Brick Lane Market
It was the turn of Brick Lane Market recently. I’ve been before but not for years. When I first moved to London from Holland, it was one of the only places that sold proper Dutch food. I missed it quite badly at the time and would have probably travelled form London to Birmingham just for that each weekend. Sadly, that stall has disappeared. If anyone knows where I can get satay sauced chips and krokets now, then please let me know. Those bad boys used to make my Sundays.
Food & More
Food is one of the big draws of the Sunday market. You can find anything you fancy along the streets. I personally go for the beef and salad from a stall near the Old Truman Brewery. It’s some of the best beef known to man but I can never remember the name of the stall. But if you want German sausages, Chinese or Indonesian noodles, ribs or a substantial amount of cheese – you’ll find it along these streets. Head to the back of Brick Lane market to Elys Yard and you’ll find more food selections – from pizza to American food trucks, filled with deep fried mac n cheese balls. A friend and I have been known to head to the pizza van at Elys Yard quite often. They do an incredible Nutella pizza. It’ll take your calorie intake for the day, but you probably won’t regret it.
But there’s more to food on the Sunday market. Head inside the Brick Lane Tea Rooms market for unusual crockery and taxidermy. Obvs. Find the Sunday Upmarket and Backyard Market at the Old Truman Brewery, which is a wonderful building all by itself, where you’ll find a brilliant collection of vintage fashion, jewellery, art and bric-a-brac.
Brick Lane is full of interesting shops which you can visit even if it’s not market day, which is held on a Sunday. If you want to go during the week, there are still plenty of shops to explore and things to buy. I love Brick Lane Bookshop – their 2016 bestsellers list says a lot about the area compared to your local Waterstones. We Should All Be Feminists, Milk & Honey and Harry Potter and the Cursed Child all made the list. If you’re after some vintage shopping, don’t forget Hunky Dory Vintage or Rokit. The later is massive and you’ll find some seriously cool vintage pieces.
Brick Lane is, of course, most famous for its curry houses, which are everywhere along the street. But it’s not just curry houses which serve food all week long. Beigel Bake, a throwback from when the area was predominantly Jewish serve some of the best salt beef bagels in England and keep up with the trends by serving rainbow bagels (as seen on last year’s Apprentice shopping task!) Something I’ve not got around to trying yet is the Cereal Killer cafe. Yes, it’ll be the most expensive cereal you’ll ever have in your life, and yes, it’s ridiculously hipster but I can’t help but admire someone who decided that a cafe devoted purely to cereal was a good idea. Oh, and Crosstown doughnuts too, who have a sourdough doughnut and are some of the most Instagram-friendly doughnuts you’ll come across – seriously, have you seen their Chai Tea offering?
Never forget to keep an eye out for all the wonderful street art you’ll pass along the way. The photo above “Mistress May whip you into shape” is one of my favourite posters, just as Jeremy Corbyn dabbing a few streets away is. You’ll find it hard to ever put your phone away from all the snapping you’ll want to do.
When and where?
Brick Lane Market is open on Sundays between 10am-5pm, but of course, most of the stores are open all week. You can get there by getting the tube to Aldgate East (8-minute walk) or Liverpool Street (10-minute walk), or get the Overground to Shoreditch High Street (5-minute walk).