THE HUMBLE BEGINNINGS OF BROADWAY MARKET
Broadway Market is a lively street with cafés, pubs, and shops that hosts artisanal market stalls on Saturdays. You can buy everything from bread to clothing at the stalls, or get jellied eels at F. Cooke, which opened here in 1900.
Broadway Market, London E8 4QJ
Sandwiched between the green expanse of London Fields at one end and the historic waterway of Regents Canal at the other, Broadway Market is bustling with chic cafés, historic pubs, elegant and arty shops, and cocktail bars. On Saturdays, it fills up with a fantastic array of bespoke, artisanal market stalls. This is an ideal place to pick up delicious freshly-made artisanal bread, handmade cakes and pastries, flowers, vintage clothing, craft jewellery, and lots more.
As with most places in Hackney, today’s Broadway Market comes from humbler and more colourful beginnings. Fred Cooke opened a branch of his popular jellied eels shop here in 1900, selling food to shepherds bringing their flocks into The City of London. This history as a thoroughfare for livestock is reflected in the historic Cat & Mutton pub (“cat” was a slang term for the barges that carried coal up and down the canal).
In many ways, Broadway Market was the epicentre of East London life, an earthy, boozy street, kept alive by its ever present community and trade. While it faded under Thatcher in the 1980s, a team of volunteers undertook a project in 2004 to revive the historic market and bring life back to the area. Stop by today, and you’ll see this was a resounding success.
Feature photograph by Juhi Pande