Grazing the Stands at Boston Public Market

As far as food halls go, Boston's locals and tourist alike have always relied on and old standby- Quincy Market. And while this often-packed, quintessentially "Boston" landmark certainly has it's place, there's a new (ish) kid on the block that's popped up in the last year offering a refreshing alternative.

Just steps away from the Freedom Trail you'll find a relatively quiet food hall-farmers market hybrid that will nourish your foodie soul. The Boston Public Market, which opened up on Hanover street last summer, serves up fresh, ready-made food for Boston's working crowd as well as local produce, meat, and fish for those looking to up their cooking game.

One unique aspect of the Boston Public Market is that it operates as a non-profit. Meaning, all the profits from the vendor's sales go directly to the vendors themselves. That way, smaller vendors have the opportunity to gain exposure through the Market, rather than the Market capitalizing on what's most profitable for them. While many of the stands at the Market boast products from known local favorites (such as Taza Chocolate and George Howell Coffee), some of the vendors only sell their products at the Market- talk about exclusivity!

With so many goods on offer, take your time to thoroughly explore the Market. This isn't the time to just buzz in and out! (though many do)

Enter the Market and have your senses overwhelmed by the smells of just-baked bagels, homemade sweets, and strong coffee. This place is a food-lovers heaven, that's for sure.

Enticed by the whimsical shapes of bread on display, my mom and I first headed over to the Swissbakers stand to get our first dose of carbs. In the form of a remarkably soft pretzel, of course!

Our wandering eyes had us distracted by each and every vendor we passed by, so our lunch and general haul of food to bring home became a mish mash of all sorts of treats! My mom was eyeing up the Q's Nuts stand where we sampled all manner of flavored nuts- from salted chocolate to sweet and spicy- before she decided on picking up the unique limoncello and lavender cashews for an upcoming party.

But the Boston Public Market isn't just for food- it sells everything from wholesale fruit and veg to artisan gifts you can't find anywhere else. Boston Honey Company, for example, turns their local beeswax and honey into beautiful creations, such as their handmade candles.

After picking up a few gifts, my mom and I searched for something a bit more hearty for lunch. We settled on a gooey grilled cheese sandwich from the Cellars at Jasper Hill Farm. I know what you're thinking- a grilled cheese is literally just bread and cheese. But I know a good grilled cheese when I taste one. I am a firm believer in life, liberty, and the pursuit of cheesiness.

And if you can't believe that I could have consumed any more carbs than I already had, then you would be wrong. Because dessert just had to be a strawberry donut from Union Square Donuts. I've heard great things about their baked goods, and I was not at all disappointed. The donut was light and yeasty, surrounded by a luscious strawberry glaze that had my mom and I saying "Oh my god" simultaneously as we dug in.

Stuffed to the brim with cheese, bread, and baked goods, my mom and I made our way home with various goodies in tow. And while I'm sad that my time here in Boston in almost up for the summer, I'm very excited that I have a brand new place to bring my friends when they come to visit!

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