Berwick Street from Broadwick Street Peter Street
Tube: Oxford Circus, Piccadilly Circus and Tottenham Court Road
Open: Monday-Saturday 8am-5pm
Berwick Street Market is one of London's oldest, dating it's origins back to a charter granted by James II over three hundred years ago. The market has faced many ups and downs since that time and its focus on fresh fruit and veg has been lost with just a few of the traditional traders still selling their great value produce. Jim's Fruit & Veg stall is still trading from their usual pitch although not crying out the latest offerings as they did in former times.
Ronnie's Flowers is another stalwart of the market, still going strong after 56 years of trading and now run by Ronnie's daughter. There is another flower stall at the Broadwick Street end of the market which is also worth having a look at for cut flowers and also a few cheap potted herbs and flowering plants.
The stall that is not to be missed is the Soho Dairy run by the ebullient Robin and selling unpasteurised cheese and milk and fresh eggs. He has taken on a good deal of the battle with Westminster Council, who for over ten years refused to issue permanent licenses to trade. The battle has now been won, and not only has the street been pedestrianised making it a much nice place to shop and stroll, but permanent licences have been granted to sixteen traders securing Berwick Street's future.
The real pull for this market these days are the street food takeaways which are buzzing with hungry workers looking to enjoy a good value alfresco lunch. In this small stretch you can find food from around the world including Indian, Greek, middle-eastern and Thai with one stall calling itself Savage Salads doing a roaring lunchtime trade. The falafel stall is also popular and offers some of the freshest and most delicious of these middle eastern delicacies to be found in the capital.
Berwick Street is now one of the last remaining central London markets and one well worth exploring if you're in Soho. From Wednesday to Friday it is complemented by Rupert Street Market just the other side of Shaftesbury Avenue (see page xxx) which also now specialises in street food.
There are lots of street food stalls here, but if your fancy a sit down, My Place (21 Berwick Street) and Flat White (17 Berwick Street) are great places to relax, grab a bite and both serve great coffee.
Among the attractions of Berwick Street is Reign Vintage at number 12 which is great for unique vintage fashion and those with a love of comics and graphic books should look out for Gosh Comic on the corner with Peter Street.