Dining Out Magazine

Street Food at The Broadway Market, London

By Nogarlicnoonions @nogarlicnoonion

I could honestly spend my life discovering food markets around the world and London has a bunch of them that are really interesting. Some people like to go to museums, while others prefer nature walks, for me, discovering a market combines all the pleasures a trip can give you.

At a market, you can meet people, talk with the locals, feel the country’s vibe, eat and fill your brain with a rich know how about the country’s culture and the neighborhood’s feel.

On Saturdays, Broadway Market is a kaleidoscope of tastes and cultures: stalls, shops, pubs, restaurants and cafes offer up some of the best food and most original clothing in London. All of this is crammed into a little East End street between the Regent’s Canal and London Fields.

Some come for organic meat, fruit and vegetables or fresh fish, smoked salmon and oysters, delicious bread, cakes or cheese. Others scour the clothes racks for vintage bargains – then head to the lingerie stall for something small and expensive to wear beneath.

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But the true beauty of Broadway is that you can also shop for top-quality food at prices that are as good, or better, than the supermarkets. Perhaps that is why over 90 percent of the people you see on at the market live nearby and walk or cycle there, returning week after week for their regular shopping. The extra space in the schoolyard at London Fields gives parents room to relax, and children a safe place to play.

We entered The Broadway Market from the back, which turned out to be a good thing as the food shops are located at the market’s extremities. It was 11 o’clock and the smells of grilling and fat burning were taking over the whole area. As you walk in the market, your five senses are activated. Sounds of grilling, smells of frying, beautiful colors and other things to satisfy all your cravings surround you at all times.

Interacting with the market community is just fun. I spent three hours and could have stayed for longer. Some people are tasting, while others are buying, look at woman bargaining or a father running after his kids, the ambiance is so fun and carefree. Two spots in the middle of the long alley are occupied by some musicians who play one after the other, adding the positivity that fills the place.

The Broadway Market is simply fun. Colorful tents occupy the street that is around a hundred meters, long while the shops on both sides stay open welcoming guests. In here, you can buy a great variety of food from a pound to £5. Tasty, food and affordable.

The food shops and cantinas:

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I couldn’t try everything, I but chose come things I liked or that looked tasty. I wanted to confirm that London had good sausages, that salmon and a bagel are a perfect combination, a ginger beer intrigued me, they say Violet has the best cakes ever, I wanted a fresh juice to boost my energy, a crepe from the French guy, I wanted to try a falafel by Ashraf, cakes from the Cinnamon Tree Bakery, Meringue Girls deserves an applause for their premium creations and a burger, street food style.

Today’s tastings and mouthwatering discoveries:

  • Fun and Founder serve up tasty salmon bagels for only £2.50. Inside a pleasantly chewy bagel, New York style, is a generous quantity of smoked salmon that’s of very good quality. You might think street food is cheap, but it’s often not. This bagel is a fine and tasty creation. Add to that the cream cheese, some fresh rocket leaves, a hint of lemon and enjoy. A starter to open up my appetite and it made a great fist impression.

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  • Violet, the cupcake and cake shop is known for offering great, creamy caramel and a hint of delicacies, and people are right. Violet’s desserts are awesome. I had a chocolate and marshmallow Whoopsie pie for £3, as well as a Violet chocolate and salt caramel layer cake for £3.50; a rich muffin dough that’s so airy and light with intense dark chocolate filled with a marshmallow cream. The cupcake is cut in half and filled from its middle to avoid too much sillage. An open cupcake filled in the middle with salted caramel cream. Dark chocolate, juicy fillingsalt to end it all. Simply, wow!

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  • Newton & Pott create handmade chutneys and jams. I tried the pear and lavender and decided to buy one jar of each. Sold for only £4 and £5, those chutneys are to die for. Imagine them with a nice steak, a tasty chicken or inside a burger to replace ketchup and mustard.

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  • The German Deli, managed by two youngsters, was slowly grilling long, German sausage after long, German sausage. I felt like supporting them and I’m glad I did. A white sausage, perfectly grilled and covered with Mustard, ketchup and German cabbage salad for only £4.50. A premium quality sausage with a thick crunchy outer layer and a soft body. I loved it so much that I threw the hard bread away and enjoyed the dog by itself. Combining a hot dog with a cold cabbage salad is a success. Loved it.

