The Deck, Jubilee Market Hall, Tavistock Street, WC2E 8BE
On the balcony above Covent Garden’s crowded Jubilee Market lies MEATmarket, the next installment from Yianni Papoutsis (of MEATliquor and The Meatwagon). Overlooking the bustle of the stalls below, it’s a great spot to escape the tourists (who we’re hoping will be put off by the tacky takeaway signs).
The lit-up menu boards borrowed from cheap kebab shops and Chinese restaurants lining the entrance give it away: this place is all about fun. Those who’ve been to MEATliquor will notice that MEATmarket is brighter (you can actually see your food here) and altogether more relaxed than its Marylebone sister, though access will be the same if the ‘no queue jumping sign’ is anything to go by.
Forget the overwhelming choice MEATliquor has to offer – here the highly edited list makes for easy choosing. It’s all very 70s Americana: faves Dead Hippie and Double Bubble made the cut (as well as new addition Black Palace), hot dogs come in ripper, corndog and kraut variations, while new side Poppaz – deep fried jalapeño and cheese croquettes – are deliciously crisp (purists can stick to fries). A Jägermeister float or homemade soft ice are the dessert offerings, or simply round off with a Miami Nice (half piña colada and half strawberry daiquiri slushie), a hard shake (with liquor) or a soda. There’s no syrupy straight-from-the-pump coke here.
If MEATliquor is dark, gritty and meaty (read: pigs, deer and other dead wildlife on the walls) then MEATmarket is a wholly different experience. Everything from the fast food-style boards, counters and slushie machines, down to the trucker hats and glittery talons of staff, scream trailer trash, but with a large dollop of cool. Funny tweets and comments hang from the ceiling in lightboxes, and the no fuss bench/stool set up meets the quick dining ethos.
A fun, laid-back counterpart to MEATliquor, MEATmarket proves that burgers-in-vogue (and the queues) show no sign of slowing down. And you can take out.