The 9 Best Market Stalls — From Brixton To Portobello Road

Whether we're bopping to reggae in Brixton, scarfing down cheese samples in Borough Market, haggling over prices on Petticoat Lane, or picking through sundresses in Greenwich, there's no better way to while away a lazy day and support local traders at the same time than hitting up one of London's many bustling bazaars.
Naturally, we've always got our eyes out for stalls that peddle more than just moustache-print jumpers, faux Banksy screenprints, and tea dresses covered in flocks of swallows (soooo many swallows). After crisscrossing the city and elbowing more tourists than a bull in Pamplona, we've pinpointed nine vendors that stand out from the pack, thanks to independent design, incredible vintage finds, and a bit of innovation. Read on to see which stalls you should be swinging by this weekend.
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The Marshmallowists, Portobello Road
A day at the markets calls for some serious snacking, and we've got to give props to this crew for ingenuity. Working from a pop-up shop outside 171 Portobello Road, The Marshmallowists peddle fat slabs of gelato-hued marshmallows boasting flavour combinations like raspberry and champagne, blueberry and gin, and blackcurrant and mint. Go online if you want details about ordering a box for friends or (let's be honest) yourself.
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Seriously, so good.
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Each piece costs £1.50, or £8 for a box of eight.
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Dan Hillier, Sunday UpMarket
Art buffs will no doubt recognize the somewhat macabre etchings of full-time artist Dan Hillier, who is a regular at art fairs and galleries the world over. On Sundays though, one need only head to the Sunday UpMarket at The Old Truman Brewery on Brick Lane to pick through totes, prints, and tees featuring his haunting images.
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Aspects of natural history figure largely in Hillier's work.
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Wearable art, anyone?
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Karin Akesson, Sunday UpMarket
Life is just a little bit sweeter with Karin Akesson's designs around. On Sundays, the RCA grad and Swedish native sells pillowcases, tea towels, prints, cards, totes, and more emblazoned with her charmingly handwritten love notes ("You look amazing") and pep talks ("Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life"). Seriously, we want it all.
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The perfect gifts for smitten kittens.
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Kind of makes you want to do the dishes, right?
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Atomium, Camden Stables Market
There's no shortage of fun bric-a-brac and antique finds at most markets, but Atomium won us over to its genuinely cool wares (we spied everything from vintage Kenzo to a '60s-era Pirelli calendar to couture bags and first-edition novels) and an owner who is enthusiastic, happy to let you poke around, and quick to tell you if said Kenzo design is too big for you. Head to Unit D18 at the Camden Stables Market on Chalk Farm Road on Thursday through Friday (11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.) and Saturday through Sunday (11 a.m. to 6 p.m.).
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Read all about it! Bookworms will have a field day picking through Atomium's library.
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A century's worth of jewellery is on offer.
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Laura Sara Kashden, Portobello Road
Kashden and her family have been trading on Portobello Road since 1968, specialising in superior vintage mink and fox fur jackets and attire alongside vintage handbags. Located about halfway down Portobello Road, they're open for business every Saturday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., with a large crowd forming to get a taste of old-school glamour.
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Looking for something special? Email for enquiries.
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Vintage croc clutches never lose their appeal.
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Lunettes London, Brick Lane Vintage Market
We've long outsourced our shades shopping to Lunettes London's modest stall on Sundays in the Vintage Market on Brick Lane. It sources eyewear from an optician pal, and sells vintage styles as well as rare designer finds from the likes of Dior, YSL, Ray-Ban, Oliver Goldsmith, and more.

"I strongly believe sunglasses should be embraced as a fun fashion accessory so go for styles that are a little different," recommends owner Lindsay Kirkman. "You can really experiment with vintage styles. The classics our our best-sellers but I always smile when someone falls in love with a '70s oversized pair in an unusual shape. If you do this you'll walk away with a true original that you will treasure and receive many a compliment on."
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Market shopping has its own etiquette, advises Kirkman. "Don't put things on hold and not come back," she says. "This applies more to a vintage market where each item is a one-off. Someone else may wish to buy that item. Sellers expect a little haggling from customers on certain items, particularly those of a higher price point, but don't push your luck. A 5 to 10% discount is often acceptable but ask for half off and you're guaranteed a frosty response from your seller (and possibly no discount at all!)"
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Ranposki, Sunday UpMarket
Even the most ardent pacifist can't help saluting the military-inspired designs of Ranposki, who draws on his father's Air Force background for his re-worked fatigues and such. Our favourite items are the khaki and army green rucksacks and totes, though leather accessories and, yes, gas masks, also make for great "window-shopping."
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Ranposki's leather accessories, including bracelets and key chains.
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Who doesn't love a man in uniform?
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R.I.O.T., Camden Stable Market
Camden Stable Market is a goldmine for corsets and rock tees, which makes this dapper menswear stall feel like even more a find. Now run by former shop assistant Mingco Win, the mini shop sells R.I.O.T.'s own handmade bow ties as well as "smartusal" (his term for "smart and casual") wares from labels like Brave Soul, Tokyo Laundry, Merc, Pamoni, and more. We suggest sending your boyfriend there asap. Open Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
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A gramaphone and GQ-worthy duds? Love.
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"There are so many good things about market life," says Mingco Win. "Every day is different and everyone is different, which makes each day interesting."
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Shoe Embassy, Camden Stables Market, Greenwich Market, Sunday UpMarket, Old Spitalfields Market
With Shoe Embassy stalls everywhere and an e-shop is launching this March, there's so much to love. And there's a lot to be said for reasonably priced, good quality shoes boasting real leather inside and out, with winter styles featuring natural wool, sheepskin, and fur linings. From wedges to brogues to boots, we just can't resist.
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The Shoe Embassy is at Camden Town Stables Market (Unit 853/854): Monday to Friday from 10.30 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday to Sunday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Old Spitalfields Market: Friday to Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5.30 p.m.; Greenwich Market: Saturday to Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5.30 p.m.; Sunday UpMarket: Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Dig in!
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Add a little colour to your kicks.

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