For ages, humans all over the world have been divided by their culture, customs and languages. However, some things have kept humans connected, all over the world and enabled them to have a better understanding of each other. These include the different foods present in different civilisations and the chain of commerce that links all of them. Interestingly, an amalgamation of these two walks of life has created another historic site of trade – the food markets around the world. Displaying the finest of produce and choicest of meats, these are sure to enthral every traveller’s senses and satisfy the shopping enthusiast inside the culinary connoisseurs.
Food markets belong to a category of must-travel places that have not yet been discovered properly by travellers and culinary connoisseurs alike. Here are some of the best food markets around the world to set you on a sumptuous journey to discover some culinary gems that contribute to the making of masterpieces renowned all over the world.
1. St. Lawrence Market: Toronto, Canada
There is a lot of immigrant influence on Canadian culinary scene, which is also evident as you walk through the St. Lawrence Market in Toronto. Three major buildings adorn the marketplace, each with its own distinctive produce on sale. The South Market is full of vendors selling the freshest fruits, veggies, meats and dairy, while the St. Lawrence Hall plays host to retail businesses dealing in food materials. The North Market houses the Saturday Farmer’s Market, which is a tradition in itself for the last 200 years. If you happen to visit the market on a Sunday, you can also enjoy the weekly antique sales which offer tourists a slice of Canadian history. While you visit this marketplace, do try some of the local delicacies on offer here.
Location: 93 Front St E, Toronto, ON M5E 1C3, Canada
What to Try: Montreal-styled Bagels, Veal Sandwich, Peameal Bacon Sandwich
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2. Unique Square Market: New York, USA
This market is unique in every sense of meaning, with the list of market sellers changing every week. The market is open on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday all year. Being located in New York, the market offers buyers organic vegetables from local farms, locally baked products and exotic cuts of meat. Guests can also find some delicious street food being served from food trucks here to satiate their hunger while going through the market.
Location: Unique Square, New York, USA
What to Try: NYC Rooftop Honey
3. Mercado Central: Santiago, Chile
The Mercado Central is a witness to both throngs of people and utter desertion, with a fire destroying this historic site in 1872. Since rebuilding, this site plays host to a variety of seafood, cheese, fruits and vegetables. Tourists can also enjoy some locally made empanadas. For those looking for additional amenities, pharmacies and travel agencies can also be found here.
Location: San Pablo, Santiago, Región Metropolitana, Chile
What to Try: Empanadas, Locally sourced Pico de Gallo
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4. La Boqueria: Barcelona, Spain
This food market has the distinction of being one of the oldest food markets in the world, with origins dating back to 1217. Hundreds of stalls located here are stocked with local delicacies to entice the tourists to try out their products. The market is best known for selling Spanish staples including offal, olives and salted cod, which is why it is also known as the foodie’s Mecca in Europe. Apart from the local delicacies, numerous bars dealing in drinks, tapas and pintxos are also present.
Location: La Rambla, 91, 08001 Barcelona, Spain
What to Try: Bar Pintxos, jamón Ibérico
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5. Spice Bazaar: Istanbul, Turkey
From its name, it can be deduced that the spices are the main focus of attraction in the marketplace. However, this market also sells every delicacy originating in Turkey to the patrons roaming in the market, including floral tea, halvah and stringy cheese. The spicy pyramids of sumac and pul biberfill the narrow aisles of this spice market. The market, functioning continuously from 1664, offers a slice of Turkish History in the form of Kanafeh, which you would not want to miss.
Location: Rüstem Paşa Mahallesi, Erzak Ambarı Sok. No: 92, 34116 Fatih, Istanbul, Turkey
What to Try: Kanafeh, Pul Biber, Stringy Cheese
6. Or Tor Kor Market: Bangkok, Thailand
This market has gained international recognition in recent times, owing to its billing as one of the best fresh markets by the CNN Media Network, as well as a documentary on it as part of Gordon Ramsay’s travels to South-East Asia. Filled all year round with fresh produce, guests here can buy the latest of Thai local produce for use in South-East Asian cuisine. Although the produce tends to be on the pricier bit in terms of local currency, the cost is justified on account of its freshness, characterised by the aroma emanating from the fruits, veggies and spices.
Location: Khwaeng Chatuchak, Khet Chatuchak, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10900, Thailand
What to Try: Fresh Lemongrass-infused Tea, Bok Choy
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