With warmer weather on the horizon, it finally feels appropriate to pause the Netflix shows you’ve been binging on, crawl out of our bedroom cave, and adventure to somewhere else other than work or school. I promise you, everyone else is doing it, too! Spring in NYC is like watching humanity come out of hibernation. So where should you go, might you ask? To one of the city’s many markets!
Packed with New Yorkers, you can feel the excited energy amongst vendors and patrons alike. Located throughout the city, there’s bound to be one near your Bedly neighborhood, too! And since you were so excited to avoid a renting disaster and save all that extra cash by leasing with Bedly, being that you’re the kind of renter Bedly loves, why not give back to your local friendly farmers and stock up on some fresh food for your fridge? So grab your roomie for some quality one-on-one time, bring your cash (although most vendors accept card, now!), and enjoy a morning stocking up on your favorite, fresh, seasonal fruits and veggies like green beans, artichokes, oranges and strawberries, find the perfect vintage shawl for your best friend’s birthday, or dance the night away in Queens while munching on Chilean street food from Completo NYC. And whatever you do, make sure you snap a shot for the gram!
Union Square Greenmarket
The Union Square Greenmarket is open year round, however, is extra lovely and enjoyable in the spring and summer! Regional farmers line the pathways around the north and west end of Union Square Park selling their locally grown produce. Find everything from freshly grown vegetables, fruits, artisan bread, farmstead cheeses, homemade jams, pickled vegetables, fresh cut flowers, and so much more. Whenever I happen to find myself in Union Square on a market day, I make sure to take advantage and stock up on fresh food. The friendly farmers are also always willing to offer advice and talk about their business! It’s incredible what you can learn about the food you’re purchasing, how it was grown and cared for, and it makes it taste even better knowing where it came from.
Open: Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays year-round; 8am-6pm. For holiday exceptions, visit their website.
Ready to eat your face off? Okay, good. Advertised as the “largest open-air food market in America”, Smorgasburg can be found in two different locations in Brooklyn: Williamsburg-East River Park, or Prospect Park. Established in 2011, over 100 local vendors set up their stands and sell their food at this iconic market. Find everything from Honduran style food, french fries, Japanese shaved ice, local wineries, Korean fried chicken, Lobsterdamus (whole mesquite grilled lobsters topped with garlic butter and served over noodles), Ramen Burgers, and so much more! While you might not be purchasing your fresh fruit and veggies here, if you’re a foodie in any sense of the term, you will love this outdoor market.
Open: Saturdays in Williamsburg, Sundays in Prospect Park; 11am-6pm.
LIC Flea & Food Market
Being the largest outdoor market in Queens, at the LIC Flea and Food Market you can find everything from artisan food vendors to hand-made designs, along with the All-Queens beer garden quenching your thirst. Search the stands for antique jewelry, explore the many patterns and textures of the handmade vintage clothing, and discover new food from across the globe. You can also enjoy a fantastic view of the Manhattan skyline, making the LIC Market a great option to take guests to when showing off NYC!
Open: Saturdays and Sundays 11am-6pm.
Queens Night Market
Dance the night away at the Queens Night Market. No, seriously. While perusing the various food and art vendors, you’ll be enjoying the sounds of live performances from the likes of full bands, DJ’s, acoustic performers, acro-performers, and cultural dance performers. With over 50 food vendors and 21 art vendors, there’s no question that you’ll satisfy your taste buds and have a spectrum of shops to wander through to keep you busy. Enjoy pork and duck buns from C Bao, mochi waffles from Moffle Bar, perogies and borscht from Taste of Ukraine, Trinidadian shark sandwiches from Caribbean Street Eats, or Hong Kong egg waffles from Eggloo. Feeling daring? You can even try roasted crickets and insect-based noodles from Bold Food. No joke. And once you’ve filled your tummy full, you can go find that perfectly fitting, vintage silver spoon ring in a booth, the one you’ve been searching for in every thrift shop throughout the city.
Open: Saturdays 6pm-midnight (free beginning in May)
Madison Square Eats
Enjoy tastes from some of the city’s best restaurants at Madison Square Eats. Located right outside of Madison Square Park, across the street from the Flatiron Building and Eataly, the market sits in a bustling area of downtown and is buzzing with the energy of New York City. It attracts tons of people who live and work in the Flatiron neighborhood and is a popular spot for tourists, as well. From poké bowls to buns, vegan burgers to pizza, there is sure to be something you’ll love!
Open: 11am-9pm Daily
Your Local Green Market
While much smaller than the other markets mentioned, your local green market will have the essentials you need to fill your fridge with fresh food while supporting local farmers. Founded in 1976, Greenmarket’s mission is “to promote regional agriculture by providing small family farms the opportunity to sell their locally grown products directly to consumers, and to ensure that all New Yorkers have access to the freshest, most nutritious locally grown food the region has to offer”. If that doesn’t melt your heart just a bit, make the City seem not so big, or make you want to locate the nearest green market to you, then you should probably just keep shopping at C-Town (nothing against C-Town, but c’mon. Support your local farmers! The food will taste better, too. I promise!). You could even meet someone new, farmer or friend!
Open: Days vary, locate the nearest Greenmarket to you.
Get outside and enjoy the sunshine this spring in one of New York City’s many outdoor markets! Become more familiar with your Bedly neighborhood, mow down on some awesome food, or do your grocery shopping. You may even meet a new friend in the process!
Photo credits in order of appearance: Glenwood NYC, Smorgasburg, Timeout, Apnee Community, Urbanspace, Glenwood NYC