Address: 16 Horner Square, Spitalfields, London, E1 6EW
Opening Times: Mon to Weds 10am – 5pm, Thurs 9am – 5pm, Fri 10am – 4pm, Sat 11am – 5pm, Sun 9am – 5pm
An introduction to the market
Situated in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, Old Spitalfields is one of the capital’s most popular – and longest-established – markets. It is a busy trading hub in the East End of the city, which attracts retailers and stallholders from across the board and a similarly varied cross section of customers.
There has been a market at Spitalfields in the east of London for over 350 years. King Charles I gave a licence for flesh, fowl and roots to be sold in 1638 and ever since then, this has been a popular place for both traders and buyers alike.
Today the market has moved indoors, where shops and stalls are protected from the elements. The iconic Horner Square and Horner Buildings were built in the mid to late Victorian era and help give Old Spitalfields much of its authentic charm. It is an old building, but the market itself is very much on the cutting edge.
What’s on at Old Spitalfields
â€‹There is always something going on at Old Spitalfields, a market which offers something for people of all ages and persuasions. It has a number of different themed markets during the week, which allow members of the public to come and look for specialist, niche items they may not be able to find at a general market. General market stalls are open between Sunday and Wednesday, with the Antiques and Vintage Market taking place each Thursday. Friday hosts the Fashion & Art market, while Saturday is the themed market day.
Fashion features prominently at Old Spitalfields Market, with shoppers able to choose from classic and contemporary styles, seeking clothing items from the independent retailers or the better-known brand names. Many of the fashion outlets are long-established at Old Spitalfields, meaning there is a sense of continuity to the market and plenty of reason for shoppers to keep coming back year after year.
Arts and Crafts is also big business at the market, with painters, printers and designers offering their services. There are always antiques and vintage items to choose from, many of which would be difficult to find in the mainstream high street retailers.
Eating and drinking at Old Spitalfields
â€‹If you’re planning to spend a few hours, or even the whole day browsing the market, the chances are you’ll want refreshment at some point. Luckily there are plenty of great options to choose from at Old Spitalfields, taking in a wide range of cuisine. Your difficulty will not be finding something to eat and drink, it will be making your mind up what to choose.
The following cafes, bars and restaurants offer meals and snacks at Old Spitalfields Market:
- Androuet – offering Parisian cheese and wine
- Bleecker St. Burger – offering American-style burgers
- Blixen – all-day brasserie and cocktail bar
- Cafe Caribbean – bringing tastes of Jamaica to East London
- Chop’d – offering salads, soups, stews, wraps and mezes.
- Crepeaffaire – a place for crepes and other sweet treats
- Gourmet Burger Kitchen – offering innovative gourmet burgers
- Indi-go – a vendor of traditional Indian street food
- Las Iguanas – Latin and South American savoury treats
- Pilpel – falafel and houmous bar
- Poppies Fish and Chips – an authentic East End chippy at Old Spitalfields Market
- Smiths – four floors of eating and drinking opportunities
- Square Pie – Classic British and gourmet pies
- Taberna Do Mercado – a traditional Portuguese restaurant
- The Diner – classic American bar meals and snacks
- The Real Greek – offering Mediterranean meals and a Greek dining experience
- Wagamama – a Japanese-inspired noodle restaurant
- Wright Brothers – oyster specialists and seafood suppliers
What else can you do in the Old Spitalfields area?
There are plenty of other interesting sites and attractions within close range of Old Spitalfields Market, meaning it is possible to enjoy a full day trip to East London. Nearby places of interest include the Bank of England, the Gherkin, The Barbican arts centre and the restaurants of Brick Lane – one of London’s most significant multicultural hubs. Many people coming to this part of London visit the trendy shops of ‘hipster-friendly’ Shoreditch, while the Old Truman Brewery and Whitechapel Gallery also attract visitors. Others may pay a trip to the traditional pubs of the Whitechapel area and see where Jack the Ripper lived and ‘worked’.
Closest Tube stop to Old Spitalfields Market
If you’re coming to Old Spitalfields Market via the London Underground network, the nearest stop is Liverpool Street Station, which is a six-minute walk away. An alternative option is Aldgate East which is seven minutes on foot from the market. Plenty of local bus services travel to the area, meaning there are also road options for people using public transport.