Weekend Plans for a Foodie in London: Karolina takes us on trip round the world famous Borough street food market.
If you have ever been to a Farmer’s Market, imagine that on a much larger scale. Your trip starts at the tube station across the road, London Bridge Station to be exact. After crossing the street and finding yourself in a busy crowd, you notice that (unfortunately) everyone is heading the same direction you are. The direction of the Borough Market, but if everyone is going there, it must be worth it! You move with the crowd down some stairs and enter a garden area with little shops, shops advertising venison burgers, sangria in jugs, steaming pots of soup and rice mixed with sizzling vegetables, and people chatting away at high top tables.
Once you emerge from this crowded space, you officially enter Borough Market! The first thing you see on your left is a shining coffee booth, boasting some of the most delicious and responsibly-made espresso around. The prices are average, about two pounds for one cup, but you don’t stop because you have decided to see everything before choosing your favorite dish.
The right side of the square looks appealing, packed with lunch options that range from healthy Egyptian street food to miniature shepherd’s pies or Mediterranean meals. There are many delicious options for vegetarians and vegans as well, with a whole cart selling an assortment of tasty vegan burgers and salads. Everything is made on the spot so you catch a whiff of each stall as you walk by it, the scent of curries and grilled meat making your stomach grumble.
It’s time to see what the rest of the place offers, so you move towards the middle. Here one booth has only pastries, another delicate chocolate truffles, and many more booths with gourmet cheeses and breads. Bright Turkish Delight catches your eyes and a man in a striped apron hands you a sample of pistachio gooey delight. Next to that booth is a man selling a variety of hot peppers, and across from him you smell the fresh fish before you see it.
But this is just the first outdoor section. You fight the crowd to cross the street and enter the larger part of the market with a beautiful glass ceiling. The wooden beams and occasional wall are green, matching the abundance of vegetables and fruits that are on display. Each large stall has a smaller stall selling pure fruit juices. One stall is even cooking soup on the spot in large pots, and you can see all the ingredients that are being added right in front of you. Every arrangement of produce is set up just right to appeal to your hungry eyes. Around the corner in a side area is a stall with more Turkish delight and Turkish coffee. Next to this booth there are stalls selling every possible kind of olive oil.
You finally settle on some large, bright oranges (cheap) and an egg sandwich (also cheap). You’re simple and thrifty and don’t want to spend too much the first time. You’ll be back to this gastronomic paradise, which is open almost every day between 10:00 and 5:00. Next time you’ll treat yourself to a juicy burger (or vegan burger!) and a large bag of Turkish delight, and maybe a cappuccino as well? You can sip it on a bench under the trees. The options are endless. You walk through a tunnel on your way out, admiring the painted signs thanking you for your visit. Until next time Borough Market!
This content was contributed by Karolina Klata, who is studying abroad this Spring on an AIFS Customized Faculty-Led program in London, England through the London Study Abroad Consortium.