To market, to market – favourite produce markets of the world

To market, to market – favourite produce markets of the world

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The best thing about travelling for me is experiencing new and different cultures. My favourite way to do this is through the local food culture.

Restaurants and cafes give you the opportunity to try the local cuisine but visiting the food and produce markets help you discover the beating pulse of a place.

I hope you enjoy this list of my favourite world food markets around the world and my tips on how to enjoy them. I have also included my to visit market list. As is so often the case, my stomach is driving my travels!

Favourite world food markets

Favourite food markets - Vevey Switzerland - clementines

Borough Market, London, UK

Borough Market is often the first stop for foodies visiting London. I like to call it ‘Kangaroo Food Court’ due to the large number of Australians milling about the place.

Celebrating an almost 800 years of operation the market is home to over 100 fresh produce, butcher, charcuterie and cheese stalls. You will also find cafes and restaurants and ready to eat food stalls of any cuisine you can think of .

Borough market location and hours

The market is open every day except Sunday. The full market runs Wednesday to Saturday from 10am to 5pm with earlier opening hours on Saturdays.

The nearest tube stop is London Bridge

Bread Ahead focaccia

Tips for visiting Borough Market

 visit early especially if you don’t like crowds or are travelling with small children as the market is heaving with visitors by lunchtime (especially on weekends)
– I cannot get enough of the mushroom pâté from Pâté Moi
– on sunny days you can picnic in the grounds of Southwark Cathedral behind the market

If you want to really discover the market, why not take a Borough Market tour. Along the way you will meet the stallholders, taste their wares and learn their stories.

More London markets to visit

Some Londoners think Borough is too touristy these days. Instead they head to Maltby Street for their food market fix or to Brixton Market for a bustling multicultural experience.

Vevey farmer’s market, Switzerland 

Every Tuesday and Saturday on the shimmering banks of Lake Geneva you will find a lovely Swiss produce market in the pretty town of Vevey. A wonderful blog post by acclaimed chef and author David Lebovitz meant we made a little detour to this market. It was well worth the effort.

Even in mid winter the produce was outstanding and the stall holders eager to share their knowledge of their local offerings. There was an abundance of mushrooms, charcuterie and of course the local cheeses.

Favourite food markets - Vevey Switzerland - market

Vevey market location and operating hours

The market is open Tuesday and Saturday mornings in the Grande Place, Vevey.

Tips for visiting Vevey farmers market

– get there early unless you don’t mind missing out on the best produce
– you must try the cheese varieties from the local Vaud region such as Etivaz and Maréchal

Mercado de San Miguel, Madrid, Spain

This market in central Madrid has special significance for me. Apart from being a wonderful place to discover Spanish produce and food, I watched Spain win the 2010 World Cup under its roof.

That was quite a special moment made even more memorable by the amazing local delicacies.

The market is found in an early 20th century building that has been beautifully restored. You can try food from across Spain including delicious jamon, pastries and of course paella.

Favourite food markets - Mercado de San Miguel

Mercado de san Miguel location and operating hours

Mercado de San Miguel is located in the Plaza de San Miguel, Madrid and is open every day from 10am until at least midnight. How civilised!

Tips for visiting the Mercado de San Miguel

– go when you are hungry!
– choose a glass of wine and sample the delicious tapas
– make sure you visit the croquetas stall – my favourite

Taling Chan floating market, Bangkok, Thailand

Floating markets are common in Thailand and have become major tourist destinations in their own right. This is for good reason as they are colourful and noisy and full of the sights and smells that remind you of South East Asia.

We visited one of the smaller markets – Taling Chan – around 10 km outside of Bangkok. Here you can watch the locals choose their chillis and limes from longboats in the canals.

This is more of a market for the locals and it is fascinating to watch their busy lives on the canals. Stay for lunch and feast on the local seafood.

If the floating markets sound like the best farmers market experience to you, I think they probably are.

Favourite food markets - floating markets

Operating hours and location

You will need your own transport or taxi to reach Taling Chan. The address is 300 Chak Phra 17 Alley, Khlong Chak Phra, Taling Chan. The market is open from 8am to 5pm on weekeends.

Tips for visiting the Taling Chan floating market

– visit early in the morning to avoid the heat of the day
– the market is cash only
– treat yourself to foot massage!

