The wholesale fish markets are typical of the vibrant and varied food markets found in London.
London has a long history of being one of the major commercial hubs in the world, and the wholesale fish markets there have been essential to the development of the city’s economy and culinary scene.
Fishmongers started exchanging goods from stalls and boats along the River Thames in the 12th century, which is when wholesale fish markets in London first appeared.
The first official fish market didn’t exist until the 16th century, though.
A market was established at Billingsgate Wharf on the Thames in 1550, and it swiftly rose to prominence as London’s main venue for the sale of fish.
The City of London owned and maintained the market, and its riverside location made it simple to convey fresh fish from the coast.
The Billingsgate market gained a reputation throughout time for its frantic energy and rowdy vendors who screamed and bartered prices.
Except for Sunday, the market was open from 4 to 8 am every day. It was rumored that you could smell it from a mile away.
Fish became more and more in demand as London expanded and its population grew.
A covered market hall was added to the Billingsgate market in the 19th century, and a new market for the selling of meat was built in Smithfield.
The market underwent significant modernization and growth in the 20th century, and new facilities were constructed to handle the expanding traffic.
It continued to be known for being rough and disorderly, nevertheless, and it remained a difficult environment for both buyers and sellers and moved to a new, purpose-built location in Docklands in 1982, where it is still located today.
The new market’s contemporary refrigeration and delivery technologies enabled the selling of fish from all over the world while also being more hygienic and effective.
This market is still a key location for the purchase and delivery of fish in London today.
While being largely a wholesale market, it is open to the public, allowing visitors to take in the enthusiasm and vigor of the market’s vendors as they go about their morning routines.
This and other such wholesale markets are open to the public so that they can purchase fish at reasonable rates. Continue reading this article to find out more about them.
List of wholesale fish markets in London:
- Billingsgate Market
- New Covent Garden Market
- Smithfield Market
1. Billingsgate Market
It is one of the most well-known wholesale fish marketplaces in London, which is situated in the center of the city.
Since its founding in the 16th century, it has traded fish for more than 400 years.
The market is conveniently close to public transportation and is situated in the well-known commercial area of Canary Wharf.
It serves as the center of London’s hospitality business and is accessible to the public from 4:00 am to 9:30 am, Tuesday through Saturday.
Buyers may anticipate a great selection of fresh and frozen seafood at Billingsgate, including shellfish, salmon, cod, haddock, tuna, and more.
A variety of seafood from across the world is available at the market’s more than 100 stalls, with the majority of the goods coming from the UK, Iceland, Norway, and the Netherlands.
Moreover, it is renowned for its bustling and frantic ambiance in addition to the variety of seafood it offers.
There is a sense of competition among the merchants as traders yell out their pricing and attempt to draw customers.
Chefs and restaurant owners who are looking for the freshest and highest-quality fish for their dishes are drawn to the market in part because of its excitement.
Tel: 020 7987 1118
Address: Trafalgar Way, London E14 5ST, United Kingdom.
2. New Covent Garden Market
New Covent Garden Market, which is mostly a fruit and vegetable market but also contains a sizable fish and seafood department, is another well-known wholesale fish market in London.
The Vauxhall market is accessible to the general public every day from 4:00 am until 10:00 am.
There is a large variety of fresh seafood available in the fish market, coming from both domestic and foreign waterways.
This market ensures that clients receive high-quality, ethically sourced seafood by obtaining its fish from sustainable fisheries.
Chefs, caterers, and retailers from all across the city may readily access the market because of its central position in London.
Many of the sellers at the market offer delivery services to consumers who are unable to visit the market in person.
Tel: 020 7720 2211
Address: New Covent Garden Market, London, SW8 5BH, UK.
3. Smithfield Market
With a history reaching back to the 12th century, Smithfield Fish Market is one of London’s oldest and most storied fish marketplaces.
This market, which is situated in the Smithfield neighborhood of the city, is well-known for its top-notch, locally sourced seafood that is always fresh.
The busiest days in the market are Tuesday and Friday, which are open Monday through Friday.
It opens up very early in the morning, at 4:00 am, to serve the demands of chefs, restaurant owners, and fishmongers who need the freshest fish and seafood for their establishments.
It is housed in a Victorian structure that underwent renovation and modernization at the start of the twenty-first century.
The structure now offers state-of-the-art facilities, including a contemporary temperature-controlled atmosphere, which helps to keep the freshness of the seafood.
Cod, haddock, salmon, trout, shellfish, and a variety of other fresh fish and seafood can be found at the Smithfield Fish Market.
In addition, the market sells a variety of unusual seafood from all over the world as well as specialty items like caviar and oysters.
The neighborhood around Smithfield is well-known for its gastronomic options in addition to the market, with a variety of restaurants and cafes serving up delectable seafood specialties.
Finally, it is a great place for travelers to visit because it is adjacent to other well-known London attractions like St. Paul’s Cathedral, the Barbican Center, and the Museum of London.
Tel: 020 7248 3151
Address: 225 Central Markets, London, EC1A 9LH, UK.