The Absolute Best Food Markets In The US

Correction 4/21/22: A previous version of this article stated that Sean Brock is affiliated with Minero restaurant. That is no longer the case. The hours for Ponce City Market have also been updated. 

While nearly 90% of Americans do their grocery shopping at a supermarket or a big-box store, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the country is home to some pretty spectacular public markets that offer local meats and cheeses, the freshest produce, baked goods made by neighbors with love, top-quality pantry staples, and even award-winning cuisine from the nation's most respected chefs.

And it's not just America's biggest cities, like New York and Los Angeles, that can boast of these celebrated food halls, markets, and iconic specialty shops, though they do have some of the country's best. From charming college towns to Midwestern capitals and quiet suburbs, there is a diverse array of outstanding food markets across the country that every culinary aficionado should see when in town.

We've gathered the best public markets, food halls, and specialty food stores from coast to coast to highlight the incredible and diverse food cultures our nation shares. Visiting these destinations will remind us that being a "melting pot" is one of our greatest strengths and will expand our palates in new and exciting ways — all while supporting local agriculture and small businesses.

Whether one of these listed locales is already your preferred grocery shopping destination or you've never visited any of them, these 20 food markets are certainly worth adding to your travel itineraries the next time you're visiting any of these American cities. 

Pike Place Market: Seattle

Seattle's Pike Place Market first opened in 1907, and it is one of the oldest and largest continuously operating public food markets in the country. It also lives up to its hype as a travel destination, according to iExplore. This public food market houses hundreds of farmers, artisans, small businesses, buskers, and even permanent residents as part of its affordable housing project.

Eater Seattle recommends stopping by the legendary Piroshky Piroshky for savory, filled buns you can eat as you go or the equally adored Cafe Campagne for Parisian fare with some serious ambiance. If you really want to get the full Pike Place experience, try joining a walking tour that offers behind-the-scenes looks at the market's most beloved vendors, the low-down of fish throwing, and plenty of tastings along the way. Also, make sure to check out Pike Place Market's website to learn about the latest programs and events before visiting to experience this foodie destination like a local.

Pike Place Market is open seven days a week, except for Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. Some vendors open as early as 7 a.m. and the market currently closes at 6 p.m.

French Market: New Orleans

French Market is one of two New Orleans-based food markets on this list, highlighting the city's prominent role as one the country's top foodie destinations, per U.S. News & World Report — and particularly, the city represents the South, which is really saying something. Nestled amidst the historic landmarks, street performers, and charming cafés in the city's famed French Quarter, this late 18th-century market is home to dozens of food vendors as well as arts, crafts, and other unique souvenirs for your home and closet.

One of the top things to do while you're at New Orleans' French Market — and while in the city in general, according to Travel + Leisure — is to make a pit stop at the one and only Café Du Monde for its world-famous beignets and café au laits made with chicory coffee. The market is also home to some of the city's food-centric cultural events, like the Creole Tomato Festival, which happens in June.

The French Market is open seven days a week. The farmers and flea market open at 9 a.m. and the retail shops at 10 a.m. each day; the food market closes at 5 p.m.

Chelsea Market: New York City

One of three distinct New York City food markets on this list, Chelsea Market opened in 1997, per Smithsonian Magazine. This Meatpacking District destination is a culinary institution with interesting roots: It is the former home of National Biscuit Company (now Nabisco), where the Oreo was created, according to Taste, and it has become a local legend ever since.

Chelsea Market's top foodie attractions include Doughnuttery for inventive baked goods, Filling Station for sourcing sustainable kitchen staples, and Mokbar for elevated ramen and a great Asian beer selection, per Time Out. If you are there bright and early, CBS New York recommends checking out Sarabeth's for an unforgettable breakfast. The market is also home to a variety of exciting events each month, from art exhibitions and concerts to educational wine tastings and seasonal programming.

Chelsea Market is open seven days a week. The doors are open from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Sunday.

