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Startisans: Eat Indie in the Heart of Covent Garden


Katie Ingham of I Love Markets (right) samples the Arrtisan lunch with Alex Shepherd (left) of Sheperds Markets

Startisans is the latest street food concept that brings an indie eat out to the heart of Covent Garden. Successful food market operators, Shepherds Markets and Partridges Markets are the power behind it. Startisans is all about providing a nurturing space for startup food businesses and artisans to thrive. With stalls holders rotating daily, at each visit you can indulge in something different. It’s a daily artisan and streetfood canteen that has revived lunchtimes in Covent Garden. Workers and visitors are embracing this fresh taste, and so did I when I visited last Friday.

It's all about lunch time at Startisans in Covent Garden

It’s all about lunch time at Startisans in Covent Garden

Shepherds Markets is a proudly run family business and they are already responsible for bringing numerous successful food markets across London. Startisans is managed by the surgically capable hands of family member Alex (who is actually a qualified Dr). She’s enjoying a year out, opting to support the family business and manage Startisans. Eating well is obviously a great staff benefit.

“The team behind Partridges and Shepherds Markets have created both a virtual and physical platform for start-ups to realise their ideas and share them with the public, giving them the opportunity for invaluable face to face customer feedback and the chance to “test the market”. This is STARTISANS!”

Startisans is located on Shelton Street and can be spotted from Neale Street.

Startisans is located on Shelton Street and can be spotted from Neale Street.

Startisans is in a great location.As I walked down Neale Street i spotted it straight away once I hit Shelton Street. They’ve given a grubby old shop front a complete make-over and it’s now a shiny new space that can compete with the abundance of food chains which can be found within Covent Garden. All stalls apart from Stir Coffee change daily and it’s open 5 days a week, so that’s a lot of different dishes to keep you from getting bored-of-lunch-syndrome.

I have to admit, if I was doing Alex’s job I’m not sure if i could tame my appetite and she confesses to finding it difficult. It’s too hard to resist, but she’s still looking trim (for now). I’d probably end up needing a gastric band after a few months, especially when everyone is waving free samples under your nose.

Feed Me Primal at Startisans in Covent Garden

Caveman Food from Feed Me Primal at Startisans in Covent Garden

At Startisans you’ll find a mix of hot food stalls as well as artisan bakers and makers. When i visited there was a great hot food selection which included Argentinian Empanadas, Portuguese Piri-Piri, food inspired by the hunter-gatherer diet from Feed Me Primal, slow roasted meats from Sticky Beaks and Caribbean  curries and patties. Alex and I opted to try the delicious Crab Burger from Claw. Served with red cabbage coleslaw, it was perfectly fishy in taste and left you feeling a lot lighter than the traditional beef alternative.

Startisans is located on Shelton Street and can be spotted from Neale Street.

The Claw Crab Burger at Startisans

Special Events Scheduled!

If you thought the Startisans offering couldn’t get any better, then you’re wrong. With such a great space and in such a great location it only seems sensible to dip their toes into other great foodie events.

This week, on Friday 27 and Saturday 28 Feb sees the launch of Supperclub being hosted by chef Chris Jordan founder of A Taste London.

From March 6 Startisans will hold The Brewers’ Market. Every Friday from 5-9pm. Featuring new upcoming breweries including anspach and hobday, gipsy hill brewery, canopy, the London beer factory as well as more established breweries such as 5points and fourpure.


By Katie Ingham, Founder of I Love Markets.

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