Over the last few months, I’ve visited all 29 of the food stalls at Norwich market, initially with my friend Nathan and then my long time market food eating friend James took over to assist. This was all a marvellous idea, the variety, quality and value of the stalls has really surprised me and made me feel just a little guilty for having gone to same chip stall for the best part of twenty years. There are dessert stalls, Chinese, Indian, Mexican, cafes, chips shops and plenty more besides. I fully recommend a visit to Norwich market for any visitor, or indeed resident, of Norwich to see just how much variety is here.
Honourable mentions first. There were many friendly figures at the market, but the one that stands out for me is back in week three when our social butterfly Nathan got chatting to the really lovely owner of Chimneys. Given that he had just picked me up from Luton Airport (Nathan, not the guy running the market stall) I was impressed at his socialising skills. Unfortunately, Chimneys is the only stall that has closed during this process, I do hope the lovely guy running it thinks about another similar project in the future. Back to Nathan and his socialising, when we went to the Taste of Shanghai he already knew the owner as he had had a chat with him in the street or something. Who chats to people in the street? Also honourable mention to Deb’s for making a bacon sandwich just I like it, namely not what I consider to be raw as some places serve it. And, to the venue that might have surged into first place if they had offered us hot pies with gravy, Walsingham Farm Shop. The theatre of the Go Crepes stall was also a delight to watch.
After much ruminating, this means that the results are in and I’ve decided to name my favourite three outlets as my two loyal readers have been waiting for this. I haven’t consulted Nathan or James on this as I’ve decided it’ll all be about me 🙂 For anyone who wants to see all the photos from every visit, they’re at https://www.flickr.com/photos/julianwhite-uk/albums/72177720305738387. I’m also conscious that some new stalls have opened recently, we’ll visit them in 2024.
Now, after much wittering, my top three!
3RD PLACE: COCINA MIA
I had to think about this for a while given that there were so many positive moments. I liked the friendliness, the variety of the menu and also the depth of flavour of the food. There were positive little touches here, including the free water for customers and the comfortable seating area. The empanada I ordered was generously filled with pieces of chorizo and chicken, all very tender.
2ND PLACE : LUCY’S FISH AND CHIPS
In second place is a stall which means quite a lot to me since I’ve visited so much, Lucy’s Fish and Chips. Their customer service is on point, they manage to deal with their queues in an efficient manner which is a challenge given how busy they are. The food is of a consistently high standard and it’s always a delight to come here. Their prices are some of the lowest on the market, there’s a seating area and they have scraps to put on top of the chips.
And that means, in first place is…..
1ST PLACE : BODEGA
Just look at that, a packed pastrami sandwich which tasted as good as it looks. The service is friendly, efficient and it feels all very on-trend and customer focused. It’s not necessarily the cheapest option at the market, but the quality is so high that it justifies its price. For extra excitement, Toby’s Beer is located just one market row away to enjoy this decadent sandwich with a craft beer. So very lovely.
Many thanks to Nathan for his help, always merrily chatting to stall holders and selflessly going for a different option to broaden out the reviews, whilst although James has often been inspired to have the same food as me, his photos have added a huge amount to the blog posts. Thanks also to everyone on the market, I’ve very much enjoyed this project.