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Food + Drink

The Best Farmer’s Markets in the U.S.

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.

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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.

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Chicago: Green City Market

Even in the snow-dusted depths of winter, Green City Market is open, and sells everything from barrel aged maple syrup to Amish chicken tacos courtesy of food stall Cookies & Carnitas. Don't miss the free chef demonstrations.

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Courtesy of Neil Conway and John Loo

3

Los Angeles: Studio City Farmers Market

Celebs like Drew Barrymore have been spotted shopping at this rain-or-shine farmer’s market, where offerings include hydroponic Japanese tomatoes, kombucha, non-fermented pickles “that’ll make your mouth tickle!”, and a petting zoo. Oh, La-la-land.

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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.

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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.

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Courtesy of Ashton Ray Hansen

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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.

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Courtesy of Church Street Marketplace

7

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.

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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).

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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.

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