New York´s best outdoor markets
No trip to New York is complete without a trip to a farmers’ market or, as they call them in the Big Apple, ‘greenmarket’. Quite frankly, they’re hard to miss. From Chelsea to Harlem and everywhere in between, the greenmarket has become something of a New York icon. With one in nearly every neighbourhood square, it could be easy to simply stop by the first one you see. But, with a little research, you can find the perfect market, stocked with everything you need, from fresh fruit and vegetables to wines and ciders that are perfect for your carry-on. Read on for our pick of the best alfresco greenmarkets in New York City.
1 Union Square Greenmarket
Address: Union Square W & E 17th Street, Manhattan
Open: Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, 8am-6pm
This seasonal market, located in the middle of Manhattan, turns the North and West sides of Union Square Park into a veritable green haven four days a week throughout the year. Come rain, hail or shine, farmers, fishermen, bakers and makers pack into the park every week, setting up more than 140 stalls selling everything from freshly picked fruit and vegetables to award-winning cheese (Tonjes Farm Dairy is our pick), breads (don’t skip Martin’s Pretzels) and homemade jams (head to Beth’s Farm Kitchen). There are freshly cut flowers from Petals to brighten up your hotel room, as well as excellent local whiskeys and gins from farm-to-bottle expert Orange County Distillery.
2 Bartel-Pritchard Square Greenmarket
Address: Prospect Park West at 15th Street, Brooklyn
Open: Wednesday, 8am-2pm
It’s all about the ingredients at this lovely local greenmarket, located in Prospect Park. More of an alfresco high-end delicatessen than a market, Bartel-Pritchard Square Greenmarket supports small-scale agriculture in the New York area by bring high-quality foods to public spaces. Everything here is excellent, from the wild-caught seasonal seafood to the shiny, plump fruit and vegetables, but the standouts include mini apple pies (made from organic pastry flour) from New Jersey’s Baker’s Bounty, gluten-free rosemary olive bread from Meredith’s Bread and grass-fed beef from Stony Mountain Ranch.
3 El mercado del Jardín Botánico de Nueva York
Address: 2900 Southern Boulevard, Bronx
Open: Wednesday (July to October), 10am-3pm
This open-air bazaar within one of the city’s most beautiful gardens is a sight to behold. It is one of the most popular greenmarkets in town, with live music by local musicians playing as you browse speciality food purveyors’ stalls, overflowing with everything from freshly cut, locally grown seasonal flowers to small-variety fruit and vegetables. Most of the stalls here specialise in organic or artisanal produce. Take Penny Lick Ice Cream, for example, where old-fashioned, custard-based scoops reign supreme (ingredients include organic eggs, whole milk, and heavy cream from local Hudson Valley farms). Later, meander down to La Petite Occasion for delectable caramels and toffees, or pick up something for dinner at Wave Hill Breads, a micro-bakery that does a formidable focaccia.
4 Brooklyn Borough Hall Greenmarket
Address: Court Street and Montague Street, Brooklyn
Open: Saturday, 8am-3pm
This much-loved food and flower market serves the communities of Brooklyn Heights, Clinton Hill, and Downtown Brooklyn, offering sustainable produce and artisanal goodies from nearby family-run farms. There’s no shortage of organic fruits and vegetables, beautiful flowers, fresh fish and grass-fed meat, but keep an eye out for the cooking demonstrations, too. Pick up some preserves from Wilklow Orchards, a small farm from Ulster County selling small fruits, cider and jams, or stop by Ballard’s Honey for the sweetest honey you’ll ever taste – best paired with an organic loaf or two from Bread Alone’s artisan breads stall.
5 Jackson Heights Greenmarket
Address: 34th Avenue between 79th & 80th Streets, Queens
Open: Sunday, 8am-3pm (June-Dec), 8am-2pm (Jan-May)
Jackson Heights Greenmarket is Queens’ largest farmers’ market, and one of the liveliest in town. A favourite with families, it runs regular recipe exchanges, features live music and offers a textile recycling and composting service, adding to the community vibe. Food-wise, there’s plenty to be excited about. Sample fresh and aged goat’s cheese from Miracle Springs Farm, pick up some honey-scented candles from Nature’s Way Farms or stock up on Mexican specialities from Nolasco’s Farm.