Best food markets in the world? The kinds with multiple vendors?
- tastyjon Sep 1, 2008 12:26 AM
If you were to plan an international trip based on cities with great, daily markets, what are some good candidates?
The type of market in mind is the more permanent variety, but with multiple independent vendors... not a once-weekly farmer's market (but similar in offerings). For example, Boqueria in Barcelona, or Grand Central in downtown Los Angeles.
There might be a few butchers, some seafood folks, produce vendors, etc. I seem to recall a central market in Swansea, Wales, for example, when we'd visit my Grandma as a kid. Lava bread, pancakes, cockles, welsh cakes, cheese, fish & chips, etc. were all served up by individual vendors.
I ask because this type of operation seems a thing of the past in many decentralized cities where suburban markets/vendors (under one owner) fill most needs. So I'm guessing the better ones that are still going strong have some tradition, are central to their city, and haven't been convereted to condos!
re: hill food
Borough Market in London is notable, although it's more of a tourist attraction these days rather than a real market. Prices are extorionate but there is a excellent variety of quality produce from all over the UK.
Tsukiji market in Tokyo also comes to mind, although thats a fish market and also become a tourist destination. Certainly very interesting though.
La Boqueria is probably my favourite, but it's pretty touristy these days. There's another good market in Barcelona, in the Born district, I forget the name. In Rome, I love the market in Campo del Fiori. The central market in Toulouse is pretty fantastic too, and I had great fun poking round the "wet markets" in Kowloon, Bangkok and Hoi An (Vietnam). Even if it was a bit disturbing seeing old ladies cut the legs off live frogs!
Markets are everywhere in France. In Paris, each arrondissement has several markets that are open a couple times per week. Produce, potatoes, herbs, beans, olives, poultry, meat, charcuterie, eggs, cheese, wine, seafood, plus brick-a-brack, kitchen supplies, dvds, clothes, and so on. The suburbs have their markets, too. They're definitely not a thing of the past here, but it's not because they're centralized ... just the opposite, they're very much a neighborhood thing.
Pike Place Market in Seattle. It's a true farmer's market, with produce from all over the state. It also has permanent shops with out-of-season and out-of-area produce (e.g., bananas), several fishmongers and butchers (who still use sawdust on the floor and really do cut their own meat), bakeries (French, Russian, Turkish, name it), specialty stores such as Latin American and Asian and Italian grocery stores with things such as Salsa Lizano and canned bamboo shoots. There's a cheese maker and the original Starbucks, plus lots and lots of restaurants, any kind of food and ambience you could want: greasy spoons, tavs, sandwich joints, white tablecloth four-star places. There's an apothecary and non-food stores, too. And there are services, too: banks, a dentist, a naturopath, a sliding-scale medical clinic, a food bank. And everything is owner operated, no chains. The only reason Starbucks is there is because it's the first one.