Edinburgh Farmers Market
Standing astride the capital’s market scene like a colossus, the Edinburgh Farmers Market is a powerhouse attraction in its own right. Now in its 15th year and listed by chef and presenter Loyd Grossman as one of the world’s best farmers’ markets, the Edinburgh Farmers’ Market is still reliably hosting over 50 specialist producers who grow and rear the entirety of the fresh local produce they sell. Skip the supermarket and instead spend a few hours of your Saturday on Castle Terrace buying dinner ingredients from the stallholders variously peddling venison, organic beef, chicken, lamb, seasonal fruits and vegetables, jams, chutneys, crusty bread, handmade chocolates and organic beer. Tasting samples are commonplace across the stalls, so try before you buy from some of these esteemed suppliers, among whom that have visited on the last few Saturdays, are Puddledub Pork, Caurnie Soap, Eden Brewery and Tay Valley Fruits.
Opening hours: Sat 9am – 2pm
Castle Terrace, New Town, Edinburgh, Midlothian Scotland, UK +44 131 220 8580
Situated in Jubilee Gardens on the banks of the Water of Leith, the Stockbridge Market gets a rep as the ‘second’ farmer’s market in the capital, but that doesn’t diminish the quality of artisan, handmade and crafted goods and ingredients sold here every Sunday afternoon. The Stockbridge location also means that the market stays off the main tourist throng (and thus keeps jostling, overzealous visitors away) and bargain hunters will be put in the mood for a tour of Stockbridge’s many renowned charity shops. At the market, one may find items and goods ranging from artisan cheeses, smoked salmon, jewellery, crafts, soaps, crepes, melting marshmallows and even handmade dog treats. Some of the popular producers known to appear are the Edinburgh Natural Skincare Company, Bad Tempered Baker and – in their own custom-fitted VW Camper Van – North Berwick’s Steampunk Coffee.
Opening hours: Sun 10am – 5pm
1 Saunders Street, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK, +44 131 551 5633
European Christmas Market
No visit to Edinburgh in the wintertime would be complete without the quintessential and atmospheric European Christmas Market. It’s also pretty much impossible to avoid, regardless of whether you’re a tourist in the capital or a beleaguered Edinburgh shopper. The market has, for the last twenty years, occupied the main thoroughfare below the Mound, stretching from there, along East Princes Street Gardens Terrace and around the Scott Monument. But don’t begrudge the market; it still remains a unique shopping experience with its array of crafters, artists and gift shops. Culinary treats are obviously plentiful with several creperies and BBQs dotted around the fairground and the perfect romantic note can be struck with a cup of mulled wine shared between couples.
Opening hours: 10am – 10pm every day of the festive period
Out of the Blue Flea Market
Out of the Blue is a community arts organisation operating out of Dalmeny Street’s former army drill hall and their monthly flea market is an all-ages event to beat. Now a full-blown cultural hub playing host to a range of public events and artists studios. Inside the army hall on any given day, you may find art sales, theatre, dance, flea markets, vintage fairs and a food market. The flea market incorporates a cornucopia of hand-crafted goodies from local artists – bric-a-brac, vintage vinyl, fashion, musical instruments, antiques, furniture and the indescribable one-off gems. The in-house cafe will sate customers also, with its wide array of home-made hot meals and treats.
Opening hours: Last Saturday of every month 10am – 3pm
36 Dalmeny St, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK +44 131 555 7100
Tram Stop Market
Rebranded last year in tribute to the long-overdue transportation network, the Tram Stop Market is one of the more frequent markets to appear on this list, being open Wednesday through Sunday from 11am every week. A mixed market with a wide range of stalls, nestling in the shadow of John Lewis by the St Mary’s Metropolitan Cathedral (look out for the visual marker of the Paolozzi foot statue), the Tram Stop Market peddles exceptional street food and fresh produce. It’s a popular shopping destination in its own right, thanks to its gift, arts, and crafts selections, not to mention the variety of music and vintage clothes hidden in and amongst the treasure trove for eagle-eyed shoppers to spot. The market does special tie-ins too; the monthly Taster Day showcases new flavours from local businesses – including Austrian dumplings with vegetarian fillings – and all portions are under £5. Plus, during the Edinburgh International Festival and throughout the Christmas period, don’t be surprised by the spectacle of live music, entertainment and decorations.
Opening hours: Wed – Sun 11am – 3pm