Saturday brunching or Sunday morning hanging, food markets are big business in the UK. Made for spending afternoons exploring, with a new market springing up weekly, there is always something new to try. We give the low down on some of our favourite spots for eating, drinking and spending.
BALTIC MARKET, Liverpool
The walk from Liverpool City Centre is worth it to visit the Baltic Market on Stanhope Street. Based in the Cains Brewery Village, visitors come to the market to eat, drink and party – There is something on every week whether seasonally based or to host live music.
Get ready to be cosy, this place is always packed with groups ready to try the latest vegan eats from Wholesome Junkies or indulge in an Espresso Martini made with locally sourced coffee beans. Our recommendation is to join the long queue at Hafla-Hafla, the Pomegranate Halloumi Fries are a rite of passage on your first visit.
ALTRINCHAM MARKET, Manchester
Based in a leafy suburb of South Manchester is Altrincham Market, a recently expanded destination offering food, crafts and antiques. The prices are on the higher side and the seating area like an old-fashioned canteen, but the warm feeling, sense awakening smells and joyful bustle makes this market must-see.
With varied cuisines available that are vegan and vegetarian friendly, our go-to is Honest Crust for a freshly cooked pizza, order at the counter and watch as they put it straight into the pizza oven. For a caffeine pick me up Market House Coffee does a great latte to go. Make sure you take a trip around the Market House to pick up fresh bread, candles and crafts.
OLD SPITALFIELDS MARKET, East London
There are many pleasures in life, with a lazy stroll around the Old Spitalfields Market in East London amongst them. A good mixture of independent retailer and middle-market stores are on offer here, there is something to keep all entertained.
Store and stall times vary, so plan your route around the market if you plan to head there at the start or end of the day. If you are in the market for housewares, a stop by The Londoners Home for hand-designed art prints will add colour and style to any wall. From Banksy to Bowie, there is art for all taste.
It is impossible to walk past the Flying Angels stall and not be intoxicated with the sweet smell of apple strudel, banana and almonds. Bringing pastry tastes of the world to East London, expect British scones, French macaroons, and American cinnamon rolls. Delicious.
For those feeling a little more active, the Lululemon store has unveiled its new look shop in 1 Horner Square. Offering weekly yoga classes, check the schedule online to find a class. These are popular so book your spot early.
BOROUGH MARKET, South London
Borough Market just by London Bridge tube station is a place for evening drinks, to try new flavours and pick up a Sunday Roast, this market has so much to offer.
For craft beer aficionados, a stop by Utobeer is essential. Pick and mix individual beers from around the world with some seriously bold ingredients, expect to see passionfruit mixed with juniper, orange with coffee oatmeal and mango chutney inspired pale ale. Testing sessions with up and coming brands are often hosted and a recycle scheme for empty bottles is in place for certain brands.
Wash down craft beer with a British pub staple, the humble pork pie. Mrs King’s Pork Pies in Three Crown Square has the perfect selection of Melton Mowbray pies topped with golden baked puff pastry. Still made in Melton with a protected recipe, the stall is open Thursday to Saturday, making this the perfect weekend treat.
For a Mediterranean flavour sensation, pop into Taste Croatia to discover new herbs, oils and spices. Accompanied with meats, cheese and fresh produce on offer, there are also vegan options including fig cakes and jam to enjoy. Watching the prosciutto being hand-carved ready for devouring is part of the experience.
Just outside the market is Doughnut Time, an extravagant version of the British classic doughnut with themed names and vegan options aplenty – David Hassel-Biscoff and Bueno Mars are some of their current concoctions. Some flavours are limited in edition, so if you spot a queue outside make sure you join it, it will be worth it. Our personal favourite is Ice Ice Bae Bae, a vegan delight topped with cookie piece and dough.