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Indoor City Markets

Dog ear that Zagat-picked restaurant in your guide for a moment, and consider a one stop shop for your destination’s local fare and artisanship. In my recent travels, I’ve pleasantly stumbled upon indoor markets fulfilling any foodie’s dream. Intoxicating smells linger at each food stall, and more than one lap around the space is necessary to decide what flavors to try. These markets are a great alternative to trying to fit in all the restaurant reservations in your itinerary, and one of the best ways to sample the city’s culinary offerings if you’re on a budget. Indulge at one of these markets when you’re in the area next:

Toronto, St. Lawrence Market: Early Saturday mornings are a buzz in historic Old Toronto, with the freshest produce and veggies on display in the North Market. The South Market -- open every day but Sunday and Monday -- showcases a spectrum of international cuisine and goods, reflective of Toronto’s global diversity. Sushi is made only from the market’s fish vendors, or for a Toronto tradition, line up at the counter to order a peameal bacon sandwich -- thick Canadian bacon slices rolled in cornmeal and tucked into a Kaiser roll.

Madrid, Mercado de San Miguel: Hidden behind the archways of Plaza Mayor, this iron and glass venue is ideal for tapas tippling. Stands sell olives drizzled in olive oil, freshly shucked oysters and crusty bread to sop up broth. Wash it all down with a glass of wine, or order a cana (small beer), before picking up pastries. Don’t be shy, and belly up to the bar with locals and tourists alike, pointing at the tapa of your choice.

Chicago, French Market: The Windy City is fresh to the indoor market scene, and the concept is steadily being embraced. Just off the beaten path of Michigan Avenue, this young market is located at one of the city’s main train stations in the Loop, drawing commuters and lunch goers to its stalls. Vendors feature artisan cheeses, wines and one stand that sells crispy Belgian fries in the traditional paper cone -- choose from 20 different sauces to dip in.

With fall upon us, these indoor markets are a good way to grab the season’s latest in each of these destinations.

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Tips by
Antoinette

Deal Expert, Chicago
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
See more Tips from
Antoinette Fadera