35 Food Markets Around The World To Put On Your Travel Bucket List
"Find out how other people live and eat and cook. Learn from them, wherever you go." – Anthony Bourdain
Why you should go: Toronto's historic St. Lawrence Market brings together 120 vendors from all over the city and has even been named the Best Food Market in the World by National Geographic. Buy some maple syrup, obviously, and try Carousel Bakery's Canadian bacon sandwich. That's right, BACON SANDWICH.
2. Union Square Greenmarket (New York, NY, USA)
Why you should go: This outdoor market at Manhattan's Union Square provides city dwellers with farm-fresh local produce, meats, and cheeses on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. The square is also a magnet for political activism and street performers, so even on off-days, there's always something going on.
Why you should go: Eastern Market is a bustling center of activity on Capitol Hill. An outdoor farmers' and flea market takes place on weekends, when the neighborhood really comes alive. Stop by Market Lunch inside to try the blueberry buckwheat pancakes, but be prepared to wait in line!
Why you should go: The North Market, located in Downtown Columbus, curates some of the city's best lunch spots, artisan products, and produce from around the Buckeye State. Try the ice cream at Jeni's, and with flavors like Dark Chocolate and Brown Butter Almond Brittle, you'll never settle for anything less.
Why you should go: Cleveland's oldest market sells a variety of products reflecting the city's cultural diversity, housed within a beautiful brick hall. Expect to find plenty of meat counters selling some of the best sausages, bratwursts, and kielbasa in the Midwest.
Why you should go: Watch the spectacle as fish vendors throw salmon to one another across the countertops inside Pike Place Market. Other attractions include the very first Starbucks and the colorful gum wall, where thousands have left their mark with a chewed up piece of gum.
Why you should go: Located on the coast of San Francisco Bay, Ferry Building Marketplace delivers great food and great scenery throughout the week, as well as an outdoor farmers' market on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. Take a historic trolley straight to the market and cross that off your bucket list too.
Why you should go: La Merced is the largest market in Mexico City, which is impressive considering there are over three hundred permanent markets in the city. Look for vendors selling cacti, avocados, and beautiful fresh fruit, but avoid the area at night when the area becomes notoriously less safe.
Why you should go: Shop with the locals for meats, fruits, and vegetables at this authentic South American market. Make sure to catch the flower market for a colorful array of roses, which are one of Colombia's most valuable exports.
Why you should go: This impressive wrought-iron building in the capital of Chile is home to fish vendors and restaurants whose chefs have fresh seafood right at their fingertips.
Why you should go: Light pours into Mercado Municipal through colorful stained glass windows, which makes this market feel like a sanctuary for food lovers. The grilled mortadella and cheese sandwiches here are a São Paulo favorite!
Why you should go: Spanish cheeses, meats, olives, bread, wine. Located off Plaza Mayor, this market has everything you need for amazing tapas. The people of Madrid stay up late, so this market is open every day until midnight or later, making it a great location for a night out.
Why you should go: From popsicles and juices to fruits and vegetables, this market is as colorful as the city itself. La Boqueria dates back to 1217, and as one of the most popular food markets in Europe today, it has clearly stood the test of time. Go towards the end of the day as the sun is setting to find the cheapest prices.
Why you should go: JUST IMAGINE eating macarons and smelling fragrant lavender at this market in the south of France. Just a stone's throw away from the coast, it's the perfect spot to pick up a snack before heading to the beach.
Why you should go: This market has everything you'll need to have a nice picnic in front of the Eiffel Tower or in any of Paris' beautiful parks. Located east of the Bastille, it's not the most central location in the city, but it's Paris. You'll find good food wherever you go.
Why you should go: Near London Bridge Tube station, this sprawling market is alive with crowds of food lovers ready to get their hands on some of the best ingredients in the world. Covering multiple blocks in the borough of Southwark, a trip to Borough Market is almost a pilgrimage for any food lover. Make sure to smell the truffles, sample handmade pasta, and try a chorizo roll at Brindisa.
Why you should go: A smorgasbord of fresh ingredients and beautifully prepared bites line the halls of this indoor market in the heart of Stockholm. The market is sickeningly beautiful and classy, like everything in Sweden.
