No matter where we go, we always stop by at the local food market. The market is one of the best places to discover new species, and to learn more about the local culture and delicacies. On most of our trips, we also ‘serendipitously’ happen to be staying at a place that’s near a major market. Or atleast, that’s what Vivek claims. After all, he’s the one who picks the final place we should stay at from a longlist that I curate. It’s no surprise to me anymore when he says we’re only a few minutes away from a market. For the adventurous foodies out there, here’s our list of the top 5 food markets in the world.
5Psar Chaa Market, Siem Reap
A one-stop destination for everything you can think of and many you didn’t know you wanted. The market stocks t-shirts, table mats, meats, food stalls, Buddhas, and much more. It’s almost like the real world equivalent of Amazon when it comes to selection. The food section may look small, but houses many local Khmer delicacies in the north-east area of the market. If there’s one thing you shouldn’t miss at this market, it’s the fried sparrows.
4Khlong Tooei Market, Bangkok
The ultimate Bangkok wet market, where you can find every delicacy from snakefruit and durian, to heaps of ant eggs, to live bugs and more. It’s one of the largest wet markets in the world, and every foodies dream market. The fruit section is stocked with heaps of the freshest rambutan, durian, pomelo and other local fruit. The meats section is every foodies dream with food so fresh you’ll see it wriggling, quacking, and peering back at you as you pass by. Once you’ve picked your produce, move on to the mounds of curry paste, fermented fish paste, soy sauce and other condiments. Our advice – go when you’re hungry, there’s a lot to try here.
3Borough Market, London
London is famous for markets, and it’s most famous market for food is Borough market. It’s the best place in the world to try African game meat (which is banned for sale in Africa). It also houses food exhibitions from around the world – we got to try some fabulous cheese from the Netherlands while we were there. For those with a sweet tooth, the bakery section as this market is one of the best. Do not stock up on the first stall you see – we recommend getting small bites from every stall in the market to truly experience it.
2Ben Thanh Market, Ho Chi Minh City
You need to visit Ben Thanh Market more than once. It looks deceptively small, but houses so many local delicacies that you can’t possibly sample it all in a single visit. Local delicacies include the bamboo chicken, Vietnamese pizza and an eye-popping variety of snails. For those who aren’t intrepid foodies, and are missing ghar ka khaana, there’s a Sher-e-Punjab to remind you of home. Don’t miss the cheeky bun cha vendor who insists he’s the one who fed President Obama (never mind if the President ate in Hanoi)! Ben Thanh market has something for everybody. Pro Tip – visit on a Saturday when they have live music!
1Phu Quoc Night Market, Phu Quoc
If you’ve ever been snorkeling, you know that there’s a whole world under the sea – to truly see each and every one of those sea creatures up above the ocean, you must visit this market. There’s no bizarre seafood that isn’t available here. You will see endless displays of fish, snail, snakes, crustaceans and more just waiting for you to make your choice. And for those with a sweet tooth, this is THE place to try out the Vietnamese fruit roll-up ice cream. Yet another market that demands more than a single visit from the foodies of the world, this one’s our top pick!