One of the finest aspects of travelling is immersing oneself in the food culture of the place that is being visited. No one in their right mind wants to head out into the world and seek out cuisine from their own country, one of the greatest joys of travel, after all, is the ability to try new foods, local delicacies and ingredients, made in ways you have never tried before. It is one of the truest ways to immerse yourself into the local culture and a real benefit of worldwide travel.
One of the best ways to dip your toe into the local food culture is to visit the area’s food markets, so in light of this, we have rounded up seven of the best food markets to seek out across the world. Get ready to surround yourself in sights, sounds, smells, and tastes that you won’t get to experience any other way.
Borough Market, London, England
The Borough Market is London’s oldest food market, dating back around 1,000 years. With more than 70 food vendors and artisans, it attracts locals and tourists alike. You’ll find a vast array of delicious foods from farmers, bakers, chocolatiers, cheese mongers, and more, and you won’t be able to resist buying up a selection of goodies. You may also encounter some unexpected finds, such as Spanish olive oils and Ethiopian spices to give you a taste of other countries too.
Borough Market is one of the most unmissable destinations for both locals and tourists in London. Image credit: coward_lion/Bigstock.com
Ferry Plaza Farmer’s Market, San Francisco, California
The Ferry Plaza Farmer’s Market, located on the waterfront in San Francisco, California, sees 40,000 visitors every weekend. It is widely acclaimed for the quality and diversity of its fresh farm products and prepared foods. Some of the city’s most famous chefs shop at this market, searching for the best local produce to serve at their restaurants. The market is open Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. Thursdays showcase some incredible street food, while on Saturdays you’ll find local restaurants serving incredible meals.
La Boqueria, Barcelona, Spain
La Boqueria in Barcelona is referred to by many as the best market in the world. Located in an 1840s building, you’ll find all manner of incredible fruits and vegetables, fresh-caught fish, cured meats, and more. Arrive early to beat the crowds and refuel at one of the several fast-casual restaurants such as Bar Pinotxo and El Quim.
Mahane Yehuda, Jerusalem, Israel
Mahane Yahuda is one of the largest markets in Israel. Vendors here sell every staple of a Middle Eastern diet, including fresh fruits and vegetables, meats, olives, shawarma, falafel, and more. The market itself spans several streets – it can get pretty busy on Friday afternoons, but no trip to Jerusalem is complete without an excursion here.
The Ferry Plaza Farmer’s Market, located on the waterfront in San Francisco, California, sees 40,000 visitors every weekend. Image credit: Sheila_F/Bigstock.com
Or Tor Kor Market, Bangkok, Thailand
The Or Tor Kor Market is one of the oldest (and cleanest) in Bangkok, Thailand. You’ll find gorgeous fruits and vegetables, fresh fish, and meats. There are also numerous tasty snacks and sweets, including curries, grilled coconut pancakes, pad Thai, and steamed palm sugar desserts. Whether you’re staying at a nearby hotel or taking a Thailand cruise, the Or Tor Kor Market is a must-see before you head home.
St. Lawrence Market, Toronto, Canada
The St. Lawrence Market in Toronto, Canada consists of three separate markets. The South Market is open daily and contains 120 specialty vendors. Here, you’ll find fruits, vegetables, grains, meat, dairy, and baked goods. The North Market features a Saturday farmer’s market, where farmers bring their seasonal produce to sell to locals and tourists. On Sundays, the North Market transforms into an antique market and over 80 vendors arrive to sell their wares from dawn until 5pm. The ground floor of the St. Lawrence Hall houses retail stores, while the second floor is home to city offices and the third floor is available for rent for special occasions, including weddings and other gatherings.
The Or Tor Kor Market is one of the oldest (and cleanest) in Bangkok, Thailand. Image credit: TongPoon/Bigstock.com
Torvehalerne Market, Copenhagen, Denmark
The Toveharlerne Market in Copenhagen consists of two greenhouse-like buildings that house 60 vendors. It’s a short walk from the multicultural city centre of Norrebro and is Copenhagen’s most diverse food hall. Along with local favourites such as Danish rice porridge, you’ll also find tapas, sushi, and French pastries. The market is open seven days a week, giving you ample opportunity to visit, and you may find that one visit just isn’t enough.
Image credit at the very top of the article: Alena.K/Bigstock.com