Kingston’s Ancient Market Place has been a meeting point for the people of Kingston since the 12th century, and while the types of wares being sold and the activities taking place may be ever so slightly different these days, the market is still thriving.
From traditional market stalls selling fresher-than-fresh produce, to the array of vibrant street food options, a trip to the Ancient Market Place is full of excitement, colour and delicious flavours!
Whether you’re after a lunchtime bite, tonight’s dinner or tomorrow’s breakfast, our guide has got you covered.
Stock up on the essentials
Follow the sounds of the traders calling out their top offers, and you’ll be sure to find some beautiful fresh fruit and vegetables. Colourful line-ups of the freshest seasonal produce as well as interesting varieties are on offer here – much better than pre-packed plastic at the supermarket!
If you’re in the mood for a fish dinner, best to head for Webster’s Fishmongers, who have the impressive title of longest-serving stallholder at Kingston Market. From crab to crayfish, the catch of the day is calling your name.
Sometimes, the simplest things are the best – and nothing beats a good loaf! Artisan bakery Olivier’s sells a range of breads, pastries and sweet treats, including their heavenly brownies. Their goods are hand-crafted, baked daily at sunrise and they are proud to use organic and local ingredients. Beats pre-sliced Hovis any day!
Go past Olivier’s and you’ll find Thee Olive Tree – a deli which also sells coffee and Italian cannoli. Here you’ll find buckets of fragrant olives and other tempting deli items, perfect for keeping in the fridge ready to nibble when hunger strikes.
A world of flavour
The market prides itself on having a diverse and exciting mix of options from across the globe. For heat and spice, Chilli Cha Cha serves up warm fluffy freshly made grilled wraps stuffed to the brim. The chilli and mint sauce is mouth wateringly delicious (napkins a necessity!). Or, try Roti Run for a North Indian Achari Lamb ‘Na Na Naan’ or rice bowl, served up with a side of salad and bombay potatoes. Exotic Tagine is your go-to for Middle Eastern mixed grill, Moroccan tagine and shish wraps. All three stalls are halal.
Family-run Vietnamese Pho Real is incredibly popular when lunchtime rolls around, offering up Banh Mi, rice and noodle dishes with fragrant pork and chicken, as well as delectable spring and summer rolls. They’ve got a great reputation for a reason – the food is downright delicious!
Over on the other side of the market, Namu serves up a huge menu of Japanese and Korean street food, from ramen to udon and donburi to katsu. Always made fresh and served with a big smile, Namu’s flavours won’t disappoint!
When you’re seeking Afro-Caribbean flavours without the long haul flight, head over to Momma’s Kitchen, where friendly Philomena has a number of tasty home-cooked options for you such as jerk chicken, jollof rice, plantain and curry goat. Portions are big and will see you through from lunch to dinner easily.
Plant-based and planet friendly
With the surge in popularity of vegan and plant-based diets over the last few years, Kingston Market has kept pace! There are a number of veggie options available at most stalls, but two in particular have totally vegan menus.
When you’re after something filling and comforting, Mac and Maki serves up vegan mac and cheese, burgers, chips and garlic bread – as well as vegan ice cream. Or, if you’re after a cuisine you may not have tried before that delivers big on flavour, pay a visit to Fasika at her vegan Ethiopian stall. The authentic home-cooked dishes are vibrant as well as healthy, and includes lentil stews and all manner of delicious vegetables mopped up with injera – a type of flat bread made from the ancient teff grain.
Who doesn’t love a burger? Burger Bros serve up 100% handmade burgers, and at £7 for a juicy cheeseburger or crispy chicken burger meal deal you can’t go far wrong. For a bit of spice, head round to Rooster Run, where their mission is quality fresh food at a reasonable price. Using homemade recipes and locally sourced produce, Rooster Run is a healthy peri peri grill option.
If limiting yourself to German bratwurst only at Kingston’s Christmas Market seems crazy to you, Big Dogs will hit the spot with their giant hot dogs. Wiggly lines of mustard and ketchup are a must. Next door neighbour Burrito & Co offer (you guessed it) burritos and rice boxes with a choice of fillings. At only £6 for pulled pork, it’s a bit of a bargain (and you won’t pay extra for guac!).
Keep it sweet
If you subscribe to the ‘health is wealth’ mantra (or maybe just need a detox from a heavy weekend), Kingston Juice Bar will be right up your street. Their stall is always busy serving up raw and cold-pressed juices, smoothies and acai bowls. They use over 50% organic ingredients and locally sourced where possible.
When sugar cravings hit, you can’t beat The Crepe Stand, serving up authentic thin crepes with toppings such as Nutella, strawberries and banana and lemon and sugar. Or, go savoury with ham and cheese! On hot days, a scoop or two of their DiSotto ice cream is a no-brainer.
A relative newcomer to the market’s offer, Senor Churro is run by Rooster Run out of the other side of their market unit, and serves up tasty churros – a fried dough snack usually served with melted chocolate sauce. You can have all sorts of sweet toppings sprinkled on top – go with what your heart tells you!
For the one you love (or just for yourself!)
For stunning stems and beautiful bouquets, local florist Zoe’s Flowers can be found as you head towards Church Street (next to Whistles and Space NK). These friendly ladies will help you pick out a bunch tailored to your nearest, dearest or just the dining room table. They also offer wedding and funeral flowers and have an online shop if you need collection or delivery for the very next day.