A colourful array of glasses

10 best things to do on Roman Road Market

Now that parking has been reduced to £2 for two hours on Saturdays in multi-use bays, there’s no better time to visit the East End’s famous Roman Road Market. Though it’s easy to get here by public transport. Mile End tube and Bow Road station are only only a ten minute walk away, and the no 8 bus drops you off at each end of the market.

1. Lofty’s furniture

Tony Wong sits on a yellow sofa outside the shop
Tony Wong of Lofty’s furniture © Tabitha Stapely

Lofty’s furniture shop is a BBC regular thanks to Tony Wong, it’s ever-smiling employee. Not only a market stall, they have a shop on Roman Road that is open Monday-Saturday at 629-631 Roman Road.

2. Sam’s fruit stall fresh from New Spitalfields Market

Sam holding a crate of oranges outside his stall
Sam’s oranges © Tabitha Stapely

The only fruit stall on the Roman, and we couldn’t ask for a better one. Don’t be put off by the plastic bowl display. All the fruit comes in fresh every day from New Spitalfields Market but sold in £1 bargain lots. On Tuesdays and Thursdays find Sam outside The Albert pub at pitch 1-3. On Saturdays, find him outside Iceland.

3. Steve’s Pets at Roam market stall

Steve at the Pets at Roam stall
Steve and Pets at Roam © Tabitha Stapely

For all your doggy (and other pet) needs, head to Pets at Roam near Gladstone Place. Spanning three stalls it offers pet food and treats, toys, collars and coats. Best selling items include the branded diamante range of matching collar and leads, as seen on Danny Dyer’s bulldog Lady Di on EastEnders but at a bargain price. Steve comes to the market on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, and can be found at pitch 63-65.

4. Khan’s sunglass stall

A colourful array of sunglasses
A colourful array of glasses © Tabitha Stapely

For £5 sunglasses, you can’t get anywhere better than Khan’s. This colourful array is available on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday at pitch number 139.

5. Hasan’s high-end high-street stall

Hasan outside his stall
Hasan with a Mary Portas jacket © Tabitha Stapely

Stocking everything from Karen Millen and Finery London to Topshop and ASOS, Hasan’s stall should not be missed on your trip down the Roman, with £500 leather coats knocked down to £100. Opposite Khan’s sunglasses, Hasan is at the market on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, and can often be seen manning both stalls.

6. Dog watching

French bulldog and owner
What a cutie! © Tabitha Stapely

Everyone loves dog-watching, and there’s no better place to do it than Roman Road market. Check out this guy for starters…

7. Lucy B’s fabric stall

Girls outside Lucy B's furniture stall
The morning hustle © Tabitha Stapely

Outside the school gates of Old Ford Primary School is Lucy B’s fabric stall. It gets mobbed by mothers at the school drop-off and pick-up. Lucy is also a dress maker and will run up any fabric into your own designs. For rolls of fabric or to get your own bespoke piece made by Lucy, head to Pitch 27 every Thursday.

8. French Connection outlet stall

French connection sale signj
You can grab great bargains © Tabitha Stapely

For decades, Roman Road Market has been the go-to place for French Connection bargains. With racks and racks of clothes, this is a must for anyone wanting to stock up on high-quality basics and evening wear from French Connection..

9. Adrian and Peter’s underwear stall

Adrian and Peter outside their stall on Roman Road Market 2018
Adrian and Peter outside their underwear stall © Tabitha Stapely

Grab two pairs of fancy tights for a fiver, or the comfiest PJ pants money can buy at Adrian’s underwear stall. Adrian on the left (aka Ginger) pulls out all the stalls at the crack of dawn every market day so he’s a font of local knowledge.

10. G.Kelly

G. Kelly's pie, mash and liquor
Pie, mash and liquor © GKelly

Join the market traders and locals at this East End institution for pie, mash and liquor. G.Kelly’s has been a Roman Road staple since 1939 and will re-open in summer this year after a much-anticipated renovation.

If you love Roman Road market, you might enjoy these archive images from the 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s.

If you liked this piece, read about Loftys furniture shop on Roman Road.


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