Sadly, so many of my travels to fantastic destinations such as Barcelona and Seoul were long before my days as an ardent foodie. So here’s a list of five famous food markets I’d like to visit-it’s a combination of cities I’ve never been to as well as ones I’d love to return to.
Toronto-St. Lawrence Market
I only visited Canada’s largest city when I was kid, so needless to say as an almost 31 year old, a return visit is long overdue. Especially since driving to Toronto from Pittsburgh takes just about the same amount of time as it does to my hometown of Philadelphia. The St. Lawrence Market has been in existence since 1803 although the building that currently houses it was only built in 1968. On a global food market level, it’s quite prestigious, even being named the world’s best food market by National Geographic a couple of years ago. In a city as culturally diverse as Toronto, I’m sure its food offerings are United Nations like.
Budapest-Great Market Hall
Budapest is a city that has long entranced me, especially due to its food. The Great Market Hall is the largest and oldest indoor market in the Hungarian capital. It features everything from produce to meats to pastries to spices, with naturally the famous paprika spice being the piece de resistance of Hungarian cuisine. Rick Steves also considers the langos stand (a deep fried flatbread made of a dough with flour, yeast, salt and water) to be the best in the market. I would look forward to visiting here just as much as Budapest’s other famous sites.
I never made it to Barcelona during my semester abroad in Spain, which I regret since in the scheme of things, I was so close. And the couple of days I spent there when I was 18 on my first trip to Europe, well, I’d rather forget. So a return trip to Spain’s most un-Spanish city is high on my wish list. When my parents visited Spain several years ago, their tour took them through the famous La Boqueria market and my dad’s pictures looked amazing. Nothing beats a food market in a Mediterranean locale, don’t you think?
Okay, I’m not going to lie. This is one market where I want to go more as a tourist and less as a foodie due to my intense aversion to raw fish. Tsukiji Market in Tokyo is a combination of wholesale and retail shops that sell everything from kitchen tools to groceries to seafood and of course features many restaurants, most notably sushi ones. It’s the biggest wholesale fish and seafood market in the world and also one of the largest wholesale food markets of any kind. The outer retail market is open to visitors.
While I know I would need to watch my bag like a hawk and be prepared to be pestered at every turn, seeing the inside of the famous Spice Bazaar is high on my Istanbul wish list. I absolutely adore spices and the idea of seeing dozens of shops selling various spices, many of which I’m not readily exposed to, would be awesome for my food loving self. I’ve always wanted to take a photo that shows a myriad of spices all sitting out, all blending together for the most beautiful and colorful composition.
Are there any food markets you’d like to visit on your travels?