Ponce City Market: Atlanta

Atlanta can get forgotten amongst all the other food meccas of the South like New Orleans, Charleston, and Savannah, but one trip to Ponce City Market will remind you of the cultural importance of Atlanta as a culinary destination, too. Located along the buzzy BeltLine and across from the idyllic Virginia Highland neighborhood, this market is a favorite among locals and tourists alike and extremely walkable. 

Though Ponce City Market is only 10 years old, it has become a top city attraction, per Atlanta Magazine. You'll want to mark off plenty of time to spend at this bustling market because it is home to food halls, a farmers market, a City Winery outpost, and plenty of retail offerings. Some of the best eats here include Mexican restaurant Minero, Tal Baum's Atrium, and the food market's original tenant, Dancing Goats Coffee Bar. There's also a popular social scene at The Roof at Ponce City Market, which features activities for all ages.

Ponce City Market is open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Sundays kick off at 11 a.m. with retail shops closing at 6 p.m. and food halls at 8 p.m.

West Side Market: Cleveland

Located in Cleveland's hot Market District, West Side Market is a historic (and gorgeous) part of the city that was designed by renowned local architects W. Dominick Benes and Benjamin Hubbell and first opened its doors to the public 110 years ago. This Ohio institution features more than 100 vendors with vast ethnic diversity and has been featured on the Travel Channel's The Zimmern List, listed as one of the top 10 U.S. food destinations by Alton Brown for Food Network, and was described by Atlas Obscura as North America's finest food hall.

West Side Market is a one-stop shop for groceries, dining, and gifting for the food fanatics in your life (including yourself). Dine for a classic breakfast at the cozy West Side Market Cafe for a taste of the landmark's history before shopping for local poultry, produce, pierogies, and so much more.

West Side Market is open five days a week and closed on Tuesdays and Thursdays. It's open on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Ferry Building Marketplace: San Francisco

San Francisco's farmers market at Ferry Building Marketplace is a top foodie attraction in the city and one of the most famous food markets in the world — given San Francisco's perennial place as a top tourist destination (via USA Today). Operated by the Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture, this is not your average food market, as it is a culinary hub for top chefs, farmers, and food personalities. The entire building is a destination for food and wine lovers who have come to experience some of America's best in the fertile, Mediterranean-like climate of Northern California.

According to the marketplace's website, this destination is all about giving the spotlight to small regional producers who grow food, make wine, and produce with old-school techniques. You'll also find outposts of area institutions like Hog Island Oyster Company, Gott's Roadside, and Mariposa Bakery. And if you can spare an extra hour-and-a-half, there is a food tour of the marketplace and farmers market — complete with tastings — to get the most of your experience.

Ferry Building Marketplace is open seven days a week and its Ferry Plaza Farmers Market is open Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. Ferry Building Marketplace is open everyday from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. and the market is open Tuesday and Thursday from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m to 2 p.m.

Union Square Greenmarket: New York City

One may not expect a lush and verdant farmers market in the middle of the hustle and bustle of Union Square, but that's exactly what the eponymous Greenmarket is. Home to nearly 150 vendors, Greenmarket is also a local-favorite spot for connecting with the city's buzziest chefs, attending book signings (per GrowNYC), and of course, stocking up on New York's best ingredients around, plus some regional delicacies.

A visit to the Union Square Greenmarket is an excellent free activity to balance out an expensive trip to NYC, as Condé Nast Traveler explains, as it's easy to navigate, offers countless events, and may include a celebrity sighting or two. It's also important to note that vendors differ depending on the day. According to The Culinistas, look out for She Wolf Bakery on Mondays and Saturdays, Eckerton Hill Farm on Wednesdays and Saturdays for fantastic summer produce, and Quarton Farm on Mondays for life-changing beans.

Union Square Greenmarket is open five days a week on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. Operating hours are from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. year-round.

Oxbow Public Market: Napa

Napa Valley's Oxbow Public Market is a 40,000-square-foot marketplace overlooking the Napa River. The market houses purveyors who are dedicated to sustainable, local agriculture. AFAR likens this beautiful marketplace in Napa's namesake district to a high-end shopping mall, one where the shops all offer the best of food and wine, making it a must-see destination for culinary enthusiasts visiting the valley to discover a new favorite artisanal cheese, local winemaker, and much more.

