Legendary Brick Lane Vintage Market in East London is one of the most vibrant places in London on a Sunday, great for people watching and bargains as well as tasty street food from all over the world. Here are our best tips for how to enjoy this buzzing Sunday market in London.
5 Highlights at Brick Lane Market
- Iconic Brick Lane Beigel Bake is an institution in East London serving fresh bagels 24/7
- Go for a hearty meal at one of the authentic Bangladeshi Curry Houses
- Upmarket vintage market in the Old Truman Brewery selling new and old retro clothing
- Backyard Market for unique arts and crafts products from independent brands
- Check out the awesome street graffiti and magnificent murals
It has gradually become more upmarket and popular with hipsters, art students, and other urban types fond of the edgy and artistic. Boutiques, art galleries, and cafés are plentiful in this area, and it is also the heart of London’s Bangladeshi community. You will find the market at the crossroads of these colliding cultures.
A notable aspect of this market is the sheer randomness of the offerings. You might find someone selling old eight-track tapes set up next to another fellow who appears to be selling off his worldly possessions straight out of an open suitcase.
Brick Lane Street Food
From Chinese pork dumplings and Indian street snacks to Colombian Arepas and Ethiopian lentils stews, here is something for everyone. In addition to all the stalls lining the Lane during weekends, you should also check out the Boiler House Food Hall with as many as 30 international street food stalls.
Brick Lane Vintage Market
Vintage clothing is a big draw here, too. The Sunday UpMarket is quite a special part of Brick Lane. Located in the old Truman Brewery, this market highlights up and coming clothing and accessory designers who display and sell their original creations.
You might stumble across the next big name in fashion flogging their wares at, a possibility that seems quite irresistible to the trendy clothes horses among us. Be sure to bring cash with you if you intend to shop the market as vendors rarely take credit cards and it is a very long walk to the nearest cash machine.
Bangladeshi Curry shops
Brick Lane Market is surrounded by numerous curry shops, many of them run by Bangladeshi residents, and they are a nice place for lunch after browsing the market. Hawkers line the streets at busy times, calling out special deals such as discounts or free drinks to prospective patrons. Haggling is expected, so if you plan on dining at one of these curry houses, make sure to negotiate yourself a favourable settlement before deciding on a location.
The Truman Brewery Markets
The Truman Brewery on Brick Lane is one of the most famous landmarks in East London. Once home to London’s biggest brewery, the buildings are now utilized by creative businesses, exclusive independent shops, galleries, markets, bars and restaurants. Five distinct niche markets all housed within the former brewery buildings:
- The Boiler House Food Hall: International Street Food
- UpMarket: Vintage clothes, arts and crafts
- Backyard Market: Arts & Crafts from independent brands
- Vintage Market: Clothes from the 1920s up until the 90s
Brick Lane’s Beigel Bake
Brick Lane’s Beigel Bake is an institution in East London selling traditional Jewish-style bagels. Salt beef and smoked salmon are among our favourites, and we usually buy plain ones (£0.30 per beigel) that we enjoy at home.
A brief history of Brick Lane Market
As its name suggests, Brick Lane gets its name from the local manufacture of bricks. By the early 18th century, it was a long well-paved street frequented by carts fetching bricks into Whitechapel from brick kilns. The other industry in the area was beer, which was brewed in the Truman Black Eagle Brewery, founded in 1669. The brewery building remains today, now converted to designers/artists’ studios, workshops and bars.
Brick Lane is now the centre of London’s Bangladeshi community. One of the most exciting buildings is in the London Jamme Masjid, a mosque on the corner of Fournier Street and Brick Lane. It was built in 1744 as a Huguenot church, purchased by Wesleyans, sold to a Jewish immigrant society in 1897, after which it became a synagogue. It is now one of the foremost Islamic places of worship in London.
Brick Lane Market was developed in the 18th century when farmers sold livestock and produce outside the City boundary. Now the market serves the local community and attracts visitors from further afield to eat in the many Bangladeshi restaurants.