As interest in the healthy credentials of eco, bio and organic, gain ground globally, farmers markets across the world offer city-dwellers a winning mix of seasonality, provenance and sustainability. Vision explores 10 of the best markets out there
There has been a produce market by the river in Southwark for over a thousand years. Today, though, the energetic buying and selling on this riverbank site has a distinctly fine food air. Each weekend Borough Market jostles with shoppers searching out gourmet delights, including goat’s milk ice cream and hand-collected Devon scallops.
San Francisco, USA
California is renowned for its fresh and healthy cuisine and what better place to sample it than at grassroots level at the iconic Ferry Plaza building. High quality and diversity are the hallmarks of this incredible showcase of organic food. Some of the region’s best-known farmers and chefs are on hand daily to distribute their bounty.
Cape Town, South Africa
A former factory space, The Old Biscuit Mill, comes alive each Saturday morning with this Neighbourgoods Market, a spectacular celebration of fresh and organic ingredients. Over 100 stallholders, including farmers, fine-food purveyors, organic merchants, bakers and local chefs are a window into the vibrant, cosmopolitan Cape Town and its new-found culinary prowess.
With characterful cheeses, interesting fruit and vegetable varieties, quality meat, and other gems from nearby farming country, Saturdays, is the place to visit Amsterdam’s Nieuwmarkt. The entire city-centre square is taken over by organic farmers and their wares. Visitors in buoyant mood browse, shop and take refreshment on the adjacent terrace cafes.
Fashionable urbanites embrace the abundance of the season at the Carriageworks farmers market each Saturday morning. Held in a complex of old railway sheds, the foodie gathering is a profusion of colour and variety. Organic and biodynamic foods from farmers and artisan producers rub shoulders with fabulous baked goods and exquisite coffee.
In Dubai, the bustling Ripe Food & Craft Markets have a firm following of food lovers and are held across different locations in the emirate. The markets sell local organic fruit and vegetables from the Ripe Farm and other local organic farmers. Its many live cooking food stalls bring it to life, and visitors can also shop arts, crafts, fashion, jewellery, and enjoy fitness workshops, live entertainment, yoga, and children’s activities.
Each month citizens of the world’s most populous city search out delicious food with an organic focus at Shanghai Farmers Market. The fixture is a vibrant up-market version of the traditional Chinese ‘wet market’ and features over 100 vendors selling everything from artisan chocolates to organic grains and cut flowers.
The Delhi Organic Farmers' Market is a new platform for organic farmers looking to sell to a health-conscious urban middle class. Each Sunday morning, shoppers, who are fast switching on to the ‘farm-to-plate’ concept, source affordable organic herbs, spices vegetables, fruit, homemade pickles, fresh juices and artisan honey.
San Jose, Costa Rica
The Feria Verde, or Green Market, held every Saturday in Costa Rica's capital San José, is a lively social gathering event. Craft makers and musicians are part of the buzzing atmosphere of this joyful market centred around a wealth of organic fruit, vegetables, meat, fish and artisan baked goods. It’s all served up with generous heaps of Latin charm.
Prague, Czech Republic
Until recently there was no Czech tradition for urban markets where people could buy fresh, locally-produced food around an environmentally friendly ethos. However, the first launched in 2010 and the idea has since bedded in. Naplavka, by the Vltava riverside and with spectacular views of Prague’s castle, is a weekly focus of epicurean excitement.