The Best Food Markets Around The World You Need To Visit

If you love food as much as we do, you probably search high and low for some of the best places to eat when you travel. But among restaurants and cafés, you mustn't forget food markets. Whether you're planning a trip or simply daydreaming about food and travel, we've collected 16 of the best food markets around the world that you need to visit.

What's great about food markets is the variety. Whether it's a market that sells produce, street food, or both, you'll find a huge range of options to satisfy all preferences. From the global cuisine offerings at London's Borough Market to the piles of spices at Gadodia Market in Delhi, there's always something exciting to check out.

We'll cross continents and time zones, uncovering hidden gems and learning more about what each market has to offer. In these bustling marketplaces, you'll encounter passionate artisans, talented chefs, and friendly locals eager to share their culinary heritage. You'll learn about the ingredients that define regional cuisines, and you'll witness the creative flair of street food vendors who turn humble ingredients into gourmet delights. Here are some of the best food markets around the world that you should try to visit before you die.

Borough Market | London, England

Borough Market is this fantastic food haven in the heart of London near London Bridge. It's a food lover's dream. You've got all these stalls selling a huge variety of food and drinks. We're talking fresh produce, artisanal cheeses, meats, seafood, pastries, and spices from all over the world.

You can pretty much eat your way around the globe here, too, thanks to its array of global street food offerings. Craving authentic Thai cuisine? They've got it. How about a traditional English pie, some paella, sushi, or top-notch falafel? You're covered.

The atmosphere is incredible, too. It's always buzzing with people, even on a weekday. And, that's before we even start discussing the amazing smells of all that food being cooked. What's cool is that many of the folks selling stuff here are small-scale producers who really know their stuff. You can chat with them, learn about their products, and often taste samples before you decide what to buy. What's not to love?

St. Lawrence Market | Toronto, Canada

St. Lawrence Market in Toronto is a real gem for food lovers and history buffs alike. Picture a bustling marketplace that's been around since the early 1800s. St. Lawrence is not just a market — it's a piece of Toronto's rich past.

First off, let's talk food. This place is a paradise for anyone excited by food. You've got vendors selling everything from fresh produce and artisanal cheeses to spices and homemade chutneys. Just walking through the aisles feels like a culinary adventure. You can even find international delicacies, so if you're craving something from halfway around the world, you're in luck. But, it's not just about buying groceries here. There's a fantastic food court where you can chow down on everything from pizza and pasta to sushi and pad Thai. The diversity of food options is awesome.

If you're into history, you'll appreciate the South Market building, which is a designated heritage site. The architecture is impressive, and it's a nice reminder of Toronto's past. Plus, the Market Gallery upstairs often hosts exhibitions about the city's history.

Or Tor Kor Market | Bangkok, Thailand

You're in for a treat if you ever visit Or Tor Kor Market in Bangkok. For starters, the variety of fruits, veggies, herbs, and spices is mind-boggling. And, everything is incredibly fresh. If you're into cooking or just love exploring local ingredients, you're in the right spot.

But, you don't want to go to this market just for the produce. You need to head to the cooked food section or the food court and come hungry. You can find all kinds of classic Thai curries. Or, if you're looking for something a little more unfamiliar, head to Som Tam Or Tor Kor Restaurant within the food court for Isaan dishes, such as green papaya salad.

The vibe here is fantastic, too. It's not super touristy, so you'll often find yourself surrounded by locals doing their daily shopping. It's a great way to immerse yourself in Thai culture. What's more, the location is pretty convenient. It's not far from the famous Chatuchak Weekend Market and Chatuchak Park, so you can make a day of exploring the area.

Pike Place Market | Seattle, U.S.

Sure, Pike Place Market is one of the more touristy spots in Seattle, but it's popular for a reason. And, a trip to Seattle wouldn't be complete without heading to Pike Place Market to check out the food offerings. While it isn't just a food market, it features a range of specialty food stalls, street food stands, restaurants, and a farmer's market section.

Head to local produce stands where you can grab fresh fruits and veggies. If you've got a sweet tooth, indulge in handmade chocolates or artisanal ice cream. There are plenty of bakeries whipping up fresh bread and pastries that are perfect for a morning snack. If you're in the mood for a quick bite, the market has you covered with numerous stalls serving up delicious street food. You can devour a classic gyro, enjoy a savory crepe, or savor some Mexican tamales. Of course, there's the world-famous Pike Place Chowder, whose clam chowder is the stuff of legends.

Oranjezicht City Farm Market | Cape Town, South Africa

Located right near the waterfront in Cape Town, Oranjezicht City Farm Market is not only an incredible spot for food lovers to get their fix but has some pretty sweet views, too. If you're into locally grown produce, artisanal goodies, and a vibrant community vibe, this place is a must-visit. You'll find an array of fresh fruits and veggies often straight from the farm, so you can expect some serious flavor. It's not just your ordinary supermarket fare, and it's not all about the greens. There's a fantastic array of artisanal products, too. Think homemade jams, organic cheeses, and freshly baked bread.

