Read our guide to the best casual dining spots in the UK, then discover the UK's best artisan bakeries and the UK's best outdoor restaurants and terraces. Now find out the best food and drink festivals to visit.

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Increasingly, when we eat out, we want three things: variety, informality and freedom. Nowhere is this more obvious than in the irresistible rise of food halls, street food events and produce markets that share a freewheeling, eat-eclectic dynamic – offering multiple kitchens, affordable dishes and fun with friends. Modern Britain wants to eat how and when it pleases: global menus, endless choice, indoors, outdoors, no set format. To celebrate this great liberation, olive has selected some of the country’s hottest multi-kitchen spots, from artisan markets to street food parties.


Moveable feast

Off the Beaten Truck, Cambridgeshire

Food trucks have had a stop-start history in Britain but OTBT weaves them into daily life. It feeds hungry office workers in Cambridge by hosting top-rank traders at its foodPark sites. In the evenings, it also runs suburban events, such as its weekly Saffron Walden flagship (up to six kitchens in summer). This sees the likes of wood-fired Pizza Mondo or buttermilk fried chicken outfit Buffalo Joe’s, serving at the community-owned Railway Arms pub, and on Saffron Walden common. foodparkcam.com, offthebeatentruck.co.uk.

Buffalo Joes fried chicken in takeaway containers

Top atmos, fab food

Duke Street Market, Liverpool

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A handsome space imbued with an engaging warmth, Duke Street feels as good as Bone and Block’s steak sandwiches or Big Lola’s beef brisket tacos taste. Mezzanine restaurant Barnacle now serves its pin-sharp dishes throughout – these might range from rarebit with stout syrup and ox cheek to a miso mushroom bao with a spiced peanut onion crumb. dukestreetmarket.com

a table of tacos at Duke Street Market

Contemporary classic

Altrincham Market, Altrincham

The 2014 reinvention of this historic market – now, an indoor food hall of six kitchens, attached to a modernised covered market – has become a nationally acclaimed model of food-led urban regeneration. Both in itself and in how it encouraged fantastic restaurants to open around it (Porta, Blanchflower, Rigatoni’s, etc), Altrincham Market has turned this Greater Manchester town into a newly vibrant destination. At the market, Honest Crust’s wood-fired Neapolitan-style pizzas and Great Northern Pie Co are longstanding olive faves. Wash their work down with immaculate Blackjack Brewery beers (tip: Irk Street Pale) and diverting wines from Reserve. Sister food halls operate in Manchester (Mackie Mayor) and Macclesfield (Picturedrome). @altymarket

Interior shot of Altrincham market

The pioneer

Borough Market, London

Since 1998, Borough has been the benchmark British farmers’ market. True, like any world-class food hub, it can get a little busy with tourists and day-trippers. But Borough’s combination of exceptional produce (Brindisa, Ginger Pig meats, Neal’s Yard for cheese), great eat-now food (Gujarati Rasoi’s veggie snacks, Tacos Padre, Kappacasein’s raclette) and a location that contains some of the capital’s hottest restaurants (Rambutan, Camille, Elliot’s) remains both unique and essential. If visiting at the weekend, Bermondsey’s Maltby Street Market (one mile away) offers a similar array of stellar food, on a smaller scale. boroughmarket.org.uk

Sign at Borough Market

Feast London

Broadway Market, London

This historic Hackney general market comes alive every weekend. Street food and specialist food retail (Nyborg’s bakery, Atelier smoked salmon, Spanish produce specialist Santos & Santos, for example) is a huge part of its appeal. Hot food runs the gamut from The Frenchie’s confit duck burgers to cult sensation Emerald Eats, which sells Irish-style crispy chicken fillet rolls and that Dublin favourite, the so-called spice bag, a combo dish of chicken strips, chips, peppers and onions seasoned with five-spice, served with curry sauce. The market is further surrounded by excellent restaurants, from noodle stop Koya Ko to Argentinian grill Buen Ayre. broadwaymarket.co.uk


