Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island
Northeast Fresh Markets: Buying from Farmers and Artisans
- New Jersey
- Rhode Island
Farmers markets and artisan markets, unlike grocery stores, are specialty shopping destinations that are typically open on varying, limited schedules.
The majority are seasonal markets that operate between spring and autumn. Shoppers will find fruits and vegetables as well as prepared foods for snacking or dining and the opportunity to meet local farmers and artisans.
Markets in the City and Countryside
In New Jersey, the Collingswood Farmers’ Market feels like a street festival. Find the Schober Orchards stall, where you can select an apple or two in your favorite hue or taste apple cider doughnuts dusted with cinnamon sugar. In Connecticut, the Coventry Regional Farmers’ Market feels more like a country fair. You can browse for heirloom tomatoes, fruit jams or a fresh-baked pie while listening to live fiddle music. In Rhode Island, the Coastal Growers’ Market presents food vendors selling wood-fired pizza, artisanal granola and organic produce in addition to offering summertime tours of its host farm on Narragansett Bay.
Travelers are likely to pass single-farm markets as they drive around the region’s country roads. These may be well-stocked stores or simple roadside stands with “honor system” payment boxes. Watch for pick-your-own signs as well. These farms, many of them loaded with apples or strawberries, invite guests to fill baskets full of seasonal produce for a fraction of the retail cost.
Stocking up on produce at the Atlantic City Farmers Market in New Jersey
Head Indoors for Year-Round Markets
Some seasonal outdoor markets migrate to nearby indoor locations for the winter, but Reading Terminal Market in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, operates indoors year-round. In the heart of the city, this sprawling setting in a former train depot features nearly 100 vendors, numerous restaurants, including an oyster bar and Bassetts, the USA’s oldest ice cream company. Cooking classes and guided walking tours of the historic market make it more than just a stop for shopping and eating.
In Pennsylvania, the Lancaster Central Market operates much the same way. It’s also the oldest continually operating farmers market in the USA. Here, Amish vendors sell local specialties, such as salty pretzels and homemade pickles, next to other vendors selling authentic Ethiopian, Thai and Middle Eastern foods.
Variety of dining options and vendors inside the Reading Terminal Market