Places: Food Tourism & Street Markets

Obviously I like food. My other blog is titled “the kitchen tourist” so it’s not at all surprising that food factors into my travel plans pretty importantly too. Give me a huge variety of food in one place, full of colorful things  to look at and sample and photograph, and I’ll happily wander around for hours.

But then, I consider grocery stores legitimate travel destinations. I guess these markets are a little easier to recommend to most people.  This works best in large cities, of course, since smaller locations wouldn’t have the customers or (usually) the diversity of offerings.

I grew up going to Maxwell Street Market with my dad and walking past sizzling grills of proper Chicago polishes or tacos and fruit vendors with juicy melons and strawberries. Most higher end street markets leave out the obvious black market goods, but that’s probably better when I’m in a distant place by myself.

My most recent trip was to Los Angeles, where I wandered through the Grand Central Market, Little Tokyo, the Farmer’s Market at the Grove, as well as the Santa Monica Pier and Venice Beach. A good range of street food to higher end specialty shops well represented.

I might break these down by city more with other travel posts, but for now I’ll  do a short summary. Any other markets or street food sources you’d recommend from your travels?

London, 2009:

Hampstead Farmer’s Market, Borough Market, Saturday market by Edgware Road (possibly Church Street Market?)

Philadelphia, 2010

Reading Terminal Market, Little Italy, Taste of Philadelphia

Chicago, 2013

French Market,  Taste of Chicago

Los Angeles, 2014

Grand Central Market, the Farmer’s Market at the Grove

Other reason to love street food/ food festivals / markets – they’re great places to go with friends so everyone can get what they want and you can wander around and enjoy each other’s company. Also, you can take silly photos with the food.

So, friends and internet peoples: any recommendations for more of these I should plan to visit in the future?

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