Food markets around the world invite visitors to indulge all of their senses, from taking in the colorful sights of fresh produce to smelling the wafting scents of fresh seafood or traditional dishes. Markets have been a part of city life for centuries, and have now evolved to be popular tourist attractions. Locals visit their city's market to pick up fresh produce, meats, seafood and spices to stock their home kitchens, while tourists can visit local markets to learn about the culture by sampling local and traditional fare. Markets around the world vary in the products they sell, and many are home to vendors selling produce, meats, seafood, cheeses, breads, spices, flowers, artisan goods and local handicrafts like pottery and jewelry.
We've compiled a list of some of the best food markets around the world, each offering a peek into the cultural and culinary lives of the people who live nearby. Some markets have been around for hundreds of years, like Enfants Rouges in Paris, which opened in 1615. Other markets are new, like Torvehallerne Market in Copenhagen, which celebrates the culinary diversity in the city by offering traditional dishes like duck sandwiches alongside foreign options like sushi. Many markets on our list are wholesale fish markets, like Tsukiji Fish Market in Tokyo, which handles more than 2,000 tons of seafood a day. Other smaller markets, like Mercato Centrale in Florence, provide fresh produce, meats, cheeses and prepared foods that reflect the traditional cuisine of the area.
We ranked the 45 best markets around the world based on their critical acclaim, how reflective they are of the local region, and the importance of food and drink at the market. The requirements for the markets that made our list are that they are not strictly farmers' markets or seasonal, but instead a market a visitor can stop at to enjoy a snack or meal while experiencing the culture of the city. The result is a list of culinary destinations that invite guests to explore all of their senses and indulge in authentic, traditional foods. Whether you are looking for souvenirs to take home, a quick snack or a full traditional meal, these markets offer a delicious taste of culture.
#16 Sweet Auburn Curb Market, Atlanta
Considering itself an "international delight," Sweet Auburn Curb Market in Atlanta sells specialty food items. The market first started in 1918 and was housed in a giant tent, bringing fresh produce from farmers to the people of Atlanta. Vendors at the market are independently owned businesses, and sell products like meat, fish, baked goods, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and plants. There are many restaurants inside the market, several of which serve ethnic foods, like Afrodish Restaurant, which serves Caribbean prepared foods. Other restaurants, like Metro Deli Soul Food, sell local Southern favorites like mac and cheese, meatloaf, and baked chicken.