This is London’s Borough Market. It’s likely the best farmer’s market you’ve ever been to.
And also the best food market you’ve ever been to.
The smells are overpowering in the best way possible. Meats, pies, fish, cheeses, and desserts — all coming together in an amazing way.
When you visit, there’s going to be a lot you’ve never seen before. Just take it all in.
If you’re visiting Borough Market for the first time, your goal should be to try as much as possible while staying on a budget — otherwise, you could spend a small fortune here.
Also worth noting: There are free samples everywhere — you could eat an entire meal in samples if you wanted to.
I came in with £20 (about $32), and attempted to eat as much as I could. Here’s how I did:
Steak and Gravy Pie — £3.50
I started with one of these: warm and flaky on the outside, steaming hot and thick on the inside. They’ve got pies of all kinds at the market: steak, chicken, sausage. You can’t go wrong.
Green Olive & Cheese Stick — £2
I couldn’t resist: big chunks of olives inside, and that melted cheese on the outside. And it paired amazingly with…
Slice of Comtè cheese — £3.90
I asked for the thinest slice they could give me, and it still ended up being the most expensive thing in my budget. But that cheese — I’ve never had anything like that before. My one Borough Market regret is not doing this £20 experiment all over again, but only with cheese.
Rock oyster – £1.50
Oysters cost £1.50 each at the market, and I slurped one down with a little Tabasco and some white wine vinaigrette. Really tasty.
Fried plantains — £1.50
At this point in my budget — already halfway through my £20 note — I started looking for bargains. These came straight out of the fryer, three to a bag. Worth it.
Fudge — £1.60
OK, OK, a second Borough Market regret: Not getting more fudge. I went for vanilla and chocolate, but I could’ve easily spent £40 trying every fudge on display.
Sausage on a stick — £1.50
One delicious sausage, and at a real bargain. (Getting the regular portion of sausage — two sausages on a roll — cost £5.)
Gelato — £3.20
Forget everything I said before. Forget the pie, forget the cheese, forget the fudge — there is nothing at Borough Market that even remotely compares to the gelato. I got two small scoops: mint chocolate chip and a Kinder-flavored gelato, which would’ve been enough. But then they loaded the inside of my cone with Nutella from a Nutella fountain. (Read those words again: NUTELLA FOUNTAIN.) And then they topped it off with a giant wafer. I have never handed over money as quickly as I handed over the money for that gelato.
Croissant with Orange Syrup — £1.20
It seemed insane — almost disrespectful — to eat anything after the gelato. But I’d promised my editor that I’d eat £20 of food, and I wasn’t about to come up £1.30 short. (Besides, what kind of post promises to feed you at Borough Market on £18.70?) The croissant was good, but if I’d had another 20 pence, I could’ve gotten one with chocolate filling. Oh well.
Sadly, I didn’t get a chance to eat everything. But I did eat a lot.
These curries smelled fantastic, but they’ll have to wait for another trip.
In the end, I ate: 1 pie, 1 giant stick of bread, 1 huge wedge of cheese, 1 oyster, 3 fried plantains, 2 chunks of fudge, 1 sausage, 2 scoops of gelato, and 1 croissant — all for £19.90.