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Top 5 Foods and Restaurants in Spitalfields Market – And 1 to Avoid

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7 months ago

As probably too many people know, I have the luxury of living quite literally in Spitalfields Market, so I’d like to think that you can’t find a better guide to the market than me. But it changes all the time, so you need to stay current to know the best restaurants in Spitalfields Market.

The market feeds me for more meals in a day than I should admit, so let me tell you the best foods and restaurants to try in Spitalfields Market from someone who has tried literally all of it.

But before we start, there is one thing you really need to know about Spitalfields Market:

So many restaurants in Spitalfields Market give free samples. Don’t be shy: enjoy the free falafel at Pilpel, take a slice of the naan bread at Naan Wrap, and (not “or”, but “and”) have a bite of the pork sandwich at Mamma’s Goodies (and get the filled pistachio croissant).

5. Chicken Söte at Ebby’s Kitchen

This sounds more unique than it is, but “Söte” is just the Turkish word for “sauté”. It’s a mixture of garlic powder, onions, and a range of spices.

I really enjoy this dish because it’s very filling, and the salad box that they serve it in comes with halloumi fries. Who doesn’t love halloumi fries?

If you’re looking to try something else, the dish that made Ebby’s Kitchen famous (and earned them a permanent food truck) is their baba köfte which they serve on either a tortilla wrap or as part of a gluten-free salad. This is a great one for lunchtime in Spitalfields.

Local tip: The best day to go to Spitalfields Market is Thursday because that is when all the stalls sell antiques instead of what is sold every other day. Try to go on Thursday if you can!

4. Masala Chai at Chai Guys

Much like a lot of places in Spitalfields Market, the Chai Guys have perfected a single item and they are fully aware of it.

Chai is ubiquitous in food markets in London now, so it’s no surprise that someone has risen to the top of the chai game and perfected it. Sugar-filled chai tea lattes won’t be an option for you after you try this one.

The masala chai at Chai Guys has all the usual spices (cinnamon, cardamom, clove etc.) but has a few other special additions that the Chai Guys keep to themselves as a closely guarded secret. It’s aromatic and spicy, and you can even get a cardamom bun to pair it with.

3. The Rice Roll at RICEBROTHER

I really like this concept because I haven’t seen it elsewhere (and I lived in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan for many years). It’s basically a burrito that uses sushi rice and nori instead of bread, and the fillings are all Chinese ingredients and flavours.

The pepper tofu rice roll is super tasty because they flavor the tofu with Sichuan peppers. And they put in a Chinese savoury doughnut called Youtiao (which literally translates to oil stick – beautiful) to give it a crunch.

If you’re trying to watch your carb intake, they offer rice boxes which have all the same ingredients except (contrary to the name) you can ask them to remove the rice. Honestly, it’s much better with the rice (you need the rice to take on the flavours of the sauces), so maybe save this one for a carb-loading day.

Because this is London, they have a vegan option, but unfortunately, they don’t have any gluten-free options.

2. Piadina Flatbreads at PiadinaBros

The team at PiadinaBros only does one thing: tasty flatbreads with a protein of your choice, cheese, tomatoes, veggies like zucchini, grilled on a flat iron to just the right temperature. This is one of those places that has perfected their single offering. You can get chorizo, chicken, steak or vegetarian.

Amazingly, they also offer free samples (it’s usually the vegetarian option but make sure you ask them) which they leave on a board on the glass counter. Take a piece and continue wondering around the market if you haven’t yet decided.

They’ve also recently branched out to sweet flatbreads. The Nutella flatbread is a joy but maybe slightly too indulgent for a lunchtime meal.

1. Kothu Roti at Kara Pin Cha

The team behind this Sri Lankan food stall make a dish called Kothu Roti which consists of chopped roti (a type of fried, pastry-like, thin bread), a meat of your choice (or vegan!) onions, scrambled egg and chilli.

They make your Kothu Roti fresh to order every time so you can guarantee freshness. When they ask you if you want the chilli sauce, the answer is yes (it’s mild – I promise).

Kara Pin Cha has vegan and vegetarian options and, my favorite part, they give free samples of their lamb, chicken and vegan kothu roti. I’ll admit I treat myself to a sample every time I’m there, even though I’ve already ordered. If you can’t decide what you want to treat yourself to for a meal, at least try the sample.

And the one to avoid…

I suppose you wouldn’t actively choose to go to this one for food, but if you’re thinking of doing it, you shouldn’t.

The Loft Spitalfields is a much better option for a drink than food. There are far better restaurants in Spitalfields Market for pizza (including Sud Italia which makes from margheritas to pepperoni for less than £10 for a full pizza). I’d say the only thing the Loft is worth visiting for is its strategic vantage point over the market. You can see all the hustle and bustle.

We like to keep this list updated because the food choices in Spitalfields Market changes very frequently. We’ll make sure to update you if there’s anything new and exciting to try. And if none of these pique your interest, Spitalfields has everything from Greek to Ethiopian food, so I’m sure you’ll find something that you’ll love.

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