Here, you'll find nearly two dozen top-notch vendors selling everything from high-end spices to fresh meats, avocados, and of course, the valley's best wine labels. According to Visit Napa Valley, Oxbow Public Market is a gathering place for both locals and tourists who can come together over a shared passion for the best ingredients and the spectacular wine region the market resides in. It's also pet-friendly if you want to bring your furry friend along for a shopping trip or Taco Tuesday.

Oxbow Public Market is open seven days a week and is only closed for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Day. While vendor hours vary, the market is open from 7:30 a.m. until 9 p.m. each day.

Charleston Farmers Market: Charleston, South Carolina

Another Southern food mecca, Charleston is home to some spectacular produce, seafood, and kitchen staples that have contributed to many of the city's James Beard Award-winning restaurants. Given its diverse array of offerings and events, spending your Saturday morning at Charleston Farmers Market is a must when in town. Plus, it's located in Marion Square at the heart of the city's historic district, putting you right at the center of it all.

Charleston Farmers Market is more than just a place to stock up on fresh Lowcountry fruits and veggies. It's also home to an array of food vendors — from comforting crepes to roti wraps and modern takes on Southern food. And with more than 100 vendors lining up each week and a bustling events calendar, there's always something new to discover at this food market.

Charleston Farmers Market is open every Saturday between March 5 and November 26, 2022, with holiday markets scheduled to take place on Saturdays and Sundays in December through the 17th. The standard market is open from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. each week while the holiday market is open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Zingerman's Delicatessen: Ann Arbor

Located in the ultra-charming college town of Ann Arbor, home to the University of Michigan, Zingerman's Delicatessen is a highly lauded food institution. This Michigan gem opened 40 years ago as a classic deli and now acts as a "living culinary laboratory," according to the brand that offers education on culinary traditions, various dishes and ingredients, as well as sourcing foods with integrity.

Zingerman's founders will be the first to tell you not to expect some booming bazaar. The building is pretty unassuming at just over 2,000 square feet, plus, Zingerman's Next Door, which offers more seating for those who want to dine-in. While the company offers far beyond the typical deli experience, it's comprised of many other in-house goods these days besides Tuscan olive oils and South Carolina's best grits. Zingerman's now has an all-day restaurant called Zingman's Roadhouse, a bakehouse for fresh breads and baked confections, a creamery that produces fine cheeses, and a "candy manufactory" that produces colorful sweet treats. It truly is a one-stop shop, so save plenty of room in your carry-on.

Zingerman's Delicatessen and the café next door are open seven days a week. Deli sandwiches are available for purchase from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. while the café is open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Groceries are available for shopping from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturdays.

Findlay Market: Cincinnati

Another Ohio food market on this list, Cincinnati's Findlay Market is the state's oldest continuously operated public market that welcomes more than one million people every year. Nestled in the historic and architecturally rich neighborhood of Over-the-Rhine, Findlay is also a favorite local spot for shopping some of the best ingredients around.

Findlay Market first opened its doors in 1852 and is a vibrant city landmark that connects citizens with the market's farmers, artisans, and producers over a shared passion for food and supporting local agriculture. There are more than 120 vendors at Findlay Market, and it expands outdoors in the summer with musicians and performers for the ultimate shopping experience. Visitors will find everything from fresh groceries and flowers, dining destinations, a farmers market, and artisanal goods.

Findlay Market is open Tuesday through Saturday and the farmers market is open on Saturday and Sunday. The main market is open Tuesday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The farmers market is open from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday.

Eden Center: Falls Church, Virginia

The Washington suburb of Falls Church, Virginia, may not sound like an epicenter for ethnic cuisine, but it's actually a must-visit destination for lovers of Vietnamese food. Eden Center is a massive shopping plaza that Bon Appétit says has enough attractions to keep you for weeks, from traditional noodle soups to take-away snacks.

