The 5 Best Farmers and Flea Markets in New Orleans

 Vincent Mercer / © TripSavvy

It's a tradition in New Orleans to buy fresh seafood and produce directly from local fishermen and farmers.The French Market, in the French Quarter, was founded in 1791 and is the oldest open air market in the United States. It is reminiscent of street markets in Europe but it has its own distinct NOLA personality.These markets have expanded to include flea markets where you can find used items of every description, plus new arts and crafts by local artisans. Of course, because this is New Orleans, there's almost always live music.

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     Vincent Mercer / © TripSavvy

    The French Market, in the French Quarter, is the oldest and largest of all of the farmers' and flea markets in New Orleans.  Both the farmers market and the flea market are open every day. The flea market hosts sellers from all over the world. You'll find antiques, clothing, jewelry and crafts. The farmers market, in the Farmers Market Pavilion, brims with local fresh produce and seafood, and its restaurants serve breakfast, lunch and dinner. You'll also find spices, New Orleans specialties like pralines and gumbo, cheeses and wines, plus crepes, sandwiches, salads and sweet goodies.

    You'll also occasionally see chefs and restaurants putting on cooking demonstrations at the farmers market.

    The French Market District is just a few blocks from Cafe du Monde and Jackson Square and is surrounded by shops and restaurants. Ample parking is across the street from the French Market District, and you can also get there via streetcar.

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    The Freret Market in New Orleans.
    Infrogmation of New Orleans / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 2.0

    Held on the first Saturday of every month except July and August from noon to 5 p.m., the Freret Market has three categories: food, art and flea. Local restaurants are there, offering samples, and there's always live music. The Freret Market is located in the 4400 block of Freret Street near its intersection with Napoleon Avenue. 

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    The Frenchman Art Market in New Orleans.
    Infrogmation of New Orleans / Wikimedia Commons / GNU FDL

    This unusual art market happens on Frenchman Street, the No. 1 music street of the Big Easy, and you might be shopping, but you'll hear that sweet sound wafting out of the clubs surrounding you since this market is open at night -- 7 p.m. to 1 a.m. Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Monday and 6 p.m. to midnight on Sunday. Search through art, jewelry and crafts and talk with New Orleans artists on this market cum music adventure.

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    Arts Market of New Orleans

    A band at the monthly art market in Palmer Park.
    Infrogmation of New Orleans / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 2.0

    The Arts Market of New Orleans occurs on the last Saturday of every month from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Palmer Park in the Uptown/Garden District. It hosts local and regional artists and crafters who offer up a huge variety of handmade wares. Music fills the air, and food vendors are easy to find.

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    The French Quarter Market in New Orleans
    Atlantide Phototravel / Getty Images

    There are four Crescent City Farmers Markets in New Orleans. The Downtown Market is held every Saturday morning from 8 a.m. until noon on the corner of Carondelet and Julia streets. There's one on Tuesday mornings from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 200 Broadway at the Mississippi River. Also, there's a Mid-City Market on Thursdays from  3 to 7 p.m. at 3700 Orleans Avenue at the Bayou. The French Quarter Market is open from 1 to 5 p.m. Wednesdays from mid-October through mid-June in the French Market. You'll get live music and cooking demonstrations with your fresh produce at this seasonal market. ​