Saturday

Boston Public Market First Impressions & Walk-Through

We were invited to a pre-opening tour. This post is in no way affiliated with or sponsored by Boston Public Market.

Boston Public Market indoor farmer's market open in Boston Blogger Tour

Boston Public Market in a Nutshell

Boston Public Market is the first of its kind--a year-round, indoor farmer's market that only houses local vendors. In fact, over 90% of the vendors are from Massachusetts, while the remainders are from New England. Especially for a city like Boston in a region that is highly affected by the seasons, it's really nice to see something like this come to fruition for local families and visitors.

It is now officially open (as of July 31st)!

Main Entrance: 100 Hanover St Boston, MA

Hours: Wed-Sun 8 am to 8 pm

Check out Boston Public Market's site.

Here's a map and list of current vendors.

Its Origin

Boston Public Market is in a building that was originally built for the Big Deal (remember that headache?) and has been vacant until work to convert it into a thoughtfully designed space for Boston Public Market began. While the top portion is a parking garage, the bottom floor is full of 37 different local vendors with room for a few more. 

Its Purpose

While we initially assumed it was meant to be a combination indoor farmer's market/local gathering space, it is really meant to be more of a fresh, local grocery store. There are several spots for eating, but they are limited in size and wifi will not be made available. I found this a little confusing given the fact they have a dedicated kid's corner for hanging out and many vendors offer prepared food in addition to raw/fresh produce, meats and dairy.

We were also informed that vendors will not change frequently in most cases as they have custom-built out their areas with the intention of sticking around. Obviously some will change over time, but you should assume many will stay for a bit.

Our Visit

We were invited to check out Boston Public Market before it opened alongside some other local bloggers. During our tour we were able to speak with some of the vendors and snap some pics, however, we found out once we got there that they were holding a soft open simultaneously, so getting a lot of clear shots was a bit challenging. However, I think you'll be able to get a pretty decent idea of what Boston Public Market has to offer!


Boston Public Market Tips

  • Go during less busy hours with little ones. The space is a reasonable size, however, when crowded it becomes quite congested and sensory kiddos could easily get overwhelmed. It could also be difficult to maneuver a stroller during busier hours judging by the widths of some of the aisles.
  • Keep an eye on little ones as Boston Public Market is located right next to a very busy area and doors leading out open up to the sidewalk next to those busy streets.
  • Check parking rates ahead of time if you plan to drive in. Some garages are slightly cheaper than others--some will eventually offer validation. Keep in mind, some of the cheaper garages tend to have some of the lower ratings on Yelp and Google. We tend to prefer Government Center Garage because the spaces are a decent size, there's always free spots and it's central to a lot.
  • Watch Boston Public Market's site for updates on parking validation as I was informed it should eventually be offered. My understanding is that details will be similar to those offered at some garages to those visiting the North End.
  • Save on parking by visiting at night or on the weekends as most local garages offer discounted rates after 5 pm and on the weekends.
  • Bring cold packs and insulated shopping bags during warmer months if planning to purchase meats and dairy. 
  • If you have an allergy to wheat, Q's Nuts and a few other vendors offer gluten-free prepared foods. We were a bit bummed to see there was no gluten-free baker, but a few vendors offer gluten-free items that you can eat right there. 
  • Bathrooms are available at either end of the space, making them convenient to get to. 
  • Water fountains near the bathrooms have water bottle fill-up stations. While these weren't working when we were there, I'd assume they'll be up and running asap.
  • Vendor products will change with the seasons for many vendors! Since everything is local, many of the goods offered by vendors will change with the seasons. While some are able to work ahead of time to ensure they have fresh produce and whatnot throughout the non-growing seasons, you'll no doubt see a fun shift in what becomes available as the weather grows cooler in a couple months. We are particularly excited to see what fun stuff becomes available during the holidays!


Getting to Boston Public Market

Boston Public Market indoor farmer's market open in Boston Blogger Tour

The T - You can easily take the T and get right off at Haymarket from both the green and orange lines.

Driving & Parking - You can drive in and park at nearby garages such as the one right above Boston Public Market (this was actually full the day we visited, which was on a Thursday) or Government Center Garage. I was told that parking may soon be validated at some local garages, as it is for the North End nearby, but it will have similar restrictions and is not currently available as of the time of this post.

Walk - Obviously it's easy to walk here from nearby areas if you have a little time! It's about a 20 minute walk to Chinatown for reference.


Boston Public Market Visual Walk-Through 

We weren't able to take shots of all the vendors, but here are a handful of them!