More floating markets near Bangkok

If you want to visit a more busy and bustling market try Damnoen Saduak Floating Market or Amphawa Floating Market both just outside of Bangkok city.

Marché Raspail, Paris, France

A trip to Paris is not complete without a visit to one of its fabulous markets. Daily food shopping is way of life in France and it is a point of pride to look for the freshest most choice ingredients.

At the Sunday organic or biologique market in the 6th Arrondissement known as Marché Raspail, you can find the best local organic produce alongside treats such as custard filled canelés and of course cheese.

Favourite food markets - Vevey Switzerland - cheese

Marche Raspail operating hours and location

Find Marché Raspail on Boulevard Raspail, Metro – Rennes. The organic market runs 8am – 2pm on Sundays.

Tips for visiting Marché Raspail

– you must taste the poulet roti or roast chicken – amazing!
– embrace seasonal produce – it always tastes better, even in winter
– the British bakery has wonderful scones

More street markets in Paris

Check this listing to find markets close to where you are staying. I like  Marché Aligre (12th) and St Quentin  (10th).

Queen Victoria Market, Melbourne, Australia 

When we lived in Melbourne we had a weekend ritual of going to the Queen Victoria Market early and having a coffee and croissant while we planned our menus for the week.

Visiting our favourite butcher or fishmonger and of course the french cheese shop in the deli hall were an important part of our Saturday morning routine. The ‘Queen Vic’ as the market known, is one of the biggest I have visited anywhere in the world.

The market is home to ten fishmongers and double the number of fruit and vegetable and meat suppliers. You can buy food items from any corner of the globe you can imagine. Located in the central business district, the market should be top of any visitor to Melbourne‘s list of must dos.

Favourite food markets - Queen Victoria Market - Melbourne2

Operating hours

Queen Vic Market is open each day except Mondays and Wednesdays. The market has varied opening times so  it is best to check their website for further details and information on special events such as the fabulous seasonal night markets.

Tips for visiting the Queen Victoria Market

 grab a coffee at Padre or Market Lane and wander the stalls tasting samples and checking for bargains
– make sure you try a hot jam doughnut from the American Doughnut van at the top end of the organic section
 discover local butter and delicious goats cheese at Curds and Whey in the deli hall

More Melbourne markets

Melbourne boasts many fabulous produce markets. Gourmets will love the Prahran and  South Melbourne Markets. For fresh seafood at bargain prices you cannot beat the bustling Springvale Market. Visit the Collingwood Children’s Farm monthly farmers market for local goats cheese, olives and caviar.

Favourite food markets - Queen Victoria Market - Melbourne2

Other fresh markets I have enjoyed

La Boqueria – Barcelona, Spain
Hoi An market – Hoi An, Vietnam
Union Square Green Market – New York, USA
Arles market – Arles, France
Torvehallerne and Copenhagen Street Food (Paper Island) – Copenhagen, Denmark
Rialto Market – Venice, Italy

Favourite food markets - market ptoduce

Markets I want to visit

Tsukiji Fish Market – Tokyo, Japan
Bali Pazari – Istanbul, Turkey
Campo de’ Fiori – Rome, Italy
Darajani Market – Zanzibar, Tanzania
Pike Place Market – Seattle, USA
Mercado Central – Santiago, Chile

I can’t wait to add to this list and am looking for recommendations!

Where are your favourite food markets?

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  1. 29th June 2016 / 4:18 PM

    I love markets too, specially those in Bangkok. Great photos!

    • Katy
      29th June 2016 / 4:21 PM

      Thanks Roberta. I think the floating markets are very special too

  2. 4th July 2016 / 11:51 AM

    Great picks. I have only been to Borough market from your list.

  3. 4th July 2016 / 4:27 PM

    Love love love this roundup of world markets. You named a few of my favourites and have added a few more to my must visit list!

    • Katy
      4th July 2016 / 4:31 PM

      Thanks Lauren. I respect your experience. What am I missing?

  4. 4th July 2016 / 6:11 PM

    I love markets. I’ve been to Melbourne and didn’t know about the Queen Victoria Market… a reason to go back again!

