The venue: Market Hall Victoria, 191 Victoria Street, London, SW1E 5NE
“It’s a shame I’m not hungover,” I told the Tom Griffiths behind the counter at Flank as he talked me into ordering the Breakfast Naan, promising that it would fix anyone back together after a big night. The nose-to-tail pitstop, alongside five other stalls in Market Halls Victoria, are now fuelling commuters, freelancers and families throughout the week. The two-storey street food venue that sits opposite Victoria station has been restored to its former Edwardian arcade glory after a long stint housing noughties nightclub Pacha. It’s decked out in a similar vein to Market Hall Fulham — minus the ticketing booth bar and ‘To the trains’ signage — with a slick, industrial feel, long communal tables and hanging plants. Eleven street vendors hailing from across London have taken up residency inside Market Hall Victoria, along with a coffee shop and three bars. It’s one of the biggest food halls in Britain, with the Market Halls team set to open a larger one in the West End later this year.
Weekday mornings are quiet; there’s plenty of space to pitch up with a laptop or make an excuse to meet outside the office for a breakfast meeting. It’s also a good, open space for parents and young children offering an informal atmosphere for a family brunch. Press Coffee handles your caffeine kick and croissant craving. Squirrel offers mood-boosting, healthy options with the menu handing itself over to kale, quinoa and avocado. Monty’s Deli, a Stoke Newington export, serves up salt beef sandwiches to die for, alongside other pastrami and smoked salmon buns and bagels. Super tacos will cook you up a huevos rancheros breakfast burrito or scrambled egg taco with pork adobada and salsa taquero. Meanwhile, Flank won me over with that filthy Breakfast Naan: a whopping naan bread piled up with bacon, sausage, egg, American burger-style cheese, pickles and a sticky, sweet Bloody Mary ketchup to top it all off. For filling and flavoursome, Flank is what you’re after.
As it nears midday, the upstairs vendors have opened up and the office lunch crowd start filling up the tables. Everyone starts at the bar, orders from a vendor and then totters over to the table with a buzzer-in-hand that indicate when the dish is ready. The choice has now opened up to handmade pasta classics from Nonna Tonda, fish and chips from Kerbisher & Malt, Fanny’s Kebabs, bunshop (stuffed buns with builder’s tea), Sri Lankan fare from Gopal’s Kitchen, ramen from Koya Ko and spicy dim sum from BaoziInn. The afternoon lull sees meetings and freelancers creep back in with wifi available throughout the day and minus the feeling of a barista checking up and wondering if you’ll ever leave.
If, like me, you’re never sure what you fancy until you see (or smell) it, Market Hall Victoria is just the place. It provides the coffee and space you need to get things done – be that working, meeting or satisfying the little mouths you need to feed.
Find out more on MarketHalls.co.uk
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