Have food will travel.
You can’t go a week without seeing some sort of food-inspired article on your Facebook feed or your favorite news outlet.
Where To Find The Juiciest Burgers In Manhattan. Carolina’s 10 Best Barbecue Joints. Why Boston Is Becoming A Culinary Hotspot.
Has Anthony Bourdain Officially Gone Off His Rocker?
Tasting the local cuisine is often one of the highlights of going on vacation. In fact, many people choose their travel destination because of the notoriety of its food or indigenous dishes. But at TripAdvisor Vacation Rentals, we’re here to tell you that some of the most delicious ingredients and plates aren’t ordered at a restaurant.
Nope. Instead, they’re sold at the local farmers markets. Often homegrown and fresh as can be, farmers markets showcase the true flavors of a region. And if you’re staying in a vacation rental, the full kitchen is perfect for creating your own culinary masterpiece.
A 2015 TripAdvisor survey revealed that the kitchen is the top amenity that motivates travelers to book a vacation home. Additionally, respondents said dining at the property was the biggest money-saver of staying in a rental. Imagine spending a day perusing fruit stands, vegetable carts, seafood vendors, meat sellers and more – not to mention all the incredible herbs and spices you can buy. As evening falls, you set up shop in the kitchen and create a magnificent home-cooked meal as intoxicating aromas fill the air. Sure beats a crowded restaurant.
With hundreds of farmers markets across America, we’ve identified those that rise above the rest – like a freshly baked loaf of bread. These towns and cities all boast grade-A markets, offering travelers an authentic taste of their destination. We’ll eat to that.
This was Chicago’s first year-round farmers market and the only one considered truly “green.” Chef Abby Mandel, developer of Green City Market, got the inspiration after a trip to Europe in 1998. It now sees over 175,000 visitors per year and has been called the best sustainable market in the country.
From the reviewers: “Not to miss are the folks that sell the ‘Black Garlic,’ and the northern Indiana shrimp farmer! The demand for his fresh shrimp in city restaurants has grown so much he had to move his entire operation closer to Chicago.”
The largest producer-only market in metro Atlanta, the “PRFM” is in its ninth year of providing Saturday morning delight from April through December – rain or shine! Everything here has been grown, raised, or made by the seller (producer-only), ensuring fair prices and high quality. Don’t miss out on the chef demos, either, where local restaurateurs showcase some of their favorite dishes.
From the reviewers: “If you like fresh produce and a sampling of the area you are visiting, this is the place to be! We not only learned about the organic produce sold at the market, but also tasted several foods that were all delicious; the coffee is great, too! There was even a cooking demonstration.”
Every Saturday morning farm-fresh food fills the Davis Farmers Market. In 2016, it’ll also play host to Wednesday afternoon-to-evening concerts from local musicians, complete with kiddie bounce houses, pony rides, face painting and of course good food. The Davis Farmers Market boasts certified organic produce, meats and seafood, local eggs, honey, flowers and plants, plus wines and craft beers.
From the reviewers: “I love to visit markets on my world trips, because these attractions represent the specific culture of the country. I loved this small market with its special atmosphere. Being an organic freak I couldn’t help stopping by all the organic delights, edible and non edible.”
Seattle has some of the best farmers markets in the country, so how were we to choose just one? No matter which area your vacation rental is located, there’s sure to be a market nearby. Snack on the finger food at Capitol Hill/Broadway: tamales, quesadillas, pickles and jams. Enjoy the farmstead artisanal items at the West Seattle market; especially the delectable goat cheese spreads. Sip on a full-bodied red or airy white wine over in Columbia City. And don’t miss the ripe berries and vegetables at the markets in Lake City, Phinney or Magnolia.
Portland has long been hailed a foodie city, specifically when it comes to beers and ciders. So it makes sense that Oregon’s cultural mecca has some outstanding farmers markets. The local school – Portland State University – hosts a market on its ground with over 200 vendors at any given time. Those that prefer to sleep in on Saturdays (we’re not judging) can hit the mid-day market at Pioneer Courthouse Square, while vacationers staying downtown have the Shemanski Park market. The Kenton neighborhood hosts a Wednesday evening market with live music, and the King neighborhood market is the most family-friendly, as it’s located near the elementary school.
From the reviewers: “If you are at all a foodie, you must go! The sheer amount of variety and freshness is amazing, from the varietals of golden raspberries to artichokes this place has it all.”
As part of the GrowNYC collection of farmers markets around Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx and Staten Island, Union Square Greenmarket is the most famous and popular. The atmosphere on any given day is lively, as over 60,000 shoppers browse the food and chat with local farmers.
From the reviewers: “We love to visit markets when traveling and this did not disappoint. Great baked goods and people watching!”
So good it deserves its own callout. Established in 1907, Pike Place Market is Seattle’s original of its kind. Be sure to check out the market’s Atrium Kitchen, where you’ll enjoy cooking demos and pop-up food tastings.
From the reviewers: “The fish market had guys throwing fish for show and were really good at it; big crowd loving it!”
If you’re vacationing in the Twin Cities, be sure to spend a few hours at this market, sporting two locations: one downtown on Hennepin Ave and one on Lyndale Ave. Vegetables are the star here, with organic assortments from asparagus, beets, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, carrots, cauliflower, cucumbers, peppers and more.
