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Best Urban Food Markets


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The new Whole Foods at 6th and Lamar in Austin TX is arguably the best food market in the country. I might be a little biased since I live down the street, but I'm just curious what some other cool markets are.

My ranking of the best in the country:

1) Whole Foods flagship at 6th and Lamar, Austin

2) Dean and Delucca, Broadway NY

3) Central Market, all over TX

4) Wegmen's

5) Fairview, Harlem

6) Mother's, LA

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Hartford is not yet at the stage where it is ready to attract major urban food markets but just west of the city in West Hartford there is a brand new Whole Foods, a new Trader Joes, a recently renovated Wild Oats and a longtime local favorite called Crown Supermarket that caters to the areas Jewish population

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Best Urban Market? Well, that's a real hard one. I certainly wouldn't argue that what I write below constitutes the best there is in the world. But these are some I really love.

The central Market Hall in Budapest is a stunning construction dating back to 1897. It is split level, with an upper ring encircling the main complex. There are no less than 5 such markets in central Budapest, with this being the largest.

Some photo's I took from last year.





Designed by Enric Miralles and completed last year, Barcelona's Caterina Market replaces an earlier market on the same site. Constructed in one of Barcelona's most historic quarters (El Bon, part of the Gothic Quarter), it's justopoxition to the history surrounding it is simply amazing.

Barcelona has several other magnificent markets in the central area, this is not the largest nor the most famous.






And finally one of my all time favourites, the Victorian Market Hall in Bolton, in Britain. This market hall connects to a modern shopping mall, allowing the best of both worlds. Originally built by Charles Tomkinson in the early 1800's, it has been refurnished.




The view from the modern mall


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The best urban markets are those that are not part of a chain, and seek to use local produce and products where ever possible. One of my favorites is the French Broad Food Co-op in downtown Asheville, NC

There are co-ops all over Minneapolis-St. Paul but, most carry local products that are too pricey. So, I prefer the farmers market where I can get more for my money. My favorite co-ops are the Seward and the Wedge.

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The best urban markets are those that are not part of a chain, and seek to use local produce and products where ever possible. One of my favorites is the French Broad Food Co-op in downtown Asheville, NC

Thank you! Though Whole Foods is still slightly (slightly) better than most chains, nothing beats a truly local market.

There's a Portuguese bakery down the street from my place that sells groceries along with its variety of freshly baked goods. It's small but it has everything you'd NEED. This, along with the farmer's market at Empire State Plaza in Albany, NY, are my favorites.

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Among the best markets in the U.S., the greenmarkets of New York (in several locations throughout the city) and specifically the one at Union Square should be included. Additionally, Eastern Market on Capitol Hill in DC is nice too. In Europe, my favorite markets are the large municipal markets in each of the neighborhoods of Barcelona. They are amazing.

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Vancouver, BC seemed to have good markets in several key places within the city. Two of them that I visited had a local produce/ food market on the first floor with other stores on the second floor.

To me, local products is the most imporant factor of a market or co-op. Reducing the time and distance that our food travels is an important in living sustainably. Markets and co-ops play an important role in promoting this aspect that will likely become more important to our society in the coming years.

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Just came back from Columbus OH & they have a great downtown food market in the North High / Arena neighborhood. It's called North Market & is posted as being in operation since 1876 (would like to verify that). It had a very unique & interesting selection of international food vendors as well as cheese, wine & fine meats sections.

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There are two excellent markets in Philadelphia, PA. They're very well run, attract many people and are just a joy to shop at!

The Italian Market on 9th St in South Philly (outdoor):




The Reading Terminal Market in Center City (indoor):




There's a famous bronze statue of a pig named Philbert here. I can't find any pics though.

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I really enjoyed touring Victorian Market Hall in Bolton, Britain last year and look forward to checking out Pike Place Market, Seattle in May!

As for local markets in my neighboorhood, here are my picks:

In downtown Minneapolis, a farmers' market shows up on Thursdays and Saturdays during the warmer months on Nicollet Mall, a pedestrian and transit way, and stretches for a good 5 to 6 blocks. A more "permanent" group of covered structures for vendors and shoppers is located in the North Loop neighborhood at 312 East Lyndale Ave N., again this is only open in the warmer months, for there is only a roof to keep out the elements.

Being that there is relatively easy access to produce during the not-so-warm-months in Minnesota at the local co-ops, I supplement my produce from places such as the Wedge Co-op and Linden Hills Co-op. Despite the higher price I pay, I would much rather have my money go toward organic farmers that practice a more sustainable way of growing food.

Oh, and St. Paul is in the process of taking their downtown farmers' market indoors and it will be called the Indoor Market Hall, note; not a very creative name. :rolleyes: It's still welcome nonetheless.

There are a number of decent farmers' markets scattered throughout the Twin Cities Metro area, so you never have to go too far for fresh produce during the warmer months.

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