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  • Ginger Beer: Good food and now, why not enjoy some drinks? Funny enough, an unappealing stand caught my attention. I wanted to see what the guy behind the draft machine was offering…Homemade ginger beer. Yes ginger beer, that’s partly fermented, with less than 1% alcohol level. This is a completely different recipe and is nothing like the beer you know. Fermented using sugar and ginger and no barley, I’m not sure it can considered an alcoholic drink for grow ups. A lightly sparkling drink, yellow in color, with astrong ginger taste and an after tickle that caresses your throat. I personally loved it and paid £1.50 for a cup, which I thought that was reasonable.

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  • Crepe Suzette: Managed by a French guy who spoke way too much, I expected to eat something good. The crepe is nothing like the ones I have enjoyed in Paris and way too expensive for what it is. The Nutella banana crepe was too chewy, and too small for the price. £4 for that little bite? Not recommended.

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  • Next to the Crepe stand was a Lebanese guy rolling Lebanese bread sandwiches. I was surely not craving for a Lebanese sandwich in London, but to not support the guy and see the difference between our local version and theirs just seemed wrong. The Falafel sandwich contained: hummus, cucumbers, tomatoes, parsley, beetroot, pickles, falafel, tarator and mint. A nice sandwich, generously filled, crunchy vegetables, fresh and tasty but the falafel were a bit too oily. I think that was because of the hurry in which they’re made. If we want to compare it with the Lebanese version, it wasn’t even close to that. A falafel sandwich, yes, but different on all aspects.

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  • Finest Fayre: These Scotch eggs didn’t look appetizing to me and didn’t I feel like having one, but trying a local dish was important. Those Scotch eggs are balls of food. A ball of bread crumbs, pork meat and an egg in the middle. The ball is cut in half and served in a paper bag so it’s easier to bite into. Soft egg, ground pork and bread, all fried… No, not a thing I’ll ever order again.

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  • Meringue kisses produced by The Meringue Girls: four friends, four girls, created the concept of innovating with meringue flavors. Drops or, kisses, meringue bites of all the colors, each with a different flavor and taste. Buy one for £1 or 9 for £4, those meringues are worth it. A hard shell meringue, with a moist interior with different flavors of which I tried orange, lavender, pistachio with rose water and gin and tonic. Yum! It’s not so easy to produce a successful meringue without it smelling of egg, but the girls do that perfectly well. Full of flavor, the bites are excellent.

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  • Floris Foods: Floris Food produces homemade, gluten free food, and mouthwatering desserts that are kind of healthy. When things are “free” of something, the taste changes drastically so I thought, why not try Floris’ produces? A homemade Oreo for £1.50 is much, too much. That’s a tiny small bite, after all despite the fact that I liked it. A crunchy yet moist cookie filled with a soft cream. This cookie is different from the commercial ones; it had a softer touch and smoother feel but the exact same taste.

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  • So, we’ve eaten so much and yet no burger so far and I wanted to have the burger I had been craving for since The Soho Food Market. I stopped at Northfield Farms stand, claiming to sell award winning meats for £5 each. Meat, cheese, salad, bacon and tomato salsa served in a tender bun. I personally found this sandwich way too salty and the meat too fatty. Who said street food should be bad? I personally wasn’t impressed.

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  • This was my best and favorite discovery today: The Cinnamon Tree Bakery’s white chocolate and sea salt cookie for £1.75. I would have paid more to try this. A rich English cookie that gives out a dozen flavors… A vanilla sweet cookie: caramel oats, packed with white chocolate and topped with a light sprinkle of Maldon sea salt. An incredible innovation. A perfect cookie and a strong salty finish, this thing is nothing like your average salted caramel things, but is a real innovation. This guy combined salt and sweet into innovative bites that really put a smile on my face. A strong salty aftertaste that sticks to your lips; don’t forget to lick the. Another thing I couldn’t but buy is the guy’s 70% Belgian dark chocolate brownie with extra dark and white chocolate chips. Ouf! Simply ouf! Breathtaking.

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  • Three hours already, too much food and to end it up why not a freshly squeezed drink? Francesca Isabella, Giorgio and Little Jackie’s Juice Bar offers a selection of freshly squeezed juices and some special selections depending on the day. On the menu was a carrot, orange, beetroot and ginger juice for £2.50. Fresh flavors and the ginger that tickles at the end; I loved its controlled sweetness. Others are sweeter, banana, orange and strawberry for £2.50. I tried the banana: a sweeter, creamier with a stronger banana flavor that takes over. Both drinks were excellent. It’s about combining the proper juices in the adequate dosage and Giorgio, helped by his son, succeeds.

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A great day I enjoyed more than any other thing I could have done in the British capital. Street food markets are my hobby, my passion and I’m willing to visit the world’s best.

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