While doing some research on Twitter about public markets, Derek found out about the South End Open Market. Located in the Ink Block on Harrison Avenue in Boston, the South End open market is easy to access and in a great spot. This part of Boston has a little bit of that hipster vibe, which makes it a great place to set up for an open market. It is open every Sunday from May to October. It opens at 10am and closes at 4pm.
The South End Open Market is comprised of 3 different markets: a farmer's market, an arts market, and a food truck market. The three markets, though all together in one location, were clearly defined. You walk in to the farmer's market area, make your way over to the left to the arts area, and then keep going to get to the food trucks. I liked how organized the market layout was. It made it easy to find everything, and there was plenty of room to walk around from tent to tent.
We first started in the farmers market where we found many great products. Union Square Donuts was still setting up when we arrived, and had a huge line when we returned later on in the day. People were selling anything from cupcakes, to ice tea, to coffee, to honey. There was a buzz in the market, and everyone looked like they were having a great time.
The first table we stopped at was a little booth that sold hand painted chocolates. The chocolates were so beautiful that you almost didn't want to eat them. Derek tried one though, and he loved it. He said it was like a chocolate covered cherry, but better. It also had some almond flavors in it.
The next place we stopped was Minus the Moo. Minus the Moo makes lactose free, real dairy ice cream. They were giving out free samples, so we chose to indulge. There is no way that anyone could tell that there wasn't any lactose in the ice cream. It was fantastic. I was a little nervous about buying it, as Lactaid ice cream still makes me sick. However, I was able to bring home a carton, eat it, and not get sick. Derek and I tried a few flavors, as noted on their website: Madagascar Vanilla, Chocolate, Espresso, Sea Salt Chocolate Chip, and Mint Chip. We liked the Mint Chip the most.
Another item that we really loved was Ariel's Honey Infusions. Wow, this is a product unlike anything else you have ever tried. They infuse their raw Vermont honey with organic herbs so that you can enjoy them on toast, in a tea, or with a dessert, etc. We tried a couple different flavors: mint orange and lemon, vanilla and lavender, and Bee My Honey (which is made with dark chocolate and raspberries). We liked the Vanilla and Lavender the most, and bought some to bring home. The vanilla/lavender ratio in the honey was perfect, and I couldn't wait to get home and spread it on some toast. You can check out their website for more info and flavors.
We also caught up with our friends from Corn and Company. Corn and Company makes delicious, gourmet popcorn in a variety of flavors. You may remember us posting and tweeting about them from the Boston Wine Expo. We loved them so much, that we wrote a whole blog post about them after the expo. We love the company, and their product. This time, we tried a couple new flavors. We tried the S'mores, which was dairy free and absolutely amazing. Rich in chocolate with a slight marshmallow taste, this popcorn is a treat. We also tried out the Double Rainbow, also lactose free, which had a different fruit flavor matching each of the colors of the rainbow. If you haven't checked out Corn and Company yet, make it a point to!
After checking out what the farmer's market had to offer, we made our way over to the art tents. The artists were very talented. We saw everything from paintings of Boston, to stuffed animal taxidermy, to vintage clothing, to hand made soaps and lotions. There is literally something for everyone. The prices weren't too steep, varying from table to table. One of the cool things we saw was 3D printed jewelry!
We were getting hungry, and it was starting to sprinkle rain so we decided to grab some food. There were so many food trucks at the market, that it was hard to choose. There was everything from ice cream sandwiches, to Jamaican food, to subs, to Japanese food. I had never seen so many food trucks in one place before.
We picked up a couple grilled cheeses at Roxy's Grilled Cheese. Derek got a plain cheddar cheese grilled cheese and I got a Rookie Melt, made up of cheddar cheese and tomato. We also split hand cut truffle fries and a blueberry lemonade.