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History, culture and gastronomy are entwined in these street food enclaves where each country is unique and distinctive.
A vendor looks out the window of his stall on the Wangfujing snack street in Beijing, China.
Around the world, street food markets create a community gathering and eating place and allow visitors to immerse themselves in the culture and history of their destination while serving delicious (and often daring) culinary delights. These 10 open-air markets, food halls, and colorful bazaars are great places to sample local flavors and discover inspiring ingredients.
Istanbul Spice Bazaar (Turkey)
Officially known as the Spice Bazaar, this centuries-old market in Istanbul is home to dozens of enthusiastic exotic spice vendors. Take home Urfa’s lemon sumac and spicy peppers, as well as other delicious souvenirs from tea to Turkish delights (Turkish delight).
Many teas are sold in Istanbul Spice Bazaar.
Castries Market in Castries (Saint Lucia)
This colorful Caribbean market is brimming with tropical fruits and vegetables like breadfruit. jambu and soursop, as well as island-grown spices. Coconut water is a delight straight from a young coconut.
Vendors at the Castries market in Saint Lucia sell a wide variety of tropical fruits, including mangoes.
Kauppatori Old Market and Market Square, Helsinki, Finland
Vendors in Helsinki’s iconic Kauppatori market square sell Finnish meat pies and serve herring by the sea. Handmade breads, smoked meats and classic desserts are available at the renovated Old Market Hall nearby.
Vendors and visitors gather at the 2019 Manta Christmas Market, or Mantan joulumarkkinat, in Helsinki’s Havis Amanda Square.
Customers browse the food stalls at Donganmen Night Market near Wangfuging Dajie in Beijing.
Budapest Central Market (Hungary)
Open every day except Sunday, the magnificent architecture of Budapest’s largest market is unrivaled with its selection of Hungarian classics: cured meats, Tokaj wine and paprika. There are three floors to explore; the second floor has handcrafted souvenirs and a popular stall. langos (salted fried dough).
Central Market or Nagycsarnok in Budapest.
Borough Market in London (UK)
Borough Market in London dates back to the 13th century. Today’s shoppers flock for high-quality produce and meats, renowned producers like Neal’s Yard Dairy, and a variety of dining options, from Scottish eggs to paella and paella. burqa (typical Jewish baked stuffed pastry).
An employee of the Bread Ahead bakery sells bread in Borough Market in south London.
St Lawrence Market in Toronto (Canada)
Saturday is the day of the Downtown Toronto Farmers Market, a tradition that dates back to 1803 and is held alongside 120 specialty food and craft vendors. Save room for the peameal bacon sandwich, a local specialty.
(Related: Six unusual cities for food lovers)
Red brick St. Lawrence Market building is located in Toronto, Ontario.
Ferry Building in San Francisco (United States)
Any day of the week, you can wander among the Ferry Building’s restaurants and gourmet food vendors for a great meal. But on Saturdays, when the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market wraps around the building, that’s when the real feast takes place.
The ferry building’s clock tower stands above the palm-fringed Embarcadero in San Francisco.
Merced Market in Mexico City (Mexico)
The first thing you notice about the Mercado de la Merced is its size: Chile’s equivalent to about eight city blocks filled with nopales. grasshopper (grasshopper) and countless Mexican materials.
A vendor sells a variety of items at the Mercado de la Merced in Mexico City.
Tsukiji fish market in Tokyo (Japan)
Tokyo’s wholesale fish market (the largest in the world) has moved to the new Toyosu market, but the bustling Tsukiji open-air market continues to attract sushi lovers. You can find freshly cut sashimi in more than 300 shops and restaurants (usually closed on Sundays and Wednesdays).
Vendors produce fresh seafood at the Tsukiji Fish Market in Tokyo, the world’s largest wholesale fish and seafood market.
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