There’s only one thing I love more than Norwich and that’s Food, that’s why I created Love Norwich Food dedicated to all my foodie passions. On top of that I’m very happy to eat too – – –
Hence My Food and Drink walking tours of Norwich was formed three years ago. Why not celebrate Norwich’s independent food scene it’s incredible, we are already in the top ten shopping destinations in the UK. But it’s the food scene that’s pulling people in from miles around. Our fine city is also pulling the likes of The Ivy, Cosy Club and Bourgee in, cafes are expanding, others are opening their doors and on top of that Norwich Markets edible scene has boomed to pure glory.
The market part of my edible food and drink walking tour has become a firm favourite part of the walk. But what always amazes me is how many people don’t know how incredible the market is for really good food and produce.
One lady said ‘I thought they only served chips’ and promised she wouldn’t be happy until she had tried every single street food vendor on offer, and believe me there are a far few – I know I’ve eaten my way through all of them.
If you don’t believe that Norwich Market is a foodie paradise then let me tempt you with some heavenly words –
“Chiabatta, Kimchi, Laab Mo, Aranchini, Zabaglioni, Octopus, Cannoli, Lachmahan ??, Empanada, Churros, Darjeeling, Galengal, Black Cardamon, Chorizo, Baron Bignold” sounds like French!, well you can get Madeleine’s from Jakey the Bakey if you wanted French. No, I’m speaking Food Heaven, just some of the foods on offer.
Not only do we have the biggest open-air market in the whole of the United Kingdom with around 200 stalls, it’s also been in the same position for over 900 years. During the first World War the council bought up all the pitches putting it in to public ownership. When the City Hall was opened in the 30’s the whole site was cleared to welcome in a crowd of 60’000 people for the opening party. It was all refurbished after that and again in 1976 with the introduction of water & refrigeration, then again in 2006 with a canopy, solid roofs and wider aisles.
When I say you could spend a good few weeks eating your way around the world I wouldn’t be wrong. You can go for steak & frites from the French, Dim sum from the Chinese, Green Curry from the Thai, Samosas from the Indian, Empanadas from the South American, a Kebab from the Turkish, Paella from the Spanish, Lasagne from the Italian and Pizza from the Sicilian. That’s not to mention the copious amounts of other stalls like the traditional buttie brigade and the growing cafes of all sorts including to die for Brownies, jammy Bakewell tarts and moorish pastries, not to mention drinks of every description smoothies, milkshakes, organic coffee, hot chocolate, teas and even local ale. And that’s just the takeaway street food vendors.
Want to sit down, that’s possible too with six or more of the street food vendors having a seating areas, six or more having lean on counters, plus there’s benches at the top of the market, toilets to the side or you can hang al-fresco in the memorial garden. Yes, it’s not padded seats and plump cushions but you get real food at an amazing price, £5 – 6 will get you pretty much anything and that’s anything cooked with love and local ingredients by trained caterers who are passionate about what they do.
A labyrinth of local food shops also awaits you up every A-I avenue and around every corner. From local Lowestoft smoked kippers to locally grown coriander, from exotic blended loose teas & coffee beans to local Norwich porridge. Norwich Market celebrates all things local with just about every local micro supplier being supported, think crush oil, Norwich porridge, vegan Bace sauces, Walsingham pork pies, Marsh Pig salami, Norfolk white lady cheese and more, much more and all in one place.
Let me guide you to the Food – Norwich Market Foodie Stall list
Sir Garnet – The pub on the market place.
The pub opened its doors in 1861 but was built in Medieval days. Lauren Gregory took it over in 2012 with a total refit – passion about local food, she allows people to bring in Market food from Monday to Friday if buying a drink. They also invite in market pop ups, Cocina Mia was the last with more to follow. They also use fish, meat and vegetables all sourced from the market. Including having their own recipe sausage from Pickerings. If that wasn’t enough they stock local ale, Vodka, Whiskey, beer and Gin.
Lauren also produces a quarterly newsletter all about Norwich Market.
Brick Pizza– the one to the side of the market, behind Sir Garnet
Ok, I’m going to say it “Brick make the best pizzas in Norwich”. Tons of locals will back me up – there’s other good pizza out there, I love the Italian on the market that’s good pizza – but Brick is a Brick above. The secret is in the slow proved bread dough. Plus, they make amazing flavours like their selection of white pizzas, try the Carbonara – phooooor. And of-course they bake them in a traditional wood burning pizza oven. Prices from £7 – £12, but get a burrata salad on the side for £6 – the soft mozzarella cheese that is burrata is ‘orgasmic’. Take-away available, outside catering and a trailer. Them ‘Brick-ies’ are good.
