Whitecross Street Market

in a nutshell

Near to the fashionable area of Hoxton you’ll find Whitecross Street Market, one of the oldest markets in London and a popular street food landmark for locals and tourists alike. The market first started in the 17th century, but by the end of the 19th century it became a byword for poverty and alcohol, and was known locally as Squalors’ Market.

Thankfully, much has now changed. Having benefitted from investment and regeneration, the market is now home to highly acclaimed street foods that provide an irresistible lure for the hungry workers of nearby Clerkenwell and Hoxton.

about the market

The sheer variety of street food available is the reason local workers descend on Whitecross Street Market in their droves. A world of cuisine means everyone’s tastes are catered for. Whether it’s a homemade pie or a succulent hog roast, or something more worldly from the exotic flavours of Asia to North Africa and beyond, there’s sure to be just the dish for you.

Many visitors to the market are happy to follow their noses, or use the length of the queues to help them find the tastiest food. Vegans (as long as you skip the halloumi) are sure to find the Buddha Bowl Van to their liking. As the winner of the Best Main Dish at the British Street Food Awards, the delicious Massaman curry with new potatoes, pineapple, soya chunks, organic short grain brown rice, flash steam curly kale, homemade kimchi is officially delicious. If that sounds like your thing, keep an eye out for chef David and his incredible Citroen H.

Seasoned food blogger Rosie is drawn to the area not just for the tasty morsels in every direction, but also because of the market’s authentic, laid back vibe. "To me, Whitecross Street Market still feels like a bit of a secret, and I love all the street art in the area". When pushed on her favourite dish, Rosie went for the "Avocado and kimchi bibimbap from Bibento", although she did also give an honourable mention to the nearby Modern Pantry for coffee and brunch.

Whitecross Street Market is open Monday to Friday 10am – 5pm and is just 5 minutes’ walk from the Barbican tube and Old Street tube and overground.

things to do in east london

Hoxton, in the heart of Shoreditch, is the home of the skinny jeans and check shirted hirsute hipster. While the area was once the rough-and-ready Hackney heartland, it is now a place where cockneys and artists cohabit in peace.

Hoxton Square and Jay Joplin’s White Cube gallery are where the area’s artistic infiltration began. There’s also plenty of weird and witty graffiti art you can enjoy without having to enter any of the edgy art galleries.

If all that market stall hopping has worked up a thirst, the bars and clubs of Old Street, particularly on a Friday night, are a great place to take in the diversity of the area. This being Shoreditch, expect craft beer, classic cocktails and hipster stylings throughout, interspersed with the occasional pinstripe and tie from the City looking for a good time. The Bavarian Beer House and Flight Club (particularly if you like your arrows) are a couple of our favourites.

If you find there are simply too many things to do in East London and beyond, why not stay the night in one of the many hotels near Shoreditch so you can do it all over again tomorrow?