Who doesn’t love food markets?! I think food markets, especially those that are popular with the locals, are a showcase for local cuisines. This is why I am such a big fan of them.
Most food markets have reasonable prices which is why they are excellent for trying out new food. Here are some of my favourite food markets.
Central Market Hall in Budapest, Hungary
This huge market is one of the oldest in Budapest and it is a great place for food hunting. Although this place doesn’t only sell food, the market is quite well known for its culinary delights.
I went there to try the savoury dishes but found it too expensive and disappointing, however I have heard of friends who had a different experience (there are quite a lot of stalls and I didn’t try them all). However, I was completely in love with the dessert section downstairs. The cakes are huge, amazingly delicious and wasn’t too pricey. I absolutely recommend this place for those who have a sweet tooth.
Address: Budapest, Vámház krt. 1-3, 1093 Hungary
Gurney Drive Hawker Center in Penang, Malaysia
If you are looking to try local Penang cuisines, I suggest Gurney Drive Hawker Center. This place is actually more like a hawker stall market. It has many food stalls to choose from and their prices are pretty low. You can find almost everything here from char kuey teow to rojak, most are very delicious. Some locals say this place is too touristy but I think it’s a great place for first timers in Penang to try out all the diverse cuisines in this island.
This place opens late afternoon so it won’t be too hot and you can even enjoy some sea breeze. However, the setting is outdoor so when it’s raining it is rather impractical.
Address: 172, Solok Gurney 1, George Town, Jelutong, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia
Chatuchak Weekend Market in Bangkok, Thailand
I know that Chatuchak market sells many things, but the food is one of its highlights. At first I was quite skeptical and my best friend had to drag me to go to Chatuchak Market. However when I finally arrived there, I was surprised to see many food stalls.
I had the privilege of trying sausage wrapped in bacon (!!), lots of fresh mangoes and the star of my trip to this market: coconut ice cream. It was so heavenly and perfect for the hot weather. It was served in a coconut shell and you could choose the toppings for the ice cream, like peanuts and nata de coco.
I also saw many other food sold there and though I didn’t try it, I couldn’t help but notice a chef making paella in front of his restaurant while luring passersby to try his cooking. If it weren’t for my full tummy, I would fall for his sweet talk. There is so much energy in this market that you won’t be able to help yourself trying this and that!
Address: 587/10 Kamphaeng Phet 2 Rd, Chatuchak, Bangkok 10900, Thailand
Mercat de Sant Josep de la Boqueria in Barcelona, Spain
This market is located in the busy street of La Rambla and I always visit this place whenever I’m in Barcelona. Though I am not a huge fan of the busy La Rambla, I would always make the effort to go to this market because it is full of so many goodness.
I love watching the stalls who sell many things from chillies to all kinds of meat. I never miss buying a juice or two, you can never resist the juice sellers! Plus, there are so many exotic fruits in this market, even fruits from my country, Indonesia!
Address: La Rambla, 91, 08001 Barcelona, Spain
Pasar Pathuk in Yogyakarta, Indonesia
Looking for authentic local bites in Yogyakarta? Then Pasar Pathuk is the market to go. Located behind the famous Malioboro Street, this market or as we call it pasar is filled with tempting goodies from sweet porridge to yellow rice (it sounds weird but trust me, they are so good and perfect for breakfast).
The market is actually a traditional market where locals come early in the morning to shop for their daily needs but there are also people who sell food too. With so many temptations at this market, I could never leave without buying some delicious treat. Don’t just stop inside the market, just outside of the market you will also see many food stalls selling other heavenly bites like Mie Ayam (chicken noodles) and Serabi Notosuman (a kind of pancake from coconut cream).
Don’t forget to come early (before 9AM) if you don’t want to miss the good stuff!
Address: Jl. Bhayangkara, Ngupasan, Gondomanan, Kota Yogyakarta, 55261, Indonesia
Tiong Bahru Market in Singapore
If you are ever in Singapore, visiting the Tiong Bahru neighbourhood is a must. Not only does the place offers a mix of old and new, it has also become a place loved for its hip cafes and traditional food stalls.
Tiong Bahru Market has two floors, the first floor selling all kinds of things like meat, flowers and vegetables whereas the second floor is filled with many food stalls. Locals will come here to sip their morning coffee or grab a bite of pao. There are so many food to choose from, there is even a food directory that you can use so you can maximize your time here.
I know that there are probably hawker centre like this all over Singapore but I like this one in Tiong Bahru in particular as the place is in one of my favourite neighbourhoods and it is located in the same building as their market. And who doesn’t love a 2-in-1 treat like this?
Address: 30 Seng Poh Road, Singapore, 168898
Pasar Organik Milas in Yogyakarta, Indonesia
This is an organic market in my hometown, Yogyakarta. This market is pretty small compared to the ones I mentioned above but I think it’s worth the visit. It seems that the need for organic food is growing in Yogyakarta therefore many organic markets pop up here and there. This one opens only on Wednesday and Saturday, for only 3 hours. All the products there are organic, and what I love here is that there are traditional food too. They also don’t use plastic bags here so you must remember to bring your own.
At that market I bought organic sweet soy sauce which I think is tastier than store bought ones. I also tried a grass jelly drink, very refreshing, and I couldn’t resist their snacks, one of them made from cassava. Really good! If you ever come to Yogyakarta, this is your chance to try some organic traditional snacks while supporting local businesses.
Address: Milas Vegetarian Resto, Jl. Prawirotaman, Yogyakarta, Indonesia, 10:00-13:00
Do you love visiting food markets when you travel? Which ones are your favourite?
NOTE: Part of this post may be similar to a post I wrote on my shared food blog.
This week’s theme: Food Market