To the left of the Aisles –
City Fish / M.P Snelling (1 – 5) – Sam Bemment owns both the fish stalls at the front of the market along with the Seafood Bar (4), local cockles and Whelks, along with prawns and other seafood delights can be bought in little pots from a few quid – help your-self to Marie-Rose sauce and seasonings.
One stall specialised more in shellfish while the other in fish.
For example – ‘March’ will bring you seasonal Crabs, Dover sole, Mackerel, Plaice, Spring Cod and Skate.
The Row before the A
Stall 8(8) – Part of Lakenham Creamery – have had a presence on the market since the 30’s. Chris (the owner since 1992) has a picture of the old Mrs Aldous selling from a cart in front of the Sir Garnet when the new town hall was being built, with a sign saying ‘made with electricity’ How ironic that the latest Ice-Cream fad is made with Liquid Nitrogen!
Lakenham Creamery make two delicious types of ice-cream branded as Aldous & Norfolk Country. Both are made with Marybelle milk. One more classical & one more luxurious and creamy.
No 8 also sell Grey seal Norfolk coffee along with other refreshments and seasonal goodies.
Cuppie Hut(20) – Mel & Kim, met in my village of Bawburgh (it’s not legally mine) at the local school. Mel went to City College to study catering, while Kim has a natural passion for baking. They started of making party cakes six years ago for birthdays, that soon moved on to selling at local fayres, that then expanded to a food truck, then they landed on Norwich Market in 2018. You’ll find an array of cup-cakes, brownies, Bakewell tart (I love the Bakewell) and more with Strangers coffee, hot chocolate and tea along with their infamous hot pots of cake, custard or chocolate sauce and toppings for £4.50. You’ll always find gluten free and vegan. Mel & Kim’s best seller is the Mars bar cornflake tray bake (I second that) for £2.50. Plus, they offer occasional outside catering events.
Indian Feast(21) – a vegetarian selection of Indian pastry, classics like homemade samosas, along with curry’s and chapattis.
Fresh(22) – started life as a smoothie bar and soon developed to also sell Asian classics like noodle bowls. Prices from £5 – try the BBQ Ramin bowl for £5.50.
Bun Box(23) – Run by Norwich City College trained chef Timothy Irvin (past experience includes 1 Michelin* in Mayfair & Norfolk 4* Hotel pastry chef). Bao buns stuffed with amazing flavours like duck, hoisin, sesame and spring onion (my fav), crispy pork belly and (v) mushrooms along with freshly prepared salad and crunchy nut toppings. Prices from £3.50.
Churros and Chorizo(24) – Nick Brew & Hugo Malik met in Spain at the school gates. Whisk forward a bit and not only do they run their market stall but also their catering trailer with over 40 bookings already set for 2019 – another market success story with the boys upgrading to a bigger plot last year to allow more deli space and seating. They stock all sorts of amazing Spanish fayre including olives & chorizo. As well as making the best freshly cooked Churros and chocolate sauce, along with savoury daily changing authentic Spanish goodies. Nick’s a trained professional chef (City College) and Hugo is more front of house with several London bars under his belt.
Try Sobrasada when it’s in stock, it’s like a spreadable chorizo.
J’s Fruit and Vegetables(27) – owned and run by Jason 4thgeneration. He’s been on the market for 45 years since he was helping out at 6 years old. Open six days a week selling the finest fruit and vegetables, and always local if possible.
Follands Organic (30-31)– Robert Folland took over this stall on after being an employee. He now sells local organic fruits and vegetables when possible along with other organic non-food items. There is a team of local growers who all supply to this stall, as well as Easter Organics making up the rest.
For example, March will bring you Mange Tout, Salad greens and Early Peas.
Jakey Le Bakey(32-33) – Now running Fat Maggies at the Rib’s of Beef
Falafel and Friends (34-35 / B40) – Vegetarian street food, every things vegan except the Grilled Halloumi wrap. They even make their own vegan kimchi, buy it jarred for £4.50. Best Sellers – Halloumi wrap for £4.50 or from the top stall a Buffalo chicken burger made with vegetable wheat gluten for £6 including some tasty spiced wedges. Everything’s tasty and filling.
