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Fish from Shellseekers, Beef from Northfield Farm, Pork from the Ginger Pig. Have a toasted cheese sandwich utilising Montgomery cheddar and Poilane Bread from the guy in the stall next to the cathedral. Have a hot sausage roll from the counter at The Ginger Pig (you may have to ask for one as they are sometimes hidden in the oven)

Maris Piper potatoes from Turnips, I know they are expensive but they are a world apart from the Maris Piper you get in the supermarket. For cheaper but decent veg try Booths who also sell a good selection of mushrooms.

If they have them, the black truffles at Marche Du Quartier have been excellent this year. Try the Dutch cheese stall as well, there is some surprisingly good cheese there but nothing to compare with Neal's Yard. Most of the bread in the market is crap IMO so try the Exeter street bakery stuff on sale at Neal's Yard.

Buy a packet of mishapes chocoaltes from Artisan du Chocalat. Buy Tzatziki from the Greek stall

Avoid the stall selling Indian spices which are ridiculously priced and display no reason as to why they should charge so much for so little, I can only guess that they get a lot of trade from the "tourist" crowd :hmmm:

"Why would we want Children? What do they know about food?"

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They're also doing some lovely mulled wine at the moment for a couple of quid, opposite Monmouth coffee.

Worth mentioning that the place is a complete zoo on Saturday mornings - if you arrive at 11am it's like Oxford Street on December 23rd. Turn up as early as possible, while the good stuff is still there and before the hordes appear.

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I like Borough Market conceptually but feel that just about nothing is good value for money (except for a cup of Monmouth coffee perhaps).

Just about everything is overpriced for the hordes of tourists there so don't go expecting a real market like you'd find in Spain, Italy or France. It's more like a shambolic outdoor version of Wholefoods than La Boqueria. Some products are very good but they come with inflated prices and you'd be better shopping at a "real" farmers market IMO.

Having said that I still go about 2 or 3 times a month and thoroughly enjoy myself!

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Which 'real' farmer's market, joesan? all the ones I've been to are crap.

Booths is a good stall and both butchers can be excellent if you know exactly what you want. Brindisa really annoys me-how can they charge so much? I suppose because people have no idea of real prices, a realisation which sadly drives so much of the market.

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Well there's really not much to choose from in London - I've been to a couple of nice ones in Norfolk and one in Kent but that's not much of an option if you are in London only I guess. I think the trouble with Borough is that there are too many downsizing marketing graduates running the stalls and not enough foodies. There are the odd gems though. The Marleybone one used to be good but that has become a bit more dried fruit and doillies of late. It's a lamentable state of affairs!

I totally agree with you on Brindisa - the quality is good but the prices are exploitative. I think as you say most people don't know the real price of these things and do think that chickpeas should cost the same per kilo as a nice cheese.

All that being said I think that the popularity of Borough is a good thing because as more customers are aware of what is out there the quality will go up and the price down. If anything it's a nice bucolic alternative to wandering round Waitrose or, God forbid, Tescos.

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I agree with much of this my preference is for Booths over Turnips and Booths is good for mushrooms and hard to find fruit and vegetables.

Steve Hatt in Islington is still leagues ahead of the fishmongers here.

Gastronmica also for all things salami

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  • 2 months later...

It's sad but true - borough just isn't technically very, very good value... or at least not across the board. Sadly I think it puts many people off - that's what friends say when I enthuse about my weekly visit.

That said there is value to be had if you hunt for it - I suppose I shouldn't give away all my personal tips, but I'm a generous, sharing sort of chap so here goes:

Ginger Pig - smoked ribs (£2/3) are great for any sort of meat sauce, I make a mean bolognaise with them and I wholeheartedly second matthew on the ginger pig sausage rolls - they're outstanding.

What's-the-name fishmonger Burness? Burgess? (main one in the covered market) - sell off all their fish (and there's loads left) half-price or less at about 4:15pm. Just wait for the 'half-price fish' shout when eager eyed cognoscenti (i.e. bunch of students and me) pounce...

Nice lady who does the beef... farm in devon I think? she's in the uncovered bit on the left-hand side as you walk through main thoroughfare to main hall, opposite the brownie people. Beautiful beef £8/k. Worth it! get the coarse ground.

Brindisa will sell you a bag of iberico bones for about £3/4 - although i've struggled previously to make the stock work for much apart from risotto - any ideas?

