Southbank Centre Food Market

in a nutshell

Southbank Centre Food Market brings the freshest food and drink from small producers and independent traders together in one place. Every Friday to Sunday on Southbank Centre Square, you’ll find around 40 stalls that have been carefully curated to create an open-air street food feast.

The result is a triumph of quality over quantity and a smorgasbord of sweet and savoury dishes for Londoners and the thousands of tourists who flock to the area. Just a few of the lip-smacking treats you’ll find include fresh bread, cheeses and cakes, great coffee, incredible meats, street food from around the world and craft beer and fresh juices to wash it all down.

The market also supports the wide variety of festivals programmed at the Southbank Centre throughout the year, so there’s almost always something going on that’s free and accessible to all.

about the market

Gone are the days when a trip to the South Bank used to mean eating in an overpriced chain restaurant. Nowadays, even the fussiest foodie will find something delicious to eat by the Thames or to take home for their tea.

Seasoned food blogger Her Favourite Food rates the Southbank Centre Food Market as her favourite of all the London markets, with the curiously named Horn Ok Please topping the list of her favourite stalls. Horn Ok Please is a vegetarian Indian street food specialist that cooks up delicious dishes from all over India. Snita’s favourite dish is the: "Bhel Puri – A street food dish from North/West India made using sev, tomato, potato, red onions, heaps of tamarind chutney and pomegranates to garnish!"

Food blogger John Coulson is also quick to sing the praises of Horn OK Please, but also gives an honourable mention to a number of other established traders at the market, such as Spit & Roast. However, his pick of the bunch is: "Sambal Shiok and its fantastic chicken satay burger with sambal and sweet pickles. It’s definitely up there with the best (sorry to use this word) fusion burgers I’ve eaten." You should also keep an eye out for their pop-ups if you like mind-blowing laksa and rendang.

As well as plenty of fantastic food, there are also a number of hidden gems visitors need to be aware of. The Hop Locker is one of London’s best new craft beer bars, and the guys who run it really know their stuff. This is a must-visit for lazy summer days by the river, and in John’s opinion: "Possibly the best ever use of a couple of pop-up gazebos!"

Things to do in central london

The South Bank is much more than just a great place to eat; it’s also a beautiful spot to take in some of the sights and sounds of the capital. A walk along the Thames riverside is a must for any visitor to the city. Book worms can stop to rummage through the second hand book market in search of rare first editions or must-reads at bargain-basement prices, while musicians and unbelievable street performers add to the carnival atmosphere.

Once you’ve explored the Southbank Centre Food Market you can set your sights on some of the world famous attractions nearby. With the London Eye and Tower Bridge just a short stroll away, visitors to the area are spoilt for choice.

With so many densely packed attractions it’s hardly surprising the South Bank welcomes an estimated 14 million visitors to the area every year. Other highlights include the Tate Modern, the BFI Southbank - which shows a huge selection of classic and contemporary films - Millennium Bridge and the nearby expansion of Borough Market.

There are more things to do in Central London than you could ever wish to tackle in a single day, so why not stay the night in one of the many hotels near Waterloo to give yourself a little more time to explore?