Any foodie will agree that the best part about visiting a new city is tasting the grub. And heading to the city’s food markets is the best place to start if you want to experience an explosion of flavours from the local area and beyond. This doesn’t always mean paying a trip to the city’s biggest and most famous market - (in some cases, yes) but some of the best street food can be sampled at the more hidden, underground haunts.
Here, we round up the coolest food markets in Europe that you simply MUST visit if you’re in any of these cities (in no particular order). Don’t look if you’re hungry...
1 ALBERT CUYPMARKT, AMSTERDAM
Markets are always a great place to take in the vibes of a new city and Amsterdam’s largest street market Albert Cuyp in the De Pijp area is a feast for all the sense equipped with a bustling atmosphere at the same time. Stroll around and see what’s on offer, taste some free samples and soak up the hustle and bustle of the market. Let the fumes from the different cuisines from all over the world fill your nostrils, with over 300 stalls to explore.
Enjoy a nice herring at the fish stand or get yourself a bag of fresh syrup waffle or some Dutch cheese.
2 MALTBY STREET MARKET, LONDON
One of London’s best kept secrets. While Camden Market and Brick Lane may be more famous, Maltby Street Market comes out on top when it comes to proper street food. At this lively weekend market in the hip area of Bermondsey that lies hidden away beneath the railway arches, only those in the know spend their time eating here. Even its website doesn’t give much away.
Home to some of the best producers in town, the market prides itself on gourmet street food and fresh produce whether you’re looking for the city’s best badass brownies, Mozambique burgers, tender beef steaks, melt-in-your-mouth cheese, gyozas, coffee or baked goods - there’s even top-notch gin on the menu. Come here for a day of good eating and drinking!
3 LA BOQUERIA MARKET, BARCELONA
La Boqueria is our favourite food market in Barcelona, even if it’s a bit of a squeeze in summer. This is Barcelona’s biggest and most famous market - and it’s also right in the centre of town off the famous Ramblas in the Raval neighbourhood. With locals buying their weekly food and plenty of tourists taking photos of the vibrant fruits and trying delicious sweets and fresh smoothies, La Boqueria is always busy. But it still retains its title as Barcelona’s best market - and the produce is amazing.
The local Michelin star restaurants buy their fresh fish, local meat, herbs, spices and vegetables early in the morning, but you can swing by a little bit later and check out the most delicious Spanish and Catalan food. Try some of the restaurants here - oysters and cava are a favourite, or piles of tapas at the famous Bar Pinotxo, Bar Boqueria or El Quim de la Boqueria foody bars.
4 MARKTHALLE NEUN, BERLIN
This indoor food market in Kreuzberg, , is a hub of the city’s best modern urban food. Markthalle Neun hosts the best food vendors in the Berlin. Open from breakfast through to dinner, whether you’re looking for authentic German delicacies or to sample cuisines from around the world, this place has you covered. Pop by on the popular Street Food Thursday’s between 5-10pm and you’ll soon realise that Berlin is about way more than just currywurst and doner kebabs.
We recommend the sushi from Kame, chicken from Bone, ice cream from Rosa Canina, spaghetti from Made in Pasta and Aunt Benny’s legendary carrot cake. After all, the best way to get to know a city is through the food, right?
5 COPENHAGEN STREET FOOD, COPENHAGEN
While Copenhagen’s busy Torvehallerne Food Market greets more visitors, for you guys we recommend the Copenhagen Street Food Market instead. It’s younger and cooler with a more alternative scene - and of course home to delicious, inventive street food. Don’t get us wrong, Torvehallerne is great but Copenhagen Street Food beats it for its originality and quirkiness.
Located just across the water on Paper Island near Nyhavn this market is opening again in May for the summer 2018 there are 39 food stalls, trucks and bars to feast your eyes upon. There’s a massive variety too. Think fat ostrich burgers, Korean fried chicken, fresh sushi, authentic Turkish food and Indian butter chicken (plus way way more culinary delights).
6 MARCHÉ DES ENFANTS ROUGES, PARIS
THE place to eat in Paris. When wandering Paris’ beautiful Marais district, you may stumble upon the city’s oldest food market Marché des Enfants Rouges (a 200 years old market). This historical market was named after a 16th-century orphanage that used to be in the same spot. Today, the popular market bring food lovers together under some shade to taste all kinds of cuisines with a mix of gourmet dishes to real dirty (good dirty) grub. An eater’s paradise.
Go to Le Burger Fermier for the tastiest burger you’ll try in Paris. Then there’s a choice of Lebanese food, Japanese, Moroccan, French and plenty more to get your mouth drooling.
7 MARKTHAL, ROTTERDAM
100 food stalls are to be enjoyed beneath a spectacular ceiling at Markthal in Rotterdam. Markthal is a must-do for foodies, shoppers and architecture lovers. The unique €175m Markthal building was designed by Dutch architectural firm MVRDV and it’s amazing inside and out.
Markthal focuses on high-end food and delicious local cheese, meat, bread, fish, fruits and vegetables but you can also tuck into other yummy things from fine chocolate, churros, interesting sweets, olives and coffee - and you should buy all your exotic ingredients from the Asian supermarket Wah Nam Hong. A place not to be missed when in Rotterdam.
8 BOROUGH MARKET, LONDON
You don’t want to miss out on visiting London’s oldest food market, Borough Market. Warning: Even if you’re not hungry, entering this market will make you hungry. Get lost in food heaven crammed with over 100 stalls run by small producers, with food stalls such as bakeries (Olivier’s Bakery), olives, cheese, ice cream (Gelateria 3Bis), spices (Spice Mountain), wine and even your pimms for just £4 a cup!
People come to Borough Market from far and wide to taste the oysters at Richard Haward’s Oysters (the freshest oysters in London may I add, topped with a splash of tabasco and zingy lemon).
9 FOODHALLEN, AMSTERDAM
Sophisticated street food can be found in Amsterdams hip Oud-West district at Foodhallen - a classy indoor market where food has a gourmet edge. With 20 stalls selling fresh food of a large variety, head here for lunch and tuck into what takes your fancy. There is a lot to choose from including bao buns, Basque pintxos, wood-fired pizzas to Vietnamese summer rolls, dim sum and Greek meze (and more).
There are also three bars (one for wine, one for G&T and one for beer), plus plenty of tables to sit once you’ve decided what to eat. A really cool dining and drinking experience in Amsterdam’s first ever indoor food market.
10 TIME OUT MARKET, LISBON
The Time Out Market in Lisbon is exactly what is says on the tin. A concept masterminded by the editorial team at Time Out Magazine Portugal. This market is home to the city's best vendors made up of 24 high quality restaurants, 8 bars, a dozen shops as well as market vendors selling fruit, vegetables, fish and flowers. If you want to try Lisbon's best burger, best sushi, best steak and best local staples all under one roof, then this is where all foodies need to visit. A market where you can actually dine in style is what makes the Time Out market stand out.
Busy and bustling (and shaded by the sun) get a taste of the best seafood at Sea Me, or head to the Asian Lab for some thai food.There are also live performances and music to enjoy whilst you eat. This is the only Time Out Market in Europe - the others are in America.