Perusing the aisles at your local grocery store is the most efficient way of buying food, of course, unless you get it delivered. But the whole experience of picking up and smelling your tomatoes or chatting with the growers about what day peach season hits its peak is lost. Trying new things, sampling local treats, and meeting people who have the same food-loving obsessions as you are a few of the reasons that farmers’ markets and weekend food markets have gained so much attention over the past few years.
With artisanal products becoming more than just de rigueur, everyone from brewers and bakers to fruit growers and cheesemongers have set up stalls at markets from coast to coast and around the world educating curious eaters about their fresh and homemade fare. These markets have become destinations in and of themselves for locals and travelers. Case in point — Brooklyn’s Smorgasburg, held weekly on Saturdays. An all-food flea market-style event, Smorgasburg draws everyone from Manhattanites to tourists out to Brooklyn for seasonal delights.
Head toward Tower Bridge in London on Saturday mornings and you’ll find in-the-know Londoners with straw baskets filled with loot they scored at Maltby Street Market. Monmouth Coffee in hand and a gorgeous organic squash in your basket and you’ve got a great start to the weekend.
Some are taking advantage of their status as a dining destination by hosting special night markets. Los Angeles’ Yamashiro Farmers’ Market, held every Thursday evening, is packed with food trucks, vendors, and carts with dishes from some of LA’s established eateries. At Ningxia Night Market in Taipei, what once was a space for clothing and accessories vendors now hosts an all-food night market filled with over 200 vendors selling some of Taipei’s most mouth-watering local treats.
Whether you’re shopping for the freshest ingredients or looking to taste some delicious, artisanal dishes, don’t miss the chance to stroll through these great markets.