Calling all you fish and crustacean fan out there! Here is the place bursting with freshness off the sea! Come here and you will find salmon for £6.50/kilo, £6-8/kilo prawns and many more for less than £10/kilo. Just remember that they sell the products mostly by bulk therefore prepare to carry heavy loads in the end.
I advice you to forget the supermarket and venture yourself out here to start your weekend because it surely will not disappoint. As far as my other half and I are concern, its well worth the visit. Just wake up early, wear clothing that you dont mind getting dirty and fishy and your stash of cash (most sellers take cash only).
this is the classic case that one shitty seller ruins the reputation of many honest fishermen. Unfortunately I'll never buy oysters again
I've been twice to this market. last time I got oysters. I thought, if they are not fresh here, then where else?
had friends over for sunday sunny bbq lunch. I served the oysters raw. they were all closed and tasted good, but we all spent the following 24-48 hr puking and shitting ourselves.
it was an asian (indian/pakistani) seller at the start of the market, second isle on the right. can't remember the name, but next time I go I'll fucking tell him and his customers to stay away, and I'll update this review with his exact name.
FOR NOW BE AWARE!!!
Went this morning full of hope to bring home a great catch of the day!
I smelled this place before i could see it, parked the car and rose out of the car park to the entrance to be greeted by lobsters and crabs all waving like mad! lol.
fish here is mainly for the restaurant shoppers as you have to by in large quantities by the box load so wots the point of going to the trouble to get here at the crack of dawn to come back home and freeze your fish cos you will buy plenty!
i conceded that i will be shopping at supermarket fish counters from now on as you get just the right amount for cooking and not more.
Nonetheless this place must be visited!!!
Excellent quality and variety of fish, friendly helpful fishmongers, gotta get up with the sun to get here though
This place has fish so fresh I swear they swim right up and plunk themselves down on the table. I love this place, from the light salty smell of fish so fresh they still remember how to swim, to the constant calling of the mongers to each other in a language I'll never understand. I go here once a month to replenish my supplies of fresh fish. I'd go more often but a) it's a bit of a trek out to Poplar on the DLR, and b) you need to get there before 8am to get any sort of selection and ideally by 7am to get a good choice.
My favourites are the massive 2-3 foot long salmon fillets for 10-18 squids, or the ahi tuna which is sold at about 11 quid a kilo (caveat being the smallest piece they tend to have is about 3 kg). You can't beat the price (compare borough where the tuna is 25/kg) and in case you didn't get it, the fish is FRESH and not the fresh that waitrose plugs, the fresh where if you get there early enough you can probably see them flopping around as they are carried off the boats.
Another thing that must be mentioned is the 5 kg of mussels for 10 quid in the summer months. For a tenner you can feed a family of 6 four meals of mussels, or about 25 of your friends in one go (I've done both...best cheap but gourmet meals ever!).
I could go on and on, but there is pretty much all the variety of fresh fish and seafood you can ask for, and there are even stores that sell value added products such as smoked salmon etc.
The downsides are that you have to get up early to get over there, you buy in bulk so come prepared with suitcases or at least a back pack to help carry it off, and often the whole fish aren't cleaned so you will have to dig deep into the guts yourself.
Of course I'll be back. Can't beat the value or quality and those combined makes Billingsgate a must go. Oh and the crabs are still moving quite fast, so if you wanna have a crab race gotta go there and get some!
Best fish market ever!
Obviously people don't go here enough, it is brilliant. Basically it's a London institution, it has been going since the 19th century someone tells me. You catch people from various restaurants across the city stocking up on as much fish and seafood they can manage.
Some tips - wear old clothes (you'll will stink of fish), get there before 6.30 am (they will sell out) and haggle or if you're me, attempt to.
You can get so many good things cheap, a bag of huge prawns for about £6, 3 big crabs for a tenner, squid, huge fresh salmon. And everything was caught the day before. It is phenomenal: go, go go....
Widest selection of fish available. There are also lots of interesting and unknown seafood choices. The fish is always fresh and you won't be disappointed.
Definitely a place all seafood lovers in London should visit at least once in their lives!
Getting there is a bit hard, as most of the fish are gone by 7:30am, and the Docklands isn't exactly central!
But once you're there you can't help marvel at the range of fish available, some of which you would never have known existed before!
Everything is sold in kilos, boxes, and big bags, so be sure to plan a massive seafood feast if you plan to buy anything!
The first time I visited Billingsgate, some god awful freezing winter 5am a few years back, I got the complete wrong end of the stick and went to Old Billingsgate - a venerable old pile on the river near St Paul's which has been long dormant. A friendly security guard informed me of the 'new' location - by a motorway out near Canary Wharf.
So out I toddled. I was on a mission to make some sashimi and so, naturally enough you understand, thought the best place to get high grade tuna and salmon would be the biggest fish market in town. How wrong I was.
