As any locavore will tell you, the best farmer’s market is the one nearest you. But for the food obsessed traveler, some of the greatest markets in the country require a quick flight. At these 9 spots, you'll find plenty of interesting people to meet and local delicacies to eat. BYO bags.
New York City: Union Square Greenmarket
Proof that this farmer’s market is fresh: chefs from New York’s most illustrious restaurants, such as Jean Georges and Il Buco, shop here. Download the free Union Square Greenmarket app to see what’s in season before you go, or pick up something that’s note-perfect all year round—like organic raw milk cheese from Vermont’s Consider Bardwell Farm.
Los Angeles: Studio City Farmers Market
Lancaster, PA: Lancaster Central Market
The Lancaster Central Market is rumored to be ye oldest farmer’s market in America (established 1730). Vendors include everyone from Saife’s Middle Eastern Food (don’t miss the vegan baklava) to Amish and Mennonite farmers. Get to Stoltzfus Bakery early for a freshly made Long John donut—they sell out fast.
Seattle: Pike Place Market
The 1907 farmer’s market is only the beginning of this shoppers mecca—you can stock up on magician staples at Market Magic & Novelty Shop or tuck into house-made clam chowder in a bread bowl where Tom Hanks sat filming Sleepless in Seattle at the Athenian. Did we mention the farmer’s market is open 363 days a year? Now that’s magic.
Denver: Union Station Farmers Market
Revamped to the tune of $54 million, Denver’s Union train station made national news when it reopened, with a boutique hotel and Colorado craft beer bar. But all rails point to its Saturday market, thanks to weekly chef demos (Il Posto’s Andrea Frizzi was one) and vendors like Mile High Fungi, purveyors of shitake and lion’s mane.
Burlington, Vermont: Burlington Farmers’ Market
Even when the temperature hits ten degrees, Burlington’s year-round market is bustling, thanks to its 100% Vermont-made foodstuffs. Included among them: orange hazelnut croissants from Barrio Bakery and elderberry cordial made along the Lamoille River by Caledonia Spirits.
Santa Fe: Santa Fe Farmers Market
You’ll find fresh made lavender syrup and Love & Leche’s honey and goat milk soaps in the form of sunflowers at this local market adjacent to rail yard park, where the firm rule is that no reselling is allowed (so, yes, you’ll meet the farmer…or soap maker).
New Orleans: Crescent City Farmer’s Market
It’s no surprise that there’s live music playing as you shop at Crescent City Farmers Markets, but what about the locally grown kumquats and watermelon? The homegrown smoker wood? The wild catfish and alligator and softshell crab from Des Allemands Outlaw Katfish? This is all a big, baritone bonus we weren’t expecting.