Whether you’re looking for an international lunch time snack, want to stock up on locally-sourced produce or just fancy a spot of al fresco day-drinking, there’s a food market in Reading for you. Get your fill with our guide to the best food markets in Reading including street food festivals, farmers’ markets and community food fairs.
Blue Collar Street Food
Every Wednesday & Friday | 12-2pm | Market Place, Reading | Find out more
Reading-native brand Blue Collar Street Food (main image) took over the Wednesday lunch slot at the Market Place back in 2018 with the goal to, “make our hometown even more special than it already is.” Which is a mission Explore Reading can get behind.
Since then they’ve set about building quite a buzz for their line up of passionate local food vendors, who have since gone on to be some of Reading’s most exciting food businesses – such as Vegivores and GeoCafe, who both started life on the market before opening their Caversham cafes. And they’ve now expanded to Friday lunchtimes too.
Stalls rotate regularly but Berkshire-based Peru Sabor are a regular. They’re frequently turning up the flames on the chargrill for Peruvian ox heart anticucho or chicken in mojo picon. Elsewhere there’s Fink Street Food for excellent Lebanese-inspired wraps, jerk chicken, bao, Thai food, burgers, loaded chips and more. Pull up a blue chair and dig in.
Blue Collar Corner
Open 11am-11pm Thursday – Saturday and 11am-8pm Sunday | Hosier Street, behind St Mary’s Butt’s | Find out more
Coming in new for 2022, Blue Collar Street Food has opened a permanent market off St Mary’s Butt’s. There’s five street food vendors, including pizza from Sarv’s Slice, sweet and savoury bao buns and noodles from Youbao, fried chicken and chicken wings from Gurt Wings and plant based tacos from The Taco Tree. For those with a sweet tooth, there’s Urban Cheesecake.
There’s also a bar with 10 taps of Double Barrelled Brew on draught, including a signature beer – the Blue Collar Lager. And when the sun is out there’s even a roof terrace. It’s made out of shipping containers and brightens up the old market area a lot. Already calling it, this will be everyone’s favourite place to hang out this summer.
Read more in our first look at Blue Collar Corner
Reading Farmer’s Market
The first and third Saturdays of the month | 8.30am – midday | The Cattle Market, Great Knolly’s Street | Find out more
One of the few things I’ll get up early for on a Saturday morning is this bustling twice-monthly fair at the old cattle market, where farms from the Berkshire and Oxfordshire areas sell their produce.
There’s vibrant seasonal fruit and veg from Oxfordshire’s Q Gardens, fresh fish from Brookleas Fish Farm, bread from The Old Farmhouse Bakery and huge free range eggs from Beechwood Eggs. As well as produce, there are goods from Marlow Cheeses, Hartland Fudge, Stainswick Farm cold pressed oils and more on rotation.
The market’s not just a great chance to stock up on organic, locally-sourced produce though, it also has a real village community feel.
After purchasing oak smoked back bacon from the Dews Meadow Farm stall, I not only discovered the breed of pigs behind my product, but that the family farm recently purchased an exciting new plot of land and took their first ever week off market duty last month to attend their son’s wedding. And I got pictures. You don’t get that at the supermarket.
There’s also the very tempting smell of a grill going next to the entrance, where you can get a bacon or sausage bap or a full English to keep you going until lunch – all made with farm fresh produce of course.
Caversham Artisan & Farmers Market
The first and third Sundays of the month | 10am – 3pm | Behind the Waitrose, Caversham. Find out more
There’s nothing better than spending your Sunday morning in a car park. But at the Caversham market, it’s actually worth it, for their mix of crafts, local produce and food vendors every other weekend. Regular food stalls include Hartland Fudge and bakers La Petite Bouche, Coffee Gems Roastery, Honeys of Henley. There’s also regular street food often from Krua Koson Thai, Planted Plates vegan food, or Pielicious Pies. You can also browse crafts, including skincare brand Nood, succulents and plants from Yoli Greens and Candles from Amora.
Hello! I'm Claire, the founding editor of Explore Reading. I'm a Reading native and former digital director of Time Out Shanghai. I founded Explore Reading so no one can say, ‘there’s nothing to do in Reading’, again. When not editing Explore Reading, I'm probably drinking a Manhattan.