Flowers left for victims of the recent attack still line the street, but the historic market is once again open for business: here are some of our favourite traders to show some support to this week
Brindisa London Bridge
Way back in the 1990s, when “sharing concepts” were something you’d discuss with your therapist, rather than the centre of your Friday night dinner plans, Brindisa was bringing authentic Spanish tapas to the streets of Borough. In 2004, it moved from its warehouse to its first restaurant and now it has four more outposts in London. Aside from its seasonal menu and tapas, it does a fantastic breakfast from traditional potato tortillas to morcilla (blood sausage) and apple fritters with black pudding, eggs and honey. Viva la espana, viva la brindisa.
Visit brindisakitchens.com/restaurant/tapas-brindisa-london-bridge for menus.
The original storefront of Bordeaux-born vintner Muriel Chatel, Borough Wines in Borough Market is a bottle shop that specialises in organic grapes, though the selection on offer includes varieties from all over the place. Growing from a tiny stall in 2002, the shop began life as a way to promote the wines of Chateau Ponchapt, a family-owned vineyard in Bergerac. Today, while the focus is still on the French, they offer hundreds of bottles from both new world and old. They’ve also got beer and spirits, and if you bring your bottles back you can get a cheap refill straight from the barrel.
East LondonLiquor Company
The resurgence of gin has seen government receipts for spirits overtake those of beer for the first time. Fuelling our obsession with Mother’s Ruin is the East London Liquor Company, which brought spirit distillation back to London’s East End after more than a century. It has a fully-stocked Bottle Shop in Borough Market, where you can buy its distinctive – and very well-presented – gin, vodka, rum and whisky. It’s a great way to stock up your mini-bar, and you’ll be supporting a local businesses to boot.
There’s a current trend sweeping London for street food that just does one thing really well. Enter the humble cheese toastie, lifted to astronomical heights by Bill Olgethorpe who owns dairy Kappacasein. It’s all about getting great quality bread and teaming it up with even better quality cheese made nearby in Bermondsey. The bread in question is Poliane, famous in France for staying fresh for up to 10 days. Smash some Montgomery cheddar, onions, leeks and garlic in the middle of it, and you’ve got yourself the king of toasties. Its Swiss raclette, melted onto a pile of potatoes, gherkins and onions, is also not to be missed.
Shellseekers Fish & Game
Former Royal Navy man Darren Brown started his business with some part-time scallop diving, and he’s now an established part of the market. As well as British-caught fish, shellfish and crustaceans, you can also pick up a great selection of game, much of which is shot by Darren when he’s not working at the stall. This is the perfect place to stop off to pick up some fantastic produce to cook for dinner.
This boutique enoteca is a Borough Market mainstay, with a heaving collection of wines from across the globe. Popular French grapes sit next to obscure Lebanese plonk, and it’s near-impossible to leave without picking up a newly discovered bottle or two. Much like its younger offshoot in Spitalfields Market and its most recent opening in a basement bar in Leadenhall, diners come to Bedales to sample wine by the glass alongside a varied cheese and charcuterie menu. Everything here has been sourced from the market itself too, so the menu changes daily depending on what traders are selling.
Adding to the world cuisine of the market, Wokit serves up delicious, health-conscious noodles that are ideal for filling up at lunch-time. All cooked while you wait, you can choose from various rice or noodle bases and pick which meat you want to pop on top. Our favourite is wholegrain rice with curry coconut chicken. Visit wockit.co.uk
Borough Cheese Company
The men and women behind the Borough Cheese Company are absolutely serious about their fromage, making regular pilgrimages to the spiritual home of cheese (France) to consume, review and select the most cracking Comte and terrific Tomme. The affineurs (cheese agers) they work with have been making cheese for more than 25 years, and the fruits of their quarter-century of experience (ie, very good cheese) can now be enjoyed by market-goers looking to slam some damn fine edam into their next sandwich. The Mont d’Or is a speciality, a seasonal washed rind cow’s milk cheese that’ll teleport you to Franch-Comte and back.