    • Katy
      4th July 2016 / 7:18 PM

      There are so many reasons to go back to Melbourne. Let me know if you do, as a Melburnian I’d be proud to give you my best tips

      • 18th July 2016 / 4:05 PM

        Oh, I’d love the ‘best tips’ from a local. When I visited I stayed with a friend of a friend, and we did cool things. However, that big tower was fogged in the night we wanted to go up it.

  5. 5th July 2016 / 7:08 AM

    Ooooh, reading this made me hungry! There’s nothing I like more than a food market – especially if it’s overseas and there are lots of new foods to be discovered 🙂 Lovely photos too. #MondayEsscapes

    • Katy
      5th July 2016 / 7:30 AM

      Thanks Katie. I think it might be the best part of traveling. Have a lovely day

  6. 5th July 2016 / 11:32 AM

    I always love to visit markets.Other than buying fresh produce,there are plenty of things to see and experience.Nice photos and informative details of markets around the world!

    • Katy
      5th July 2016 / 2:04 PM

      Thanks for your lovely comment Amila. I love watching the characters of the markets too 🙂

  7. 5th July 2016 / 2:43 PM

    I just love finding the local food markets when I’m travelling. It can be a great, fun way to get kids to choose food for a picnic and try out the odd basic phrase in the language of the country they’re visiting. We’ve done that often in Spain and France. Some of my favourite markets are the French ones, particularly the markets in Provence. I love your list here and think the tips are fantastic.

    • Katy
      6th July 2016 / 8:48 AM

      thanks for your lovely comment Clare. Markets are such a great opportunity to practice your language skills. I have tried my school learnt French at several markets recently to varying degrees of success. I am most appreciative of how patient the stall owners are with me. My husband’s Italian is a lot better and I just love watching him have chats with the locals at the markets. I remember a fantastic market at Arles in Provence now you mention it. Lots of lavender and a great relaxed atmosphere.

  8. 6th July 2016 / 11:37 PM

    I love food markets! Giggled at the nickname you’ve coined for the Borough Markets :p

    • Katy
      7th July 2016 / 8:26 AM

      Kachina sometimes I have to remind myself that I am in London when visiting Borough Market as there are so many Australians there 🙂

  9. 7th July 2016 / 3:35 AM

    I would definitely like to try the Mercado de San Miguel. I like this whole glass of wine and tapas. It’s been a dream of mine to go to Spain and eat tapas!

    • Katy
      7th July 2016 / 8:19 AM

      Hope you get there soon Gina, it’s worth the wait

  10. 7th July 2016 / 3:43 AM

    For the Bangkok floating markets, how does that work. Are the vendors on boats as well as customers? Or are customers on land? I’ve never seen one before.

    • Katy
      7th July 2016 / 8:24 AM

      That is a great question Danielle. It’s actually a little of both. The vendors will come to a pier of sorts in their boats and trade with people on the shore. However customers also come by boat and you can do a lovely boat tour to experience this aspect of market life. It really is a unique experience

  11. 7th July 2016 / 4:21 AM

    The marker in Cork, Ireland is fabulous. You should definitely check it out. I haven’t been to the ones you’ve mentioned. I have to remember when I am traveling in the future to remember to do this!

    • Katy
      7th July 2016 / 8:32 AM

      You are so right Stephanie. That is a fantastic market. I had forgotten all about Cork and it’s fabulous cheese laden market. Did you try the famous fish chowder at the cafe there?

  12. 7th July 2016 / 7:02 AM

    That cheese market in Paris looks too good! If you’re ever in Edinburgh you should visit Stockbridge Market! 🙂

    • Katy
      7th July 2016 / 8:23 AM

      Ah thanks Nicole. Hopefully we get to Edinburgh soon. We are based in London at the moment so it’s a matter of getting organised. Cant wait to visit Stockbridge Market

  13. 7th July 2016 / 7:32 AM

    I love that thinking back to a good day at a produce market can bring me right back to wherever I was and whatever I ate that day. One of my favorite memories of Paris was eating some fresh strawberries, brie, and a croissant from a market in the morning, and I can still remember it so vividly!

    To add to this list – St. Lawrence Market in Toronto, and the Saturday farmer’s market at the Ferry Building in San Francisco!

    • Katy
      7th July 2016 / 8:21 AM

      I agree Lia. It’s such a sensory experience. Your Paris memory makes me feel like jumping on a plane to France. Appreciate the tips for the US and Canada.

