Covent Garden Market
Covent Garden Market has been a staple of London culture for close to two centuries. With a wide range of unique services, vendors and merchants selling farm fresh produce and goods, as well as restaurants and specialty shops, it is among the largest year-round markets in Canada. Whether you’re looking to get an intimate view of London, sample delectable local foods or buy a unique souvenir to take home, Covent Garden Market is the place to go.
Covent Garden is located in the heart of London’s downtown district at 130 King Street. The city of London is located along Highway 401 in southwest Ontario, approximately a two hour drive east of Windsor and an hour and a half west of Hamilton.
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More about Covent Garden Market
The Covent Garden Market traces its origins back to London’s first government-licensed public fair in 1835. By 1853, the London City Council ordered the construction of a white-brick building that was to be the Covent Garden Market House. Its growth sparked that of the city of London’s as well. The first bank in the city was established right across from the market in pursuit of the Covent Garden merchants’ financial services. The market was also quite modern for its time, functioning more like a farmers’ market of today would: not only did farmers sell their wares and produce, but businesses that catered to farmers themselves flourished as well, along with shops selling staples to rural families, and restaurants along the periphery keeping everyone fed in between shopping trips.
Today’s Covent Garden Market is still London’s go-to for fresh, locally-sourcedmeats and produce, as well as a variety of restaurants and specialty stores. Additionally, it features bars, bistros and even a theatre. In the summer, the entertainment extends outdoors with street performers and musicians, while the square in front of the market is converted into a skating rink in the winter.
The majority of Covent Garden Market is wheelchair-accessible via ramps and designated disabled parking and service dogs are welcome throughout.
Meat lovers will find that Covent Garden Market is a haven for award-winning, organic, and sustainably-sourced butcher shops. Visit Mark’s Fine Meats to find the best organic meat options, or Chris’ Country Cuts with their locally-sourced, cut-on-site meats (they offer milk-fed veal, Cornish hen, Muscovy duck, Ontario lamb, rabbit and even bison meat).
Looking for a souvenir? Drop by Tina’s Treasury, which stocks greeting cards, gifts and jewellery. Tea lovers will want to head over to The Tea Haus for a nice cuppa, or to peruse their selection of all things tea, from organic to oolong. Vegans will appreciate the vegan selection of cheeses and pastries at Sacred Earth Vegan Market. Visit historic Havaris Produce (they’ve been around since the 19th century) for hard-to-find organic vegetables, sun-dried fruit, honey and more. Covent Garden isn’t just known for its markets. It’s also a hot spot for some of the best restaurants in Ontario.
Take a shopping break and dine at one of the many renowned restaurants that surround Covent Garden Market. Feast on fine-dining selections at Waldo’s On King Bistro & Wine Bar, or enjoy delicious sushi, sashimi and bentos at Tanakaya Japanese Restaurant. Indulge in home-style BBQ and craft beers at Olive R. Twists. The Salad Bowl offers fresh salads and the best soups in London. Dip into a comforting bowl of curry from New Delhi Deli, or liven up your tastebuds with a spring roll at Thai Delight.
Explore more of downtown London after a round of shopping at Covent Garden Market. Visit historic St. Peter’s Cathedral Basilica, which dates back to the early 19th century, then take a walk in neighbouring Victoria Park. Go museum-hopping from the London Museum, home to over 5,000 works of art and 45,000 artefacts collected from around the world, to the London Regional Children’s Museum if you’re travelling with kids. Beer enthusiasts will enjoy the two hour tour at Labatt Brewery, Canada’s largest brewery, or a visit to any of the smaller but equally compelling local craft breweries such as Toboggan Brewing Company or family-run Anderson Craft Ales.
Last updated: January 4, 2022