A Day in New York’s Best Markets
Like the flowers in Central Park, New York’s seasonal markets are beginning to open up after a cold, gruelling winter. In spring and summer New York is blessed with an incredible array of markets, as well as the many destinations that gamely stay open year-round.
You could spend weeks exploring the markets of NYC, but if you have one Saturday and a lot of stamina, here’s an itinerary we’d recommend. We’ve tried to offer a balanced schedule of shopping for fresh food, filling your wardrobe, and stuffing your face.
Food: Hester Street Fair (LES, Saturday 11am-6pm)
A New York Times write-up from 1895 describes “pushcarts driven hither and thither” at the Hester Street Market, where Jewish immigrants to the Lower East Side bought fish. It’s still a market, and it’s still a known food venue—even if it’s decidedly more upmarket, with lobster rolls, a Macaron Parlor, and ice cream sandwiches replacing the simpler produce of yesteryear. Reopens April 25.
Fresh Food: Abingdon Square Market (West Village, Saturdays, 8am-2pm)
As if the West Village wasn’t picturesque enough, this farmer’s market adds delicious food to the tree-lined streets and historic houses. Three-course meals could be made from the market’s offerings, which include pate, grass-fed beef and wild-caught fish, vegetables, fruit from Red Jacket Orchards, goat and cow’s milk cheeses, and cakes and pastries from the artisanal breadsmiths at Bread Alone. Vendors brave the weather in Abingdon Square Park in all seasons.
Shop: The Market NYC (Greenwich Village, Wednesday & Sunday 12 to 7pm, Thursday & Friday 12 to 8pm, Saturday 11am to 8pm)
The Market NYC features young and up-and-coming designers, introducing you to their wares, and is crammed with all the vintage items you’d expect. Get in on the ground floor and pick up T-shirts, jewelry, and handbags before you start to see them everywhere.
Shop: Chelsea Flea Market (Chelsea, Saturdays & Sundays 9am-6pm)
As you might expect given its upscale location, Chelsea Flea Market is not a place of ragged stalls and bargain bins—when your testimonials come from Bill Cunningham and Susan Sontag, you’re in a different league. An unmissable spot for antiques and vintage items (plus buyers and sellers who insist on the difference) as well as clothing and other old-school items. It does cost a dollar to get in. This is Chelsea, after all.
Eat: Smorgasburg, Williamsburg (Saturdays, Williamsburg 11am-6pm; Sundays, Brooklyn Bridge Pier 5, 11am-6pm)
To wrap up the day, and satisfy your appetite, head across the Williamsburg Bridge to Smorgasburg, which brings together as many as 100 of New York’s best food vendors after an exhaustive winnowing process. There are ramen burgers. There are Japanese tacos. There are Indian tacos. Fries. Bolivian sandwiches. Duck confit. Whoopie pies. Arrive hungry.
If you need a ride to any of these places, be sure to get in touch with us.