Food Festivals and Markets Around the World
by Jackie Shannon
Photo courtesy of Geena Grant
Food festivals and marketplaces are a pop-up trend everywhere. Whether you are in Boston and want a unique, versatile dinner or you are traveling the world and want to experience the flavors of a foreign city, food marketplaces are flavor-filled spots for one-stop-shopping.
Time Out Market opened its doors June 27 at 401 Park Drive, just a short walk from Boston University’s South Campus and Fenway Park. The market includes 15 eateries, two bars and indoor and outdoor seating.
Time Out Market features restaurants unique to Boston. Saltie Girl, which is a no-reservation seafood restaurant in Back Bay (consequently has wait times that typically lasts hours) has a location in Time Out Market that takes only a few minutes! Saltie Girl at Time Out Market serves their most popular menu items, which draws quite a crowd. There are also booths that sell pizza, hamburgers and Eastern Mediterranean food. Customers with a sweet tooth should check out Union Square Donuts or Gelato & Chill. Check out the full list of vendors here.
Visitors can stop by for any meal at any time, because the hours are quite extensive. The market opens at 7:30 a.m. Monday through Friday and 9:00 a.m. on the weekends. It closes at 10:00 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11:00 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.
The indoor market currently has other locations internationally, including Lisbon, Miami and New York, according to timeoutmarket.com. It has plans to open in other major cities, including Chicago, Montreal, Dubai, London and Prague between now and 2022.
New York City
Smorgasburg, an outdoor food festival, is open to the public during April through November in New York City. The original location is in East River State Park in Williamsburg, Brooklyn on Saturdays, but the food festival later expanded to the World Trade Center each Friday and to Prospect Park every Sunday.
“Smorgasburg is the largest weekly open-air food market in America, attracting 20,000-30,000 people to Brooklyn each weekend to eat from 100 local vendors,” according to smorgasburg.com.
Take a lap around the festival first, so that you get a taste of everything Smorgasburg offers. Vendors include Big Mozz, Ramen Burger, The Blue Chicken and The Pizza Cupcake.
Once you get your food, sit by the river and take some Instagram pictures of the Manhattan skyline at the gorgeous Williamsburg location.
Smorgasburg has since grown to have locations in other cities, including Downtown Los Angeles with 65 vendors and Navy Yard in Washington D.C. with 30 vendors, according to smorgasburg.com.
Borough Market is located just a short walk from the River Thames,the Shard, Shakespeare’s Globeand London Bridge, which makes it a convenient location for tourists. The market, however, is not just a tourist attraction; it is meant to be a source of “genuinely exceptional produce,” according to boroughmarket.org.uk.
“As London’s oldest food market, it has been serving the people of Southwark for 1000 years, and that is an extraordinary heritage is an important part of its appeal,” according to boroughmarket.org.uk.
Visitors can visit a variety of traders, ranging from street-food stands to sit-down restaurants. Plan out your visit before you go by looking at the full list of options here.
Borough Market is closed on Sundays, but open Monday through Thursday and Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and Fridays from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Mercado de la Boqueria -- or La Boqueria, for locals––is located on La Rambla, a common street-stop for tourists that has a plethora of local shops. Similar to Borough Market, there is quite a bit of history behind La Boqueria. The market dates back to 1217, when the main attraction were meat stalls, according to www.boqueria.barcelona.
La Boqueria caters to all ages and cuisines. There are booths that sell smoothies, fresh fruits, candy, Spanish meats and seafood. There is also a sit-down counter, at Bar Central, that sells traditional Spanish tapas. The vendors change quarterly, so check out the stands here. Tip: the best way to experience the market is to walk around by yourself and not follow a guide!
Be sure to check the market’s schedule before visiting, as it is sometimes closed for local holidays. Otherwise, the market is open Monday through Saturday from 8:00 a.m. until 8:30 p.m.