One of the best parts about traveling is getting to experience local cuisines. Farmer’s markets are the best place to immerse yourself in the food culture of a city or region. You can try new foods, try new twists on classic foods, and taste the freshest local fruits, vegetables, and spices, all while interacting with farmers and shopkeepers. While you’ll likely be able to find markets anywhere you travel, here we’ll cover some of the biggest and most popular farmer’s markets in the world.
Borough Market in London, England
The oldest farmer’s market in London resides underneath a beautiful glass atrium in the Southwark neighborhood. While Borough Market offers local produce, it also provides a taste of London’s global influence, with items from all over the world. Sample handmade cheeses, baked goods, seasonal game, and so much more.
The Bangkok area offers a treasure trove of farmer’s markets. The famous Damnoen Saduak Floating Market is just outside the city, where vendors load their goods onto boats and set up shop in the canals. Or Tor Kor is a go-to spot for Thai fruits and vegetables, and it’s located next to the Chatuchak market, where you can find souvenirs, clothing, accessories, and handcrafted goods. You can also enjoy a great selection of prepared foods here, including curries, papaya salads, and more
This daily fish and vegetable market is nestled along Venice's Grand Canal banks near the iconic Rialto Bridge. Venice’s Rialto Market has a rich history dating back to the end of the 11th century when the market served as an important trade hub for Venetians and merchants. While the market has become a favorite among travelers visiting the city, you can still experience an authentic taste of Venice with a selection of fresh produce, cheeses, and baked goods – everything you need for an impromptu lunch along one of the city’s canals.
Also in Italy is Turin’s Porta Palazzo Market. Located in the city’s historic Piazza della Repubblica, Porta Palazzo is Europe’s largest open-air market. With nearly 800 stalls, the market is surrounded by four other covered markets as well as many restaurants and cafes – offering travelers the opportunity to sample Torinese delicacies while browsing locally-made products.
Founded in 1907, Pike Place Market is one of the oldest and largest public markets in the United States and is unlike any farmers’ market you’ve ever seen before. It seems to have more performers than it does produce and is famous for the lively fishmongers that toss their catch of the day around (right over your head at times!). The Market spans nine historic acres in the center of downtown Seattle and hosts 220 independently owned shops & restaurants, over 70 farmers, and countless (legal) buskers and performers. Perhaps most famous of all, Pike Place Market is home to the first-ever Starbucks.
This food hall in Sweden’s capital dates back to the 1880s and features restaurants, cafés, and market stalls offering a variety of local specialties and international fare. Considered one of Europe’s’ best food markets among seasoned travelers, Östermalms is a great place to stop along your afternoon stroll for a buttery pastry or a steaming cup of fisksoppa, Sweden’s traditional fish soup.
Located along Barcelona’s famous La Rambla Boulevard, the Boqueria food market originated as an open-air market for traders gathering from nearby towns. Today, the market features a culinary school, market stands, and food stalls serving inexpensive Spanish fare and international cuisine. Stop by the market as you explore Barcelona’s Rambla district for a refreshing cup of tropical fruit, a traditional bocadillo de jamón (cured ham sandwich), cheeses, Spanish olives, and chorizo, and enjoy some of the best tapas in the city. La Boqueria is a treat for the eyes and the appetite.
Called one of the best fresh markets in the world by the international news network CNN there are two main reasons to visit the Kreta Ayer market. First, you can find an unbeatable variety of Asian vegetables and herbs as well exotic meats and seafood, including live frogs, turtles, and eels. Second, you can stop in the food court, one of the best hawker centers in Singapore, to dine on chef-crafted specialties.
Marché de la Libération in Nice, France
A morning spent exploring the Marché de la Libération is the perfect way to immerse yourself in Nice's local culture. Here, you'll find the finest of the Mediterranean - fruit, vegetables, herbs, jams, charcuterie, cheese, honey, flowers, and freshly-caught fish of every variety. Be sure to try each local farmer's different types, as you'll see everything from spices to peppers added to the brine! This is a great spot to pick up anything olive, from oil to soap.
Lyon’s Les Halles food market is a favorite among locals and Francophile travelers. The original building was built back in the 1800s and was Lyon's first covered market, known as Place des Cordeliers. In the 1970s, the city constructed a more impressive building to house the market, and the Halles of Lyon became a true culinary destination. It wasn't until the early 2000s, though, that another complete renovation saw the addition of Paul Bocuse's name. A famous Lyonese chef, Bocuse raised the bar and the culinary excellence offered at Les Halles de Lyon went figuratively through the roof. Today, the market is home to a number of food merchants – including bakers, butchers, fishmongers, chocolatiers, and wine vendors. With 56 restaurants and stands to choose from, you’re sure to get an authentic taste of regional French gastronomy.
One of three markets in the Tokyo Metropolitan Central Wholesale Market, a sprawling 54-acre complex with over 1,700 stalls. Tsukiji is the most famous of the three—it’s the largest wholesale seafood market in the world. Arrive before dawn to observe the tuna auction at 5 AM. Wander the stalls and you’ll see an array of exotic and rare seafood from the Pacific. And if you love sushi, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better, fresher supply than right here.