World's Best Food Markets
Andrew Zimmern names his favorite food markets around the world: “Through all of my travels, I’ve found that there’s no better way to feel the pulse of a city or to understand the local culture than to visit a market. I can learn more about a people and their way of life here than I can in the local museum, that’s for sure. Locavore bazaars—where merchant’s hawk the region’s specialties, artisans sell their wares and residents shop for dinner—offer the most authentic and honest experience.”—Andrew Zimmern
The Dane County Farmers’ Market is the largest producer-only farmers’ market in the county, meaning all items are produced in Wisconsin by the vendor behind the table. Located on the steps of the state’s capitol, this Midwest market has been around since the ’70s, when then-mayor Bill Dyke saw it as a way to unite the rural and urban cultures of Dane County. Today, there are more than 150 vendors each Wednesday and Saturday, selling everything from sustainable protein to organic produce and fresh flowers. But I’m in Wisconsin, so naturally I head straight for Bleu Mont Dairy, where the cheese is made in small batches and aged in caves. You won’t taste cheddar like this anywhere else. Next stop, L’Etoile across the street, where chef Tory Miller changes the menu based on what’s fresh at the market.