Old Spitalfields Market dates back to 1638 when King Charles issued a license for "flesh, fowl, and roots" to be sold in what was then known as Spittle Fields. It's now a seriously cool place to shop and eat in east London. The market is surrounded by independent boutiques selling everything from cool housewares and artwork to vintage clothes and antiques, and the newly launched Kitchens in the center of the market offers a great street food experience in London. The market is busiest on Sundays, but it's open seven days a week. It's a five-minute stroll from Liverpool Street Station.
Events at the Market
Here's what's going on at the market each day of the week.
- Wednesday: The daily market and the Silk Series that focuses on fashion and art
- Thursday: An antiques market with collectible vintage and retro pieces.
- Friday: The daily market, and on first and third Fridays each month, there's a vinyl records fair.
- Saturday to Tuesday: The daily market. The market's busiest day, Sunday, features up to 100 stalls.
Where to Eat
- Chop'd for fresh breakfast and lunches, eggs, salads, and a tasty brunch menu
- Wright Brothers for delicious seafood
- The Kitchens for a street food experience and food from ten of the best East London chefs
- Poppies for fish and chips
Where to Drink
- Bar 3 at Blixen is a cozy basement cocktail bar.
- Old Spitalfields Market Bar specializes in craft beer, biodynamic wines, and small-batch spirits.
Top Tips for Visitors
- It's a covered market but it's not completely enclosed. The sides are open to the elements so it's best to wrap up warm in the winter months.
- While you're there check out Spitalfield's Charnel House, a vault used to store human bones in the 14th century.
- On the second Wednesday of each month, the market hosts an evening of swing dancing and live music with free classes for any budding dancers. Visit the site for more information.
How to Get There
Old Spitalfields Market
Nearest Tube/Overground Station: Liverpool Street (Central, Hammersmith & City, Metropolitan lines)
Use Journey Planner to plan your route by public transport.
Where to Stay Nearby
- Budget Pick: Tune Liverpool Street
- Luxury Pick: Andaz London Liverpool Street
- Design Pick: South Place Hotel
Other Markets In The Area
Brick Lane Market is a traditional Sunday morning flea-market with a wide array of goods on sale including vintage clothes, furniture, bric-a-brac, music, and much more.
Sunday UpMarket is in the Old Truman Brewery on Brick Lane and sells fashion, accessories, crafts, interiors, and music. Opened in 2004, it has an excellent food area and is a hip place to hang out.
Petticoat Lane Market
Petticoat Lane was established over 400 years ago by the French Huguenots who sold petticoats and lace here. The prudish Victorians changed the name of the Lane and market to avoid referring to woman's underclothes!
Columbia Road Flower Market
Every Sunday between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m., you'll find over 50 market stalls and 30 shops selling flowers, and gardening supplies lining this narrow cobblestone street. It's a truly colorful experience.
Updated by Rachel Erdos