Just because it’s winter in your travel destination, that doesn’t mean you can’t fully explore its food culture. In fact, meandering through an indoor food market is one of the best ways to understand the local culinary scene without straining your budget. Small bites, sharable plates, and free samples can create a multi-course meal without the formality of white linens and a triple-digit bill. Here are four markets in the U.S. to whet your appetite…
West Side Market; Cleveland, Ohio
Having called its current location home for over a century, Cleveland’s West Side Market houses more than 100 vendors, many of which specialize in Eastern European specialties like kielbasa, bratwurst, and other carnivorous delicacies. Don’t Miss: The Far-East-meets-the-Midwest vibe at chef Jonathan Sawyer’s Noodlecat, where we recommend the pork miso ramen. 1979 West 25th Street; Monday & Wednesday 7 a.m. – 4 p.m.; Friday & Saturday 7 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Brooklyn Flea + Smorgasburg; Brooklyn, New York
In Brooklyn, local artisans gather their wares and move indoors for the winter months. You’ll discover everything from upcycled home goods to prepared and packaged foods at this 50,000-square-foot warehouse space. Don’t Miss: Milk Truck’s four-wheeler is named Bessie, but their winter outpost at Smorgasburg offers a can’t-miss mac and cheese. It features aged cheddar, gruyere, and asiago cheeses blended into a creamy bechamel sauce…and is topped with fresh mozzarella and house made bread crumbs. 80 North Fifth Street; Saturday & Sunday 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
7th Street Market; Charlotte, North Carolina
Self-identified as a “public market,” 7th Street offers visitors and locals alike access to local farmers and food producers, in addition to serving as an incubator for food-related businesses. Don’t Miss: For a DYI experience, stop by Meat & Fish Co. to score some charcuterie, then build your own sandwich with a hand-rolled baguette or ciabatta roll from Local Loaf. 224 East 7th Street; Monday through Friday 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.; Saturday 8:30 a.m. – 7 p.m.; Sunday 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. (select vendors)
Green City Market; Chicago, Illinois
Inspired by sustainable European markets, Abby Mandel founded GCM in 1998. Since, it’s grown to welcome upwards of 10,000 visitors per day in peak season. Don’t Miss: Join Chicago’s doughnut craze with a visit to Zullo’s, where you can enjoy an apple cider doughnut and pick up a flat bread pizza for the road. (Outdoor location is open May through October.) 2430 North Cannon Drive (Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum); Every other Saturday through April, 8 a.m. – 1 p.m.