The popularity of street food has grown from a niche trend to a worldwide phenomenon. Food markets are a go-to destination for tasty, unpretentious fare as well as discovering great local produce and suppliers.
Europe is home to some of the world’s most diverse gastronomic experiences, and there’s no finer way to sample them than exploring stalls across the continent’s food markets. Here are five of Europe’s best food markets where you can get a true taste of its countries’ exciting cuisines.
Time Out Mercado, Lisbon
A relative newcomer on the European market scene, Lisbon’s Time Out Mercado is a unique concept from the eponymous ‘what’s on’ magazine. Harnessing its journalists’ local knowledge of great food suppliers and traders, it curated a selection of the finest Portugal has to offer and set them up under the roof of a historic market hall on the edge of Lisbon’s seafront. With an emphasis on street food dishes rather than produce, you can find Portuguese seafood classics and pastries galore plus international favourites like burgers and pizza.
Raspail Market, Paris
Located in the upscale area of Saint Germain on Paris’ Left Bank, Marche Raspail is a traditional open-air market on Tuesdays and Fridays, with an organic-only version on Sundays. It has been one of the French Capital’s favourites for freshly grown produce since it opened in 1920. With over fifty traders selling everything from fruit and vegetables to meat, flowers, and wine, Raspail Organic Market, offers all the quintessentially French produce you would want.
Borough Market, London
As London’s oldest and most beloved food market, Borough Market (by London Bridge) is steeped in heritage and esteem and it’s easy to understand why. Most of the traders are also the farmers who reared, baked or harvested the produce they’re selling. From British butchers like the Ginger Pig to Italian cheesemakers, expect the finest international food and wines at Borough Market’s stalls and surrounding shops.
Mercado de la Ribera, Bilbao
Spain’s famous Mercado de la Ribera is in the picturesque Basque city of Bilbao on the right bank of the Nervión River. Spanning an incredible 10,000 square metres, it’s Europe’s largest covered market and houses a gastronomically impressive selection of Northern Spain’s finest fish, vegetables, jamon and pinxtos (tiny Spanish bar snacks). Perhaps one of the most beautiful markets on the list, Mercado de la Ribera features striking Art Deco design with stunning stained glass windows.
A work of architectural wonder, Rotterdam’s recently built Martkhal sits underneath an arch of stylish, contemporary flats. A feast for the eyes and the taste buds, the colourful market features almost 100 stalls, shops, and lively bars. Alongside local food from the Netherlands, you can also source great global cuisine including from everything from sushi to Sicilian pasta, Moroccan spices and Greek dolmades.
Visit these top European food markets on an unforgettable trip with Trafalgar.
Image Credits: Main Image © Getty. Food Plate © Time Out Mercado. Hot woks © Getty. Markthal © Daria Scagliola and Stijn Brakkee