I was truly astounded to discover the extent of the food market at Riga – it is awesome in the original sense. And I was lucky to be visiting towards the end of August when stalls and carts were billowing with produce, almost an embarrassment of foodstuffs, and at that time of year, particularly of every kind of berry you could possibly imagine.
The market opened in 1930 – a series of imposing airy halls built in the 1920s (the metal frames came from World War I zeppelin hangars) with a touch of Art Deco about them – it’s now on the UNESCO World Heritage list. Originally it was the largest market in Europe, and even today it must still be one of the largest, but it overshadowed in terms of publicity by markets in Scandinavia, in The Netherlands, in Spain and, understandably by the impressive market in Budapest.
It’s very centrally located – just beside the station and the bus terminal, minutes away from the old town.
Each of the five halls contains its own specialism – vegetables, dairy, meat, fish and gastronomy products, and there are further stalls outside.
The fish hall, was by far the most impressive and intriguing in terms of what it was offering:
The vegetable and fruit produce is impressive:
And there are all kinds of other things to find:
Beware of pickpockets, and make sure you know what you are buying, and what a reasonable price might be for it.
Bear in mind that many of the stall holders do not like photographs being taken of themselves or their produce.
The Riga food market is at Nēģu iela 7, Rīga, LV-1050
Opening times: Monday – Saturday 08:00 – 18:00 Sunday 08:00 – 17:00