A Hidden Gem: Haymarket

I have been going to Haymarket ever since college. It’s affordable prices allowed me to eat well throughout my college years. With the current skyrocketing of food prices, and lack of diverse produce options, I have once again been finding myself making the trek on a Saturday morning to Haymarket. Below is my quick guide for your first trip to Haymarket!

Fun Facts about Haymarket, and What to expect!

  • Haymarket is one of the longest running open air markets in America
  • Each Friday and Saturday (sun up to close) the market is run on Blackstone St, between Hanover and North St
    • If there is inclement weather, there may be less vendors and/or they may close early
  • The market includes many fresh produce vendors, but also seafood products (mostly on Saturday) as well as brick and mortar shops that vary in cheese, Middle Eastern, fresh meat, and more
  • Haymarket is a cash only market, there may be vendors with other accommodations, but prepare to have cash handy

Getting There:

  • If you are near a train line, the Orange and Green (D,E) lines both have stops at Haymarket
  • Another option is to park at the garage at 136 Blackstone St, Boston, MA 02109, by getting your parking validated by a vendor in the Public Market or at Haymarket parking is $3 per hour

Thoughts on purchasing:

  • My #1 purchase every year is 2 cases of pomegranate in November (ideally before Thanksgiving). This is because I am pomegranate obsessed, and I can usually get good quality pomegranates for about $1-$1.33 each. Which compared to grocery store pricing, it can be a bargain!
  • I often find myself consistently buying berries*, citrus, peppers, and unique produce
    • With berries, its important to remember to check for signs of aging (like lots of liquid in the packaging or beginning signs of mold). A lot of times you will see bulk produce being sold by the box for an excellent price. If you know you are going to use the produce soon for pies, jams, or bulk freezing, absolutely buy, sort through, and enjoy! Just keep in mind if you can’t eat them quickly, it may be best to pass even if its a killer price!
  • I am often amazed at what unique products and offerings they have. Don’t be afraid to try something new when you are there!
  • And DEFINITELY recommend popping into the cheese shop. See if they have their super sour pickles!

So you want to talk affordability:

  • Here is what I purchased at Haymarket this past weekend (1/28) for $15:
    • 1 lb baby potatoes
    • 1 head cauliflower
    • Two 12 oz containers of blackberries
    • 1 lb Shishito peppers
    • 5 Sumo Oranges
    • 1 bag of Romaine heads
    • 4 shallots
    • 1 bag of fancy colored carrots
  • I often can buy a week+ worth of produce for under $20
  • The produce is often available by the lb. or individually, which is great when you don’t want to buy a whole bag of oranges at the grocery store, you just want 2!

Make a date of it!

My husband and I love to make the trek in, and then turn it into an early morning date! Here are a couple options for making grocery shopping extra fun!

  • Head over to the North End for a cappuccino and Lobster Tail from Caffe Vittoria (290-296 Hanover St)
  • For a coffee with less of a walk, George Howell Coffee in the Boston Public Market is a lot closer (they can also validate your parking)
  • Grab some fun produce or cheese then head to Boston Beer Alley in the Boston Public Market to find a fun beer or cider pairing to go with it! They also have wine, seltzer, and spirits
  • If you are heading to the market later in the day, Quincy Market or Boston Public Market have great lunch spots!
  • Bring your picnic blanket and enjoy a picnic at the Rose Kennedy Greenway! You will definitely be able to find treats and sweets to bring with you.

I hope my tips and tricks encourage you to shop at one of the best gems in Boston with confidence!

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