12 Best food markets around the world

12 Best food markets around the world

Last Updated on May 23, 2023

People all over the planet are divided by their different customs, languages and culture.  Even our pastimes differ.  While in Spain, soccer may be the preferred entertainment, the Caribbean has diving and other water sports, Vegas has the thrill of playing blackjack for real money, and national parks are the place to hike – the list goes on and on.

However, one important thing that is often able to connect people is food; the unique cuisines of different cultures. The food markets that have popped up all around the world offer all kinds of interesting products to the many travelers interested in sampling the wonderful culinary delights on offer.

Food markets are relatively new on travelers’ itineraries. But they are slowly being discovered by more travelers.  Below are 12 of the very best food markets around the world that every traveler interested in food should make a point of visiting.

St. Lawrence Market

Location: 93 Front St E.  Toronto, Canada

As you enter the St. Lawrence Market you will be struck by the amount of immigrant influence you will find displayed there. The market consists of three buildings each selling different kinds of produce.

In the South Market you will see every kind of fresh fruit imaginable, fresh vegetables, all kinds of meats and of course dairy produce.  In the St. Lawrence Hall, you’ll find all kinds of businesses selling different types of food materials.

The North Market is home to the Saturday Farmer’s Market which has been a feature for around 200 years!

If you are in the Market on Sundays, you can visit the weekly antique fair which offers the chance to get a glimpse into Canadian history.

Union Square Greenmarket, New York

Location: Union Square, New York, USA

This market is open on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday and has a constant turnover of different sellers each week.

Organic vegetables, all kinds of locally produced baked goods and a variety of special and exotic meat products are on offer.  There is a whole range of food trucks on hand to thwart those hunger pangs while you wander around the market.

Borough Market

Location: 8 Southwark Street, Tower Bridge, London SE1

When visiting London, a stop at Borough Market is a must.  It is one of the most popular tourist spots and does get a lot of crowds so try to get there early, especially on a Saturday.    The market sells a whole range of foods, fruits and vegetables, plus flowers and crafts.

Grab a coffee at the Columbian Coffee Company and visit the Butter Nut where you can find some delicious almond cashew nut butter.    Visit the market on an empty stomach.  It will be worth your while.

Mercado Central de Santiago

Location: San Pablo, Santiago, Region Metropolitana, Chile

The Mercado Central was rebuilt following its destruction by fire in 1872.  Here you will find a whole range of cheeses, fruits and vegetables and a range of seafoods.

Tourists will also find locally produced baked or fried pasties, known as empanadas, a Spanish specialty.

La Boqueria

Location: La Rambla 91, 08001 Barcelona, Spain

This food market boasts being the oldest in the world, going back to around 1217.  This is a very large food market where local delicacies of all kinds are on show enticing the many tourists to try out the wonderful products.

Foodies trek to this market expecting to find foods such as offal, salted cod and olives, foods known as Spanish staples.   Visitors can also visit the many bars serving drinks and tapas in the market.

Spice Bazar

Location: Rustem Pasa Mahallesi, Erzak Ambari Sok. No:92, 34116 Faith, Istanbul, Turkey

Needless to say, this is a market where the main focus is on spices. But tourists can find a whole range of Turkish delicacies being sold here, including halva and floral tea.  It is wonderful to wander the lanes in the market and see and smell the pyramids of spices on offer.

The market has been operating since 1664.  Whilst there don’t forget to buy some Kanafeh, a Turkish delight.

Or Tor Kor Market

Location: Khwaeng Chatuchak, Khet Chatuchak, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10900, Thailand

The market has become quite famous in recent years owing to being one of the locations visited by Gordon Ramsay on his popular documentary.    It is also considered to be one of the top fresh produce markets.  All year long tourists and locals can buy fresh Thai produce.    Walking around and inhaling all the fresh aromas – the spices, fruits and vegetables in a delight.

Tsukiji Fish Market

Location: 5 Chome-2-1 Tsukiji, Chuo, Tokyo 104-0045, Japan

Japan has a huge fish industry and this, as the name suggests, is a fish market, and probably one of the best in the world. The busiest time in the market is early morning when all the fish auctions take place.

Tourists often want to see this spectacle and you are advised to get up especially early in order to get a place where you will be able to view how they are done.

Once the auctions are over, you will be free to roam the market at your leisure and sample some of the excellent sushi and sashimi on sale.

Machane Yehuda Market

Location: Agrippas Street 90, Jerusalem, Israel.

Machana Yehuda Market is made up of many winding alleyways and has on offer everything that you could possibly want to buy. Fruits, vegetables, meats and fish, household goods and spices and all kinds of delicacies.

There are also many fresh juice booths and also beauty and health products are also on sale. You’ll also find a whole variety of ‘Israeli’ halva to taste or try some of the incredible ice cream flavors on offer.  Fridays is the busiest time and perhaps the most interesting for tourists, just before the beginning of the Sabbath.

Mercato Di Mezzo

Location: Via Clavature 12, 40124 Bologna BO, Italy

This market is relatively new, even though it is located in a very historic building.  As you enter the building you will be met with the smell of real Italian coffee and many pastry and ice cream stores.

When you go upstairs there are fish stores and locally brewed beers on sale and many more eateries.  On the first floor you will find the award-winning restaurant, La Pizza di Eataly, well worth a visit for a slice of pizza!

Gadodia Market

Location: Khadi Baoli, Chandni Chowk, Delhi, India

This market is known as one of the biggest spice markets in the world.  It is possible to find every kind of spice imaginable here.

The most sought after of course are chilies.  Private individuals and restaurant owners come seeking the chilies on offer here. The same is true for turmeric.

The high quality of the spices on sale is confirmed by the fact that most of the best restaurants in Delhi continue to get their spices from this market.

About Maria Kennedy

Maria Kennedy is the managing editor at Travel for Food Hub. Maria is on a full-tilt mission to share local food and travel inspiration. When she is not writing about food and travel, startups or social media, she is enjoying her time with her boys in sunny Spain.

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