East Street Market
You don't go to East Street Market for market chic. You don't go for romantic Sunday afternoons or to find a first edition Sartre for the coffee table or to chat to stallholders about the fascinating origins of their wares. You go to East Street Market for cheap. You go for functional. And when you go, you never, never, question the origins of the wares. Linking Walworth Road with Old Kent Road, two of the most trigger-happy streets in London, East Street Market is gritty, busy and brilliant. It sells absolutely everything, for morally dubious bargains, with chaos and colour. The stallholders are weathered, intimidating, welcoming, charismatic. They'll charm you with cockney banter, then get away with slipping a couple of mouldy peaches among your order because they know you'll think that mouldy peaches are all part of the market authenticity. These are the kind of Londoners who would have survived the Blitz. In fact, some of them did survive the Blitz, and they did so because the bombs bounced right off them. Now, they're selling everything you'll ever need in your lifetime right there on one street: Tesco is catatonic by comparison.