Iconic Indoor Food Markets Across America
Thanks to these year-round indoor food markets, you don’t have to wait until summer for a trip to the farmers market.
More than 10 million people visit Pike Place every year, so it must be good. It’s known for flying fish, aka the way the fishmongers throw that day’s local catch across the shops. Stop at the “almost” first Starbucks while you’re there and take a selfie in front of the gum wall.
Located in northeast D.C., Union Market offers a wide array of international cuisines from spicy Indian curry to Mediterranean rice plates to Korean tacos. It’s about more than food, too. Half of the businesses and shops inside are owned by women entrepreneurs.
Wander into the Historic Third Ward neighborhood of Milwaukee and you’ll be drawn to this market by the delicious smelling scents. Inspired by Pike Place in Seattle, this space is filled with everything from seafood to spices to handcrafted chocolates. You can even sit on the Palm Level above and watch the bustle beneath you while you eat.
Be sure to grab chocolates from Kehr’s Candies on the ground floor—or visit these other favorite chocolate shops across the country.
St. Petersburg, Florida
The name says it all: The locals know this is the spot to be on a weekend morning. Founded by James Beard Award-winning chef Michael Mina, Locale is a combination of farm to table food and a gourmet grocery store.
West Side Market (listed on the National Register of Historic Places) has been around for over 100 years. Influenced by the immigrant population that formed Cleveland, the market offers culturally diverse food options from Greek gyros to German brats.
San Francisco, California
Browse the aisles at the Ferry Building Marketplace and you just might run into Giada De Laurentiis who shops there regularly. You can pick up a wheel of artisan cheese from Cowgirl Creamery Cheese Shop or enjoy local oysters with a gorgeous view of the San Francisco Bay.
Reading Terminal Market, open since 1893, is the country’s oldest operating farmer’s market. Inside, you’ll find the “Best Sandwich in America” (roast pork from DiNic’s) and soft pretzels from the local Amish vendors. And of course, you’ll want to chow down on a Philly cheesesteak before you leave.
Founded in 1782, Lexington Market in Baltimore is the oldest public market in the United States. Eat like a local by ordering some fresh fried crab cakes (what Maryland does best) and finishing your meal with an oversized Berger cookie, a chewy cake-like cookie covered in thick chocolate fudge.
Think of this market as a food court, but way more trendy and upscale. Pine Street Market houses nine of Portland’s favorite foodie finds, including local creamery Salt & Straw’s Wiz Bang Bar where you can order a grapefruit and olive oil soft serve sundae sprinkled with sea salt.
Revival Food Hall (located in Chicago’s downtown Loop) is a 24,000-square-foot foodie’s paradise. Locals would recommend trying a smothered barbecue sandwich from Smoque BBQ, a bowl of slurp-worthy ramen from Furious Spoon and creamy gelato from Black Dog Gelato.
New Orleans, Louisiana
Originally a trading post for Native Americans, French Market in the French Quarter of New Orleans is designed to mimic a European plain air market. Not only will you find local specialties (like warm, sugary beignets), there’s a giant flea market featuring vendors from all around the world and plenty of handmade crafts.
New York City, New York
On the border of the Meatpacking District Chelsea Market, a haven for shopping (yes, there’s an Anthropologie), food and wine. One of the must-visits inside of the former Nabisco cookie factory is The Lobster Place, arguably New York’s best seafood market, where you can pick up a whole lobster for dinner.
In the hot Nashville summer, hit up the Farm Sheds where you can browse for local produce from over 150 farmers—just be sure to read up on these farmers market shopping tips first! Inside Market House, sign up for one of their many culinary classes at their Grow Local Kitchen before grabbing a delicious wood-fired pizza.
We like to think of Eastern Market as the artist’s choice. That’s because, between listening to jazz music from Bert’s Warehouse and scouring the top-notch meat market, you can wander past “Murals in the Market.” These giant scenes were painted by 45 local and international artists in 2015.
Situated inside of Faneuil Hall, Quincy Market features an array of eateries and food vendors. You will definitely want to grab a bowl of steaming hot clam chowder while you’re there. Then spend hours wandering around the promenade, watching street performers and musicians.
Your first stop at The Source should be Colorado’s own Comida, an upscale taco joint serving Mexican comfort food. This market is expanding, too. A hotel above the main concourse, an additional market and a New Belgium brewery are in the works.
Stockton, New Jersey
On the weekends at this riverside New Jersey market, pick up fresh pastries and coffee from the Market Cafe. And if you show up for the live music they put on every Friday night, you might want to sip on a fermented drink from the trendy Kombucha Bar—they’re good for your health!
Charleston, South Carolina
This Southern setup is split in two: There’s the food side (Mercantile) where you can stock up on everything from charcuterie to sushi and then there’s the bar side (Mash) featuring creative cocktail concoctions, many of which feature whiskey. Before you leave, don’t forget to squeeze in a game of bocce or shuffleboard!
While it’s name may be simple, The Market is anything but. Anchored by four major restaurants (like Texas tamale joint El Mero Mero), it’s filled with craft vendors selling bath bombs and handmade pottery and food stalls offering locally brewed beer, gourmet popcorn and more.
Kansas City, Missouri
One of the largest Midwest markets, City Market boasts stalls filled with baked goods, seasonal produce, flowers, groceries and more. One of its coolest features is the Farm to Table Kitchen which is a small business incubator for local food startups to rent and use. You can also catch a class here, too!
Charlotte, North Carolina
7th Street Public Market’s mission is to “celebrate the food culture of the Carolinas” through a mix of eclectic eateries. Wander around and you can build an entire meal by stopping by places like the cheese shop, the bread bakery, the creperie and even the sushi bar.
Started just 10 years ago, Mill City Farmers Market brings together everyone from local farmers to celebrity chefs to cookbook authors to create a fun food-centered atmosphere. You’ll find a range of vendors specializing in foods like dumplings, pickles, flax and even dog treats.
This market in downtown Indianapolis may spotlight over 30 different food and craft booths but there’s something even cooler hidden underground. That’s right, the hall sits on top of a network of Catacombs (secret passageways) which you can tour while you visit.
If you love arts and crafts and all things cultural, you’ll love the Eastern Market. It’s always bustling with local artists, sculptors, musicians and woodworkers scattered amongst food merchants. Weekend visitors shouldn’t miss out on the renowned blueberry buckwheat pancakes from Market Lunch, either.
Visit Napa for the wine, but stay for this vibrant market. It’s the perfect spot to pick up local ingredients and souvenirs to take home with you (read: olive oils, fresh bread and more). Or pop in for one of the chef’s cooking demos while you partake in a little wine and beer tasting.
Opting for a wine tasting? Follow this trick.