Then, there's a separate section with food stalls. You'll find everything from shakshuka and crepes to wood-fired pizzas and gourmet burgers. There are also plenty of options to suit a range of dietary requirements, such as vegan and gluten-free offerings, so that everyone can go home full and happy.

Mercado Municipal | São Paulo, Brazil

If you find yourself in São Paulo, visiting the Mercado Municipal is a must. This bustling food extravaganza embodies the heart and soul of this vibrant Brazilian city. The building itself is a sight to behold. It's a grand, old-school structure with stained glass windows and a giant dome. It's like a cathedral dedicated to food, and it's located right in the city center.

But, we know that you're more interested in the food offerings. Well, you've got row after row of stalls selling everything under the sun. Let's start with the star of the show: fruit. This place is famous for its jaw-dropping variety of tropical fruits. You'll find fruits you may not have even known existed, including jabuticaba and the sweet, creamy graviola (also called soursop).

But, it's not just fruit, of course. There's other fresh produce, spices, condiments, meats, cheeses, seafood, and basically any other type of food you can think of. The traders are generous with free samples, so come ready to eat.

The vibe here is electric. It can get pretty crowded, especially on weekends, but that's part of the charm. It's like a big, happy food party. Don't be surprised if you hear some live samba music drifting through the air — it's not uncommon for local musicians to add to the lively atmosphere.

Mercato Centrale | Florence, Italy

The Mercato Centrale in Florence celebrates Italian flavors. It's got ample stalls of the freshest, most delicious ingredients you can imagine. Picture mounds of fresh pasta, wheels of cheese, colorful produce, and the kind of olive oil that chefs would fight over in the U.S.

But, it's not just raw ingredients, as you can also grab lunch here. There's a food hall with restaurants where you can find a tasty array of Italian food, ranging from some of the best pizza you've ever had to street food classics like arancini. The pasta dishes are also to die for, and the atmosphere is lively, too. It's a mix of locals doing their shopping and tourists checking out the food and the vibes. You'll hear the chatter of people haggling over prices. You might even catch a lively debate about the best way to make pasta.

What's more, the building that houses the market is a stunner. It's an impressive, iron-and-glass structure dating back to the 19th century, and it's right in the heart of Florence. So, you're not just shopping for food — you're doing it in a place that's ripe with history.

Jemaa el-Fna | Marrakesh, Morocco

Jemaa el-Fna is the vibrant, beating heart of Marrakesh. This bustling square is surrounded by ancient architecture and is filled with a constant stream of people. It's not just a food market, but food is a big part of its appeal.

During the day, you'll find stalls selling everything from spices and dried fruits to textiles and traditional Moroccan crafts. But, it's as the sun sets that Jemaa el-Fna truly comes alive. The square is taken over by an array of street performers and vendors, from snake charmers and henna tattoo artists to storytellers and musicians. The energy is electric and it's impossible not to be drawn into the whirlwind of activity.

One of the highlights is the food stalls that spring up in the evening. The food scene is a tantalizing mix of Moroccan flavors, from fragrant tagines and couscous to grilled meats and seafood. You can pull up a stool and dine on traditional dishes while soaking in the lively atmosphere.

Santa Caterina | Barcelona, Spain

While most people check out Barcelona's biggest food market, La Boqueria, we'd recommend going slightly off the beaten track and heading to the Santa Caterina Market instead. You'll find your share of treats but with a more local vibe and relaxed atmosphere.

One of the standout features of Santa Caterina Market is its striking, undulating roof that's covered in colorful, mosaic-like tiles. It's a modern architectural marvel that beautifully contrasts with the adjacent, Gothic-style Santa Caterina church. The market seamlessly blends contemporary design with historical surroundings.

Just like many other markets in Barcelona, Santa Caterina is a haven for fresh produce. You'll find a wide array of fruits, vegetables, herbs, and spices from Catalonia and beyond. However, it also has stalls and small eateries offering prepared foods. You can savor traditional Spanish dishes, such as tapas, empanadas, and paella right on the spot. It's a perfect place for a quick meal.

Warorot Market | Chiang Mai, Thailand

As you step into Warorot Market, the first thing that hits you is the aroma of Thai street food wafting through the air. The market is a must-visit spot for anyone looking to sample authentic Thai cuisine on a budget. You've got stalls selling all sorts of Thai dishes, from basic options like pad Thai and green curry to local delicacies like khao soi, a northern Thai noodle soup.

There's loads of great produce, too. But, it's especially well-known for its wide assortment of fruits — from mangoes and lychees to exotic dragon fruit and rambutan, you're spoiled with choices. You can also check out Ton Lamyai Market right across the road. But, Warorot is the more famous of the two and even locals sometimes refer to both markets as Warorot Market. Some of the market remains open after dark and street food vendors line the road outside, so it's also a great place to pick up dinner.

Mercado La Merced | Mexico City, Mexico

From the moment that you enter Mercado La Merced, your senses go into overdrive. The air is thick with the mouthwatering scents of Mexican cuisine. The vibrant colors of fruits and vegetables catch the eye and there are people everywhere shopping, eating, and just browsing around. 

