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Boston's best: Farmers markets

The history of Boston's iconic open-air market goes back nearly two centuries. Haymarket's prices are as low as they go, but local produce is less the focus here than at some other markets in the city, so be prepared to paw through the stacks for the best-looking fruits and veggies. For those seeking a taste of the sea, you'll find fish here as well, and the experience of haggling and comparison shopping among the dozens of stands is a tourist attraction in itself. Year-round. Fridays and Saturdays, 6am–7pm. At the intersection of North Street and Hanover Street, North End, Boston

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Copley Square Farmers Market
At this Back Bay market perfect for the commuter, there are bright bounties of flowers and other plants, aromatic baked goods like apple pies and lovingly prepared jams and spreads. There's also an impressive assortment of local fruits and vegetables and free samples galore. May to November. Tuesdays and Fridays, 11am–6pm. Copley Square, Back Bay, Boston

City Hall Plaza Market
For the downtown office worker who forgot to pick up veggies for that mid-week dinner, this downtown market is a lifesaver. In addition to the carrots, onions, broccoli and other veggies you need for for a quick stir-fry, stock up on fruit, cookies and pastries, Mediterranean dips and freshly baked breads. May to November. Mondays and Wednesdays, 11am–6pm. City Hall Plaza, Downtown, Boston

The Boston Public Market at Dewey Square
Produce hailing from local farms and orchards mingles with gourmet garlic and pesto, organic granola and flavorful sauces and fruit spreads at this market on the Rose Kennedy Greenway. For those who like hearing some tunes as they browse, time your visit to coincide with the summer concert series on the Greenway. May to November. Tuesdays and Thursdays, 11:30am–6:30pm. Dewey Square (across from South Station), Financial District, Boston

SoWa Farmers Market
There's a funky, eclectic vibe at this market thanks to its proximity to the SoWa Open Market, known for hosting artisans' handmade crafts and a plethora of food trucks. Radiant sunflowers, potted plants and pumpkins in season are highlights of the farmers market, in addition to fresh breads and produce. May to October. Sundays, 10am–4pm. 500 Harrison Ave, South End

Prudential Center Farmers Market
You'll find locally-prepared chocolates, meat, eggs, produce, herbs, cheeses and other goods at this market, which operates in the shadow of the Pru. For those who work in the Back Bay, there are sandwiches for sale at lunchtime (as if you need more reasons to step away from your desk for a few minutes). You'll also want to sample freshly baked breads, stock up on strawberries and peruse handmade pastas. May to October. Thursdays, 11am–6pm. 800 Boylston St, Back Bay, Boston

Roslindale Farmers Market
Foodies fawn over the market's local selections, including produce and cheeses from nearby farms, sourdough boules from a Roslindale Village bread maker, crafts from area stores, loose teas and more. There's often entertainment accompanying the shopping—clowns, musical acts and other performers—and visitors often lay out on the grass in Adams Park for an impromptu picnic. June to October. Saturdays, 9am–1:30pm. At the intersection of Washington St and Cummins Hwy, Roslindale

Hyde Park Farmers Market
Juicy fruits, leafy greens, local honeys and several types of bread headline this market, which launched in 2010. You can also pick up potted and hanging plants, baked goods and a variety of veggies from farms in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. The neighborhood's art association also features the works of local artists' and art demonstrations. July to October. Saturdays, 2pm–5pm. Hyde Park Savings Bank parking lot at 1196 River St, Hyde Park

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Comments (4)
Foodie's Urban Market is a lesser known but unique, service-oriented neighborhood find. Great wines, cheeses, nuts and dried fruits, along with all the most common (and best) grocery items you may want. Perhaps you could stop by, have a complimentary cup of coffee or tea with snacks and see what I mean. How many markets offer that kind of comfortable and welcoming environment?
By Anonymous (not verified) on 12/25/2013 at 10:54 am
Haymarket is classic Boston! Look out for the fish scales on the sidewalk. Love it!
By Anonymous (not verified) on 7/17/2012 at 10:31 pm
Haymarket is not a farmer's market, but it is a surplus market.
By Anonymous (not verified) on 3/12/2012 at 2:52 pm
The produce at Haymarket is remainder, which means you're probably not going to find the same quality as you will at the other markets. The prices are so low, though, that even if you end up tossing 1/4 pound of the strawberries you just bought you don't mind because you got another 4.75 pounds for $5. Be forewarned: you will not paw through anything. Most vendors will yell at you for touching the produce, and some will only serve you from boxes behind the table and not let you pull the nicest from the front. Bring cash, move fast. This is not the place to wear your new straw hat and meander in a sundress, occasionally stopping to smell a fresh plum like you're Zooey Deschanel. If you're prepared for it, it's awesome and worth visiting every week.
By Anonymous (not verified) on 6/27/2011 at 2:42 pm
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