London is a culinary capital and food tours here are becoming more and more popular. But at Free Tours By Foot we think paying upwards of £50.00 for a food tour isn’t necessarily affordable and value for money. So we’ve put together a self-guided food tour that is absolutely FREE to take – aside from the tasty treats you’ll need to purchase yourself!
This food tour takes place in the popular London hotspot of Clerkenwell. East London is really coming alive lately, and the Exmouth Food Market in this part of town is a brilliant example of this. The market is buzzing every weekday lunch-time with local workers and residents who have come out to taste some of the best street food London has to offer. Exmouth Market is “real” London and tucked just far enough away from other touristy parts of town which will give you an authentic London experience.
[Note: This tour should run between 12:00 – 2:00 Mondays to Fridays to experience the best of the market. Thursdays and Fridays are the busiest days.
Once you get to the market, you’ll find all the food stalls in a single line running down Exmouth Market Road. We are giving you a suggestion of an order to eat in, which may have you walking out of order but we think it’s the best way to go!]
START: Farringdon Underground Station
FINISH: Spa Fields Park, Behind Exmouth Market
How to get to Exmouth Market in East London
When you exit Farringdon Station, turn RIGHT. You will come to the corner of Farringdon Road where you should take another RIGHT. Walk straight up this road – it will take quite some time. – Until you get to the junction with ROSEBURY AVENUE. It’s a total 10-12 minute walk. There on your right in the small area with trees and benches is Exmouth Market.
Stop 1 – Spinach & Agushi – Ghanaian Cuisine
This will be the first stall you come to, when walking from Farringdon. This stall is one of the longest-serving on Exmouth Market and is likely the only Ghanaian food you will have while in London! To get the most bang for your buck, order one of the jollof rice tubs which will come with your choice of two different delicious stews! You can choose a rice base or fried plantain if you’d prefer – and for £5.00 you’ll get a lot of flavour for not a lot of money!
Stop 2 – Crepes & Galettes – French Crepes
Another long-time resident of Exmouth Market is Crepes & Galettes, serving up delicious delights cooked to a well-guarded ancient family recipe for the last 8 years. Our recommendation is the fresh spinach & mushroom crepe – everything is made right in front of your eyes and is served hot and delicious!
You’ll likely find that the queue for Moro is the longest in the market. This stall has a restaurant here that is one of the most popular places to eat in the Clerkenwell area. Moro’s food is delicious – but you won’t have much choice here; they only serve a single dish that changes day to day. However, it’s always delicious, so go for it! You’ll find dishes like grilled chicken on flatbread, couscous with grilled aubergine, or delightful Moorish stews.
Stop 4 – Gujarati Rasoi – Indian
This stall only serves vegetarian dishes, but for meat-lovers, don’t let that put you off! The main dishes here are absolutely delicious but, in order to keep eating, try a small treat like a freshly cooked samosa, flavoured to perfection and a perfect way to sample a lot of flavour in a little parcel.
Mexican street food is big business in London these days, and one of the best you’ll find is here at Exmouth Market: Freebird. Freebird is serving up classic Mexican flavours in the form of burritos and salads. Choose from grilled steak, marinated chicken, or vegetarian and wrap it all up in a flour tortilla with delicious rice, beans, and homemade salsas (mild, medium or hot. And hot means HOT.) A classic burrito is all yours for under £5.00 but may sure you share with at least one another person because these delicious meals are tasty and filling!
Stop 6 – Sporeboys – Mushrooms
An entire stall devoted entirely to mushrooms? Well…yes! These guys are experts in all things mushroom. You’ll find risotto, sandwiches, home-made truffle oils, and likely a selection of rare mushrooms you may never have had the chance to try before. Get brave and try something new!
Stop 7 PART 1 - Ion Patisserie – Desserts
You’ll be going back on yourself to get to this stall, but Ion Patisserie is exactly where you want to finish your visit with a delicious desserts! The selection changes, but is always fabulous and fresh. Highlights are apple strudel and amazing New York-style cheesecakes in a wide variety of flavours. Consider taking your treat to take away to a nearby park – perhaps with a delight from our next stop…
STOP 7 PART 2 - Caravan – Coffee
This is easily the best coffee to be found at Exmouth Market, and for a lot of people, the best in London! Once you’ve snapped up your dessert at Ion Patisserie, it’s a few steps away to Caravan to collect a coffee to go.
Then, step in between Café Pistou and Coffee Nero onto a small road called Catherine Griffiths Ct. around 30 seconds down, there is a path on the LEFT that will take you into SPA FIELDS PARK. A great place to sit and enjoy the last tastes of your Exmouth Market tour.
We recommend all foodies to check out our other (self-guided) food tours as well.
++If you prefer to be lead by a real tour guide, check out our famous pay-what-you-like walking tours!!+++