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Oct 27, 2007 04:38 PM

Borough Market in London: where to eat?

My wife and I will be visiting London in December for a wedding and are anxious to visit Borough Market. During that visit to the market, any recommendations as to where to eat?

At the Ferry Building in San Francisco, we consistently go to Hog Island Oysters and the Slanted Door. Would like to add favorites in London as well. Any cuisine/style (pubs, cafes, counters, restaurants) is fine so long as it is delicious.

Thanks for your help.

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  1. The Raclette guy. Cheese sandwiches. Delicious. Or the cheese and potatoes and little guerkins.

    Brindisa for the chorizo sandwich.

    Wright Bros for oysters and white wine.

    Bedales for wine and snacks (apertivo type snacks)

    Get there EARLY. Like ideally by 11. Otherwise, you'll be in tourist hell on a saturday.

    And just to be clear--Borough is more stand-ish than restaurant-ish. Wright Brothers is one of the few restaurants on the property. (I'm not a huge fan of Fish!)

    1 Reply
    1. re: kristainlondon

      Thanks very much for the recommendations. Sound excellent!

    2. You might enjoy a cup of coffee at the famed Monmouth Coffee shop which is across a street from the Borough Market. Most people can point you in its direction. It's a small place but the coffee is very good. They have a larger place near Covent Garden, too. It's a nice change of pace from Starbucks.

      1. Actually I do believe that Monmouth at Borough Market is much bigger than the Covent Garden one. Much more space to line up and sit. Same awesome coffee in both places though.
        CHORIZO BURGERS at Brindisa. Grad school be damned, THIS is the real reason I moved to London.
        There's a lamb tzatziki stand which is okay except for the fact that the lamb chunks are somewhat fatty so I gave up on them. I don't eat pork but my friends say the bratwurst across from it is ridiculously good. I always just wander the cheese counters for some tasters, and I know the Argentinian food stand and the nearby bread stad give out, dulce de leche on cookies and brownie bits as samples too - tasty lunch!!. The toasty cheese sandwich at the raclette stand is good but really salty. Actually in general, bring a bottle of water with you. Since you eat while walking (or sitting at Southwark Cathedral courtyard), you will get thirsty, and it's nice not to have to line up for expensive water. Though I have no issue with the fresh juice!

        1. Cortez, I just spent Saturday lunchtime at Borough Market so can give a report hot off the press.

          There are lots of options for grazing through the market with either stall holders offering fee samples or cooking up burgers and sausages. Seating is limited so with these options you tend to eat on the move or squat on the pavement.

          A great start for the day is Monmouth Coffee (we arrived at 11:00 am). There are two outlets, one on the corner of the street (can't miss it) and another in the market itself. The queue is off-putting (40+ people) but it moves very quickly and the service is efficient. The place is packed so we grabbed a takeaway rather than fighting for a table. The food (cakes, muffins etc) look great. Coffee is very good here - a completely different, and superior product compared to the high street chains (Starbucks, Costa, Nero etc) with milk frothed to a creamy consistency rather than the "suds" you get on others.

          We had lunch in "Wright Bros", this is basically a Oyster bar which has a variety of fresh and cooked oysters. We had mixed dozen of Fin de Cler and Mercier (I think) to compare French and English, and a bottle of Muscadet (approx £40). They have a cramped bar at the front that spills onto the pavement, or a bar and communal tables at the back. It gets full so booking is advised, we didn't but were told we could only have the table until 2:00 pm (we sat down at 12:00). A very enjoyable meal, good service, nice fresh and briny oysters, and fine wine.

          Next we went to "Brindisa" for Tapas. Brindisa does have three outlets - a shop, a chorizo burger bar (very popular), and a restaurant. We grabbed a spot and stood by the bar (as we didn't mind standing and snacking). But you could grab a high table in the bar area, or seats in the restaurant proper. It doesn't take bookings so there was a queue for the tables. It has a good selection of Tapas, and we tried a place of cold chorizo, some olives, and sea bream with black pudding. All three were well executed and tasty, and service is friendly and efficient. We had a few glasses of sherry and a glass of wine total cost approx £33.

          There is quite a lot of other choice around the market including a few more restaurants, cafe's and pubs. One looked like an "alice in wonderland" tea room with great looking English cakes (it is opposite the Paul Smith clothes shop). Go and browse, interesting produce, good restaurants and a nice atmosphere.

          1. In addition to the things mentioned below (especially the cheese sandwich), I quite love the grilled fresh scallops with bacon. And don't forget the Market Porter for a pint of Harvey's.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Joan Kureczka

              Harveys = Heaven. How could I miss it...!

              1. re: PhilD

                Thanks so much for these great recommendations. An afternoon of "grazing" at Borough Market will definitely be a highlight of our trip.