Three reasons to visit Tooting Market
by Rizwan Osman on 2nd August 2019
With its quirky cocktail bars, gastro food options and eclectic range of stalls, multi-award-winning Tooting Market is a great place for night out – or to pick up a bargain during the day.
Close to Tooting Broadway station, Tooting’s indoor market has been operating from the site for more than 80 years. But recent improvements, alongside efforts to attract a diverse range of stallholders, have brought new visitors to a space, which was previously in decline.
The market’s resurgence over the past few years has helped place Tooting firmly on the map of London’s most happening locations. Lonely Planet guides have named Tooting one of the 10 coolest places on earth – up there with districts of New York, Seoul and Rio de Janeiro.
If you’ve never visited Tooting Market, and are wondering what all the fuss is about, here are three reasons to find the time to stop by:
For an evening tipple
By night Tooting Market is transformed into a lovely, laid back collection of bars. Pop to Graveney Gin for organic London dry gin, hand-crafted in the market’s tiny micro-brewery. If you don’t fancy a G&T, try one of the tasting bar’s range of cocktails.
For fans of craft ale, We Brought Beer promises an ever-changing collection of the best artisan beers from around the world.
Head for the market’s Totterdown Street entrance, where you’ll find the snug little Secret Bar, serving up wines, beers and cocktails at great prices – but keep it to yourselves!
Unwined in Tooting is a specialist wine bar and shop, which also serves fine food from guest chefs; Thursday to Sunday. There’s a unique selection of wines on the shelves and the friendly and knowledgeable staff will help you pick the perfect one to accompany your meal or take home. Plus, there are regular wine tastings and themed nights (a geeks and nerds’ night for example).
For a non-alcoholic option try Get Juiced and its range of juices and smoothies as well as vegan cakes and pastries.
For a bite to eat
The market is also a bit of a foodie treat with a range of delicious options. Visit Plot for good modern British fare, in a cool, unassuming setting. Plot specialises in small, tapas-like treats, cooked before your eyes.
Koi Ramen offers seriously tasty Japanese noodles, pan-fried dumplings and saki. And if you’re looking to fill up on pizza, you’ll find a branch of emerging sourdough chain Franca Manca.
Boom Bap Burger will be ‘flippin’ meats and droppin’ beats’ for you, with specialities including the ‘Drop it like it’s Hot’ green chilli cheeseburger and ‘Notorious PIG’ (topped with slow-cooked pork).
For brunch, make sure you check out Brickwood Coffee & Bread’s mouth-watering Aussie-themed offerings. Try a toasted brioche with cameralised banana, berry compote and maple bacon or the Kumara breakfast with sweet potato, feta, poached egg, kale pesto and pumpkin seeds on toast – all washed down with a range of coffee brews or pressed juices.
Right beside the market, there’s also Daddy Bao for steamed-buns packed with fillings including slow braised pork and pickles or beer marinated prawns with mooli and spring onion.
And Honest Burgers serves some mean rosemary chips with monthly burger specials – such as the Cheese Truck stuffed with beef, bacon and deep-fried mozzarella.
To shop till you drop
For shopping, the market is packed with stalls selling fresh food, clothing, vintage wear, crafts and more. You’ll also find the odd nail bar and hair salon.
Mina Shop is a family-run Portuguese delicatessen, from the people behind Secret Bar. Drop by for Portuguese cheese, wine, deli items and cakes – including enchidos and custard tarts. There’s also a café.
Hidden Jules is a treasure trove of vintage clothing, shoes and jewellery, while My Old Girl and Me is a curiosity shop for upcycled furniture, textiles and upholstery. And don’t miss Ma’at for art, sculptures, gem stones, tribal drums and masks sourced from across Africa and Asia.
If you’re a collector, Dr Vinyl offers musical therapy in the form of records, CDs and all kinds of music memorabilia from the 50s onwards.
Or treat yourself at the Nuff Naturals stall, which stocks beautiful organic and fairtrade skincare products.
Tooting Market’s latest venture has been to open the Yard Market at 20 Totterdown Street, which has transformed an underused area into a vibrant shopping destination with a carefully curated mix of retail units – and even a gym. Sample the Athenian Greek’s street food or VBELLY vegan restaurant, plus much more.
Tooting Market is open from 8.30am to 10.30pm Monday to Saturday and from 9am to 10.30pm Sundays. Find out more on the Tooting Market website.
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