You see Billingsgate is set up by trawlermen and fish wholesalers as somewhere for fishmongers to buy their stock. Any old Joe off the street can't just wander in and buy a bag of scampi and a couple of kippers. So my request for tuna steaks was laughed off by the few dealers I spoke with. Cue a long, empty-handed and grumpy trip home.
Having said all that, Billingsgate is a spectacle as long as you are not there to buy fish. You'll watch yellowfin tuna being sawn in half with buzzsaws, hear salty sea dogs holler the price of a John Dory at each other, catch a whiff of the pungent aromas splashing around the floor, and see the early morning sun hitting off Canada Water. It's not exactly my idea of a perfect weekend morning and it doesn't compare to Tsukiji in Tokyo for Kodak moments or local sushi breakfast opps - but it's London's next best thing, it'll be memorable and is worth at least one sleepy, fishy adventure.
I love Billingsgate It's the best fresh market in London and probably for any city in the UK.
Billingsgate is a fish market, open Monday to Saturday with a random 'Sunday Market' recently just opened. The market itself is 95% seafood and golly, this great seafood.
To best enjoy Billingsgate it is important to arrive early, 5.45-6.15am is best and this is when the market is at its most busy (and fresh) after this some prices may come down but you'll get what other people didn't want
They do crab, eel, prawns, salmon, snapper, squid, cuttlefish, Oysters, Tuna, Swordfish, sardines, lobster, halibut and in fact pretty much any seafood possible. As the other reviewer mentioned it may still well be alive :D
My favourite are the giant prawns sold by one of the stalls in the second row near the entrance (Asian guy selling them as at March 2008), for around £30 you get a two KG box of the largest (five inch when straight+) prawns that are perfect for a BBQ. Take their heads of and cook those to make a broth pefect for flavoring soups or using as a stock.
Anyway, they also do culinary courses, (teach you how to prepare fish), market tours and have a few Cafes in the building. So overall, it is a very good place and I only shop fresh seafood here, not anywhere else. Seriously if you goto a Chinese supermarket like Loon-Fung or Sainsburys or whatever, chances are it's worse than Billingsgate, and more expensive!
"when the seagulls follow the trawler, it is because they think sardines will be thrown into the sea", so says eric cantona!
so when i first saw seagulls swarming billingsgate fish market, i knew this is the place to come for your fresh seafood fix!
not only were there seagulls but hoards of people even though it was already 6.40am.
you see, they start as early as 5am and we were definitely not among the early birds.
armed with our buckets for carrying our expected loot, we were well prepared for our catches of the day.
the buckets will really come in handy as it will keep your boot clean too!
in case you are wondering, they do retail to the general public.
of course, they would prefer you buying more than what you need, but the fact that they sold us 2 pieces of salmon fish head for 1 quid should encourage you to come here! a plastic bag was also provide, what a steal!:)
the salmon fish head must be the best buy, plenty of flesh was still attached.
according to my friend's mom, she will make a nice fish head curry out of it!
lots on offer, lots to see.
all kinds of seafood cheap as can be!
3 crabs for 7.50 quid??
fillets of cod at various sizes and various prices.
the ones we bought were 8 quid per kg.
fresh as fresh can be, sea bass, great looking turbot, even grouper!
lobsters, scallops with roe(with or without shell), squid, smoked salmon, fresh salmon, monk fish, prawns, sea snails etc.
the market was relatively clean but wet.
most fishes are not gutted but you do get some stalls selling gutted ones.
take your time to go from stall to stall before committing your purchase.
some stalls are fresher, others are cheaper!
there are also 2 cafes on site.
one right by the entrance and another at the opposite end.
we dropped in at the one at the other end after our fishy exploits.
small cosy little cafe offering full english breakfast!
the walls are framed with interesting photos of people who have visited.
we shared the mix grill breakfast( baked beans, grilled tomatoes, chips, beef pattie with grilled onions, sausage, bacon, egg, toast and coffee, 5.50 quid) and a haddock breakfast( haddock, 2 poached eggs, toast and coffee, 7 quid).
good for 4 persons! additional tea was only 50p each.
not quite your tsukiji fish market but certainly billed as the largest fish market in london!
One of the joys of London.
This place is the nuts. Go with your camera.
Get up early, I think it opens to the public at 5am and closes at 8.
Choc full of fresh fish. The place smells and takes a bit of getting used to in the morning.
This isn't a place for the shy retiring person. The traders are loud and brash and the punters are there for bargains. The two make for some good old banter. Loads of chinese people there buying for the restaurant and haggling. Brilliant to listen to.
The traders don't have much patience and many of them simply don't sell fish in small amounts, they just wave you away.