Eden Center has been open since 1984 and houses more than 120 family-owned businesses with a focus on Asian American populations. Visitors will find unique bakeries, restaurants, wellness shops, delis, boba tea cafés, and more. Needless to say, come hungry. And if you don't have time to browse, several vendors have takeout menus so you can still make a pitstop during your drive along the Beltway in or out of the district. Eden Center also hosts a range of events for the community year-round, from movie nights to Lunar New Year celebrations.

Eden Center is open seven days a week. The facilities are open from 9 a.m to 11 a.m with hours varying by vendor.

St. Roch Market: New Orleans

St. Roch Market is an elegant, design-centric food hall in New Orleans that elevates top chef talent, foods, and beverages. Like The Big Easy's French Market, St. Roch also has an important history. Opening in 1875, it is one of the city's last remaining public markets. According to, St. Roch Market has survived epidemics, the Great Depression (with some renovation work done by Works Progress Administration), World War 2, and Hurricane Katrina — damage from the latter left it vacant for nearly seven years before it was immaculately restored once more.

St. Roch Market is small but mighty, currently featuring six vendors that offer coffee, Mediterranean cuisine with a New Orleans touch, gulf cuisine with a focus on fresh seafood, Burmese and Malaysian comfort food, cocktails, and a poke and sushi spot. The Infatuation says it's a perfect brunch or lunch spot before a day out in the busy, artistic neighborhood of Marigny. While you may be tempted to stay indoors and revel in the gorgeous design, there is plenty of outdoor seating to soak up the Southern sun.

St.Roch Market is open seven days a week. It's open Sunday through Thursday from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Reading Terminal Market: Philadelphia

Philadelphia's Reading Terminal Marketplace is one of the country's oldest and largest public markets. In 2022, it took the top public-market spot in USA Today's 10Best Readers' Choice Awards for its amazing variety of regional goods. Housed in a National Historic Landmark building that once was a fully operating train terminal, visitors will find a dizzying array of local Philadelphia delicacies, Amish Country bakes, exotic fruits, and fine seafood.

Reading Terminal Marketplace currently houses more than 80 vendors, so it can be a bit overwhelming to know where to begin. Discover Philadelphia suggests stopping by Famous 4th Street Cookie Company, Molly Malloy's, Dutch Eating Place, and Carmen's Famous Cheesesteaks and Hoagies for a classic Reading Terminal Marketplace experience. And if you don't have time to get your grocery shopping done but still want to support local agriculture, you can shop the food market online through Mercato and get your order delivered right to your door.

Reading Terminal Marketplace is open seven days a week, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Grand Central Market: Los Angeles

Long before Malibu Farm was serving up the best locally sourced delicacies to the masses, Grand Central Market had been a culinary hub for sourcing the best ingredients. The 105-year-old market is housed in the Beaux-Arts-style Homer Laughlin Building, which has since become a Downtown LA landmark because of Grand Central. Today, it is still a thriving culinary destination that highlights the city's strong immigrant population and has served as an incubator for many rising chefs.

Grand Central Market is home to 40 vendors, all of which speak to Los Angeles' vibrant and diverse food scene. Visitors will find a mix of classic LA outposts like Egg Slut and Clark Street Bread mixed in with the one-of-a-kind purveyors of global cuisine that includes everything from Berlin currywurst to Central Texas BBQ and Filipino food from a James Beard-nominated chef. It's no surprise then why Fodors considers this a must-visit destination, even if you're not hungry, just to get a taste of Los Angeles' thriving food culture.

Grand Central Market is open seven days a week. It's open from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.

Zabar's: New York City

Zabar's is a New York institution, and chances are, someone you know has at least one mug hiding in their kitchen cupboard. First opened in 1934, Louis and Lillian Zabar opened up a coffee and bagel shop at 80th Street and Broadway in the Upper West Side and the rest is history. The store has since expanded as a specialty foods destination, which has been legendary in inspiring food trends. According to the site, it introduced brie in the '60s, sun-dried tomatoes and gnocchi in the '70s, and caviar in the '80s to its loyal Manhattan customers.

