At the start of the summer season many people start thinking about changing their food-shopping habits.
Moscow offers several options for purchasing food, including well-stocked supermarkets and more authentic food markets. When shopping at the supermarket you can expect to see shiny counters with beautifully wrapped products, pay by credit card and know you will receive a receipt for your purchases. However, you are not guaranteed any of these things at the market.
Nonetheless, Moscow’s food markets have a charm all their own. Visiting a market allows you to experience the ancient spirit of commerce. There is a constant uproar here, as every seller tries to attract your attention. Tasting products is par for the course, as is haggling over price. All of this turns a routine food shop into an emotional experience.
Markets are also a good choice for those who think about what they eat, because sellers will happily talk about where their goods come from, tell you about the region and showcase its specialties. What is particularly good about markets is that they offer fresh seasonal vegetables and fruits from local farmers, allowing you to be a smart consumer.
Top-5 Moscow Food Markets
- Dorogomilovsky Market (10, Mozhaisky Val Street) – The most famous of Moscow’s markets has a history that spans 500 years. In ancient times there was an old Smolensk road at this location, which streams of merchants used to enter and depart from the city. Nowadays it is a welcoming space where you can find gastronomical specialties from around the globe: from Moscow-region apples and the best mutton in the city, to Spanish ham, French oysters or the famous Asian durian fruit. It is no secret that many star chefs buy products for their restaurants here.
- Danilovsky Market (74, Mytnaya Street) – This market was known as the Collective Farm Market until it was renamed 10 years ago. It has subsequently been renovated and now contains well-defined rows with sellers in uniform. It also contains seating areas for resting between purchases. The butchery rows contain diagrams with English translations which show the correct cuts used by butchers. It should be noted that this is one of the most expensive markets.
- Central Market (15/1 Tsvetnoy Boulevard) – This market was opened in the city center in 2002 by the Ginza Project Restaurants Net. It is unusual for Moscow in that it combines a market, a supermarket and a restaurant. The prices here are considerably higher than in other markets, however here you can enjoy the experience of having everything you purchase cooked in five to ten minutes. In addition, this market boasts a good selection of exquisite eco and bio products.
- Lefortovo Market (39, Aviamotornaya) – This is one of the best markets in the capital. Its history starts in imperial times when Peter the Great founded manufacturing and markets in the German suburb. There are open and covered markets where senior people sell their own jams, vegetables from the country-houses or knitted socks for 100 rubles.
- Secret Asian Market (Lublino subway station, behind the ‘Moscow’ mall) – Behind the administrative building of the ‘Moscow’ mall there is a small pavilion which is not signposted in any way, but where you will notice people coming in and out. Congratulations: you’ve just discovered the city’s most hidden market – the Asian Market! Here you can buy exotic products like pak choi, litchis, preserved passion fruit, aloe and of course lot of noodles from the usual udon variety, to other more unusual types.