So glad we don’t have to find out. Boom Bap Burger makes a splash with its 28 day aged Scottish beef compliments of HG Walter. You’ll find the restaurant ‘flippin’ meats and droppin’ beats’ in the heart of the market with an especially good ‘Drop it like its hot’ green chilli cheeseburger and ‘Notorious P.I.G’ with slow cooked pork (and thats on top of the beef).
Mina Shop: This family-run Portuguese delicatessen, home to traditional Portuguese products, is home-away-from home for anyone missing their national cuisine. From Portuguese cheese; enchidos; cereals, drinks and a cafe, Mina Shop boasts a variety of fresh options.
Nuvola – a little bakery: Opened in September 2016 this boutique bakery was created by Nuvola Tivoli following 8 years of working as a pastry chef. ‘I want to bring to my neighbourhood organic, fresh and daily baked goods that range from traditional cakes, pastries and speciality breads to more original Italian and Mediterranean bakes’ Nuvola says.
Graveney Gin: Graveney Gin is a nano bar that serves its own organic, handcrafted batch gin, as well as other small craft gins from across the world. These pros can guide ginthusiasts and newcomers alike to find their match made in heaven. Using a small but perfectly formed 30L Copper Still, Graveney Gin produces 30 bottles per batch, using botanicals as punchy Juniper Berries, Pink Grapefruit, Gogi Berries, Baobab, Fresh Orange, Orris Root & Angelica Root for a fruity and smooth flavour.
Plot: Serving high-end cuisine in low-key surroundings, Plot is a hidden gem. A short, sharp menu offers British seasonal dishes, which, rest assured, will all be delicious. Set up camp one of the counter seats and you can pretty much see your food being cooked in front of you.
Nearby to the market and worth a mention: Don’t miss Daddy Bao. This steamed-bun-paradise is Tooting’s newest member to the eclectic eateries club. The ever so light and fluffy buns come with fillings that range from slow braised Flock & Herd pork, pickles and peanut powder to beer marinated prawns, pickled mooli and spiced spring onion. The restaurant also touts the most delicious home-made kimchi. Honest Burgers is our idea of the perfect quick bite due to its rosemary chips that can be held accountable for their crispiness. Monthly specials like The Cheese Truck with beef, bacon, deep-fried mozzarella, Old Winchester, chipotle jam, pickles and rocket make monthly visits a wise idea.
Brick & Liquor recently swept Tooting’s Time Out Love London awards and its easy to see the appeal. The cocktail bar is equal parts trendy and comfortable, making it a buzzing spot for night time noshes and drinks and yet, the next morning, a homey spot for weekend brunch. The smashed avocado and salmon is surprisingly not the standard brunch fare you’d expect. Smooth avocado is served with smoked salmon and scrambled eggs: Yes, familiar. But: All is served over a long slice of home roasted focaccia, which has an impressive density, similar to cornbread, and is indeed roasted, with a crispy, buttery outside. It’s like eating an avocado and salmon cake in the best way possible.
For anyone looking to kindle their entrepreneurial spark, see the renting procedures for Tooting Market’s units.
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