Zabar's is still a family-run business, now operated by Louis and Lillian's two sons, and it has since expanded from a 22-foot storefront to nearly an entire block. According to Spoon University, the coffee and bagels are still top picks to get while you're there, but don't miss out on the smoked whitefish, impeccable cheese selection, and black and white cookies either. Trust us, it's worth lugging all the ingredients back on the subway home, but you can also stop by Zabar's recently opened café for a bite to eat instead if you'd rather.

Zabar's main store and café are both open seven days a week. The main store is open Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. and Sunday from 9 a.m to 6 p.m. while the café is open Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Nashville Farmers Market: Nashville

Nashville is so much more than a place to find hot chicken and honky tonk cocktails these days. Chefs like Sean Brock, Maneet Chauhan, and even Jean-Georges Vongerichten have dining establishments in Music City, elevating it as an emerging Southern food destination. Nashville is also home to one of the best farmers markets in the country today.

The Nashville Farmers Market has been serving residents since the turn of the 19th century and continues to be a top destination for sourcing the area's best ingredients. The campus is designed to appeal to all ages, a variety of interests, and locals and visitors alike — featuring the standard market with more than 100 vendors as well as a 24,000 square-foot garden center, culinary incubation center, and an international food hall.

The Nashville Farmers Market is open seven days a week. It's open Sunday to Thursday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Chicago French Market: Chicago

Chicago French Market is more food hall than farmers market, but there is a range of dining establishments and purveyors that make for an idyllic experience while you wait to board your train at Ogilvie Transportation Center or simply pop in for a transporting and leisurely afternoon with a glass of Sancerre. The market was created in 2009 to bring the tradition of the European-style marketplace to Chicago while offering a new way to highlight local agriculture and producers. There are more than 30 vendors located here, most of which are run by families or entrepreneurs, and it offers nearly 20 types of cuisine from around the world.

Not only does Chicago French Market offer a delightful place to shop for local, European, and global goods, the dining areas feel like Parisian street cafés and give visitors a place to linger, enjoy lunch, and survey their culinary loot. It was awarded as a Tripadvisor Traveler's Choice in 2020, making it a popular destination for locals on a lunch break or first-time tourists looking for unique food experiences in The Windy City.

Chicago French Market is open six days a week and is closed on Sundays. It's open on Mondays from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Tuesday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., and on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Original Farmers Market: Los Angeles

Original Farmers Market first opened its door to Angelenos in 1934 and has evolved from a simple truck stop farmers market into a high-end foodie destination adored by locals and tourists alike. The market has seen many Hollywood names visit over the years, from Shirley Temple to Ava Gardner, Frank Sinatra, and Marilyn Monroe, but it has also become a popular filming destination for shows like "Entourage," "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" and Gordan Ramsay's television programs, among others.

Besides its star power, Original Farmers Market offers an impressive array of grocers, meat and seafood purveyors, bakeries, and produce. Visitors in the summertime can enjoy live music performances all season-long. Make sure to stop by Monsieur Marcel Gourmet Market for impeccable specialty foods and a charming bistro.

Los Angeles' Original Farmers Market is open seven days a week and is only closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas. It's open Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. until 8 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Boston Public Market

Boston Public Market is a downtown destination for grocery shopping and dining with 30 local vendors that emphasize seasonality and locality, as everything is produced or originated in New England. There are also several local artisans in the mix who sell serving and housewares, art prints, and more. A visit here offers a unique taste of the region that makes it the fourth best public market in the country, according to USA Today's readers.

Eater Boston lists the market as a top place to source the perfect picnic basket for an afternoon in one of the city's gorgeous public parks, as you'll find a curated selection of local craft beers, a cheese shop showcasing the best New England varietals, and plenty of produce vendors to build a splendid spread. There's also plenty of room to dine in or outdoors to make the most of your morning or afternoon at this thriving market in the heart of the city.

Boston Public Market is open seven days a week. It's open Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.