  14. 7th July 2016 / 7:34 AM

    I LOVE farmers markets! I’ve always wanted to go to the floating market in Bangkok! There’s a really awesome market in Bellingham, WA that’s pretty famous and I recently moved to Sacramento and quickly became obsessed with the Midtown Farmers Market that’s filled with produce and local treats like macarons and lavender almond milk (SO good!).

    • Katy
      7th July 2016 / 8:17 AM

      Thanks for the fabulous tips Joy. Sacramento sounds like a great place to live. Enjoy!

  15. 7th July 2016 / 8:59 AM

    What a wonderful post Katy! As you, I also love markets and am a foodie.
    I loved all the recommendations and the tips you gave. You have been to some amazing markets. Last time I was in London I tried to go to the Borough Market but didn’t manage :/ hopefully I will do it when I return in November 😀
    The Floating Market in Thailand has been on my bucket list for ages!

    Happy to have you on #MondayEscapes

    • Katy
      7th July 2016 / 2:14 PM

      Thanks so much for your lovely comment. I think Borough is a great lunch spot when combined with a visit to either the Tate Modern or Tower of London. Anyway, hope you make it there, it’s well worth a detour

  16. 7th July 2016 / 9:54 AM

    Love this and love the photos. The Borough Market in London is one of my faves. I was quite delighted a few years ago to introduce my mother-in-law who has lived in London for 20 years to this market. It’s now a regular stop for her. Also love the Melbourne Queen Vic Markets as well. Thanks for sharing this!

    • Katy
      7th July 2016 / 2:09 PM

      Thanks so much Kerri. Love that you introduced Borough to your mother in law. It’s funny how we can miss the wonderful things right in front of us only to have them pointed out to us by visitors.

  17. 7th July 2016 / 5:53 PM

    This was an awesome post and nice approach on the subject! Loved all of your pictures also, what camera / phone do you use?

    • Katy
      7th July 2016 / 10:56 PM

      Thanks so much Simona. I mainly use an iPhone 6S but sometimes a Canon EOS. Thanks for stopping by

  18. 7th July 2016 / 6:52 PM

    What a mouthwatering post! The only one of these I’ve been to is Borough Market – we do loe visiting markets when we’re travelling though, so I’ve pinned this post to my world food board to help me find places on our travels.

    • Katy
      7th July 2016 / 10:55 PM

      Thanks for your sweet comment Nell and thanks for sharing my post – very much appreciated. Happy travels

  19. 9th July 2016 / 5:34 PM

    La Boqueria and Campo de Fiori are both amazing 😀 I would love to visit a floating market in Thailand, hopefully I’ll go there next year.

    • Katy
      10th July 2016 / 8:48 AM

      I do hope you get there Vlad. It’s a lot of fun.

  20. Hannah
    18th July 2016 / 4:10 PM

    I absolutely love indoor markets, my favorite being Grainger in NNewcastle upon Tyne and my heArt goes to the mArkets in Amsterdam, because it feels like home.

    • Katy
      18th July 2016 / 9:55 PM

      Ooh I will be seeking out Grainger when we head north. Thanks for stopping by Hannah

  21. 19th July 2016 / 2:04 AM

    Love this article!! Such a great idea, it also makes me miss San Miguel in Madrid.

    • Katy
      19th July 2016 / 9:06 AM

      thank you Christine. San Miguel is such a treat isn’t it

  22. 19th July 2016 / 3:49 AM

    Agreed! Visiting the markets can be a very rewarding experience. This reminds me of a trip we made to a small down in Istria somewhere in Croatia. This region is known for their tangerines, and not really knowing the language, I bought 10 kunas worth of tangerines. It was a GIANT bag of tangerines and I had to immediately hand them out to people. LOL

    • Katy
      19th July 2016 / 9:03 AM

      Great lost in translation moment. You will always remember Istria for those tangerines. I can’t wait to go there. It was a critical omission from our itinerary last time

  23. leahshoup
    2nd December 2016 / 3:52 AM

    I’m so glad I came across this! Produce markets are some of my favorite places to explore when traveling. Bookmarking this for later! 🙂

    • Katy
      2nd December 2016 / 10:29 PM

      thanks so much! We recently visited the Rialto market in Venice which was fantastic – it’s just off the Grand Canal and has a focus on seafood. Just wonderful