Boston Public Market indoor farmer's market open in Boston Blogger Tour
The end of Boston Public Market that faces Government Center Garage is actually the Kitchen, which we'll discuss more below. The main entrance is down on the other end around the corner from the T sign you see on the right.

Boston Public Market indoor farmer's market open in Boston Blogger Tour
This is the inner main entrance of Boston Public Market. To the immediate left is Red Apple Farm and down to the far left is the Kitchen at the end.

Boston Public Market indoor farmer's market open in Boston Blogger Tour
To the immediate right of the entrance is Harlow's Vermont Farm Stand.

Boston Public Market indoor farmer's market open in Boston Blogger Tour
From the main entrance you can get to the Kitchen by heading straight back to the rear end of the building (the side nearest to Government Center Garage).

Mamadou's Boston Public Market indoor farmer's market open in Boston Blogger Tour
Mamadou's offers an impressive selection of fresh breads. I didn't see any gluten-free options.

Wolf Meadow Farm Boston Public Market indoor farmer's market open in Boston Blogger Tour
Wolf Meadow Farm offers a wealth of fresh cheeses.

Boston Public Market indoor farmer's market open in Boston Blogger Tour
The lovely lady there with the tray of ricotta samples was kind enough to share her enthusiasm for the cheeses they make with us. Definitely stop here if you like cheese!

Stillman's Plants Boston Public Market indoor farmer's market open in Boston Blogger Tour
Stillman's Plants offered one of the largest varieties of fresh produce out of the vendors.

Boston Public Market indoor farmer's market open in Boston Blogger Tour
All of their produce looked really great!

Boston Public Market indoor farmer's market open in Boston Blogger Tour
This is the designated kids area, which is located near the rear of the space close to the Kitchen and near the bathrooms. This area is tucked out of the way a bit from the bustle of the rest of Boston Public Market, so it could be a nice area to take little ones to that need to get out of the crowds. While it wasn't super busy when we were there, I'd assume this area could get filled up pretty quickly during busier hours.

Boston Public Market indoor farmer's market open in Boston Blogger Tour
Adjacent to the kids area is a row of rocking chairs made from lobster traps! Sorry it's a bit fuzzy, we were in a rush when we walked by these, so I tried to grab a quick shot. They're very interesting to look at, though our youngest didn't find them incredibly comfortable. :)

Boston Public Market indoor farmer's market open in Boston Blogger Tour
As we mentioned above, next to the kids area is another set of restrooms and the entrance to the Kitchen at Boston Public Market.

Boston Public Market indoor farmer's market open in Boston Blogger Tour
The Kitchen at Boston Public Market will be a multi-purpose space where individuals and even families with children can take classes, host events or eventually attend yoga and running clinics!
1/3 of classes will be free and of the demonstration persuasion, 1/3 will be in the lower range of $5-20 and include demonstrations and films and 1/3 will will be full price around $25-85 and include demonstrations and meal creation. Some will require registration ahead of time (the paid ones and some of the free ones). The calendar on Boston Public Market's website will be updated periodically with classes. 

These cooking stations are mobile and can be moved around for events, cookbook signings and for the upcoming yoga classes and running groups REI will be holding through Boston Public Market.

As you can see, they are very enthusiastic in the Kitchen about the programs they're developing!

One of the nicest aspects of the Kitchen is that it has an entire wall of floor to ceiling windows that let in lots of light! You can do some serious people watching while you cook. 

Stillman Quality Meats Boston Public Market indoor farmer's market open in Boston Blogger Tour
Stillman Quality Meats is one of the fresh meat vendors at Boston Public Market, which can be found on the end of what is an aisle of meat vendors near the Hub.

Beantown Pastrami Boston Public Market indoor farmer's market open in Boston Blogger Tour
Beantown Pastrami Co. wasn't one of the vendors we stopped to speak with but they looked as though they offered some really delicious deli items.

Mother Juice Boston Public Market indoor farmer's market open in Boston Blogger Tour
Mother Juice, as you may suspect, offers fresh juices, smoothies and salads made with a variety of fruits, vegetables, leafy greens, etc.

Mother Juice Boston Public Market indoor farmer's market open in Boston Blogger Tour
What started off as a food truck in Texas, has eventually evolved into a Boston Public Market shop that offers an impressive list of juices, smoothies and salads.

Mother Juice Boston Public Market indoor farmer's market open in Boston Blogger Tour
These two lovely ladies are the co-owners, who were super sweet and very willing to speak with us about their shared passion for fresh, raw ingredients.

Sweet Lydia's Confections Boston Public Market indoor farmer's market open in Boston Blogger Tour
Sweet Lydia's Confections is a delicious shop that offers handmade marshmallows galore! We grabbed a variety pack of marshmallows because they looked so tasty.

