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Haymarket

Now, I'll be honest, I haven't been to Haymarket in a long time-- probably a year and a half, but from what I remember- they sold good produce there. Now, my BF and I argue about it because he says the stuff at Haymarket is terrible. Am I not remembering correctly? I remember buying romaine lettuce for a dollar and having it last 2 weeks. He says everything goes in a day or two.

I'm very confused.. what are your thoughts on Haymarket?

I guess I should just go back and revisit. Maybe my tastes have changed...

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Haymarket
Blackstone St, Boston, MA

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  1. Produce is delivered from Sunday overnight to Friday morning. The vendors need to move what they have, some fresh, some rather old and nasty.
    You will always see the best produce on top and often they will sell garbage fro under the table if you let them.Always check what you don't see ot can't pick. Remember, if it sounds too good to be true...

    2 Replies
    1. re: trufflehound

      On the same note, Friday mornings are the best time to skim whatever is still very good. There are some terrific finds at Haymarket. In a good week I could buy cut, organic butternut squash for $1, a beautiful head of purple cauliflower for $1, a pint of golden raspberries for $1.50, perfect tomatoes on the vine for $1/lb, and a giant bunch of basil that made me two pints of fresh pesto for $2. The rule seems to be go early on Friday and pick your own. There are also jerky vendors there (I've witnessed out and out racism several times from one of the vendors closer to the side Haymarket T station) so if they are rude to you or anyone else, skip them. There are plenty of others who are great and would appreciate your business. Definitely take your time and look around since prices and quality can vary significantly.

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      Haymarket
      Blackstone St, Boston, MA

      1. re: oniontears

        If you have a big bbq or church events that will need large quantities, then go there. Otherwise it's not worth it as most of the stuffs are staled or will stale quickly.

    2. Agree with all the responses. I find that the stalls with Asian produce tend to be the freshest, and they always let you pick your own. If you do hit a place that pulls the bait and switch, open up the bag they hand you and demand replacements for anything dicey looking. If you put on a good Bahston accent, they'll switch it out with something edible. On the racism front, if you seem like a furriner, the same requests for exchange of rotted goods are usually met with abuse. One other thing the vendors seem to unversally hate is when you squeeze the goods.

      1. The somewhat negative reviews do not factor in the pure entertainment aspect of Haymarket; e.g. a 300 pound vendor yelling at at a 3 ft tall Asian grandmother who is ignoring him. Even if half the produce is bad you are still way ahead of supermarket prices, and getting anything in exchange for 50 cents these days is a pretty unusual experience, as is getting 3 hours of parking downtown for $1. And alot of produce is ok - for $2 I have enough limes to keep me in margaritas for awhile. Add in a slice from Haymarket Pizza or Ernestos and it makes for a pretty enjoyable morning.

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        Haymarket Pizza
        106 Blackstone St, Boston, MA 02109

        Haymarket
        Blackstone St, Boston, MA

        3 Replies
        1. re: drb

          Where can you get parking for $1?

          1. re: trufflehound

            It's $3 for three hours in the adjacent (Parcel 7) garage - it has to be validated by one of the area merchants.

          2. re: drb

            drb is right on. It's great entertainment in addition to some real bahgans. If you like to dry fruits and vegs then the very ripe ones are the best. Also, even factoring in some spoilage the prices are great. I usually check the end of the day. Recently I bought a 40lb bag of red potatoes for $1 or 2, really, culled the bruised ones and still had 30lb of good ones.
            And pizza and cheese are a must!

          3. The vendors in the middle that are difficult to get to tend to have lower prices than the ones on the outskirts, so its usually a good idea to walk through the entire market before buying.

            I think the pros of Haymarket outweigh the cons. I like to go on friday afternoon and spend maybe $7 which will supply me with enough veggies to make a huge stir fry or a vegetarian chili. Just inspect everything you buy and use it within 36 hours or so.

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            Haymarket
            Blackstone St, Boston, MA

            1. I also really recommend the cheese shop (Harry's Cold Cuts, I think). You can get ridiculous deals on some cheeses (real Italian Fontina, Stilton, Robiola, aged Gouda). You just have to go there without a particular cheese in mind, as the quality varies widely. If it looks nasty, just move along. They will also let you taste a bit before you buy.