Sunday, August 5, 2012

Safari #63: Haymarket

I know what you're thinking, and you're absolutely right.  How is that I've never been to Haymarket?  I honestly don't know.  This past Saturday, I decided to finally make a visit - and it was definitely worth my while.

The Haymarket open air market has been in Boston since the 1830's, and it's just a short walk from Faneuil Hall.  Vendors call out their prices in the hopes of attracting buyers while buyers scramble to find the best deals.  Fresh produce abounds and the colors, smells, and diversity of the crowd make Haymarket feel like a bazaar in a far off place.

Here you will discover some of the lowest prices - if not the THE lowest for produce.  If you regularly prepare meals that require fresh ingredients, do yourself a favor and shop here.  For a whopping total of $5, I bought: 10 apricots, a bag of cherries (yes, a whole bag), a box of strawberries, and 6 ears of corn.  These items will make great snacks and dinner sides for the entire week.

Haymarket takes places every Friday and Saturday from dawn until dusk.

My Tips:

  • Getting There.  Haymarket is accessible from the Government Center, Haymarket and State Street T stops.  A parking garage is also available at the corner of Hanover and Congress Street.
  • Walk Around.  Haymarket can be overwhelming.  Walk around the entire market first, taking note of what you would like to buy and the prices.  You may find your desired item at a lower price if you're patient enough.
  • Do Not Touch.  Shoppers are not allowed to handle the produce, unless the vendor gives you permission.  When you see something you want to buy, ask the vendor to bag it for you.
  • Bring Canvas.  Vendors will provide plastic bags, but it you plan to shop for a week, bring some sturdy bags with you.
  • Meat? Yes, meat and seafood are sold as well, but they are sold in storefronts versus open stalls.  Walk down Blackstone Street towards North Street to find the stores.

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