Banter and bargains, seven days a week.
If you don’t know Nag’s Head Market then you really should make a visit. It’s covered, so you won’t get wet when the weather turns, and where bargains abound at the 100+ stalls. My plan was to get an extra hole in my leather belt, buy a cheap pillow and eat lunch, but in the end I just left with a bag of nadacotts and a pomegranate after sating myself at the Colombian café on plantain and cornbread, both topped with melted cheese. Delicious.
This market is Islington at its best. There’s a huge mix of people selling and buying – speaking in all sorts of languages. All the stalls want cash payment – ideally stock up before, or just cross Seven Sisters Road to the ATM by the entrance to where Holloway Car Boot is held every weekend. It is a busy place, so be careful with your possessions while you do your shopping and look out for the bargains including fish heads on sale for a pound, warrior trolleys, hair extension stalls, vibrant rolls of material and household cleaning items.
If you don’t yet have a favourite stall this might help you navigate…
FROM SEVEN SISTERS ROAD
To your right as you enter from 22 Seven Sisters Road you’ll pass a well-stocked fish shop, a key cutter and even an egg stall, which gives the market an agricultural feel. On the left is self-service Gardenia Fruit & Veg, where, “I only sell what I would be willing to eat,” says one of the Turkish men on the till. He must know how to eat well as he’s selling wonderful produce including kolokassi (taro), fresh walnuts, green tomatoes, white courgettes, bunches of sorrel, five varieties of chilli and four types of boxed dates.
Next door is the halal A&F Butchers which also sells organic chicken and unplucked pheasants. On Saturday there are always queues – clearly a popular shopping stop.
OFF MORRISONS’ CAR PARK
If you need items from the supermarket, then the way in via the mostly covered Morrisons’ car park entrance is useful. Head through the weather-proof plastic sheeting to enter a bazaar of curios – ranging from lighters and ladies’ wear to secondhand bric-a-brac and CDs. You could even rent a stall to sell your bits and bobs.
VIA THE SIDE ENTRANCE FOR FOOD STALLS
Or you can enter off Hertslett Road directly into the food court, which is on the left, just after the famous stall where Jeremy Corbyn, the local MP and leader of the Labour Party, used to buy white cotton vests for £1.50. Sadly B&H Quality Underwear owner, Ali Rifat, closed his stall in the autumn.
Find some tempting food stalls along this aisle including a Korean/Italian fusion; the Caribbean Kitchen’s aloo pie, American hotdogs, Vietnamese noodles and a Colombian restaurant serving chicken baked in banana leaves, cornbread etc. Because the Nag’s Head Market isn’t yet gentrified there are no silly Borough Market prices.
Whether it’s a midday meal you are after; the week’s supply of fresh meat and veg or even metres of sari trimmings your money can go a long way at Nag’s Head: long may it last.
- At weekends the Holloway Car Boot sale takes over Grafton Primary School, Bowman’s Place, N7 (Sat 8am-4pm, Sun 10-2.30pm).
- The new pedestrian crossing over Holloway Road lets you reach Amici Coffee Deli or Korkmaz Food Centre safely.
- This area has plenty of charity shops, eg, just after Argos find Cancer Research and Oxfam, all great places for bargain finds.