There is nothing like visiting a bustling culinary market where tourists, locals, and chefs shop for seasonal ingredients and delicious eats. From the day’s freshest catch nestled in beds of crushed ice to the ripest bounty of just-picked seasonal produce packed in wooden crates, there is a dizzying array of grocery goodies on display. Everywhere you look, it’s a feast for the eyes. Over there is small-batch cheese made from the summer milk of roaming Jersey cows. Beside that are loaves of artisanal sourdough made from ancient wheat cultures. Next to that is an assortment of aged beef, red and marbled to perfection. The air is heavy with tantalizing aromas, and the sounds are chaotic—a sharp knife whacks open a coconut, a child squeals with delight when handed an ice cream cone, a clever farmer lures passers-by with samples of “the best strawberries you’ll ever taste!” This is the scene you’ll experience when shopping at a fancy food court.
If you’ve never been to the type of market that was just described, don’t worry. The upscale market hall trend is taking America by storm, and Eater reports that more than nine new culinary meccas are in the works for cities such as Denver, Birmingham, and Detroit. Even bad boy culinary expert Anthony Bourdain has jumped on the marketplace bandwagon. Next year, he will open Bourdain Market, a 100-stall international mart inside Manhattan’s Pier 57. Although it’s exciting to think about the markets to come, it’s also worthwhile to highlight the sensational markets that already exist—and have flourished for years. From the Mercat de la Boqueria in Barcelona to the Ferry Building Marketplace in San Francisco, here are nine of the world’s best culinary marketplaces. Add these spots to your foodie bucket list now!