Inna's Jewish Cuisine Boston Public Market indoor farmer's market open in Boston Blogger Tour
Inna's Kitchen is a mother-son operation that offers authentic Jewish cuisine.

This lovely fellow is the "son" half of this mother-son restaurant. Believe it or not, they ship their pita straight from Israel! Definitely give them a try. I haven't seen many authentic Jewish restaurants in Massachusetts, so this could easily be a new favorite for many Boston Public Market visitors. Their original location is in Newton Centre.

What they were offering that day at Inna's Kitchen.

Cookbook Exchange Boston Public Market indoor farmer's market open in Boston Blogger Tour
This is part of Boston Public Market's Cookbook Exchange program! Leave a cookbook, take a cookbook. Those who wish to do so can leave their favorite recipes and cookbooks and in exchange, get the opportunity to try someone else's favorite!

Cookbook Exchange Boston Public Market indoor farmer's market open in Boston Blogger Tour
If you'd like, you can always simply donate your favorite. There's always room for more!

Jasper Hill Farm Boston Public Market indoor farmer's market open in Boston Blogger Tour
Jasper Hill Farm offered some pretty delicious looking cheeses and prepared grilled cheeses, mac 'n cheese, etc. All the cheese in all the most delicious comfort foods you could want!

Jasper Hill Farm Boston Public Market indoor farmer's market open in Boston Blogger Tour
If you love cheese, this is definitely another worthwhile stop!

Boston Public Market indoor farmer's market open in Boston Blogger Tour
We wanted to give you guys a view of one of the aisles--its size, how it's set up, etc. There are multiple aisle (3 clumps perhaps and 2 or 3 rows?) and while some are a mix up of different types of vendors, some areas are obviously dedicated more to meat or produce.

Stow Greenhouses Boston Public Market indoor farmer's market open in Boston Blogger Tour
This was super amusing to us as we're from towns that neighbor the original Stow Greenhouses! Really lovely variety of flowers if you're looking for some pretty bouquets.

Boston Honey Company Boston Public Market indoor farmer's market open in Boston Blogger Tour
Easily one of the neatest vendors to visit, Boston Honey Company offers a fabulous variety of honeys, beeswax products and even has a live hive on-site!


Boston Honey Company Boston Public Market indoor farmer's market open in Boston Blogger Tour
We had a lovely chat with this guy from Boston Honey Company who explained all about their observation hive to his left! Those bees are able to fly out into the surrounding areas and then return to their hive. Super cool!

Boston Honey Company Boston Public Market indoor farmer's market open in Boston Blogger Tour
More info on the hive.

Hopsters Alley Boston Public Market indoor farmer's market open in Boston Blogger Tour
Meet the brit behind Hopsters Alley, the first store dedicated to offering the largest and finest selection of local Massachusetts and New England craft beers. This vendor space is very different from the rest and really does have a long alley like feel lined wall to wall in local craft beers. Lee (above) informed us that Hopsters also does their own craft beers. There will be a rotation of beers on-tap in addition to those in bottles, cans, etc. Hopsters will hold tastings in the future.
Nella Pasta Boston Public Market indoor farmer's market open in Boston Blogger Tour
Nella Pasta offers a wide variety of freshly made pastas! I didn't see any gluten-free options, but what they did have looked amazing. Please start making almond-based pasta, Nella!

Nella Pasta Boston Public Market indoor farmer's market open in Boston Blogger Tour
Don't these look amazing?


Nella Pasta Boston Public Market indoor farmer's market open in Boston Blogger Tour
It's clear she loves her job!

Nella Pasta Boston Public Market indoor farmer's market open in Boston Blogger Tour
In addition to ready-to-cook pasta Nella Pasta offered some delicious looking sauce.

Nella Pasta Boston Public Market indoor farmer's market open in Boston Blogger Tour

Nella Pasta Boston Public Market indoor farmer's market open in Boston Blogger Tour

Greenway Boston Public Market indoor farmer's market open in Boston Blogger Tour
The Greenway is next to Boston Public Market and the RMV is in the same building as well.

Qs Nuts Boston Public Market indoor farmer's market open in Boston Blogger Tour
Q's Nuts is one of the vendors that offers gluten-free, vegan goodies. They're definitely worth a try!

Qs Nuts Boston Public Market indoor farmer's market open in Boston Blogger Tour
If you have ever loved those delicious nut vendors on the side of the roads, at fairs, ski resorts, etc. then you have to stop here! The owner is absolutely fantastic and the variety of nuts is amazing--everything from sweet to spicy.