Why you should go: The gorgeous glass Torvehallerne houses an eye-catching array of Nordic plates and baked goods. Order a cup of coffee at Coffee Collective and try to keep up with the Scandinavians, who drink more coffee on average than anyone else in the world.
Why you should go: Kauppatori, or Market Square, is an outdoor market on the Port of Helsinki. Look for bright orange and yellow pop-up tents from which produce vendors sell their fruits and vegetables, or walk down to the water and buy from the fish vendors, who sell straight from their boats.
Why you should go: This massive food market boasts two floors. Downstairs you can find Hungarian paprika, cheeses, and produce, while the upstairs contains stalls for lunch and souvenirs. Try a piece of Dobos torte from the bakery. This seven-layer sponge cake is a Hungarian specialty, filled with chocolate buttercream and topped with caramel. Seven layers, zero flaws.
21. Mercato Centrale di San Lorenzo (Florence, Italy)
Why you should go: Because you're in Florence and your only mission is to consume all the PIZZA, PASTA, GELATO AND WINE you possibly can. La dolce vita.
Why you should go: The atmosphere is incredibly lively, with vendors yelling their specialties throughout the hall. The market has been central to Greek life since ancient times and remains so today. With fresh meats, seafood, and olives like this, it's no wonder why.
Why you should go: Istanbul's second biggest market is devoted to spices, because the people of Turkey love making food with flavor. The mounds of colorful spices throughout the bazaar create displays that look beautiful, smell amazing, and beg to be posted to Instagram.
Why you should go: This market is one of the biggest tourist attractions in central Cairo, full of vendors selling souvenirs, spices, gold jewelry, and street foods. Stop by Fishawi's, one of the oldest coffeehouses in Cairo, and sip on a mint tea while you people watch.
Why you should go: This public square in Marrakesh draws thousands of people every day. Street performers provide the entertainment while vendors provide the food in this colorful meeting place.
Why you should go: Makola Market is Ghana's center of commerce. In addition to foods such as fruits, vegetables, and giant snails (!!!), you can find vendors selling jewelry and textiles in West Africa's hottest styles.
Why you should go: Open Saturdays, Neighbourgoods' two locations encourage locals and tourists alike to spend the weekend together enjoying great food and South African wines. Grab something to eat and drink, then spend the afternoon listening to live music and browsing vintage clothing stalls.
Why you should go: While Dubai is famous for its over-the-top modern architecture and luxury, this spice market in the Deira district maintains the city's old-world charm. From the market, you can take a ride down Dubai Creek on a traditional wooden boat. At a cost of 1 AED (about a quarter) per ride, it might be the cheapest thing the city has to offer.
Why you should go: Fight through the crowded streets of Delhi to experience the liveliness of this market district, congested with vendors, tourists, and COWS. They are considered holy in Hindu culture and are treated with respect.
Why you should go: From mangosteens, lychees, and dragonfruits to pad thai, noodles, and curries, the vendors at Or Tor Kor deliver the best in Thai cuisine. Eating Thai food in Thailand definitely beats another night of takeout and Netflix.
Why you should go: Donghuamen market is not for the squeamish. Open only in the evening, its vendors sell snacks including beetles, starfish, seahorses, and scorpions. So it's basically like the show Fear Factor. I can't.
Why you should go: Tokyo's famous fish market is home to a auction in which buyers compete over giant whole tunas. You can see it for yourself, but expect to get in line early. Only 120 visitors are allowed into the auction each day, and the madness starts around 5:00 A.M.
Why you should go: Noryangjin Fish Market is one of Seoul's top attractions, and like the city itself, the market never sleeps. Buy your fish at the market, then take it to a restaurant on the second floor to have it prepared for you.
Why you should go: Queen Victoria Market is a beloved hotspot of Aussie food lovers, open every day except Mondays and Wednesdays. Make sure to try a jam doughnut from American Doughnut Kitchen, a food truck that has been selling its beloved confections at the market since 1950.
Why you should go: Visit one of the restaurants inside the market, such as Peter's, and have a fresh-caught meal at a table on Sydney Harbor. Just be prepared to fight off flocks of seagulls looking for a free meal.