From its small beginnings in the 17th Century as a simple farmers' market, Old Spitalfields Market has blossomed into one of the most vibrant and diverse places in the whole of London. The Spitalfields area was once regarded as the cities “foulest and most dangerous street.” Jack The Ripper stalked the alleys and killed his victims around here and it was synonymous with the activities of thieves. However modern times showcase a diverse and culturally rich metropolis where you can enjoy exciting one-of-a-kind boutiques as well as a whole array of delicious world food.
Once a week, Old Spitalfields hosts an 80 plus stalls antique market, offering a breathtaking mix of vintage collectibles and antique treasures, which is said to be one of the best antique markets in London! In fact, it doesn’t take long to immerse yourself in what the Old Spitalfields Antique Market has to offer, from vintage vinyl cut and made into wall-mounted clocks, antique walking sticks, or old fashioned shipping maps, to endless rows of quality sterling silver jewelry, and eclectic mix of antique gems. It is no wonder thousands of Londoners and tourists alike find the perfect gifts for all occasions at Old Spitalfields Market.
Old Spitalfields Market is open seven-days-a-week with specialist market days (like its weekly Antique Market) and one-off monthly events designed to keep its visitors entertained all year round. And its covered roof ensures that all 150 stalls, restaurants, and street food vendors, can operate under all weather conditions.
As well as the market stalls, the building is home to a number of local businesses. Hairdressers and high-end fashion boutiques adorn the outer walls. Local tailors can fit you with the perfect suit, a dedicated cheese shop boasts the best selection of cheese this side of Paris, and also the original flagship store of All Saints overlooks the main entrance.
Fridays are specifically tailored for the clothes shoppers and art lovers with haberdashery from around the world and priceless designs of inspiring local talents. It is also the perfect day to walk around Old Spitalfields Market and inspect the wide range of public art which is displayed outside the market. And also vinyl lovers won’t be left wanting as the first Friday of each month sees a record fair come to the marketplace where dealers from across the city bring high quality and rare vinyl records to the center. Bargain hunters can quickly bolster their collections and the more serious collector can find the rare gem they were hunting for. Prices can generally stand a little high, especially when it comes to items that attract tourists but as it is (so often) the case – negotiation is key.
Saturdays at Spitalfields are themed throughout the year each week, from affordable vintage and fashion designers to the finest of Old Spitalfields Market traders. Beer festivals happen each season giving visitors the chance to taste some of the city’s newest Craft Beer inventions whilst browsing the stalls. There are also regular Swing Festivals, Tango evenings, and a whole host of events aimed to celebrate the rich history and culture surrounding Old Spitalfields Market.
Sunday is the busiest day at Old Spitalfields Market and has something for the whole family on offer. From high-quality leather goods and custom made clothing to antique toys and games, on this day you can be assured that stall owners have a wide range of items ready, that suit simply every taste. With entertainment for the whole generation, you can be certain that a good day out is enjoyed. And for all the Magpies out there – get ready to lose yourself in the dazzling array of affordable jewelry on offer.
Monday through to Wednesday is general market trader days that are made for strolling around for hours to admire the vintage clothing stalls and niche boutiques. The regular stalls of Old Spitalfields Market during weekdays are a great place to find something of excellent quality and the quieter surroundings let the specialist art dealers emerge from the shadows like the Ripper himself.
Tease your taste buds and relax from browsing the stalls with the huge selection of traditional restaurants as well as high-class exotic street food vendors inside the market hall. From London’s most famous fish and chips shop to modern French cuisine and Asian Fusion, this is a place for everyone to unleash their inner gourmet. Bleecker Street offers one of London’s finest New York-style burgers whilst Square Pie delivers truly classic English fayre with delicious pies and mash made in heaven. If you are more on the sweet tooth front, make sure not to miss the mouth-watering selection of sumptuous cupcakes the Flavour Town Bakery has to offer.
The many award-winning restaurants and cafes in Old Spitalfields Market are quickly becoming East London’s top spot for eating out and attract weekly thousands of foodies from around the globe. Wine bars and modern pub food offer a relaxing escape from the busy market floor, where family-friendly eateries and delightful cafes offer a more peaceful environment than the sometimes very busy benches provided for the street food vendors.
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Kristen Harris1st July 2015 at 01:33
This was our first visit and wasn’t quite sure of what type of market it is. Lots of different types of stands – clothes, food, unusual items, etc. Plenty of places to eat round the outside and in the middle. A good way to spend a couple of hours on a Sunday morning.
Gerard Torres24th November 2015 at 14:59
Old Spitalfields is a lost world of its own, becoming more posh as time passes. Lots of fabulous places to eat, special events (gelato week to name just one) and so many things to buy – vintage, trendy or just odd. It’s definitely a must-try for a Saturday or Sunday.
Darla Fuller4th June 2016 at 00:14
One of my favorite places in London. Some stalls may be a bit generic, but you can find everything from old LPs to stunning artwork and cute fashion and design accessories and nice, helpful and attentive vendors to have a little chat with.