The Complete Guide To The Maltby Street Market

View of the Maltby Street Market | Courtesy of the Maltby Street Market
View of the Maltby Street Market | Courtesy of the Maltby Street Market
Photo of A Winners
5 October 2016

The Maltby Street Market just might be London’s most unambitious food market. The brainchild of the creative minds of LASSCO Ropewalk, the unadvertised weekend food market is more of a way to discover unique food and enjoy Bermondsey than to draw in the large crowds seen at other markets. The functioning architectural salvage lumberyard during the week is transformed into a carefully curated smorgasborg on Saturdays and Sundays. Here’s a guide to this foodie haven.

The Scene

On the weekends, vendor stands line a tight corridor in between the LASSCO store and brick railway arches on Maltby Street, serving up some of London’s best street fare. Wander through the packed market admiring the choice views of the Shard and try remarkable food and drinks brought to you by artisans dedicated to their craft. Here are some must-try destinations of both the newest additions and veterans of the Maltby Street Market.

SIP: Beanbag Coffee

In a city filled with specialty coffee businesses, Beanbag Coffee stands apart from the rest. Ready to satiate your caffeine cravings, Beanbag brews its ethically sourced Asian beans using traditional Thai methods including muslin bags, and serves both iced and hot coffee. Per its namesake, Beanbag sells freshly made iced coffee, also Thai-inspired, in bags ready to drink on the go or be resealed to enjoy later. If piping hot joe is your jam, try its flavoured hot coffee. Owner Gary Kirby is proud to use real whole food ingredients instead of artificial flavourings in his coffee. Enjoy his coffee blended with ingredients like almond butter, banana, avocado, and concentrated real coconut milk. Amazingly, the ingredients are added in such a way as to not affect the texture of the coffee but simply add to the drink. With a rotating menu and daily flavours, you will have to return to the market or visit the stand at its nearby weekday location to try them all.

Beanbag Coffee Stand at the Maltby Street Market

SAMPLE: Dhan Waffle

You might not have heard of dhan before, but if you like waffles, Dhan Waffle will be your new favourite stop. Owner Yi Yun ‘Irene’ had the idea to bring Taiwanese dhan to London and dedicated herself to enlightening our taste buds. The process included flying the heavy metal griddle from Taiwan packed into her suitcase and building a custom street market cart. Irene makes each batch of dhan fresh and made-to-order. Cooked right before your eyes, the egg-shaped and bite sized dhan are made from Irene’s handmade batter, which includes a matcha flavour, topped with your choice of toppings like vanilla custard, Nutella, and salted caramel (be sure to try her authentic Taiwanese peanut brittle crumble too) and served in an egg carton. The hot, soft, cake-like morsels are just the thing to satisfy a weekend sweet craving. Currently, Dhan Waffle can be found exclusively at the Maltby Street Market with plans to expand, so be sure to be the first of your friends to try it.

Dhan Waffle owner Irene serving up Taiwanese dhan at Maltby Street Market | Courtesy of Ann Winners

SAVOUR: African Volcano

Tucked into one of the lumber storage railway arches, the colossal, stacked hamburgers of African Volcano taste as good as they look. Perfectly cooked beef patties are topped with locally-made treacle-cured bacon and slathered with creator Grant Hawthorne’s peri peri sauce. Juicy, salty and sweet, these hamburgers can satisfy even the most tested of London’s burger veterans. A member of the Maltby Street Market from its inception, African Volcano serves a variety of grilled sandwiches and also sells bottles of Grant’s award-winning peri peri sauce and marinades. We recommend you pick up a burger to enjoy at the market and a bottle of the sauce to continue the taste bud party at home. The sauces have a contribution beyond spicing up your recipes as well. A native of South Africa, Grant donates 30p for every bottle of his sauce to supporting Habitat for Humanity in Cape Town South Africa.

African Volcano burger and peri peri sauces at the Maltby Street Market | Courtesy of Ann Winners

SIT: Maltby & Greek

Looking for a place to grab a seat and catch up with friends while enjoying a tipple and nibble? Take refuge from the crowds at Maltby & Greek. Host Christina Kouvaraki will be sure to treat you to some of that famous Greek hospitality. The leading UK supplier of Greek specialty food and drink, Maltby & Greek is located in a cozy lumber railway arch with a variety of seating arrangements. Try its carefully sourced Greek wines or beer, yes, Greek beer, paired with a delectable cheese and meat platter. Ask Christina for her recommendations from the menu and you won’t be disappointed. A veteran vendor of the Maltby Street Market from the very beginning, Maltby & Greek strives to support Greek cuisine in the UK and we can’t wait for its upcoming pop-up rotation of London’s best Greek restaurants.

Maltby & Greek setup in the lumber storage arch at Maltby Street Market | Courtesy of Maltby & Greek

The Permanent Vendors

If you are craving some mid-week Maltby Street grub, you’re in luck. Three of the railway arches are permanent restaurants in addition to being weekend market vendors. Check out the jamon and cava of Tozino, French wines and seasonal plates at St. John Maltby, and lovely desserts of patisserie Comptoir Gourmand.

Bar Tozino at the Maltby Street Market | Courtesy of Tozino

The Future

The host of the market, LASSCO, gets a nod for its resistance to singular service offerings. Lumberyard, antique furnishings store, bar, event space, and market host, LASSCO is continually expanding its interests by supporting the passions of its many friends in the food and drink industry. Noticeably absent at the market is grocery items. Currently featuring one produce vendor (Saturdays only) and one cheese vendor, Maltby Street Market is considering adding more produce vendors. Brunch, antiques shopping and groceries all in one spot? We can’t wait to see what the market brings us next.

Entrance to LASSCO Ropewalk | Courtesy of LASSCO Ropewalk

The Area

Now in its fourth year, the market has seen the rise of Bermondsey’s popularity as a residential area, as well as a spot to make some mean craft beer and spirits. Stick around the area after the market and explore other areas like the Bermondsey beer mile, Jensen’s Gin distillery, and White Cube art gallery.
Saturday 9AM – 4PM, Sunday 11AM – 4PM

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