Move over, Chatuchak and Shilin night bazaars. A new breed of marketplaces in Asia is making waves with artisanal bites, local produce and creative vibes.
Taking over the docks facing Chao Praya River, The Great Outdoor Market breathes new life to Bangkok’s street food scene. Popping up just once a month, the bazaar brings together restauranteurs and food entrepreneurs serving up top quality street nosh. Along the pier, food trucks dish out treats like burgers from Mother Trucker, cold-brewed teas from Tea Atelier, and baked pastries. Come nightfall, the combination of live music, cascading fairy lights dotting the trees and cool riverside breeze creates a refreshing vibe that is lacking in the usual tourist-swamped night markets. Visitors can picnic on the grass or tables while listening to Thai musicians belting out tunes in the background.
The Commons is a new marketplace that just opened a month ago. Housed at the trendy Thong Lor district in Bangkok, expect a village-like setting with food and drinks from specialized purveyors like artisanal bakery Maison Jean Philippe, and Bao & Buns, a restaurant known for its Chinese steamed bun with gourmet fillings. The concept aims to offer a sense of community between vendors as well as the public. The rooftop yard also features a communal green space and herb garden where visitors can relax.
335/1 Soi Thong Lo 17, Sukhumvit 55, Klongton Nua Wattana, Bangkok 10110
A walk through Made of Legacy market makes you feel like you’re at a flea market in Brooklyn. There is a mish-mash of curios here from the sellers as they tend to focus on vintage clothing, jewellery and objects. While it’s perfect for the vintage-lover to trawl through, there is also a huge community of folks selling their own handmade crafts and art. Even if you don’t buy anything, it’s great to bask in the atmosphere, have some light drinks and meet new people.
A first of its kind in Hong Kong, Tong Chong Street Market happens every Sunday at the address of its namesake. Unlike the other souvenir-laden street markets you’ll find in this clustered city, this is a gastronomic fair which also includes a section with local farmers offering organic produce. The bazaar is is big on supporting the green initiative as seen in its partnership with social entreprise, Honestly Green. Under the white tentage, look out for a curated collection of homegrown players like Bread & Beast, Common Ground and Teakha.
979 King’s Road, Quarry Bay, Hong Kong
Consisting of a few parts within one space, Maji Square is another complex for the curious foodie. There is a collection of shops and restaurants sprawled around the space for diners including a Japanese yakitori, Taiwan’s popular bagel shop Good Cho’s and ice-cream parlour Midori. Shop at Maji Food & Deli, a gourmet grocer in the style of Dean and Deluca, stocked with small batch products mostly made in Taiwan. Wander through Maji Market where you’ll find little trinkets and fashion items before ending the evening with some drinks at the atrium. The fountain in the outdoor space is also a popular area to hang around and enjoy performances from local musicians.
No. 1 Yumen St, Zhongshan District, Taipei City, Taiwan 104
Cover: The Great Outdoor Market
This was first published in Wine & Dine’s January 2016 issue, ‘Travel news & great getaways’.