'I visited the giant East London food hall that's like being in 12 European countries at once'
Sometimes, all we all want to do with our spare time is have a good old explore around a massive supermarket, right? It can be hard to move away from your usual offering though, so MyLondon went to visit Leytonstone’s Continental Food Market which is an absolute must for any foodies in the area.
The food shop, which is situated on Leytonstone High Road has a 4.2 star rating on Google Reviews, which for a supermarket, is pretty high. Reviews from customers say they love “the various selection of food, fruits and vegetables are always fresh, and the shop looks clean and organised,” another praises it for: “Lots of variety from different nations and a relaxed environment. The staff were very helpful and attentive.”
Formerly known as the Turkish Food Centre, it was refurbished back in 2020, and has since reopened to the public under the name of The Continental Food Market. Situated a short walk from Leytonstone High Road Station, the Turkish-run food hall has a massive selection of tasty treats on offer, as well as your favourite everyday items.
There is a huge range of fresh fruit and veg, with little plastic on show
Walking in, you instantly feel a sense of strange calm despite the massive space in front of you, with aisles packed full of a litany of products from across the continent and beyond.
Everything is laid out extremely clearly and your eyes quickly are drawn to the bumper fresh fruit and veg section to your right. There was every type of healthy food you could wish for, including some particularly huge broccoli – great if you’re a fan of your greens.
Moving on, the herb and spice aisle was the most extensive I’ve ever seen in a shop, with dozens of flavourings to choose from. Other highlights included a whole aisle of pickled foods (my personal favourite thing), and tonnes of Lays crisps. Who needs to go on holiday, anyway.
Loads of fresh cakes on display too
Elsewhere, you can also buy fresh cakes and pastries, such as Baklava, as well as loads of olives and other deli items on the other side of the counter. While the prices are more than most of your everyday favourites from the likes of Tesco and Asda, the variety of products is second to none, as well as high quality throughout the store.
The café was super cute and had space to relax after shopping
There is a butcher in the centre of the store, offering fresh meat to customers, which is good value for money.
The store offers a variety of mainly Cypriot, Turkish and Greek products in a neat and organised shop. It’s a breath of fresh air to walk around somewhere that’s so simple to navigate too. I bought a few things and then headed to the coffee shop on the other side of the store to chill.
Have you ever seen such a big spice selection?
Entering into Matt Cup, it’s got such a relaxed atmosphere, which is so rare to find in a supermarket of all places. There’s a couple of comfy sofas as well as chairs and seats outdoors to perch on.
It was getting later on in the day so I decided to go for a cookies and cream milkshake, which was super tasty. The coffee is raved about online, so next time I’d definitely like to try it, even if I was just passing through.
A milkshake from the coffee shop
The staff are extremely friendly, and there’s also a large selection of pastries, cakes and more offered, with the bakery section nearby too. After I’d sipped up my milkshake, I made my way on the bus home, after having very much enjoyed my little shopping experience, and excited to go back for more fantastic ingredients – and coffee – very soon.