Borough Market is literally the very first spot I went to when I first visited London. I remember arriving in London around early lunchtime and my friend was showing me around all the amazing food stalls and shops. It is the oldest food market in London and remains one of the most popular food markets for both locals and tourists alike. You can find a huge variety of cuisines at Borough Market and there is definitely something for everyone. There are a number of long-standing food stalls there, as well as plenty of new additions over the years.
On top of all the scrumptious street food, bakery goods, pastries, and cake stalls in the market, Borough Market is also very renowned for quality local produce, exotic meats, seafoods and condiments. It’s the perfect foodie destination when visiting London and snack away with free samples! After years, Borough Market is still one of my favourites around the city and I believe it will continue to be one. Not only does it offer a great variety of food and shopping experience but it also oozes this historical vibe.
Anyway, here are is my Borough Market Food Guide, featuring a couple of my favourites and top-picks that you must try:
Bread Ahead Doughnut
What to get: Caramel & Honeycomb Doughnut
Bread Ahead Bakery is like a staple to Borough Market. No visit to Borough Market is complete without munching down their signature filled doughnuts at Bread Ahead Bakery. These doughnuts are the best ones around town and have been for years. They are beautiful to look at, with an incredibly fluffy and spongy texture. The most delightful part is the luscious fillings they have in their doughnuts.
My most favourite, and the most popular one, is undoubtedly the Caramel & Honeycomb Doughnut. I’m not usually the biggest fan for caramel-flavoured treats, but Bread Ahead Bakery hits the spot so terrifically well. The custard was very smooth, velvety and luscious, with an alluring vanilla fragrance seeping through. They are certainly generous with their fillings as well so be prepared it’s going to be a messy one!
As a side note, if you look close enough, the bread from the majority of food stalls in Borough Market is supplied by Bread Ahead Bakery. Apart from being a bread supplier and bakery stall, they also run a bakery school that’s situated right next to their bakery operation.
What to get: Grilled Cheese Sandwich or Raclette
Kappacasein is about cheese, cheese and more cheese! They are most known for their grilled cheese sandwiches, which unsurprisingly regularly attracts a queue. Their grilled cheese sandwiches use quality sourdough bread that’s toasted to a perfect crisp, sandwiched with Montgomery cheddar, onions, leeks and garlic. The filling got a lovely savoury touch to go with that rich melted cheese – an absolutely moreish treat to savour.
Another super exciting item on their menu is their raclette! Kappacasein’s Swiss raclette is undoubtedly stunning to the eye and heavenly to the taste buds. How could one resist at all when you see a generous amount of melted cheese being scrapped straight from the wheel onto a pile of new potatoes, baby gherkins and pickled onions?! The whole process was gawking to watch and, flavour-wise, I simply can’t think of anything more warming and hearty than this combo during the winter months especially.
What to get: Thai Mini Coconut Pancakes
These are one of my all-time favourites at Borough Market. “Khanom Krok” means Thai mini coconut pudding/pancakes. I personally like to think of them as coconut poffertjes. They are incredibly aromatic especially with a pinch of sesame on top. The edges have a subtle crisp whereas the middle is fairly soft and gooey. The coconut flavour was rich and it was simply impossible to not love them.
A few years ago I tried their quail eggs as well – another amazing item one must try. If you never had quail egg before, it’s basically eggs more savoury and of a more intense flavour in general. It’s an absolutely delightful treat, but don’t turn it to a habit because they do have a higher cholesterol level if that’s something on your radar!
What to get: Coffee
Whether it is for the morning coffee buzz or a chillaxing afternoon cup of coffee, Monmouth is definitely one of my top picks in London. Their shops are always busy, especially this branch at Borough Market, with a huge queue always lining up outside the shop. As a result, it may not be the most ideal spot for a quiet coffee but it’s worth the visit as they genuinely serve great coffee. Rich, aromatic and velvety – it can easily be rated as one of the best coffees in town. Their pastries are definitely as good as their coffees either, so most certainly worth grabbing one along with your coffee with you’re feeling peckish.
Additionally, if you want to play barista at home, Monmouth Coffee also offers whole or ground coffee beans for purchase.
What to get: Kaya Toast & Kopi
Mei Mei is a newer addition to Borough Market, specialising in Singaporean cuisine.
By way of background, Mei Mei is opened by 2011 Masterchef contestant, Elizabeth Haigh, who then went on to achieve a Michelin star at Pidgin. At Mei Mei, you can find a range of Singaporean classics such as Hainanese Chicken Rice, Nasi Lemak, etc. on the menu. The one that absolutely stole my heart though is the Kaya Toast, which features a sensational caramel coconut jam that I could eat all day long. Their Kopi is one to watch for as well, where its artisan roasted coffee is supplied by UK’s first and only Singapore ‘Nanyang Kopi’ company. It’s absolutely lip-smackingly delicious and I couldn’t recommend enough.
They now also offer bookings for weekend brunches and dinner offering even more exciting dishes such as Singapore Chilli Crab. It looks absolutely epic and I can’t wait to try that out soon.
*Chicken is halal at Mai Mai
La Tua Pasta
What to get: Tortelloni
La Tua Pasta is a long-standing family-run business at Borough Market. They specialise in fresh artisan pasta and are also a popular supplier to many restaurants, hotels and caterers around London and beyond.
My favourite to get is their Tortelloni. I’m especially a sucker for squid ink pasta, hence always going for the Tortelloni Crab, which uses squid ink-infused pasta dough with a crab meat filling. The pasta was perfectly al dente, tasted super fresh and showcasing superb quality. It’s so fresh that just olive oil and cheese, plus a sprinkle of extra chilli flakes, suffices for flavours. Though you can, of course, order different toppings and sauces from the menu as well.
If you like to bring home some freshly made pre-packed pasta to cook, simply choose your pick and grab a pack off their shelves.
Horn OK Please
What to get: Moong Dal Dosa
Horn OK Please is a long-time popular street food stall at Borough Market serving delicious vegetarian Indian foods. Their signature is the Moong daal dosa, which consists of a freshly made savoury lentil crepe that’s filled with spicy potatoes, and is served with a side of Channa Chaat.
The potatoes are very well seasoned and spiced, featuring a soft mushy texture that’s paired with the crispiness from the lentil crepe. It is a south Indian speciality and tastes so good that you won’t realise it’s meatless!