World's Top Food Markets
Vehbi Koca / Alamy
Looking for the most authentic nibbles in the world? T+L finds 10
global markets where the eating is easy.
into Madrid’s historic
de San Miguel, housed in a soaring 1916 Beaux-Arts building, and plop down
in the buzzing central café area with a glass of local sparkling wine in hand
to wash down a dozen fines de Claire oysters and fresh caviar. Watch as
this neighborhood food mecca spins to life all around you, with its 33 stalls
bursting with Andalusian olives and barrels of sweet sherry.
markets around the globe may go by different names and take many forms, but
they’re not just a place to grope produce and barter for spices. They’re also
great places to eat.
food in markets is an ancient practice, of course—quick, affordable, and
interactive, it’s been an integral part of Asian, African, and European culture
for more than two centuries. And visiting a food market has long been the most
authentic way to experience a destination—after all, what better way to get the
pulse of a city than to see its merchants in action.
so much delicious cuisine, why not linger and try a local specialty? Somehow
food just seems to taste better snagged from a kiosk or roving cart and eaten
on a bench surrounded by a riot of produce.
real day-in-the-life, Istanbul’s
Grand Bazaar is a must-see: with more than 4,000 shops, food stalls feed the army of vendors
as well as visitors. Sidle up alongside goldsmiths and rug lords for a
succulent doner at the market’s Donerci Sahin Usta, or sample the city’s
tastiest kebabs at the stunning Cebeci Han caravansary.
aisles of organic produce are more your speed, head to San Francisco’s
Plaza Farmers Market. It’s the ultimate in clean, bright, and fresh; and
with a waterfront location and 80 Bay Area sellers, it’s also a lesson in
sustainable agriculture. Line up alongside local chefs to sample organic-masa
mole tamales at Primavera Tamales, or snag some lavender-infused chocolate from
bustling bazaars to Singapore stalls and Mexican marketplaces, food markets worldwide are becoming
destinations unto themselves. Here are our favorites. —Sarah Storms