Herbs and Spices(42-43) – Does what it says on the stall! Gareth Butcher and Jane Wirgman have run the stall for 43 years. Selling a multitude of loose spices, buy a minimum of 30g, like cinnamon for 60p, along with health food deli goodies. Fresh chunky ginger and massive bulbs of garlic.
Norwich Providore(44-45) – Run by David father of Steve the Artisan baker who makes all his produce in his bakery in Aylsham. He also owns the Bread source on St Giles. Amazing breads and pastries. Sausage rolls for £2, Brays pork pies for £3 and Swannington’s Scotch eggs £3 plus a few veggie savoury pastries.
Mike, Debs and Sons(46-47) – Mikes been selling fruit and veg for 50 years, from Saturday boy to owner. They have a n plastic policy – meaning they avoid plastic wrapped produce whenever possible and encourage customers to bring their own bags. Local is always at the for-front. Plus, they specialise in worldly foods like chillis, herbs, ginger & turmeric. You’ll get the freshest plumpest bunches of herbs for £1.50 and often locally grown.
Birchley’s Loose Leaf Tea(50-51) – Run by Sam Bircham & Frances Smalley. New to the market in 2018, selling a whole host of proper loose tea along with tea time merchandise and tea pots. Including gift tea and bag boxes. English breakfast tea is their best seller 60g for £2.07. Plus you can buy any cup of tea for £2.
Little Red Roaster(52-53) – Yes, its ROASTER not rooster. Darren’s also the owner of The other two Red Roasters – St Andrews Hill & Grove Road. Known for his great coffee and coffee beans to take away. He also sells a small selection of home-made cakes. A flat white is £2.50 – sit in and read the EDP.
WAS Bia (54-55) – The people behind Bia also opened up The Tipsy Vegan on St Benedicks Street, they are moving on and moving up.
I look forward to what’s coming next.
Chips and Dips (61) – – Lucy’s Two – the one with the battered fish and more. Traditional fried in crisp batter with local potatoes and fish.
Cheeseman(62-63) (ah, hum lady!!!) on the market for 18 years. Selling dozens of cheeses including Norfolk’s very own Mrs Temples, Fielding Cottage, Ferndale Farm and Jane Murrys.
Cheese-lady also sells direct to local restaurants including Hickmans.
And Eat It(64) – Victoria Famer is the head baker specialising in Giant Cookies £2 and Brownies £2.50. Try a ‘Brookie’ it’s a brownie sunk in to a giant cookie for £2.50 “Hello”. Also ‘Freakshakes’ plus Monster Hot Chocolates which are essentially a hot freakshake, all £3.95 eat in or takeaway. Plus, you’ll always find Gluten free brownies.
Delight(74-75) – Yasin hails from Turkey and offers shawarma style kebabs, along with Lahmacun (flat Turkish pizza with minced lamb) and Turkish pastries made with homemade bread for £3. Try the marinated chicken kebab from £5 a market favourite.
A Taste of Punjab(76) – Another 2018 newbie, owned by Sukhdeu Singh making authentic Punjabi favourites like samosas, curries and rice. When I was there a regular picked up the Lamb Curry and rice and said it’s the best authentic curry around £5.50. Plus you can add a poppadum for 50p. All cooked by the resident Bangladesh Chef.
Taste of Shanghai(79) – Ting Zhang is a trained Chef, cooking authentic Chinese food. Like the market favourite Chicken Laksa. All dishes are £3.50 for small and £5 for large. Two locals were grabbing their lunch from Shanghai and said it was the best food on the market. Interesting diverse dishes, lovingly made to order – fresh Chinese at its best.
The Electric Banger Shop(80) – Local market bangers in a local baker’s bun for £3. Almira from Albania took over the stall 3 years ago, but it’s been banging them out for seven. Great value for a long’ole’hot-dog.
Henrys Hog Roast(81) – 18 years old, with the present owner for 8. £3.50 buys you the works with crunchy crackling, stuffing and apple sauce, they use the butchers on the market for their locally reared pork and crusty corner bread.
R.S Baker & Sons limited(83) – Butchers for 90 years old in the same family. All local Suffolk and Norfolk meats.
They offer nose to tail meats like, a pig head for £3.50, trotters for 50p each popular with local Philippinos. As well as all the usuals.