Qs Nuts Boston Public Market indoor farmer's market open in Boston Blogger Tour

Qs Nuts Boston Public Market indoor farmer's market open in Boston Blogger Tour
The owner of Q's Nuts offered to allow us to sample quite a few different nuts. These were my favorite, which I purchased after tasting. They are so good!

Qs Nuts vegan gluten-free Boston Public Market indoor farmer's market open in Boston Blogger Tour
In addition to prepackaged bags in several sizes, Q's Nuts also offers some in bulk.

Q's Nuts vegan gluten-free Boston Public Market indoor farmer's market open in Boston Blogger Tour
We thought their prices were super reasonable on the prepackaged bags! Don't forget, these are gluten-free and vegan.

Q's Nuts Boston Public Market indoor farmer's market open in Boston Blogger Tour
Prices on the bulk nuts were great as well.

Taza Chocolate Bar Boston Public Market indoor farmer's market open in Boston Blogger Tour
Taza Chocolate Bar is another must-see spot if you don't eat gluten ... or just love chocolate! Their chocolates are absolutely amazing and they'll be offering hot and cold drinking chocolate with milk, almond and I believe soy bases. Yum!

Taza Chocolate Boston Public Market indoor farmer's market open in Boston Blogger Tour
These chocolates were amazing! Really, if you love chocolate, you have to try these. The flavors were lovely too, nothing fake tasting about them at all! The chocolate is gluten-free, non-GMO, vegan, organic AND made from direct trade cacao. And did we mention delicious? Bars were $5 each and well worth the money in our opinions.

Red Apple Farm Boston Public Market indoor farmer's market open in Boston Blogger Tour
Red Apple Farm is based in Phillipston, though they now have a home in Boston Public Market as well where they offer cider, sparkling cider, fresh fruits, cider donuts, apple crisp, fudge and more!

Red Apple Farm Boston Public Market indoor farmer's market open in Boston Blogger Tour
Anytime we see fudge we feel compelled to try it--for you of course! 

Red Apple Farm Boston Public Market indoor farmer's market open in Boston Blogger Tour
They had so many flavors!

Red Apple Farm Boston Public Market indoor farmer's market open in Boston Blogger Tour

Red Apple Farm Boston Public Market indoor farmer's market open in Boston Blogger Tour
Their fruits looked absolutely beautiful and prices were good.

Red Apple Farm Boston Public Market indoor farmer's market open in Boston Blogger Tour
If you're not from an area where fresh cider donuts are available ... get yourself here NOW! No gluten-free donuts, but for anyone unconcerned with wheat, these are a must.

Red Apple Farm Boston Public Market indoor farmer's market open in Boston Blogger Tour


Boston Public Market Final Thoughts

There are 37 vendors as of right now and obviously we couldn't snap pics of all of them (some of them weren't there and others had crowds around them), but you can clearly see there are some really great options available. In addition to what we've shown you, there's great coffee, fresh ice cream, a meat vendor from Berlin (Lilac Hedge Farm) and 3 non-food vendors. 

Of all the vendors we visited that day, I'd have to say our family favorites were Q's Nuts (amazing nuts), Taza Chocolate Bar, Union Square Donuts (we have a separate post dedicated to their shop in Somerville) and Red Apple Farm (reminds us of the area we're originally from which is total apple country). But really, all the vendors were amazing and when we have a chance to go back we look forward to getting to experience some of the ones we didn't have time to get to or who weren't available that day. 

If you go let us know what you think! Overall, we think they're a great addition to what Boston has to offer, especially for those who live in or are visiting the city who don't have easy access to farm-fresh meats, dairy and produce like some of us that live in the suburbs do.


Boston Public Market Haul & Fudge Tasting

The boys enjoyed visiting Boston Public Market with us and wanted to do a mini haul of a few things we got there along with taste-testing 6 different fudges made by Red Apple Farm! Check it out...


11 comments:

  1. Oh this looks like somewhere I need to visit!!! Looks amazing

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  2. Boston is on my list of places I would love to visit. Thanks for all the pictures! Looks like a great place.

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  3. What an awesome place! I will definitely put this on my to do list the next time I'm in Boston. We live about 50 mins north in NH. :) Thanks for the great pics and review!!

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  4. I loveeee wandering around markets like this! There's always so much to see.

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  5. I've never been to Boston...this is definitely good incentive to make it there :)

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  6. I've always wanted to go to boston. If we make it there we will def check this out

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  7. This looks like a great space for year round market.

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  8. Whoa, this looks like a fun place to visit!

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  9. I really wish we had stuff like this around where I live!

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  10. This looks like such a fun place!! I need to add it to my bucket list!

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  11. This looks like a great place to visit! I miss the east coast.

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