St. Lawrence market, located in Toronto, Canada, has been a source of fresh food and other goods since 1803. The market is composed of three large buildings: North, South, and St. Lawrence Hall within Toronto’s Old Town area. Being a staple in Toronto’s shopping market, shoppers could find everything from world-famous Canadian bacon to freshly baked pies, freshly made jams and a variety of seafood, etc.
Kashgar Market in China has been operating as a Silk Road market for centuries. Split into two distinct sections, the market offers a host of foods and goods each day of the week with the bustling livestock market open for business on Sundays only. Arriving in the morning, you’ll be witness to merchants arriving at their coveted spots by carts pulled by oxen and donkeys. The lamb kebabs are the most notable and raved about from all walks of life.
Cai Rang Floating Market in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta is one of the most interesting and timeless cultural traditions in Vietnam. The market gears up around 5 am and finishes up around midday. A tour is a great way to see this phenomenal market and all it has to offer, and there are plenty of tour boats leaving Saigon’s riverbanks between opening hours and 7 am. Vibrant, traditional boats hawk wares. Be sure to arrive early to get the best of wares on offer and enjoy the busy and entertaining scene that unfolds.
Castries Market set in the capital of St. Lucia has been a mainstay since it opened in the late 1900s. Its sounds and aromas have lured millions of visitors into the exhilarating market environment to spend a few hours wandering throughout it. Tourists and locals here could find daily staples, clothing, souvenirs and even exotic spices and herbs flavoring the island’s most enticing foods: cinnamon, mace, star anise, hot peppers, and more.
Viktualienmarkt, in the heart of Munich and close to Marienplatz and the beer garden, is revitalized from an old farmer’s market and now a favorite of gastronomists alike. Enjoying tall and cold glasses of freshly brewed beer, flaky pretzels, and Weisswurst sausages, coupled with a walk-through of Viktualienmarkt is a classic experience in Munich. Opening daily from 8 am to 8 pm, Viktualienmarkt offers an array of goods including cheeses, wild game, poultry, fruits, vegetables, freshly squeezed juices, baked goods, flowers and more.
Hong Kong is home to many popular wet markets, among which the Kowloon City Wet Market is the favorite. The market contains three full floors with the first and second dedicated to the wet market and the third housing food stalls and tiny cafes. It offers absolute freshest goods possible, and there gathers a large Thai population as the Thai food stalls offering up tasty curries as excellent as any Bangkok stop.
Borough Market southwest of London Bridge has existed for more than two centuries. The aromas of freshly baked pastries and bread have floated countless passers-by off their feet to go with an appetite. Hundreds of traders offer up a host of goods: confectionery and bakery, European-style charcuterie, dairy, seafood and fish, fruits and vegetables, condiments, spices, and preserves, etc. Be sure to arrive earlier and be prepared for a belly full of sublime food samples.
Italy has always been celebrated for food and renowned as a Foodie’s Fantasy. Mercato Coperto erected in 1936 showcases an all-encompassing celebration of Italian food: amazing wines, olive oils, balsamic vinegar, rich cheeses and the list of specialties goes on. It’s also a rare architectural sight as its exterior facade is entirely Art Moderne with curving lines and a wealth of windows. Don’t miss many other available treasures such as vinyl records, antiques, and paintings.
Istanbul’s 15th century Grand Bazaar sprawls over more than four dozens streets featuring 5000+ vendors offering everything from lamps and rugs to leather and culinary delights. Turkish Delight, seasoned with pistachio, lemon, and rosewater, is one of the most culturally significant foods to pick up. The real attractions here are spice shops, bursting with aromatic mint, pungent cinnamon sticks, saffron, and an enormous host of other herbs and spices.
Visiting New York City, it’s almost a crime to skip Union Square Greenmarket. Founded in 1976, Greenmarket is special for bringing the surrounding countryside’s bounty directly into the city, offering locals the freshest and most nutritional food. Growing from a parking lot where a dozen farmers selling their harvests over 30 years ago, the market now features more than 225 fishermen and family farms operating out of a network of more than 45 urban markets and protecting over 25,000 acres of farmland from development.
Located in a long, pale, rectangular building with broad awnings, Mercado Central in Santiago is art-nouveau in design and features the best iron work in the capital of Chile. This market is a paradise for seafood lovers, giant squid, exotic fish, shrimp, lobster, and more permeating the hall with ocean aromas. Operating since the early 1870s, this is an incredible site to observe the most skilled fishmongers showcasing speed and agility utilized when preparing and packaging catches.
Occupying a divine location off the busy La Rambla pedestrian thoroughfare, Mercat de la Boqueria in Barcelona, Spain is perfect for a quick stop or a long wander. Described as a “gastronomic temple,” the market is one of the most colorful European food stops with amazing and kaleidoscopic displays of fruits and veggies, nuts and seeds, herbs and spices, and plenty of sweet baked goods, smoked meats, cheeses and more. Geared up in the early 13th century from selling meats by the city’s old gate, the market remains where Barcelona’s best fishmongers spread out a dizzying array of seafood.