I know it is unpopular to hate on the Borough Market. Everyone loves it but, in my opinion, not everything about it is lovable. Thursday through Saturday, hordes of tourists converge on the marketplace near London Bridge, unaware that plenty of what they are ooohing and ahhhing over is pure crap with a huge carbon footprint. Sure, some of this opinion is attributable to my agoraphobia, or my frustration over being new to the city. But now I have a better handle on the situation. The key to appreciating the Bourough Market is to go there outside of packed market days. In fact, the most worthwhile shops are open six days a week, Monday through Saturday. Here are some places I love:

Flower Power City Bakery may not have the best bread in town (that spot goes to St John Bread & Wine), but their dense, buttery chocolate brownies more than make up for it.

Monmouth Coffe Company roasts their beans in Bermondsey and sells them both here and Convent Garden. Of course, both shops serve coffee, too, and if you are patient you can snag a seat at one of the communal wooden tables.

When it comes to meat in London, or anywhere else on the planet for that matter, The Ginger Pig is an absolute authority. Their lamb, pork, beef, and veal are artfully butchered and sold here and at their other shop in Marylebone. They also do offal and game. I want to live in this place.

Neal’s Yard Dairy is the authority in London on British and Irish cheeses. About seventy cheesemakers and farms are represented, some of whom make cheese exclusively for distribution by Neal’s Yard. Their butter, yogurt, and creams are divine.