Nestled away (very nearly) at the end of the Northern Line, a stone’s throw away from Tooting Broadway station, sit two covered markets.
Though perhaps both slightly unassuming based on their exterior, we all know you should never judge a book by it’s cover, so step inside and you’ll be greeted with a cultural wonderland of food and drink, catering to all taste buds and budgets.
It’s true that Tooting can sometimes be outshone by it’s slightly more pretentious neighbours (yes, I’m looking at you Clapham and Wimbledon), but there’s a reason why people travel the length of the tube line to take a trip to two of the oldest indoor markets in the city. They are quite simply ageing like a fine wine, and continue to get better, bolder, and more charming with each year that comes.
As I’m sure you can tell, I feel strangely loyal to this little South London suburb, and so I’ve taken it upon myself to give you the ultimate food and drink guide to the most vibrant markets you’ll find south of the river. Don’t worry, you can thank me later.
Broadway Market and Tooting Market sit side by side on Tooting High Street, so you can hop between the two, which is very convenient because I couldn’t possibly choose a favourite. They are both full to the brim with eateries and drinkeries, offering an eclectic mix of traditional and modern cuisine from across the globe. You’ll be truly spoilt for choice, so if you’re going to listen to anything I say, let it be this: go with an empty stomach or you’ll regret it.
1. Brickwood Coffee & Bread
There are very few things that Londoners are as passionate about as they are about brunch, but don’t panic – Brickwood has you covered for all of your smashed-avo-on-toast-and-an-oat-flat-white needs. They pride themselves on bringing the chilled out vibes of Oz all the way to South West London, and they serve up an antipodean array of eggs, toasties, and breakfast burritos.
2. Sugar and Lemon
If you have more of a sweet tooth in the morning (or any time of day, really), look no further than Sugar and Lemon. This small-but-mighty creperie has all of the traditional pancake toppings (such as it’s namesake), or the more indulgent options for the Nutella and Biscoff lovers amongst us.
3. Smashing Plates
If you’re fed up of the miserable London weather, and would rather be sunning yourself on a Greek island, Smashing Plates offers traditional Greek gyros and souvlaki that are so good, you’ll be mentally transported straight to the Mediterranean.
4. Koi Ramen Bar
For those of you who would prefer to take a sensory trip to Japan during your lunch break, the super yummy Koi Ramen Bar can cater to all of your ramen needs and always aim to serve the highest quality ramen, with the lowest prices, and the biggest smiles.
5. Green Choy
Green Choy hosts a menu of inventive, modern. and ever-so-delicious Korean dishes with a focus on sustainability and respecting the planet; so it’s basically guilt-free lunching, right?
6. Boom Bap Burger
A personal favourite, Boom Bap, is a burger joint that serves up vibes that are just as immaculate as their burgers. An extensive food and drink menu, plus live music and DJ’s at the weekend? It’s a huge yes from me.
7. The Secret Bar
Be sure to take a trip to the (not-so-secret) Secret Bar which oozes charm, cosiness, and some of the friendliest vibes you’ll find in the entire market.
8. Unwined in Tooting
Unwined is a bustling wine bar that offers weekly wine tasting, and an atmosphere as comforting as a warm hug so it’s the perfect place to whet your whistle in Tooting Market.
You also won’t want to miss a visit to Mezzanine, a bar that prides itself on its premium cocktails, live music, and “home away from home” atmosphere.
10. We Brought Beer
If beer is more your cup (or pint) of tea, then you guessed it: there’s something here for you as well. We Brought Beer is home to 200 different canned beers, 3 keg lines and a selection of special bottles you won’t want to miss out on.
11. Taste Factory
A delicious breakfast option in Broadway Market is Taste Factory which has a unique and exotic menu, bursting at the seams with traditional Brazilian options such as croquettes, sweet and savoury pastéis, and açaí bowls. Yum.
12. Mamma Mia! Pasta
Mamma Mia! Pasta is one of my favourite spots in the market, not only because they have a mouth-watering variety of fresh pasta and sauces (and pasta is obviously the elite carbohydrate), but because they also have a lunchtime meal deal which means you can eat a delicious midday meal and save some pennies at the same time – it’s a win, win situation.
Whether you’re looking for somewhere to sit down and soak up the atmosphere over a long lunch, or need something quick to squeeze in to your 30 minute lunch break; Beyroots serve authentic, tasty, and affordable Lebanese street food to the hungry people of Tooting, and they offer a whopping 50% off all food before 8pm. Sign me up!
14. Slab City
For all the pizza lovers out there, Slab City offer up outrageously good Detroit-style pizza, and if you head down there on a Tuesday or Wednesday, you can bag yourself bottomless pizza for 90 minutes for just £15 per person.
If you’re looking for a slightly classier atmosphere, look no further than rustic French restaurant, Bordelaise, who serve the tastiest French Sunday roast alongside their many other delectable dishes.
16. Tsukiji Fusion Sushi
Tsukiji Fusion Sushi is the place to be for sensational sushi and did I mention it’s unlimited sushi Tuesday-Thursday for £25 per person?
Argentinian steakhouse, Barra10, serve up succulent steaks and have a plant pot chocotora dessert that is single handedly worth visiting for.
Family run restaurant, Kiaan’s, offers wonderful Pan-Asian street food (not to mention a free prosecco or beer with every main course).
19. Tacos + Tequila
I need to give an honourable mention to Tacos + Tequila, who are home to some of the most mouth-watering Mexican food I’ve had in a while.
20. Tap 13
Not only does Tap 13 have an exquisitely extensive drinks menu and a top-notch Sunday quiz night, but it’s also the only zero-waste bar in town (you could say, they have it all).
21. Craft Tooting
Another must-visit for all you beer fanatics is Craft Tooting, a craft beer shop and micropub, run by Tooting residents for Tooting residents (and visitors too, of course) – the perfect place to wash down all the delicious food you’ve been eating.
As Tooting Market and Broadway Market are two of the vital organs of south London’s dining scene, I could quite possibly sit here all night listing all of the amazing places to wine and dine there but I’ll leave it there (for now). When I told you there was something for everybody, I meant it.
So, have I managed to convince you to take a trip to these Toot-ally brilliant markets yet? If I hadn’t already, then surely that pun has sealed the deal?
📍29 Tooting High Street, SW17 0SP