From the reviewers: “What a true farmers market should be! What a fine mix of fresh produce, meat, breads, goods and treats.”
As if you needed another reason to visit LA, in comes the Original Farmers Market. Playfully labeled as LA’s “favorite grocery store,” this gourmet market offers everything from ice cream and pies to meats, seafood and produce. You’ll be able to choose from individual ingredients – perfect for that home-cooked meal – or full dishes like the famous cheesesteak from Papa Jake’s Sub Shop.
From the reviewers: “After a whole day of museums, we came hear to see, smell and taste various local and imported products. We tried different small plates: pizza, sandwiches, sushi, crab cakes, falafel and ice cream!”
The NFM is more than a market; it’s an experience. Farmers, artisans and restaurateurs mix with craft-makers and flea merchants to create an all-encompassing atmosphere and service. The main “Market House” consists of 16 food shops plus a local kitchen with culinary classes year round. Hit the North and South Farm Sheds for all the high-quality produce you could ask for.
From the reviewers: “One vendor had crepes, one had barbecue, one had a Brie sandwich…great variety! Would definitely eat lunch there again.”
The Ferry Plaza Farmers Market is organized and managed by CUESA (Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture), aiming to promote a sustainable food system between urban dwellers and local farmers. The market hosts free cooking demos and plenty of other education activities, all while catering to more than 300 Bay Area chefs and restaurants. Operating on Saturdays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, you can check it out on your own schedule – you won’t be disappointed.
From the reviewers: “Whether you are a SF local or just visiting, this market has something for everyone. Fresh fruit, meat and other local produce – all at very reasonable prices for the quality you are getting.”
“We dig Houston” is the motto of Urban Harvest, a clever play on words considering the vast array of fresh-farmed, homegrown vegetables and fruits on offer. Unlike many other farmers markets, Urban Harvest – a nonprofit organization – has created actual community gardens across Houston. Think less stands, carts and vendors, more dirt, vines and shovels! This unique concept provides nutritious ingredients to buyers, yet an educational learning experience for kids who like to get their hands dirty (pun alert!).
Like Portland, the Boulder area of Colorado is known for amazing foods and spirits. The BCFM takes place in Boulder on Wednesdays and Saturdays, while Longmont and Denver also have Saturday markets. No matter which location you’re near, you’ll enjoy over 50 organic vendors.
This farmers market is worthy of a full day’s adventure. An eco-friendly and open-air layout, Park Silly Sunday Market fights for a cause much bigger than just homegrown flavors. The organizers preach “CommUnity,” bringing together the people that make Park City such a desirable destination. It’s a celebration, really, more street festival than your typical farmers market. No doubt the local produce, fresh ingredients and food vendors are to die for, but you’ll also find various knick-knacks, household items and jewelry all handcrafted by the artisans themselves.
Producers from 58 different Iowa counties gather at the Downtown Farmers Market. If you’re up for trying something new (or just…different), check out the goat and rabbit meat stands for an interesting recipe! The Daily Meal has ranked this market as the fifteenth-best (out of over 100) in the country, and who are we to argue?
From the reviewers: “Best in the universe! Beyond veggies, there’s a great selection of locally made mustards, jams, baked goods…yum!”
This great farmers market has been around since 1973, preaching the concept of “joyous commerce,” making it fun to shop and communicate with others in the community. Four locations make it easy to visit no matter where your vacation rental is located (Steamboat Landing, Dewitt Park, East Hill Plaza and Hancock Street).
From the reviewers: “The numerous food vendors are truly street chefs who provide a range of delicious opportunities from the ever popular breakfast burritos to equally coveted and authentic Cambodian, Cuban, Greek, Indian, Vegan – even local Amish – dishes, soups, cheeses, organic breads and pastries. There is something for everyone.”
New Mexico’s largest farmers market represents over 150 active vendors, and 100% of the produce is grown in northern New Mexico. The market boasts an impressive list of farmers and ranchers, specifically dairy and honey.
From the reviewers: “Wrapped up our last morning in Santa Fe at this special market. After stocking up on an amazing assortment of chili peppers, blue corn flour and healing ointments, we sat down for a breakfast of the best enchiladas of our trip.”
Located just outside Boston’s historic North End (the famous Italian district), this brand new public market offers a lighter alternative to the surrounding pasta and cannoli shops. Different from most farmers markets, Boston’s is inside, though that certainly doesn’t limit its offerings or appeal. Food here is so fresh that the local seafood vendor, Red’s Best, labels its fish with the exact fisherman, vessel and time of catch. You can’t beat that.
From the reviewers: “Tried the famous apple cider donuts, straight from the fryer – and they were lovely, as was their apple cider! It’s a nice mix of things, and the people there are very friendly.”
Every food item is organic at this not-to-be-missed market. An outdoor environment allows for picnics in the grass, face painting for the kids and live music from various local musicians. People rave about the assortment of nuts available, and the fresh strawberries are a big hit.
From the reviewers: “Most of the stall holders offer free samples of their food to eat so if you can’t make up your mind you can try a bit.”
Overwhelming demand has caused Salt Lake City to open multiple locations and days of the week for the Downtown Farmers market. Many of the prepared-food vendors cook and serve on site for immediate consumption (taste before you buy), while local growers sling their organic, unprocessed produce. With beautiful rental accommodations all over Salt Lake City, we suggest a Saturday morning stop at the market before you start your day’s activities.