Borough Market

Top choice market in The South Bank

Located in this spot in some form or another since the 13th century (possibly since 1014), this fantastic market is a sight in its own right. Expect it to be crowded – even on days with limited traders (Monday and Tuesday) it always seems to be overflowing with food lovers, wide-eyed visitors and Londoners in search of inspiration for their meals. The market specialises in high-end fresh products; there are also plenty of takeaway stalls and lots of dessert options.

Many of the lunch stalls cluster in Green Market (the area closest to Southwark Cathedral). If you'd rather eat indoors, there are some fantastic cafes and restaurants too – try Monmouth Coffee Company or Arabica Bar & Kitchen.

The market simply heaves on Saturdays, so get here early for the best pickings or enjoy the craze at lunchtime. There's a stepped seating area in Jubilee Place and free water fountains for you to refill a bottle near Maria's Cafe. If you'd like more elbow space to enjoy your takeaway, walk five minutes in either direction along the Thames for river views.

Note that although the full market runs from Wednesday to Saturday, some traders and takeaway stalls do open Mondays and Tuesdays.