Pop-up party

Peddler Market, various, northern England

Peddler is best known as a monthly Friday-Saturday market, down in Sheffield’s hip Kelham Island. It’s an indoor-outdoor warehouse party of music, craft stalls, fine drinks and vibrant street food. In recent years, it has expanded to run similar events in Leeds, Wakefield and Chesterfield. peddler.market


Seafront star

Shelter Hall, Brighton

This attractive multi-storey food hall is built into Brighton promenade, its terraces opening out onto the beach. Its seven kitchens include Rudi’s Burgers and Australian-Greek BBQ vibes at The 3 Little Pigs Souvlaki. Think fresh handmade pittas of barbecued chicken thigh, harissa coleslaw, roast peppers and spicy, spreadable feta. shelterhall.co.uk

Interior of Shelter Hall Brighton

Foodie heaven

The Goods Shed, Canterbury

This gorgeous market by Canterbury West station is shopping gold for Kentish meats, fish landed in Broadstairs, British cheeses, local bread, beer and much more. It is also a lovely place to eat. The Gill’s and Wild Goose kitchens both offer counter dining, their chefs creating with the seasonal produce sold around them. In summer, the Shed’s main open-plan restaurant spills out into an adjoining garden. Chef Jackson Berg’s dishes might include confit lamb breast with salsa verde or ChalkStream trout, mussels and herb butter sauce. thegoodsshed.co.uk

Interior of the Goods Shed, Canterbury

Scrummy Brum

Hockley Social Club, Birmingham

Sunday markets, DJs, record fairs, comedy and cultural events in its Artum space – there is a lot going on at HSC. But at its core this venue, created by Digbeth Dining Club in a former print factory, revolves around its four street food kitchens. These include 2021 MasterChef: The Professionals winner Dan Lee’s Dai Pai Dong, and its dishes of barbecued Szechuan lamb flatbreads or soy-steamed chicken, jasmine rice and lap cheong (cured, dried sausage). Over in Longbridge, sister venue Herbert’s Yard is a further platform for local food stars, such as West Midlands Jerk Centre or Greidy’s Wings & Strips. hockleysocialclub.com

Exterior at Hockley Social Club, Birmingham

Artisan hub

Market Hall @ Bowhouse, St Monans, Fife

Bowhouse is a community of food businesses, with several open to the public daily, including bakery-café, Baern, Futtle Brewery’s taproom and the Bowhouse butchery, which sells organic meats from the surrounding Balcaskie Estate. But on the second weekend every month, the Market Hall welcomes more than 30 Scottish artisan food producers, who sell their wares amid cooking demos, music and street food. bowhousefife.com

Exterior of Bowhouse in a green field

Fantastic food hall

Seven Dials Market, London

KERB has long been in the vanguard of UK street food, curating traders at multiple London outdoor locations. Often through its inKERBator programme (111 graduates and counting), it nurtures gifted cooks as they create energetic, independent businesses. Since 2019, KERB’s portfolio has included this smartly designed Covent Garden food hall, home to a 20-trader constellation of London street food stars. Recent additions include Lucky’s Hot Chicken, Colombian taco spot Los Gordos and burger aces Mother Flipper. Fun fact: Seven Dials served 1.8 million dishes last year. sevendialsmarket.com

Food from Naanstop Express at Seven Dials Market

Making waves

Harbourside Street Food Market, Bristol

Every weekend, this event sees 12 of Bristol’s finest traders convene at the city’s waterfront. Complete with a 100-seat quayside beer deck, the setting could not be more summer ready. Connoisseurs of the local scene will recognise many regular attendees, such as Wood Chop Pizza, Boigers, Alp Mac, much-loved for its lavishly topped mac ’n’ cheese dishes, and Dawson’s Bakery, purveyors of skirt steak pasties and cracking custard tarts. Organiser, Buoy, also has kitchens here at lunch on Wednesday and Thursday.
buoyevents.co.uk


