Berwick Street Market is one of the capital’s oldest markets. Street trading in Berwick Street probably started in the late 1770s when shopkeepers displayed their wares on the pavements, but it was not officially recognised as a market until 1892.
French Huguenots, Greeks and Italians populated the Berwick Street area, a cosmopolitan but modest district. By the 1890s many had opened eating houses serving their native cuisines. As the market traders attempted to supply the ingredients, Berwick Street Market earned a reputation for selling a bewildering variety of fruit and vegetables. In 1880 tomatoes first appeared in London at Berwick Street Market, grapefruit followed in 1890.
In the 1950s when the only place to buy olive oil in England was a chemist - not for eating but for softening ear wax - famous TV cooks such as Fanny Cradock and food writers such as Elizabeth David bought exotic ingredients from Berwick Street Market.
Walking down Berwick Street in the 1990s, you could expect to hear the Soho street traders' cry, 'Fill yer boots with bananas, 19p a pound.'
Berwick Street Market has recently become a foodie destination with concept traders in the market such as Savage Salads, Sub Cult, Freebird Burritos and Jerusalem Falafel. Find the market open Monday to Saturday from 8am until 6pm.