London 101: Borough Market — My Belly Say “Yes!”

There is no doubt that London, as an international metropolis, is home to numerous fine restaurants and great foods from all over the world. However, there is a place where you can have a great “taste” of London, feeling the vitality of the city through your tongue and exploring cuisines from different places in the world. That is Borough Market. I have been to the market three times and I will never hesitate to go again. Who would say no to cheap but delicious food? 

Kind reminder — prepare an empty belly before you go to the market, but do eat something before you read my post!

With over 1,000 years of history, Borough Market is one of the biggest and most notable markets in London. It is located in Southwark. London Bridge crosses over the market, providing a shield for the open space market.

Standing here, where the train zooms above my head and vendors peddle their food, I really feel myself at the heart of this historic town and part of its quotidian, down-to-earth life.

Borough Market is a wholesale, as well as a retail, market. Local people come here to eat and buy seasonal and fresh ingredients, while some restaurants also order supplies from vendors. 

From olive oil to cottage cheese, from sourdough to traditional pie and from coffee beans to spicy sauce, you can enjoy the dazzling products in the market. Not to mention, many of them are homemade by the vendor or directly transported here from farms — fresh and organic. 

The British love seafood, so oyster at the market is a must-try. The vendor will crack the oyster neatly, right in front of you. With some lemon juice, pepper, salt and even a little tabasco, the fresh oyster tastes so tender, without any fishy smell.

This merchant always has a long line for its seafood paella, as well as the fried calamari with chips.

There are many rice bowl options in the market, such as the beef curry bowl or pepperoni risotto, but we think the best is the “Wild Mushroom with Spelt Risotto,” which is rich of the flavor of mushroom and shredded Parmesan cheese.

Tables and benches are available in the corner of the market, and people can usually find a space to finish their food while chatting, or just sit by the street. No table etiquette is required here to enjoy the relaxed yet vibrant dining environment..

You can also taste the traditional Scotch Egg right here! The soft-boiled egg is cooked to its best, and the sweet potato fries are amazing. 

Even if you are 30 feet away, the smell of cheese will draw you to this store and to get a classic grilled cheese. The grilled cheese comes with onions, which further enrich its flavor. It is big enough for two to share!

We all fell in love with the mulled wine. On a drizzly day in London, nothing warms you up better than a cup of hot wine. 

There is a tent toward the corner of the market that sells Thai food. Do miss out on the Coconut Mini Pancake and the Sticky Mango Rice. 

At a Japanese BBQ store, the chef strongly recommended the crackling chicken skin, which seemed awful. However, it was crispy and delicious. It tasted so much better than it sounded!

Indian cuisine, Viet food, Mexican tacos, English fish and chips… I didn’t  have enough of an appetite for all of it, so I had to wave goodbye and say “see you next time” to some of them.

A famous donut bakery has a store in the market too, but we did not have one, as the line was too long for us inpatient foodies. We had a waffle instead, topped with its award-winning goat milk ice cream.

How about a cup of fresh juice to end our wonderful day in Borough Market? I’m sure we will be back soon.

Ziqi Yang, Study Abroad Correspondent

Ziqi Yang is a junior in the College of Communication at Boston University who is majoring in Film and TV, and Advertising. She is currently studying abroad in London, United Kingdom, and will intern at Nemorin, a branded video agency. As a person who borns to travel, she wants more than just being to a city, but also being part of the city, experiencing different cultures and lifestyles. Her favorite quote is “Photography is the beauty of life captured”, and through her photos and blogs, she would like to share those beautiful moments with you.

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