Since ancient times, food markets have been bustling places where residents buy local produce and share stories. Strolling around these places is the perfect cultural experience to immerse in. Join in the bargaining, find the freshest ingredients and try the local specialities.
Treat yourself to a culinary trip today and visit our recommended food markets around the world!
Chatuchak Weekend Market – Bangkok, Thailand
Language Thai | Continent Asia | Currency Thai baht
Even though Bangkok itself may be considered a big food market, Chatuchak Market (also known as JJ market) is the place where everyone goes to taste the best street food. Once only popular among traders and wholesalers, the biggest market of Thailand is currently home to over 8000 stalls, 500 of which are food stalls. Whet your appetite with famous local dishes such as honey roasted pork chop, Pad Thai (stir-fried noodles) and Som-Tam (papaya salad). To quench your thirst on a scorching hot afternoon, make sure to also try the Coconut Ice Cream and the Red Ruby for dessert!
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Markthal – Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Language Dutch | Continent Europe | Currency Euro
Since the opening in 2014, this atypical food market has won many architectural awards for its archwise horseshoe structure that houses offices, residences and a market hall. 100 food stalls featuring local, organic and healthy produce, are situated beneath the world’s largest artwork, which is nicknamed the Dutch Sistine Chapel. Treat yourself to the unique Choco Kebab, try the iconic stroopwafels or visit the Rotterdam produce stall and taste the local port and cheese.
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St. Lawrence – Toronto, Canada
Language English | Continent North America | Currency Canadian Dollar
This institution, appreciated by locals and foreign visitors alike, is the place to taste delicious fresh products when visiting Toronto! Once a temporary shelter for the weekly market, this massive 19th century brick building now houses over 120 vendors. Having been named the World’s Best Food Market by National Geographic, the market is especially known for its variety and the freshness of its products. Our recommendations are the freshly made jams, the authentic Montréal-style bagels and the famous peameal bacon sandwich!
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Tsukiji Fish Market – Tokyo, Japan
Language Japanese | Continent Asia | Currency Japanese yen
If you are in Tokyo, this market is a must-see, one recommended in every guidebook! In fact, it’s the number one fish market in the world not merely because of its sheer size, but also its history. “Uogashi” (riverside fish markets) date back to the 16th century when fishermen supplied Edo Castle with fish and sold the remains near Nihonbashi bridge. Tsukiji Fish Market is one of the markets that is still there and until recently, it was home to the world-famous auction of giant whole tunas. Stroll around the market and taste some of the freshest sushi in the world, made from the catch of the day.
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Grand Bazaar – Istanbul, Turkey
Language Turkish | Continent Europe/Asia | Currency Turkish Lira
Once a small vaulted bedesten (a covered market with thick domes), this 15th century bazaar has grown to over 4,000 shops and has become the heart of Istanbul’s old city. Be careful not to get lost in this giant covered market also known to be the largest in the world.
Enter the maze of stalls and be amazed by the beauty of its narrow streets. Drink traditional apple tea with the local vendors, try the famously delicious lamb döner from Mr Şahin or treat yourself to some fresh baklava and turkish delight!
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Pike Place Market – Seattle, WA, USA
Language English | Continent North America | Currency US Dollar
Don’t miss Seattle’s food epicentre and visit its oldest farmers’ market, which has been bustling with life since 1907. Besides featuring fresh produce and delicious dishes, it is known for its colourful gum wall installation and having the first outdoor neon sign on the West Coast. Watch the fish vendors show off as they throw their latest catch to one another and taste their famous smoked salmon, or drink your way through the market by participating in the Pike Pub brewery tour.
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Shilin Night Market – Taipei, Taiwan
Language Mandarin | Continent Asia | Currency New Taiwan Dollar
Every foodie knows that Taipei is a paradise when it comes to street food and night markets are the best way to experience that culture! Shilin Night Market is the largest and most popular one in the city and if we can give you an advice – save your appetite before going, because there is a lot to try. The market features so many Taiwanese delicacies that it’s hard to pick one! Try the famous Hot Star Large Fried Chicken, go shrimp-fishing and catch your own meal, enjoy the delicious oyster omelette or taste the toffee-dipped tomatoes and strawberries for some unexpected sweetness.
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Mercado de San Miguel – Madrid, Spain
Language Spanish | Continent Europe | Currency Euro
Located in the heart of the city centre and next to the historic Plaza Mayor, you can’t miss this food paradise! Built in 1915, this beautiful wrought iron-and-glass building now houses one of the oldest and most characteristic Spanish food markets. This culinary centre buzzes with life as locals come together for tapas and sangria. Get your hands on the best cheeses, olives and freshly cut chorizo, or stake out a table and have a plate of different pinchos and tapas.
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La Merced Market – Mexico City, Mexico
Language Spanish | Continent South America | Currency Mexican Peso
Originating from a small 18th century market that kept expanding until it took over the entire neighbourhood, this enormous Mexican market is astonishing to behold. It’s hard not to get lost in this maze, but it’s worth eating your way through the seven product-specific zones. Try some nopal (cactus), enjoy the caldo de gallina (hen stew) and search for the perfect quesadilla. Our tip is to start your venture early in the morning to fully enjoy the local atmosphere of the market.
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