If you're a food lover, you've hit the jackpot. The market is known for its incredible variety of Mexican street food — tacos, tamales, quesadillas, and so much more. It's the real deal, both authentic and flavorful. You won't forget it any time soon. You can also buy all kinds of produce. Fruits, vegetables, meat, seafood, cheese, condiments, herbs, spices — you'll find them all here. But, the space can get pretty chaotic. The market is massive and can be overwhelming, especially during peak hours. That's all part of the experience. Embrace the organized chaos and you'll find hidden gems at every corner.

Castries Market | Castries, St. Lucia

Want to get a genuine taste of Caribbean life? Head to Castries Market in St. Lucia. It's been the primary food market in the region for a century and is open every day except Sunday. While there are plenty of tourists — and the souvenir stalls to prove it — you'll also be brushing shoulders with locals picking up their groceries.

There's plenty of fresh produce to be had here. You'll find fruits like soursop and breadfruit, as well as aromatic spices like cinnamon and nutmeg. If you're planning to cook at your travel accommodations, you'll find all the ingredients you need, including veggies, legumes, meat, and fresh herbs. The market also has you covered with a variety of street food stalls. You can savor traditional St. Lucian dishes like saltfish and green fig (green bananas), fried plantains, and mouthwatering rotis. It's a great place to grab a quick lunch while you're out sightseeing.

Mathallen | Oslo, Norway

Mathallen is located in the Vulkan area of Oslo, Norway. Here, you can explore a wide variety of foods and beverages from local and international producers all under one roof. It's like a gourmet food court mixed with a bustling market atmosphere. The place is usually buzzing with people, giving it lively vibes.

We love the incredible diversity of food options available. You can find traditional Norwegian dishes alongside international cuisine such as sushi and pizza. Of course, there also are plenty of dessert options to satisfy your sweet tooth.

And, it's not just about eating — it's also a great place to shop for high-quality ingredients. You can find artisanal cheeses, fresh seafood, unique spices, and much more. It's a perfect spot if you enjoy cooking and want to explore new ingredients.

Another great feature of Mathallen is its communal seating area. You can grab food from different vendors and enjoy a meal with friends or family at one of the shared tables with both indoor and outdoor seating options.

Gadodia Market | Delhi, India

Located in the heart of Khari Baoli — a street that's known as Asia's largest spice market — Gadodia Market has its own charm. Although it's just one part of a larger market, tackling the whole of Khari Baoli can be overwhelming, so Gadodia Market is a good place to start.

The market is renowned for its wide array of spices, herbs, and other culinary ingredients, making it a paradise for food enthusiasts and chefs. You can find everything from fragrant saffron to fiery chili peppers. The market's vendors are usually more than happy to offer samples and share their knowledge about the spices.

One of the standout features of Gadodia Market is its unique architecture. The market was constructed in the 1920s and provides a glimpse into the city's historical heritage. Navigating through the narrow lanes of the market can be a bit of a challenge, especially during peak hours when it gets crowded. But, that's all part of the experience. A trip is well worth the adventure.

Queen Victoria Market | Melbourne, Australia

The largest open-air market in the Southern Hemisphere, Queen Victoria Market spans roughly 7 hectares and features around 600 traders. The market is divided into several sections, each offering something different. The Deli Hall is a paradise for foodies, with stalls selling cheeses, cured meats, olives, and other gourmet treats. It's the perfect place to assemble a picnic or grab some goodies for a night in.

If you're into fresh produce, the fruit and vegetable section is a must-visit. Here, you'll find colorful arrays of fruits, vegetables, and herbs, many of which are locally grown. It's a great spot to discover unique Australian ingredients and chat with vendors about their offerings. Then, there's the food hall. Queen Victoria Market boasts a diverse range of international cuisines across dozens of vendors. You can savor freshly made bratwurst, enjoy a slice of wood-fired pizza, or explore other flavors from around the world.

Kauppatori | Helsinki, Finland

Kauppatori is Helsinki's Market Square. Situated right by the water's edge, it's a must-visit spot for anyone exploring the Finnish capital, but especially food lovers. One of the first things you'll notice as you approach Kauppatori is its stunning location. The market overlooks the Baltic Sea and is framed by beautiful buildings, including the Helsinki City Hall.

The market itself is a lively blend of colors and flavors. It's open year-round, although it truly comes alive in the warmer months. The stalls are brimming with fresh produce, including berries, mushrooms, and seasonal vegetables. You'll also find fishmongers selling a wide variety of seafood, often served with traditional Finnish accompaniments like rye bread and butter.

Feeling peckish? Be sure to try some of the local street food options. Look out for stalls serving karjalanpiirakka, a delicious Karelian pastry filled with rice porridge or mashed potatoes. Or, pick up a korvapuust, which is a Finnish cinnamon pastry. These are local favorites and a tasty way to experience the country's culinary heritage.