Daryl & Mindi Hirsch

Meet Daryl & Mindi Hirsch, a couple from the US, based in Lisbon, Portugal. They're 2foodtrippers, Food + Travel content creators, exploring the world for delicious meals—street food to haute cuisine. Honored 🥇Best Travel Blog (Saveur) 🥇Best Food Blog (TBC Asia). Foodies' delight!

Discover local cuisine, drinks, and artisan goods that are unforgettably special

Everyone, meet Daryl and Mindi Hirsch, food and travel bloggers who scour the world in search of the next great meal! They are obsessed with all types of cuisines, coffee, fine dining, wine, street eats, and cocktails. Today they are here to share one of their food fixations: local markets. Local markets are so often the center of life in Europe. People come for food, to be sure, but also for social calls, gossip, and the simple pleasure of a coffee and some fresh air. Europe’s markets are the lifeblood of their communities. This is how life has been for centuries. This is how it still is today. 

Daryl and Mindi are here to share the three markets they can’t stop thinking about. How did they come to their decision? They followed a few criteria: the markets should be off the beaten path or undiscovered, they should show the richness of their regional food culture, and they should be exciting enough that simply visiting them is an experience. With all that in mind, here are Daryl and Mindi’s choices. 

Les Halles de Dijon, France

Dijon is famous for its food. Sure, there’s the mustard, but did you know that boeuf bourguignon, escargot, and the Kir Royale also hail from this Burgundian land? No surprise, the rich cuisine of this place appears in its central food market, Les Halles de Dijon. The market is housed in a 19th century building of glass and metal that was inspired by plans proposed by the Eiffel company in 1868. Its large central dome and four pavilions articulated around two cross-shaped streets is an iconic building in Dijon and the place where over two hundred vendors come to sell their gastronomic delights. What will you find? A feast, truly! The diversity of the offering is incredible: cheese, wine, meats (fresh and cured), fruit, vegetables, artisanal products, honey, and a variety of mustards that’s unrivaled the world over. Here’s an inside tip from Daryl and Mindi: there are workshops and events where professional chefs and artisans teach you cooking techniques, share regional recipes, and divulge the secrets of Burgundian cuisine all using the ingredients of the market.  

InfoLes Halles is open every Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from 7:00 AM to 1:00 PM. 

The food market Les Halles de Dijon, France.
The food market Les Halles de Dijon, France.

Mercado de Olhão, Portugal

Portugal’s culinary bounty is world famous! The Mercado in Olhão is the place to experience it. The market’s roots stretch back to the early 20th century and has been a bustling place ever since. Its building alone is worth a visit: inspired by Moorish architecture, it features a unique design with domes, arches, and whitewashed walls. So, what delicacies will you find within its walls? There are actually two sides: one for produce, flowers, meat, nuts, and local sweets and the other for that supremely Portuguese prize: seafood. On the seafood side, you’ll find sardines, mackerel, sea bream, sea bass, sole, red mullet, and tuna. Shrimp, prawns, langoustines, crabs, and lobsters will be crawling in tanks and containers. The freshest octopus, squid, and cuttlefish you’ll ever encounter will be for sale by the fishermen who caught them. Daryl and Mindi’s advice? Indulge in a seafood platter in the market itself. The shellfish are sweeter than you’d dream of. Eating here is savoring the very flavor of the sea and all it offers. Want something to wash down the food? Daryl and Mindi suggest trying vinho verde, a light, young, and slightly effervescent wine from the north of the country. 

InfoThe Mercado de Olhão is open every day except Sunday from 7:00 AM to 2:00 PM. It’s busiest in the morning, so plan accordingly.

Mercado de Olhão, Portugal
Mercado de Olhão, Portugal.

Riga Central Market, Latvia 

The Riga Central Market is a fixture in the city’s old town. Not only is it one of the most vibrant markets in Europe, it also holds significant historical value. Its roots date to the 1930s, and one of the most fascinating facts about the building in which it stands is that the five pavilions are former German zeppelin hangers from the First World War. Baltic cuisine is quickly emerging as the darling of the world culinary scene. The Central Market is where you can discover the best of Latvian food, both traditional and reimagined. The offerings are immense: there’s a huge array of produce, fresh and cured meat, cheese, dairy products, and the hearty rye bread that’s typical of the region. And there’s more beyond food! The Central Market is an immersive cultural experience where you can interact with locals and vendors, browse through vintage clothing, artisan-made goods, and ready-made dishes like “pelmeni” (dumplings) or “kotletes” (meatballs). One last note from Daryl and Mindi: don’t forget the bars scattered throughout the markets. A few hours of shopping will make you thirsty! Try kvass (a fermented beverage) or honey mead to quench your thirst. 

InfoThe Riga Central Market is open every day from 7:00AM to 6:00PM.  

Central Market in Riga, Latvia
Central Market in Riga, Latvia.


Here are a few final tips from Daryl and Mindi to make your market experience great:

  • Bring your own tote or basket to carry the things you buy. This helps cut plastic waste, and it’s what the locals do. 
  • Be polite but don’t be afraid to assert yourself.  
  • Ask questions! Many of the vendors speak English, so don’t hesitate. This is also a great way to meet locals and learn about their culture. 
  • For the best and freshest selection, get there early! 
  • Bring cash in the local currency—in this case, euros—as some vendors don’t take cards. 

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