Borough Market dates back 1,000 years and has evolved over the centuries into a 7 day a week market serving the best of British and international fare. Using my local knowledge I will share the stand-out food stalls, pubs and local attractions. In many ways, it is in a unique location and, arguably, has the tightest cluster of historic attractions outside the West End. You’ll find this list comes in handy on a night out so bookmark it in your browser!
Top Places To Eat at Borough Market
Here’s my recommendation, as a local expert, for Borough Market’s best attractions and food and drink options. Expect some must-visit gems and best-kept secrets amongst the many international street food stalls and eateries. Also, an introduction to Britain’s maritime history and the heritage attractions nearby.
Plant-based | Environment & Sustainability | Local Produce | Vegan Wines
This 100% plant-based restaurant is amongst the London eateries leading the ‘green and clean’ charge. All their ingredients are sustainably sourced from Borough Market traders. Also, they are proudly environment conscious in other ways like waste reduction.
Get there early and try out their selection of plant-based breakfasts! Otherwise, I recommend you check out their intriguing selection of vegan wines. I’d say they are well-matched with their range of ‘green’ meals!
Street Food | Malaysian | Meat & Vegetarian Options | Lots-o-Coconut!
If you’ve never heard of Malaysian clay pot cooking, here’s your introduction right here! This traditional culinary style was established in Borough Market back in 2009. Despite London’s famous rainy days, its name Joli means ‘sun’. So expect a little Malaysian sunshine in the borough of Southwark on your visit.
Malaysians love a little coconut flavouring on their food. For example, their beef rendang is a stew flavoured with coconut milk. Also, you’ll find their dishes often come with servings of coconut rice. For non-meat eaters, there are Pajeri salads and other traditional vegetarian dishes.
Israeli Street Food | Tel Aviv | Pitas | Chocolate Bakka
Shuk is the Hebrew word for street market and this eatery brings all the Middle Eastern promise of Tel Aviv to Southwark’s premier market.
Their food fare is essentially Israeli pitas stuffed with ingredients like lamb sofrito or the smoky flavored fish tagine. There are also sweets and cakes like their chocolate, hazelnut and cookie crumb bakka. It sounds delicious!
Singaporean Street Food | Kopi Tiams | Mix of South-East Asian Cuisine
South-East Asia comes to the borough of Southwark at Mei Mei! The dishes are inspired by Singaporean coffee shops known as kopi tiams.
However, you’ll delight in a broad culinary range that mixes Singaporean, Indonesian and Malaysian styles. If it’s your first time sampling the likes of ox cheek rendang curry, expect the mouth-watering coconut flavouring often used in these South-East Asian nations.
KUBBA – Juma Kitchen
Iraqi Street Food | Handmade | Kubba Dumplings | Fattoush Salad
Iraqi-British chef Philip Juma serves up Iraqi street food with a focus on his signature Kubba dishes. For your information, Kubba is his homeland’s fried and braised stuffed dumplings and his are handmade.
Vegetarians should also check out his fattoush salads. Although originating from Northern Lebanon, you’ll notice they have an unimitable Iraqi/Borough Market culinary quality.
One of London’s Smallest Pubs | London’s Most Expensive Beers | Speciality Beers | International Selection
This pub has two remarkable qualities. Firstly, it is one of London’s smallest pubs. Secondly, it has sold the capital’s most expensive pints. The Rake made national newspaper headlines a few years ago for selling £13.40 pints of beer.
However, this is not a traditional English pub. It mainly sells specialty beers for connoisseur drinkers seeking exclusive craft brews and hard-to-find international beers. Although they sell more decently-priced selections, expect one-off distributor specials that test your bank balance.
Top Things to See Near Borough Market
1086 AD | Gothic Architecture | Charles Dickens | Samuel Pepys
This historic cathedral is quite literally opposite Borough Market. A small back street road separates the two. History buffs amongst you will be interested to know the first reference to a place of worship on this site is in the Domesday Book in 1086.
Notably, it was refounded several times and eventually became St Saviours Church. In 1905 it became Southwark Cathedral. London diarist and historian Samuel Pepys is said to have visited in 1603. The unsubstantiated accounts of Charles Dickens in many historic London landmarks resurface here. But interestingly, Southwark Cathedral supports tales of him attending bell ringing practice here during his early days as a journalist.
The Golden Hinde
British Maritime History | Sir Francis Drake | Museum Ship | Exact Replica | Close To Southwark Cathedral
This monument to one of Britain’s greatest navigators and explorers is about 5 minutes from Borough Market. You’ll soon realise this vicinity is packed with cultural attractions. For instance, Southwark Cathedral is directly opposite the ship. Indeed, no bus or train needed here while touring.
This museum ship is an exact timber replica of the one that Sir Francis Drake used to circumnavigate the world. His expeditions took place between 1577-1580. Below decks, you’ll find replica cannons and sacks of gunpowder. Also, you can experience the cramped living conditions that the crew endured during their gruelling years at sea.
Historic Ruins | Medieval Palace | Bishop of Winchester | Close To Golden Hinde & Clink Museum
Winchester Palace is a stone’s throw from the Golden Hinde. Therefore, it’s also close to Southwark Cathedral. Since all these attractions are literally minutes from each other, I suggest you dine at one of Borough Market’s amazing food stalls first. Then you can begin your mini-tour of local cultural attractions.
This medieval palace was built in the 12th century by the all-powerful Bishop Henry of Blois. It functioned as a residence for travelling bishops on official duties. All that remains now are the ruins of the Great Hall.
Prison Museum | Medieval | Macabre | Wax Figures
This prison dates back to 1144 and is situated in Clink Street, which, of course, is the same name. It’s on the same adjoining stretch of road (but not the same street) as Winchester Palace. So your Borough Market tour can follow a sequential course.
The Clink is also the slang word for an institutional place of confinement. It comes from the name of this historic prison. For all you history buffs, the name refers to the clink sound of the iron shackles around the prisoners’ limbs.
Be warned, it is a deliberately dark and dank museum with the atmosphere of a house of horrors-type attraction. For example, there are many gruesome wax figures chained to the prison walls.
But bear in mind this is the actual prison on the same historic site. Notably, it held many religious prisoners in the sixteenth century during a period called The Reformation when Catholics were in conflict with Protestants.