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The United States is not only a cultural melting pot, but a culinary melting pot too. When travelling belly first across the country in search of the best eats, the food markets are where you should be. Here, you can munch your way through some of the most innovative and trending foods, artisanal produce, and unique specialty products. We've scoured the 50 states to let you in on the 7 must-visit food markets.
Eataly and Smorgasburg, New York
This sprawling space is much more than just a food market; it's a mecca of all things Italian and edible. Its New York City branch, which is co-owned by Mario Batali and Lidia and Joe Bastianich, includes specialty food counters, cooking classes, cafes like the Nutella Bar, a marketplace proffering the best seasonal goodies, as well as restaurants, such as Manzo Ristorante and Le Verdure. For something less traditional and for a taste of what's new on the street food scene, make a beeline for Brooklyn's Smorgasburg where you’ll find some of the most innovative and scrumptious eats in New York, if not the world. Expect delicious sandwiches with Indian flavours by Bombay Sandwich Co., extra-large craft doughnuts by Dough, and stuffed southern-style biscuits by BeeHive Oven.
Chicago French Market, Chicago
Co-owned by the Bensidoun family, Paris's largest food market operators, Chicago French Market is a mere 10-minute drive southwest from Millennium Knickerbocker Chicago. The year-round indoor market, as misleading as its name is, offers locally sourced produce from small farms and food businesses. Some of the delicious food available here includes authentic Banh mi and pho from Saigon Sisters, traditional French buckwheat pancakes from FliP Crepes, raw vegan pizzas and soups by RAW, and poké bowls by Aloha Poké Co.
Boston Public Market and South End Farmers’ Market, Boston
Located at Haymarket Station, less than a five-minute walk northwest from The Bostonian Boston is 100% New England sourced Boston Public Market. Found at this year-round indoor market are beautifully curated vendors that offer some of the best quality eats specific to the region. There are dairy products galore from Appleton Farms, sustainably-harvested smoked fish from Boston Smoked Fish Company, local craft beer from Hopsters Alley, as well as fresh strawberries, peaches, and plums from Lakeside Organics. If you're in Boston during the summer months, consider a visit to South End Farmers’ Market, an outdoor market that also sources locally. However, the inspiring mix of wares for sale here includes flowers and potted herbs, great cheeses and yoghurts from the nearby dairy farms, and a good variety of prepared food and artisanal breads.
Grand Central Market and Original Farmers Market, Los Angeles
A short 10-minute walk east from Millennium Biltmore Los Angeles is the historic marketplace Grand Central Market, which has been in operation since 1917. The sprawling 30,000 square foot space showcases California's bountiful produce and a mishmash of culinary treats. There's an eclectic mix of tenants here, which isn't limited to food – there's the artisanal tipple from Courage & Craft, and third-wave cups of joe from G&B Coffee. Food-wise, you can tuck into hearty breakfast sandwiches from eggslut, Texas-style barbecue from Horse Thief BBQ, and vegan ramen by Ramen Hood. But for something a little more mass, head to The Original Farmers Market in Los Angeles, which is right next to shopping haven The Grove. At the Farmers Market you’ll find grub like hefty subs from Papa Jake's Sub Shop, Cajun dishes from The Gumbo Pot, and traditional Greek food from Ulysses Voyage.
On your next trip to these different cities, be sure to visit these lovely food markets to get your gastronomical juices flowing.