Fruit & Veg guys - remember to haggle! they'll always do you a deal, guv'nor.

I'm actually now buying most of my fruit&veg at the saturday north end rd (SW6) market - it's less pictoresque and the quality is variable but you can't really beat the 2 pineapples for £1.50, 5 mangoes for a pound type action down there.

So come on, share-and-share-a-like - trade me a few of your own tips please!

Edited by le singe qui rit (log)
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Use the bones to make croquetas. I agree that the Wild Beef stall does have excellent mince, you can make great Burgers with it and is often on special.

I think that part of the problem with the perceived value is with what people are comparing it to. IMO the pork at Ginger Pig is excellent value and its pretty hard/impossible to find a comparable pork product around where I live. Same with the beef at the market, try finding rare breed beef hung for 6 weeks in your local butcher and see how much it costs. The trouble is you probably won't find it so complaining about the price is a bit of a non-argument IMO.

Vegetables aren't so easy to defend however. Booths never seems particularly excessive and is often cheaper than my local greegrocer which users a lot of the same produce. Turnips is sometimes ridiculously priced. Look at the price of the Heritage potatoes there and then head across to Booths to compare!

"Why would we want Children? What do they know about food?"

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It's sad but true - borough just isn't technically very, very good value... or at least not across the board. Sadly I think it puts many people off - that's what friends say when I enthuse about my weekly visit.

That said there is value to be had if you hunt for it - I suppose I shouldn't give away all my personal tips, but I'm a generous, sharing sort of chap so here goes:

Ginger Pig - smoked ribs (£2/3) are great for any sort of meat sauce, I make a mean bolognaise with them and I wholeheartedly second matthew on the ginger pig sausage rolls - they're outstanding.

What's-the-name fishmonger Burness? Burgess? (main one in the covered market) - sell off all their fish (and there's loads left) half-price or less at about 4:15pm. Just wait for the 'half-price fish' shout when eager eyed cognoscenti (i.e. bunch of students and me) pounce...

Nice lady who does the beef... farm in devon I think? she's in the uncovered bit on the left-hand side as you walk through main thoroughfare to main hall, opposite the brownie people. Beautiful beef £8/k. Worth it! get the coarse ground.

Brindisa will sell you a bag of iberico bones for about £3/4 - although i've struggled previously to make the stock work for much apart from risotto - any ideas?

Fruit & Veg guys - remember to haggle! they'll always do you a deal, guv'nor.

I'm actually now buying most of my fruit&veg at the saturday north end rd (SW6) market - it's less pictoresque and the quality is variable but you can't really beat the 2 pineapples for £1.50, 5 mangoes for a pound type action down there.

So come on, share-and-share-a-like - trade me a few of your own tips please!

How about:

Hand of pork from Ginger Pig - about £6 a kilo - great for slow roasting on a rack with a ground-up paste of fennel seeds, dried chilli, sea salt, peppercorns, garlic and olive oil. A 2.5kg joint done for 15 minutes at high heat, 6.5 hours at low heat and a final 15 minutes at high heat again works well.

The fishmonger is Furness, I think.

Wild Beef people are Richard and Elizabeth Vines, from Devon - always good quality beef, sometimes have produce from neighbouring farms as well.

Best value I know for veg is Church Street in Marylebone - can stock up for a week for a family of four for £11 - £12.

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  • 3 weeks later...

One point about Borough Market is that most, if not all, of the stalls are open on Thursdays and Fridays, and by going then you can avoid the zoo. It's simply not worth going on a weekend, it's just so jammed.

My favourite lunch treat when I worked up in the City was a Fish finger sandwich at Fish!: big chunky fingers, tartare sauce, big ol' door step bread. Cost was something like £6, but boy was it worth it. Add a pint from the Market Porter and that there is what it's all about.

One way of dealing with the overpricing is to loiter around lunchtime at various of the cheese stalls and trawl for the free samples. Sadly I've not seen any large joints of meat being doled out as freebies yet, but you never know...

Blanch's Food Blast: Recipes + Flow Charts, what's not to like?
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  • 2 months later...
I agree with much of this my preference is for Booths over Turnips and Booths is good for mushrooms and hard to find fruit and vegetables.

Steve Hatt in Islington is still leagues ahead of the fishmongers here.

Gastronmica also for all things salami

...excellent fishmonger in Claygate too...also, how many villages half an hour from London have got an independent butcher, baker and fishmonger on the high street? :cool:

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