In-the-know go

Grub, Manchester

Hidden on the edge of the city centre, Grub is not a venue you will stumble across. But seek it out. You will find some of the North’s best street food vendors dishing up in its backyard beer garden as well as, from this summer, NY-style hotdogs from Oscar’s Dogs and tacos from Pez, plus concepts developed by Grub’s in-house team of talented chefs. grubmcr.com


Now chow

Newport Market, Newport

A Grade II listed Victorian gem, Newport’s covered market was given a makeover in 2022. Its food court is home to, among others, wood-fired pizza from Bristol’s Flour & Ash, patty perfectionists Burger Boyz, and Bab Haus Mex, whose ex-dairy beef birria tacos are legendary in South Wales. Bab Haus is also at Barry’s Goodsheds and Caerphilly’s new container-style market, Ffos. newport-market.co.uk

Interior of covered Newport Market

Delicious destination

Bonnie & Wild, Edinburgh

Located within the swish St James Quarter shopping centre, this 400-seat food hall offers a feast of fun across eight kitchens, a deli and more (don’t miss Joelato’s gelato). Highlights include Creel Caught’s celebration of Scottish seafood (think Goan fish curry, tacos, steamed Shetland mussels) and El Perro Negro’s award-winning burgers. A rolling programme of events ranges from a monthly cèilidh dance to Scottish whisky tastings. bonnieandwildmarket.com

Haggis burger at Bonnie & Wild in Edinburgh

Peachy produce

The Food Barn, Flushing near Falmouth

Created during the pandemic, the Food Barn market is a weekly Saturday showcase for more than 20 artisan producers and growers, including market garden Soul Farm, and Cornish shellfish company Sailors Creek. Shoppers can also breakfast or lunch on Pavilion Bakery’s croissants, Bien Manger’s croque monsieur or JB Gone Cooking’s brioche breakfast buns. In summer, a series of Wednesday evening events see throngs of people enjoying live music, food from up to 12 kitchens and awesome views across the estuary to Falmouth. foodbarn-tregew.co.uk


Creative hothouse

Spark, York

Want to taste what York’s next generation of chefs are cooking up? Head to Spark. Bubbling with talent, this shipping container hub is home to some of York’s hottest street food, such as RAD pizza, and is where ambitious chefs frequently debut concepts before moving on to launch their own venues (Izakaya, Fish & Forest, Tasca Frango). For more York street food, check Shambles Market Food Court. sparkyork.org


Culinary kicks

Baltic Market, Liverpool

Liverpool’s Baltic Triangle is a lively warren of good places to eat, drink and party, not least the precincts of the former Cains Brewery. Baltic Market is at the heart of the action. Its eight traders include Little Furnace and its reliably brilliant wood-fired Neapolitan-style pizzas, and Hafla Hafla’s terrific kebabs. But reasons to linger go beyond food. From comedy events or live Eurovision screenings to a week-long Oktoberfest shindig, Baltic Market is a full night out. balticmarket.co.uk

Person making pizza at Baltic Market in Liverpool

Forkfuls of fun

Cutlery Works, Sheffield

Crowned best food hall in 2022 and 2023 at the British Street Food Awards, Cutlery Works is a tasty proposition – from creative bao and Korean fried chicken at Konjö, a spin-off from acclaimed restaurant Jöro, to the desserts and ice cream at chocolatier Bullion. The Cutlery Works team also operates Kargo MKT at Salford’s Media City and Liverpool’s Global Provisions Outlet. cutleryworks.co.uk

Edo Sushi at Cutlery Works in Sheffield

East Mids eats

Bustler, Derby and Nottingham

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On the last weekend of each month, Derby’s Chocolate Factory, an events space with a huge beer garden, sizzles with hot street food. Amid the entertainment (from retro arcade games to silent discos), six traders feed the throng, including regional heroes such as Broke ’n’ Bone BBQ and Kebab Cartel. You can also find the Bustler crew in Nottingham, amid the cool boutiques of Sneinton Market Avenues (a cute grid of 1930s buildings previously used by wholesalers). Each week, three new food trucks pull up outside Bustler’s bar-canteen. bustlermarket.co.uk

Top down shot of the exterior of Chocolate Factory in Derby

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