Coral Bay(84) – Jamaican street food run by Sarah & Conery, who also have a stall on Yarmouth Market, along with a trailer for pop up events.
Their Goat curry is a traditional country recipe meaning fresh bone in goat is slow cooked with peppers, onions and carrots with no cooking liquid but plenty of marinade – meaning the pot has to be stirred every 15 minutes, making the sauce thick and sumptuous. Buy it for £6.50
Caribbean dumplings served on a Friday and Saturday.
Dim Sum Place(was Puff & Bean) (90) – run by Yan from China.
Serving home-made dumplings & blending fresh fruit teas, along with my favourite drink bubble tea for £2.95. Popular with Asian UEA students making up 20% of her customers.
Sicily Market(91 /104E) – Sicilian Market run by Rocco from Sicily knocking up the pizzas (from £5.50) and Bruno from Cava in Italy creating the pasta dishes (from £6). Margarita is the market favourite while proper Italian Carbonara (no cream, made with eggs) and Arrabbiata (spiced tomato base pasta) is always on the menu.
Established 3 years ago, but moved to a double stall with seating last summer.
China Wok & Curry Shop(92-93) – readymade noodles and classics like sweet and sour chicken, although the Fried chicken and rice is a market favourite. Owner and chef Xueyrn Uens hails from China and took over 2 years ago. dishes are £4.50 small and £5 large.
Rons(94-95) – third generation since 1953. Getting through up to 90 portions of sausage and chips a day for a bargain £1.60. Traditionally fried fish and chips with all the classics.
Rubys(96) – Emanuele Takaj took over Rubys 2 years ago. But it’s one of the original stalls selling butties. Go for the cheese on toast for £1.30, served on local chunky bread (or beans). Plus, they offer homemade shortcake and scones for a quid.
Reggies (100) – for 75 years. 16 years with the present owner Richard. Specialising in Baps, pies and rolls.
Pickerings (102) – second generation, on the market for 30 years. Run by Nathan Pickering and his partner Georgina.
They sell up to 30 tubs of tradition dripping a week.
But they specialise in sausages with over 20 to choose from on any one day including house made Chorizo, Boerewors & Andalouse (????). All at buy 2 lb get 1lb free.
Nathan makes all the produce in Lenwade where they also boil hams, smoke their own sausages and cure their own bacon, using only local meat.
As well as being an online supplier, shipping Pickering sausages all over the country they also supply local restaurants like The Waffle House & Sir Garnet.
Pauls Butchers(112-113) – local game including wild duck, all Norfolk meats, goose eggs 2 for £5 and local free-range eggs. Paul also supply’s meat to some of the vendors on the market.
Established 30 years ago as ‘John’s’ but been Paul’s for 20.
Lucys Chips(114) – is one of 2 stalls this is the one with the chip & dips, Lucy 2 has the full works. Now owned by 2 brothers for the last 2 years, it’s been Lucy’s since 1971.
Cones from £1.20 – with curry sauce or gravy being the favourites.
Lucy’s chips can get through up to 10 sacks of fresh Norfolk potatoes on a good day. Bread from Ketts Hill Bakery.
Watch out for the specials – like the deep-fried mince pies at Christmas time.
Mushy Pea Stall(115) – A market classic for yonks – owned by Anita Adcock. Mushy peas with mint sauce a must, but try the Pie, mash, peas and gravy for £3.60 for small / £4.60 for large, minus 60p for no gravy. But they also sell burgers and bacon butties. Along with drinks.
Debs (115) – for 16 years. Specialising in traditional butties using local ham and bread from crusty corner.
Georges Spuds(120) – Run by Marion from Albania. Using Norfolk potatoes, Reepham eggs and local meats. Plus a full English from £4.50.
B’s T’s Snack Bar(121) – For 30 years. Now run my Karen serving plenty of breakfast baps.
Walsingham Farm Shop & Deli(124-125) – offering a whole host of local supplies. From local milk to local jams. Take away pastries or eat in.
Try the Pie, mash and gravy for £6.50
some local goodies from the Deli – Norfolk Apple Juice, Bungay Raw Butter, Norfolk Cordial, Candis Chutney, Norfolk Garden & Garden Pantry Jams, Norfolk Honey, Norfolk Cakes, Baytree Curds, Norwich Porridge, Yare Valley Oils, Crush all sorts & Walsingham packaged goodies.
Katies Cake Box (126) – has now closed.
