5 Best Public Markets in the U.S.
Farmers Markets aren’t a new concept. In fact, markets with specialized product vendors are about the oldest form of discovering and buying products that there is. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’re probably well aware that this model has been revitalized and even become quite trendy in recent years.
Besides the obvious feel-good factor of supporting a local small business, it’s not uncommon to find all sorts of high quality products that trump the mass-produced alternatives from large retail stores. Whether you’re in a small town or big city in the US, the go-to farmers market is the perfect place to soak up some local culture.
While many markets are weekly or monthly pop-ups, there are quite a few that have planted permanent roots. Here you can find renowned artisans and emerging brands doing their thing every day of the week. We have narrowed it down to the 5 best in the country that can instantly be added to your traveling bucket lists.
1. Pike Place Public Market (Seattle, WA)
Perhaps one of the most famous public markets, Pike Place in Seattle is a spectacle that doesn’t get passed up by many who have been to the Emerald City. Pike Place was established in 1907, and was as revered then as it is now.
The market is not only an incubator but also a community for hundreds of farmers, small businesses, and crafters. You can find your meat, fish, and produce staples among dozens of other unique product offerings. Pike Place is the ultimate way to immerse yourself in the culture and ambience of Seattle.
2. Ferry Building Marketplace (San Francisco, CA)
As both a historic landmark and a modern hangout, The San Fran Ferry Building is a fusion between new and old. While the Ferry Building has been an operational establishment since 1898 (first as a ferry port), it wasn’t until 2003 that it was transformed into the grand public market that it is today.
Take just a few steps into the west entrance and you’re instantly greeted with all the vibes that encapsulate the space. Locals pit-stopping for lunch, browsing tourists from all over the world, world-class (but local) vendors, and a swell selection of farm 2 table restaurants. Our recommendation would be: grab a cup of cold brew, stroll the main hall sampling and discovering artisan products, and finish with some oysters while overlooking the foggy Bay.
3. East End Market (Orlando, FL)
They say it’s not the size of the market, but what’s inside that matters. OK we’re not sure who says that, but we definitely stand behind it on this one. East End Market is a petite gem nestled into the Audubon Park Garden District of Orlando Fl. This two story building on a corner lot is home to a dozen or so local makers, bakers, and emerging brands with roots in Orlando.
Whether it’s craft beer, fresh-ground coffee, or an organic smoothie, you’ll have no problem finding a refreshment to pair with some delicious food options. You can enjoy your lunch in the presence of live music in the quaint outdoor space that’s framed with a sustainable garden. Before hitting the road, be sure to score some edible or non-edible mementos to bring home.
4. Boston Public Market (Boston, MA)
An eponym of the Northeast, Boston Public Market is an indoor and year round market in you guessed it, Boston. BPM is the go-to for seasonal and locally sourced agriculture. Specialty product vendors and charming eateries cozy together in the modern layout.
With 30 permanent vendors and other alternating pop ups, there’s plenty to discover all year long. Locals and tourists alike can be found grabbing breakfast and lunch in these contemporary quarters. Come for the local food purveyors, but stay for the demonstrations, lectures, and events that secure the uniqueness of Boston’s favorite market.
5. Charleston City Market (Charleston, SC)
If Charleston is a body of vibrant southern culture, then the Charleston City Market is the heart. The Market was established in 1804. That’s not a numeric typo; CCM is over 200 years old. Located downtown, the open air and covered market is operational every day of the year (minus Christmas day) and even open at night for some of the year.
Over 300 entrepreneurs set up shop with their hand crafted and locally grown offerings. You’ll want to set aside a fair portion of your day to fully experience each booth and the kind people who are behind them. Our advice is: plan to finish up at the market around 5:30 to experience a memorable sunset that a downtown without any skyscrapers allows.
While thousands of Farmers Markets are commencing every month, these are a handful that have redefined the limits. These 5 Markets have become a portal between the original market concept and the current hip attraction they’ve become.
Conveniently, all 5 of these Public Markets are located in beautiful cities in the U.S. So book your air bnb, find a cheep flight, and plan your next trip around one of these esteemed landmarks!
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