The best halal food markets in London
One of my favourite things about London is the vast array of halal food markets. Growing up in Wales, there were no halal options. So it was the McDonalds fillet o’ fish and vegetarian dishes all the way.
However, London is another world. Being a hotbed of cultures and communities, there is a vast array of cuisines. Catering for halal, coeliac, vegan and kosher to name a few, you can get a good meal regardless of your dietary requirements. The beauty is nobody is offended, which is far from the national outrage felt when it became common knowledge that Pizza Express serves halal chicken (you can read about that here).
Another bonus is that the halal options aren’t restricted to curry houses and niche restaurants.
There are enough halal food markets in London, where you can pretty much order any cuisine for about £5. And I’m not just talking Indian. You can get halal Thai, Mexican, Italian, Turkish, Vietnamese and more.
Being a massive foodie, I have tried a few markets in my time, so I wanted to share for posterity.
Now I want to emphasise that these markets offer lots of halal options, but they are not all exclusively halal. Some stall may sell pork and non-halal meat. So my advice is to look out for the halal sign and ask if in doubt.
So here it is, my roundup of the best halal food markets in London.
The best halal food markets in London
Leather Lane market
Leather Lane market is my hands down favourite halal food market. Why? Because they offer the best hot and cold salad options I have tried.
Nestled next to Hatton Garden, London’s famous jewellery street, Leather Lane market is a hidden gem in its own right.
Basically, I’m kinda obsessed with a couple of the cafes there. One is aptly called Cafe 43, the other is Tony’s. Both are remarkably similar, in that they offer a ‘fill your own’ Tupperware option of various sizes. With the most expensive being the princely sum of £5.
Oh, and the range. You can fill your Tupperware with hot food (lasagne, grilled chicken, roast potato), as well as a huge array of salad options. And I don’t just mean lettuce and tomato. I’m talking lentils, chickpeas cooked numerous ways, stuffed vine leaves, olives…
The thing I love about these food places is that you can fill with a variety of salads, and you are charged by the box. Whereas other salad bars tend to charge you per item, limiting what you can try.
But the salad places are just the tip of the iceberg on Leather Lane market.
Hubby is obsessed with the Thai food truck, which serves a delicious halal Thai red. And if that doesn’t tickle your pickle, Leather Lane market also has Greek, Lebanese and burger places to boot.
Leather Lane market is only open on weekdays, but if you’re in the area, it’s worth a look.
Truman Brewery’s World Food market
Right in the heart of Brick Lane, the Truman’s Brewery World Food market is a must-visit on a Sunday. The indoor market takes you on a trip around the globe. Offering French crepes, Italian risotto balls, Mexican fajitas, Moroccan tagines and Ethiopian salads… I could go on, but there are more food options than I can name.
What I love about the World food market is you can try before you buy. Each stall is eager to give you a sample of their cuisine, and it’s practically rude not to take their offering. This greatly reduces your chances of a bad buy. I’ve eaten from many of the stalls, so am relatively well informed. My favourite is the halal Mexican. If you want veg, the Ethiopian stall offers some amazing vegan-friendly vegetables and salad wraps.
Other good halal options are the Thai stalls. And if you just can’t go without curry, there are Indian and Bangladeshi stalls too.
White Cross market
This delightful market is nestled near Old Street. Like Leather Lane market, White Cross market is only open on the weekday, much to the delight of office workers nearby.
With falafel wraps, and Turkish food trucks, you can get your fill of halal lunch.
I’ve had their Turkish wraps and they are just huge.
Devonshire Square Market
Another weekday food market nestled right in the heart of the City of London. Devonshire Square isn’t exclusively halal, but it does have some good options.
With different cuisines and stalls represented at each visit, you can always pick up a surprise at Devonshire Square.
On one visit I was introduced to Venezuelan cuisine in the form of a delicious halal chicken bun pocket (that’s the best description).
Berwick street market
If you’re ever shopping on Oxford Street in the weekday, Berwick Street Market is worth a look. With a distinctly Mediterranean theme, there’s falafel, Turkish meat-filled bread and Greek mezze galore.
Though there aren’t many stalls, there’s more halal meat and salad than you can shake a stick at (though I haven’t verified if the Greek stall is halal).
Based right in the heart of Soho, with the majority of dishes around a fiver, you’d be silly not to check it out.
Brewer Street market
At the bottom of Berwick Street, there’s even more food to be enjoyed at Brewer Street market.
With Halal Thai – red, yellow, green curry, a salad stall and handmade chips, there’s something for most palettes.
I stopped off and had the most generously filled chicken wrap I have ever tried.
Last but not least, there’s old Spitalfields market. Perhaps the most famous of all, and a bit of a celebrity spotting site, (I once fangirled over Jessica Ennis there), Spitalfields market sells jewellery, clothes and everything in between.
They have lots of food options, with stalls as well as little kiosks. The halal options are surprisingly plentiful, with an Indian stall, and a Crepe place offering halal chicken. And with each visit, it seems the range is expanding. Oh and there’s lots of artizan stalls serving deli-style snacks, like the fit olives you see above.
As always, it’s worth asking what places are halal, as eateries you might dismiss may surprise you.
Have I missed any London halal food markets from this post? Let me know in a comment below.
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About the Author
I’m not a makeup artist, chef, lifestyle guru or stylist. I’m just me. And like you, I’m trying to make the best of most things, only I’m sharing my warts-and-all thoughts along the way.