Heading out to a farmer’s market on your travels is a great way to learn more about an area’s food culture and a chance to taste some new and wonderful fare. It also gives you the perfect opportunity to get chatty with the locals. So slip on your comfy shoes, grab a bag (preferably organic canvas), and set out early to grab the prime produce.
1. Organic Market, Santa Teresa, Costa Rica
‘Feria’ or farmer’s markets, are everywhere. But on the sands of the famed surf spot, Banana Beach, is where you can find one of the best local markets. Besides being a place for swimming and sunbathing, Banana Beach hosts an organic farmers market every Saturday and is the perfect place to get a variety of locally sourced vegetables and fruits as well as handmade clothing and jewellery. Get in touch with the local’s way of life by trying tropical fruits and kick back to traditional music with the view of the sea.
2. Ferry Plaza Farmers’ Market, San Francisco, US
Opened three days a week (on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays), this farmer’s market is not new to the market scene. The Ferry Plaza Farmer’s Market is a popular choice amongst locals for its quality and diversity in fresh produce and artisanal goods. The market is big on educating the public about food and agriculture by hosting cooking classes, demonstrations, farm tours and panel discussions. Head along during peach season for juicy deliciousness and leave luggage space for their jams and flavoured salts.
3. Riverside Farmers’ Market, Cardiff, Wales
One of the biggest attractions for the Welsh capital, locals flock to the banks of the River Taff every Sunday in seek of only the best produce in the region. Here, organic ham, vegetables, freshly baked goods, seafood and even artisan crafted gin are easily found due to the market’s reputation as a food attraction within the capital and a showcase for some of the best food producers in Wales. Visitors are encouraged to come by early as the market is known to close in the early afternoon.
4. Ripe Market, Abu Dhabi, UAE
Ripe Market offers a unique alfresco shopping and sightseeing experience that is aimed towards supporting and engaging with local makers and merchants. Running market events all across Dubai and Abu Dhabi, the vendors featured always bring trinkets, wares and foods that are attractive to both the local and tourist crowd. From juicy chicken sliders to light garden salads, everything is made to order right before your eyes, guaranteeing the best shopping and dining experience.
5. Ocna Sugatag Market, Romania
The peaceful town of Ocna Sugatag is a worlds away from the hustle and bustle of the typical city life. If you’re a fan of the history and nature, then a visit to the weekly Ocna Sugatag Market is just what you need to be wowed by rows upon rows of home-grown produce – including live animals – for sale. Each Thursday this authentic farmer’s market comes alive with locals coming by to bargain and purchase livestock. There’s a fun, convivial atmosphere at the market, with drinks flowing and delicious Romanian street food on the grill.
6. Kranji Countryside Farmers’ Market, Singapore
You don’t have to be overseas to chance upon visiting a farmer’s market. Head to the quarterly Kranji Countryside, Singapore’s first authentic local farmer’s market, for fresh eggs, organic vegetables and fruits, and artisanal crafts from friendly stallholders. Get up close to the farmers themselves and find out how they produce their wares. Besides produce and goods, visitors can take part in community workshops and family activities available on site. There’s also plenty of good nosh to be had, such as freshly grilled hotdog buns and nachos with braised beef.
7. Edinburgh Farmers’ Market, Scotland
Under the stunning backdrop of the city’s famous castle, this weekly beautiful market has over 16 years of experience in trading. This exciting fair offers a large category of products ranging from juices and poultry to specialty produce and fresh bakes. There is an occasional rotation of stallholders on the list weekly so be sure not to miss the local duck eggs and famous hog roast.
8. Cradle Coast Farmers’ Market, Ulverstone, Tasmania, Australia
Head down to the wharf on Sunday mornings to celebrate bounteous Northern Tassie produce. Listen to live music performances as you sift through the wares and support the local creatives by purchasing their art pieces (wall mounted photography or handmade gift cards). As for perishable goods, take home delicious free-range pork, the weekly selection of fish, handmade artisan cheeses and delicate zucchini flowers.
9. United Nations University (UNU) Farmers’ Market, Tokyo, Japan
Fancy organic, farm fresh produce in an urban university hub? Find it in Tokyo where over 40 stallholders cater to the hungry weekend hordes on UNU grounds. Farmers from far away prefectures come to sell their organic products in an open market setting, allowing for a different experience than the typical supermarket shopping. Take your pick from organic mushrooms and cherry blossom honey to freshly picked tea leaves and organic berries. Vendors sells freshly pressed juices, teas and various food items from food trucks which add a certain festival vibe to the whole market.
10. Kauppatori (Market Square), Helsinki, Finland
For tourists looking for an international market that sells traditional market foods and treats, then look no further than Kauppatori, also known as Market Square. This charming outdoor Finnish market is located just beside Helsinki harbour where you can take a ferry to various scenic locations depending on the season. It’s where you can find fresh fruits and vegetables, fish and baked goods, as well as souvenirs. Highlights of the market would be sweet cloudberries and lingonberries as well as other Finnish delicacies such as smoked herring and smoked reindeer meat.
11. Noosa Farmers Market, Queensland, Australia
Nestled among the Sunshine Coast’s noble gum trees is the Noosa Farmers Market. This bustling outdoor market is where local and seasonal hinterland produce such as fresh potted herbs, creamy cheeses, just plucked macadamia nuts and the crunchiest lettuce are always in abundance. Fans of whole foods will appreciate this cheerful and welcoming market as it houses countless brands and vendors that advocate for clean eating.
12. Mercat de la Boqueria, Barcelona, Spain
Watch Barcelona’s finest chefs fight over the freshest shellfish and delicate asparagus spears at this iconic market. This lively street is often visited by locals on their weekly grocery run and may even be considered a main marketplace for many. Tourists may find interest in the freshly cut fruits and smoothies as well as specialty shops selling artisanal goods such as pickled preserves and chocolates. Make sure to take your time exploring every nook and cranny as the crowd may be overwhelming and there are more than 300 stores to discover.
13. Jirak Farmers Market, Prague, Czech Republic
You’ll find the relatively small Jirak in the park on Jiřího z Poděbrad square four times a week, each time with a different fruit or vegetable as its focus. There are plenty of international and local products on sale – many directly from Czech farms – so let yourself fall into the lively atmosphere as you shop around for more seasonal products, especially its famous baked goods, nuts, pestos, homemade cheeses and marmalades.
Please check the establishments’ respective websites for opening hours as well as booking requirements before visiting, and remember to adhere to safe-distancing measures while out and about.
The information is accurate as of press time. For updated information, please refer to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ website.
To learn more about Singapore Airlines flights, visit singaporeair.com.
This article was originally published by Singapore Press Holdings on 18 August 2016 and updated on 24 April 2021.