There's one place I always have to visit when I'm traveling, and that's the local food market. Filled with authentic foods, spices, goods and wares, food markets are a meeting place for most locals in the community. As a place to buy groceries or to meet with neighbors, most food markets are the hub of the city. And that's specifically why I love visiting them when I am traveling.
Today I wanted to share with you ten of the best markets around the world. These markets are all unique and sell some of the best food in the city. The list is in no particular order.
1. St. Laurence Market (Toronto, Canada)
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Opened back in 1803, the St.Lawrence Market boasts three sections: St. Lawrence Hall, The North Market and the South Market where over 120 vendors sell international foods to hungry shoppers.
Grab a steak from Brown Brother Meats, who have been in the market since 1895 or tantalize taste buds with fresh caviar from Caviar Direct. Don't forget to stop over at Carousel Bakery for a "World Famous Peameal Bacon Sandwich" made with pork loin bacon.
2. Union Square Market (New York, USA)
Open year-round on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, this New York City food market features local farmers, bakers, and even exotic meat purveyors. The list of the market sellers change regularly, which makes every market visit that much more exciting.
While at the food market make sure to check out the NYC rooftop honey, made from bees in the city. It's buzzingly good.
3. Mercado Central (Santiago, Chile)
Originally a heritage site built in 1872, the site suffered a fire and was rebuilt in 1864. Now many tourists and locals alike flock to the market to pick up seafood, cheese, empanadas, fruit, and vegetables.
Anything and everything can be found inside this market, including a pharmacy and even travel agencies.
4. La Boqueria (Barcelona, Spain)
Known to be a market since 1217 with the selling of meat on tables, this large market has grown to become one of the biggest tourist attractions in Barcelona. It wasn't until March 1840 that the market started to take shape officially.
Free parking is available to anyone who purchases 30 Euros worth of goods in the market. From olives to fresh fruit stands, you'll be sure to pick up all the ingredients for your next tapas party.
5. Spice Bazaar (Istanbul, Turkey)
Colorful and scented, the Spice Bazaar (M?s?r Çar??s?) is a highlight for foodies visiting the city of Istanbul. Filled with dried herbs and spices, dried fruits, teas, honey and nuts, this market is total eye candy to wander through.
While in the market make sure to check out Kurukahveci Mehmet Efendi, one of the most famous coffee suppliers in Turkey.
6. Or Tor Kor Market (Bangkok, Thailand)
Known as one of the best fresh markets in the world by CNN, the Or Tor Kor Market in Bangkok is a must-see. Filled to the brim with high-end produce, the market tends to be on the pricier side according to Thai standards. However, all ingredients are of the highest quality making this market a favorite.
Make sure to stop over in the cooked food section during your trip and pick up a few traditional Thai dishes to take back with you to the hotel.
7. Borough Market (London, UK)
Open spaces and winding passageways make this market fun to explore. With a plethora of fruit and veggie stalls, the market is open from Monday to Saturday for shoppers to fill up their bags.
Make sure to check out the event calendar before you go- the Borough Market holds special events like pancake day races, special holiday market hours and even a cookbook club.
8. Tsukiji Fish Market (Tokyo, Japan)
If you are a fan of eating fish, the Tsukiji Fish Market in Tokyo is the place for you. Known as the biggest wholesale fish market in the world, it's the main hub for sushi restaurants across the city to get their fish for the day.
An inner market is open just for restauranteurs but the outer market is fully open to the public. The market opens at 3 am, so make sure to set your alarm if you really want to see it in action. And keep an eye out for giant tunas.
9. Mahane Yehuda Market (Jerusalem, Israel)
A market by day and bars and restaurants by night, the Mahane Yehuda Market is a top spot in Jerusalem. Known as "the shuk" by locals, this food market has been around since the Ottoman period.
From spices and halva to Israeli beer and olives this market is best enjoyed with two visits-once in the morning and once again at night. It's hard to believe it's the same place.
10. Mercato di Mezzo (Bologna, Italy)
As the first indoor market in the city, Mercato di Mezzo is the place to be if you want to eat true Italian food. The three-floor complex houses numerous restaurants as well as market stalls, a beer pub and lots of tables to enjoy your meals.
Grab yourself a glass of wine and a slice of pizza and enjoy the Italian life.