Be brave. There are incredible bargains to be had. I bought 4 live crabs for £6. That's right. £6. Boxes of stiff fresh mackerel for £20. I bought 12 octupuss for a tenner. Excellent quality whole salmon for £15 a pop. Beautiful farmed and wild Turbot, huge, for about £20. The list goes on and on. I'd say you're getting it for about a third of the price of a good fishmongers. And of course the choice and freshness beats any supermarket.
It's crowded, noisy, smelly and there's a lot of effing and blinding (kids aren't allowed but I don't think you'd want them there to be honest.
Bring plastic bags to house what you buy, they don't wrap things up! this is a wholesale place and no mistake.
And when you've finished head for the wonderful cafe housed in the corner where all the traders go. The language is choice but you get a blinding cheese toastie and a good look at all the old pictures on the wall.
It's a really special place and one of the joys of living in London. I live west but if I leave home at 6am I'm there by 6.30 and if you're doing a bbq or cooking something as expensive as lobster or halibut you are saving yourself a fortune.
Finding a parking space can be a drag though, the car park is packed. Get there early.
Billingsgate fish market has the largest selection of fish in the UK, aimed at wholesalers, there is always a supply of fresh fish from the coast as well as overseas.
I love going to markets, you support the trader instead of giving money to big businesses. And you have the option of haggling, which always makes the experience more interesting. If you're hosting a dinner party Billingsgate is definitely the place to come for cheap seafood.
Wear shoes with a bit of grip, and prepare yourself for an early start. Trading starts at 5.00am and finishes at 8.30am, not the best place to come with a hangover..!
Been going there for years & it never disappoints. We usually get there before the bell goes at 5am to pick what we want & get in/out quick- before the crowds arrive. Parking isnt usually a problem unless its Christmas when its an absolute nightmare! The variety is amazing & the prices even better. A whole salmon £10, 1kg smoked salmon £11, 3 bags of squid/prawns/ mixed marinara for £10. Fresh, smoked, salted, dried & cooked varieties of seafood all available. You cant beat lobster on a BBQ.
If you buy a box of fish it will be in a polystyrene box with ice, then packaged in a bin liner. Take a cooler box if you are travelling far & put some old towels down in the boot to stop any condensation/leaks getting in the carpet.
Not a bad place to get seafood if you can wake up early. Wear old clothes, and bring extra plastic bags. Perfect if you go with a friend and split bags of seafood. I was a little surprised that the majority of fish were frozen but I guess its better than buying at the store. I got 5 kilos of fresh mussels for 9.50 and 3 kilos of frozen tuna steaks for 7.50. When you go halfsies with a friend- its not too bad. I just wish i had a car cuz it was not fun lugging that much weight back to the tube station. Try the kipper breakfast at the cafe inside the market. I got the haddock breakfast and it was a bit salty for my taste.
RE: PASSIONATE ABOUT FISH COURSE AT THE SEAFOOD SCHOOL
Couldn't find the exact match, so am posting on the Billingsgate section.
LOVED the course by Duncan and Sue. They are both incredibly knowledgeable about the various aspects of the fishing industry, and more importantly for those spending all day Saturday with them, they are also lovely people.
We went in knowing literally nothing about fish except that we like to eat it. Duncan kicked off with a spectacular display of fish that we would shortly get to work with, each with our individual work stations and tool sets. We not only had great fun throughout the course, but we also learned quite a lot.
Tea breaks were a nice touch, and although Sue kept apologising for not offering enough, lunch was actually hearty and filling. We even got to take home copies of the recipes.
These are clearly two people who are passionate about fish, and that passion is contagious.
The only constructive criticism I can come up with, and I'm really struggling here, is that the course is so chock-full, we didn't label our fish and when we got home with our kilos of prepped fish, we couldn't figure out what was what. But that's a product more of our fish-ignorance and wine consumption at lunch than any failing of the course itself!
Also we did find an 8.30am start on a Saturday morning difficult, but that's because we are simply lazy. And being there early, we did unexpectedly benefit from Billingsgate Market being open and allowing us a wander around the fishmongers who still had stock available.
Most Londoners know about the fishmarket in the shade of Canary Wharf, it is the cities famous fishmarket. The market was established around 1700 and the market is open to all the public. Sales to the tourists and public are booming, as increasing numbers of shoppers from London and surround visiting this market frequently. The fact that prices are a third of the London city prices one can expect a lively and crowded market. Exotic imports counts for about 40% of the daily deliveries, flown in direct to Gatwick. Some of the fish is still alive on offer, can it be more fresh? Red Snappers is selling for about 5 pound a kg and a full box of sardines is on sale for about 2 pound. Ask the fish mongers for advise and you will have the best dish you can imagine. Just cook it or eat it as sushi, or marinate it for later, or deepfreze your purchases, enjoy with your friends.
Awesome place to buy all kinds of exotic food! People are very friendly on top of that. I come here quite often and always discover something new.
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