Top Ten Street Markets - Page 2

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Top Ten Street Markets: St. Lawrence Market, Toronto
Customers at Scheffler's Deli in St. Lawrence Market, Toronto  (courtesy, St. Lawrence Market)

5) Mercado Central, Santiago, Chile
Under a wrought-iron, art nouveau canopy dating from 1872,this animated fish market groans with an extraordinary shoalof sea creatures, from barnacles to giant squid, many unlabeled,untranslatable, or unknown outside Chile. Marvel at thefishmongers' speed and skill. If the thought of identifying andpreparing the fish is too much, onsite restaurants offer localdishes like paila marina (Chilean bouillabaisse).

Planning: The market is two blocks north of Santo Domingo church.Beware scalpers and slippery surfaces.

4) Ver-o-Peso, Belém, Brazil
Noisy and chaotic, yet irresistibly atmospheric, with parallel rowsof fishmongers selling odd-looking specimens, this vast riverfrontemporium hugs Bélem's Ver-o-Peso docks, where the boats landtheir Amazonian catch. Alongside the original neo-Gothic marketbuilding, imported from England in 1899, a marquee shelters stallsvending dizzying varieties of fruits and hot food.

Planning: Visit early in the morning when fishermen unload theircatch. Belém has a riverboat station and international airport but norailroad.

3) Castries Market, St. Lucia
Opened in 1894 and still occupying the original orange-roofedbuilding, this market in St. Lucia's capital is the island's largest andloudest. Stock up on island spices (star anise, mace, cinnamon);breadfruit, bananas, and other tropical fruits; condiments like hotpepper sauce; hot food, including rotis; or the fishermen's catch.

Planning: Next to Jeremie and Peynier Streets, the market is open daily (except Sundays), but is best on Saturdays.

2) Union Square Greenmarket, New York City
Once a Manhattan focal point, by the 1970s Union Square hadbecome a junkie hangout. Barry Benepe founded a farmers' marketin 1976, aiding struggling Hudson Valley farmers and reintroducingNew Yorkers to seasonal food in one stroke. The market's variety inthis now revitalized area bewilders many supermarket shoppers.

Planning: Flanking East 17th Street and Broadway, the market is open on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday, year-round.

1) St. Lawrence, Toronto, Canada
This farmers' market emporium has operated since 1803, whenit cohabited with Toronto's city hall. Redeveloped betweenthe 1970s and 1990s after long neglect, the area's mix of homesand businesses showcases urban regeneration. More than 120retailers dispense everything from seafood to coffee.

Planning: The market is in Toronto's old town; Saturday is market day.

This Top 10 List is just one item on the menu in FOOD JOURNEYS OF A LIFETIME: 500 Extraordinary Places to Eat Around the Globe. This beautiful new book from National Geographic presents hundreds of delicious destinations—spotlighting specialties and ingredients, markets, seasonal delights, great food towns, kitchen secrets, ultimate luxuries, and the best in desserts, wine, beer, and more.

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