Cocina Mia(152-153) – Owned and run by Ana Bridgman with catering & hospitality roots. Ana was born in Chilli and moved to Norwich as a young girl. She was brought up with amazing authentic Chilean foods cooked by her mum who now makes the bread for her Steak Sandwich – ‘Pan Amasado = Bread’ – ‘Chacarero = Steak Sarnie’. Plus, a range of South American empanadas, cooked on the market (try the authentic Pino* de Empenada / Spicy beef, with egg and an olive) and zesty fresh salads. Nothing spicy hot (except the Pino*) but you can add Ana’s amazing chilli salsa on the side. The market favourite is the Baked Chicken & Chorizo Empanada.
WHATS an Empanada???? – – A Spanish or Latin American pastry turnover like an amazingly flavoured Cornish pasty, with more of a bread than pastry tasting casing – either baked or Fried. (only the Pino* is fried)
The Orient Express(151/162/163/164) – Asian Supermarket
Sophy’s originally from Cambodia and has a passion for authentic Asian cooking with a background in supermarket retail. selling everything from fresh Korean made kimchi, Thai string beans, green papaya to a myriad of marinades, soya’s, dips and sauces. she also runs Tasty House using as much of her own products as possible.
Tasty House(173) – Asian street food offering a changing selection of authentic Asian dishes, along with organic coffee and other soft drinks. The head chef is a lady called ‘Thdar’ from Burma. Prices around £5 for a main with either rice or noodles.
Also owned by Sophy from the Orient Express, using her Asian mini market ingredients and other goodies from the market.
Lasagneria (175) – Italian born and raised Paolo Grazzini runs this stall, hailing from Nr Florence. Grab a mighty slab of assorted flavoured Lasagne from £5.50. They even offer takeaway party trays for £17 – 30 serving up-to 6. Plus an assortment of cold drinks.
The End Row
Ice Cream Parlour(178) offering local Aldous Ice-cream, Mr Whippys. Plus Vegan ice-cream.
Sir Tobys Beers(182) – Run by Dominic and owner Toby Westgarth. An ‘offie’ of local ales and beers along with local spirits like Bullards Gin, Norfolk Gin, St Giles Gin and Wild Knight Vodka. Stockists of Wildcraft, Why-Not, Boudicca & Wagtail local brewery ale’s. Along with Norfolk wines and Ciders. Plus, a great selection of craft ales from all over the gaff.
They also have ale on tap – buy a litre from £5.
The boys also offer outside catering and events.
Some stalls offer mid-week breakfast from 7am – from a full English, to butties to Norwich Porridge.
Others are open on a Sunday.
The Markets open all year round.
So, as you can see the market is bursting with delicious goodness. If you haven’t been recently – I urge you to ‘do a snake’ – start from the top and walk up and down the aisles.
And if something doesn’t tempt you I’ll eat my hat. (I can always marinade it in kimchi and serve it in local brioche bought from the market of course).
I talked to Kristine Fox who works for Norwich County Council, she’s the lady in charge of it all, when she took over in 2016 they sent out a survey to gauge what the general public wanted. Over 1000 came back with a unanimous amount requesting more street food and local products. Since then the street food vendors have doubled & localism is spread thick and heavy, like custard over pudding (you can get that too).
Now 48% of the market is dedicated to food, while the other half is other retail. There are 6 pop up stalls which you can hire from 3 days to a month. Giving newbies the opportunity to trial out business or product for around £100 per week. (Full time food stall rentals work out to a very reasonable £20-30 per working day (approx.)
There is now a waiting list for food stalls, it’s not necessarily first come first serve, business ideas are awarded on merit to keep a good balance for both customer and existing businesses. Many businesses have grown, moved on in to city shops or expended with food trailers and pop up events elsewhere. It’s a brilliant way to start up while treating us locals and visitors to some delicious food.
But since some of the stalls have been there for up to 100 years, while some are in 2ndor 3rdgenerations family’s, we can safely say good food on Norwich market is here to stay.
And when I say good food I mean dishes with amazing fresh flavour – it’s all about the taste for me, throw in supporting local businesses #buylocal, throw in exceedingly good value, throw in rustic charm, throw in local produce and throw in 900 years of history, making something so special and completely unique to Norwich.
Norwich Market is a melting pot of bubbling never ending goodness.
And my goodness do I love Norwich food.
Zena Leech-Calton ©