MARKETING (THE FUN KIND)
I know I have previously discussed my deep love for the London food market scene, but now seems like an appropriate time to put an official rating out there. Below I've listed (and rated) my favorite food markets so far! Each one is amazing and totally different, but most importantly they all feature an extraordinary variety of wax paper wrapped fried food for under 5 pounds. And jewelry that turns your skin green. Please name a better combination, honestly.
rating: 7 out of 10 tacos
Portebello market was my first market experience in the UK and it really set the bar. First of all, can we just recognize that Portebello market is not only named after a mushroom (my favorite vegetable), but is set in Notting Hill. THE Notting Hill. The Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant Notting Hill. Mind blowing.
Putting it’s incredible historical relevancy aside, Portobello Market kills the food and flower scene. I got the most amazing falafel wrap (above) that changed my life. Turns out falafel wraps are at exactly every market in the UK and I’ve purchased one at… all of them. Plus, (ask Caitlyn) there were some pretty unbelievable Nutella stuffed donuts. Lastly, very important, the street music was by far the best here. Don't miss out!
rating: 9 out of 10 tacos
Okay, confession, this was not really a market. Carnaby is a one-day street food festival in Covent Gardens. So you need to either be super prepared and in the know or stupid lucky. We fall, unsurprisingly, into the latter category (thanks @Miranda!!!).
Carnaby features lots of glittery street signs, funky food stands, craft beer and a variety of FREE popsicles. They were all ridiculously fancy flavors like lavender (which tastes exactly how it smells) and cucumber-pear-mint (which tastes like expensive water). There was were also (prepare yourself) edible, fruit flavored bubbles, disco balls, bean bag chairs and a DJ in a bus. I know. Needless to say, the vibe was contagious and the dumplings scrumptious. We literally spent all day there. Please go.
rating: 6 out of 10 tacos
Cambridge’s market is kind of a different atmosphere than Portobello and Carnaby. Although still packed with people and food, it’s a little more small town. Which obviously makes sense considering it’s location. Snuggled in the town center of Cambridge, this market runs every day and had about as many souvenir stands as it did food. (Actually not really a problem if your a secret tourist like me).
The amazing Portuguese woman pictured above made my food that was so delicious I literally couldn’t wait to take a picture. It also set my mouth on fire for the rest of the day but totally worth it. If you’re in Cambridge definitely go but don’t make a special trip? Also, to be honest you can't really avoid it because the town is kind of small, but still. It’s good guys!
rating: 10 out of 10 tacos
This. is. the. Mecca. I know I raved about all of the above markets, but Camden is a whole different ball game. You would think by this time I would be a market pro but I made a super rookie mistake last weekend. I committed to my meal before seeing the entire thing.
Don’t get my wrong, my wrap was not only beautiful but crazy refreshing and the peanut butter and jelly cookie sunday from Cookie’s and Scream (an all vegan dessert joint!!!) were both deeply satisfying. But after we ate we continued to wander and found the actual holy land of street food. I’m talking like 50 stalls of goodness including an all vegan Mexican food stand and pasta that is hand pulled in front of you. Needless to say I’m going back tomorrow.
More to come next week!