LONDON | Welcome to the second instalment of our exploration of London’s street food scene. Today we journey south of the Thames and visit the Brockley Market in Lewisham. The Brockley Market is a fab community market that offers excellent street food in SE4. Brockley Market is a 3 minute walk from St John’s railway station or about a 15 minute walk from both Lewisham and New Cross railway stations.
Brockley Market has been getting quite a bit of press coverage lately, and is being touted as the “mini-Borough Market”. Apart from its size, what really sets this market apart for us is its real sense of community spirit. Many of the traders at Brockley Market are veterans, and have been at the market since the it was launched 4 years ago. It’s obvious that the local community rallies around this market. More than just a place to grab some delicious food or the weekly shop, Brockley Market is a gathering place for friends and families alike.
At Brockley Market, you’ll find ample amounts of organic produce and meat along with speciality offerings. Case in point are the World of Zing who offer “world-class cocktails in a bottle”. World of Zing is a subsidiary one of the UK’s leading ingredient supplier for Indian restaurants, covering the range from Brick Lane to Michelin starred restaurants. World of Zing’s cocktail offering at Brockley Market on the day we visited consisted of Negroni, Manhattan, Blackberry Tamarind Punch, and Persian Lime and Nori Margaritas concocted using the finest spirits and ingredients. The bottles are a bit pricey at £25 but would make a perfect gift as they’re a fail-proof way to enjoy a hand-crafted cocktail at home. In fact after sampling the Margarita, we couldn’t resist a bottle to really upgrade our frequent “Taco Tuesdays” at home.
Continuing around the globe, we made a stop at Flavours of Spain who, as the name suggests, is a trader specialising in artisan cheeses and charcuterie and small producer wines from the Iberican peninsula. We couldn’t resisting the temptation of chorizo, marcona almonds, and a manchego that was named the world’s best cheese in 2012.
The Beer Shop London is a relative new addition to the market. The stall is the Brockley outpost of their bottle shop in Nunhead Green, SE15. They stock many of the best craft beers made within the M25. In the run up to get their liquor license, The Beer Shop London have developed a brilliant workaround – a takeaway container for your purchases so you can enjoy one of their quality beers or real ales off the premises.
Moving onto more substantial meals, and there are many options to choose from for lunch at the Brockley Market. We had heard wonderful reviews of Mike and Ollie’s Lebanese flatbread wraps. From the size of the queue it was clear a few others out there got the memo too. Chatting to people in the queue, we heard that the market was down two traders so some of the snaking queue was attributable to overflow. In any case, it was clear that this place commanded a following of regulars. Despite working their tails off, it was clear the men running the stall had a good bit of banter going on between themselves and their customers.
Mike and Ollie offer a 3 types of Lebanese style wraps-with the works. When we were there they offered lamb, mackerel, and a grilled aubergine option. We were lucky enough to snag one of the few remaining lamb wraps (the fish had already sold out!). The lamb was slow cooked to perfection and doused with an ample serving of fresh herbs and hummus. The fresh, fluffy flatbread made daily was the real showstopper. The wrap looked gorgeous and we physically could not resist tucking in before taking a photo. At £7.00, it was so very satisfying and easy to eat.
We had a brief chat with the Mike who comes across as a pretty cool dude who is most definitely super passionate about his craft. A bit more about the man behind the wrap can be found here.
Another stall that commands a hefty wait to sample it’s delicacies is Mother Flipper Burgers but as the saying goes, anything worth having is worth waiting for. Mother Flipper have developed a well organised system of separate ordering and collection points which suits itself to the large queue. When trying a new burger joint, we always going for the classic cheeseburger before testing any of the more elaborate creations to ensure that we’re comparing “apples with apples” so to speak. We like an even playing field for our comparisons to other burger joints.
For £6.00, one gets a burger that could rival the American South West cult burger, In-N-Out (yeah we said it). The burger is presented on an environmentally friendly plate. Its vessel, a glossy brioche bun. The burger is a hefty chunk of beef, fresh salad, American cheese, and an especially delicious pickle. The formula is simple but the result is superb. Mother Flipper features at several London street food markets including KERB and Street Feast LDN. We will keep an eye out for them and look forward to working our way through their menu!
For dessert there’s one stall that you must try and that is that of Kooky Bakes. Kooky Bakes offers a taste of American baking in the UK. A perfect example of the trans-Atlantic collaboration is their Banoffee Cupcake, which is delicious in every way. The cake was perfectly moist, while channelling all that is great about the British classic, banoffee. The perfect treat to round out a fantastic sunny London Saturday afternoon.
If you’re not already bursting at the edges by this stage of the afternoon then we recommend some ice cream or sorbet from Tufnell Park’s Ruby Violet, who occasionally drive their van to Brockley Market. The organic, hand made, creamy ice cream and refreshing sorbet are truly amongst London’s best and seasonal flavours such as basil & lime, matcha green tea chocolate hazelnut crunch keep things simple, and allow the high quality ingredients to shine.
If all of that hasn’t convinced you that you need to pay a visit to Brockley Market, then let us remind you that you can also do your weekly grocery shop here, with a full range of locally sourced, seasonal fruit, veg, bread, meat, poultry, game and fish on offer.
That’s it for now, but keep posted for our next instalment in the London Street Food series, where we head over to Brixton to check out its continually evolving street food scene.
Lewisham College Car Park
London SE4 1UT
Sat: 10:00pm to 2:00pm