Montreal’s Atwater Market
Well, that’s it folks. Search no more. I’ve found the ultimate farmer’s market. And it’s not in America. It’s in Canada. Montreal to be specific. It’s called Atwater Market and it’s everything any food lover could hope for.
Imagine a place with outdoor and indoor market space with rows of fresh baked bread, just-picked fruits and vegetables bursting with bright colors, French pastries by the dozen, meat markets, florist stalls and maple syrup! (No, the maple syrup wasn’t thrown in there to make sure you’re reading carefully. It is an important staple in the Canadian diet and the market would surely be lacking without it.)
I’m no stranger to farmer’s markets, as you know, but I was truly blown away by beauty of the Atwood Market. And it wasn’t just the bounty of goods or the superior selection, I just kept marveling at the attention to detail. In every stall, fresh produce was arranged in magnificent rows of alternating colors and coordinated patterns. Small baskets were filled with assortments of fruits to be purchased as “variety packs” for those of us who just can’t decide what to buy!
As I strolled past stall after stall of gorgeous food displays, I couldn’t help but feel a pang of jealousy for my Canadian relatives who have access to this kind of thing all the time. (The market is open year-round with an indoor section of meats, breads, pastries and syrup – of course!) To be honest, the farmer’s markets in Chicago paled in comparison, even the Green City Market, which I love.
Why do you think some cities have better markets than others? Aside from geographical nearness to farmland, what makes a city market-friendly? I am certainly no market expert, but I am curious: what are the markets like in your town? Are they year-round? Seasonal? Small? Enormous? Do tell.