Whether you hope to try a rare local delicacy for the first time or you’re looking to bag a bargain of delicious fresh produce, you are guaranteed to find what you need and more at a food market. Foodies will be drawn in by the irresistible exotic aromas before being wowed by rows of colourful, vibrant and enticing market stalls. Here is where you will find the heart of any local community busy, bustling and ready for a brand new day. Put your phrase book to good use and practice your new found language skills whilst getting some authentic recipe tips from the local street chefs and stall holders.
Your next favourite dish could be just around the corner, so be adventurous and get a real taste of your surroundings with our handpicked eight great food markets below.
Borough Market – London
Let your nose lead the way as you explore the aromatic alleys and endless rows of tasty delights on offer in London’s famous Borough Market. One of the oldest food markets in London, market traders have held a presence next to Borough high street from as early as the 13th century. Grab a slice of history along with the quality British and international produce including delicious fish, game, cheese, freshly baked goods and much more. With quality and diversity as Borough’s core market values, you know your taste buds are in for a treat. The market is mostly undercover so whatever the weather it’s ideal for a lunchtime stroll. Great for British pork pies and yummy apple sauce.
Rialto Markets – Venice
The food markets of Rialto in Venice have been present since first settlement as far back as the 9th century. Despite some slight relocation due to the noisy and pungent fish market upsetting the local bankers, the trading of local and international produce from this spot remains an important chapter in Venetian history. The stunning stone Rialto Bridge aids traders and locals whilst making an essential viewing and photo spot for tourists. Great for fresh seafood and affordable souvenirs.
La Ciotat – Provence, France
France is renowned for its unmatched regional cuisine and the locals for their habitual trips to the local farmers markets. Food with the French means you will be spoilt for choice with the tempting selections of local cheeses, wines, baked goods and so on. With so many fabulous French markets to choose from it’s almost impossible to rank one above the rest, but a weekend trip to the quaint coastal port of La Ciotat in Provence is guaranteed not to disappoint. Enjoy the Sunday morning fare on offer at the large farmer and artisan market of Vieux Port before relaxing amid the scenic Mediterranean views and lunching on the beach. Great for stuffed vegetables and paella. A 45 minute drive north sees you in Aix-en-Provence where attractive markets are in abundance.
Union Square Greenmarket - New York City
Every Saturday Union Square Park comes to life with up to 140 regional market stalls selling fresh farm produce, delicious fish and tempting baked goods alongside meats, jams, pickles, cider and even fresh cut flowers. Experience the unique buzz of New York City life whilst trying some tasty street food and enjoying several live cooking demonstrations, all whilst perfecting your convincing New Yorker accent. Great for fresh pickled produce and live demos.
La Central de Abasto – Mexico City
La Central de Abasto literally translates to the central supply, and there is probably no better way of describing one of the biggest wholesale markets in the world. A visually arresting array of produce is piled high and categorised by type. Stiff competition between traders results in rows of fantastic displays as they try to out-do each other to grab the punters attention. You may need a local guide to avoid getting swallowed by mountains of fruits, vegetables, potatoes, sugarcane, flowers and much more. Great for everything, they have it all! Note: Taking photos is forbidden without proof of permission which plain clothed security guards will request.
Mercado de San Telmo – Buenos Aires, Argentina
Head here for the great atmosphere and pure insight of day to day local life in Buenos Aires. The market is indoors and housed by a large building supported (inside) by an impressive wrought iron structure. Don’t forget to look up and admire the notable original ceiling which dates back to the late 17th century. Friendly merchants supply locals and tourists with a wealth of fresh fruit, veg, meat and baked goods plus antiques and artisan crafts. Great for coffee, churros (doughnuts) and souvenirs.
Jalan Alor (Food Street) - Kuala Lumpur
Jalan Alor Food Street is the place to be if you are looking for a budget evening meal with a side order of a buzzing and lively local atmosphere. As the sun sets on Food Street, an electric ambience lights the way as cafes, restaurants and market vendors merge into one and claim their spot of real estate in this aromatic foodie fusion. Stroll the length of the street to see the full selection of cheap Chinese, Thai and Malay cuisine before settling on your dinner destination, and stand firm with pushy hawkers trying to tempt you before you’ve seen it all. Great for noodles and value for money.
Kowloon City Wet Market– Hong Kong
Kowloon City is a must for any foodie fans visiting China’s kinetic south coast. Choose from a myriad of fresh meats, vivid vegetables from regional farms and live seafood literally fresh off the boat. An abundance of quality Asian cuisine from stall vendors and speciality stores make this a go-to destination in Hong Kong for a delicious and quick daytime snack, or purchasing fresh ingredients for a home cooked evening meal. Explore three floors of endless tasty Chinese and Thai treats and get your fix at the cooked food centre when hunger strikes. Great for curried dishes of varying spice levels.
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