Wicked Good Guides / Boston Cityviews /

Haymarket

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"Buck a box!"
"Dollar a pound!"
"Buck a box!"
"Dollar a pound!"
Like crows squawking at each other, the pair of neighboring Haymarket vendors endlessly repeat their duet as they try to draw in customers. Buck a box of what? Dollar a pound for what? Doesn't really matter. The key is to get the jostling pedestrians to stop and look. And then you might just sell them whatever it is you have.

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"Would you like some vegetables to go with that beef?"

Haymarket is Boston's great outdoor market, where you can buy everything from fruits and vegetable to sugar cane to fish just off the boat. It is everything your average supermarket isn't: cheap and loud and in your face. And don't even think of looking over any of those 12 limes you're about to spend a buck on.

"You wanna kick the tires?!?" one watermelon man hisses at a would-be customer trying to get a feel for his fruit. "You wanna take it out for a test spin?" []

Squashed between a modern hotel and what is left of the Central Artery, Haymarket seems precariously perched on the edge of extinction. Even in a small city like Boston, Haymarket is tiny. And, indeed, some worry what will happen when the Big Dig - that giant project to put the Central Artery underground - finally takes away the land on which the two-day (Friday and Saturday) market now sits.

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"Hey, look at the size of those carrots!"

Haymarket is also loud. The vendors shout their wares. They yell at each other - sometimes to get more produce to the stand, quick, sometimes just to recount the latest joke. Maybe they have to be loud, to make themselves heard over each other and the traffic that roars above and nearby.

You just don't see prices like this in the supermarket. And just as you're congratulating yourself on getting eight ears of corn for a dollar, you walk a few feet and see, if only you'd waited, you could have gotten ten. But no matter, it's still a bargain, even after you get home and you see that one of those 50-cent cantaloupes is all black from mold on one side, the side you didn't see as the guy put it in a bag. You're still up one, and even $1 is a good price for a large melon most places.

Getting there: Haymarket is right around the corner from Quincy Market. On the subway, get off at the Haymarket stop on the Green and Orange lines or the Government Center stop on the Blue and Green lines.

Comments

Hey, when will the market start up again? Thanks!

Bonnie Moses on February 21, 2004 09:48 PM.


Haymarket,what a place to go around and shop.Looks so much similar to our village markets in India.I would like to go visit there everyday,but Alas! it is there for two days everyweek.What an INJUSTICE.

Prabhakar Pandit on February 22, 2004 10:07 AM.


Haymarket,what a place to go around and shop.Looks so much similar to our village markets in India.I would like to go visit there everyday,but Alas! it is there for two days everyweek.What an INJUSTICE.

Prabhakar Pandit on February 22, 2004 10:08 AM.


Is the market active now? What are the hours.

Laura on March 3, 2004 03:08 PM.


tell me the way to this market from south waymouth ,ma 02190

praveena on April 3, 2004 12:43 PM.


This is a wonderful market and the most affordable way to feed yourself in Boston! Entertaining too!

Beth on April 16, 2004 05:10 PM.


Appreciate all the appreciation of the Haymarket, but I guess it is time some one lets out the secret of the timings. No one seems to want to give out this secret. Would the people who appreciate the Haymarket come out with the timings please.

Ravi on April 30, 2004 06:07 PM.


there are all these questions on this site asking about hours and what not, so what are they hours. i heard it's only friday and saturday, but have no definite confirmation. help!?

Jillian on May 2, 2004 01:49 PM.


right now (spring) haymarket goes until dusk on Friday and Saturday, though I don't know what time it opens in the morning since I like to sleep in. I recommend sticking around til 6 or 7 pm so you can get even BETTER deals and then watch the bulldozers clean up (it's insane).

Katie on May 7, 2004 09:22 PM.


I've heard there's cheap parking in a nearby garage with a vendor-validated ticket. $2 for 3 hours (or possibly $3 for 2 hours). Anyone know which of the area garages this is for?? Thanks!

Sara on May 9, 2004 05:04 PM.


There are no hours at Haymarket, people. It's a market, not a store and there are no real set hours. The vendors get there in the early AM and stay all day. If you go early, you get the best selection. Go late and the prices are better. It's a trade off. I personally think it's nasty down there after 2 PM...forget about later.

If you insist on driving into town, good luck with the garages. This is Faneuil Hall...tourist central. Take the T!!

BrooklineGirl on May 16, 2004 08:49 AM.


hi, i was wondering if there is a flower vendor at haymarket...

thanks

sweta on June 1, 2004 03:12 PM.


When does the Haymarket start (dates) and what are the hours? Thanks.

sarah lax on June 17, 2004 07:42 PM.


You can park at the Parcel 7 garage, which is right next to Haymarket. The rates (after validation of the ticket by the vegetable vendors) is $1 for 2 hrs or $3 for 3 hrs. The validation is invalid thereafter.

Note: The elevator in the garage is in a state of disrepair for the past several months. It looks like the management (Standard parking, I am told) needs to be prodded into action.

Neelesh B. Mehta on June 19, 2004 09:51 AM.


Wen u say it gets nasty after 2 p.m. is that a gud or a bad thing and why is it nasty? Cheers, Jen

Jen on June 25, 2004 03:57 AM.


What dates does the market run between? All year round? Seasonal? Thank you for any input!!

Adam on July 4, 2004 12:15 AM.


Please somebody tell me the timings...
Thanks.

Vaibhav on July 16, 2004 04:56 PM.


almost got killed there on april 18, 1980. a male vender called me, an elderly female ,a C--- face so, after aimlessly wandering around, crying,I returned to his stall ,no police in sight, looked him straight in the eye and as I said " i heard what u called me" i. with both hands pushed his neat mountain of pears over and exited amid hard pears flying all about me hitting babies and old ladies in the face in the oncoming pedestrians traffic. couldnt find a policeman so I took matters into my own hands. the foul language and shouting still rings in my ears.it hit TV that evening but I couldnt get WBZ, trying all night , I was so upset. I wanted the world to know fanieul hall market.

rose marie on July 23, 2004 01:18 PM.


Will the market be open Sat. July 24th?

Perry on July 23, 2004 02:37 PM.


I think it runs all year i am not 100% sure its better before 2 because of the selection available but i mean if your not going to be able to go if its before 2 you should still go after... its worth it, because even if you get some "bad " selections you will be able to see/feel excitment...i love the market its so lol i guess the word is "true" maybe "city" can't explain it, like stated above it can open real early and stay till about dusk also matters on how much a vendor brings i am not entirely sure about flowers i don't want you to go down "for nuthin" ok well i hope you will all enjoy ... !!!! another thing !!! it can be very tight so if you go for the first time and get distresed easily or don't know how to get out of peoples way when you have a baby carriage you should go solo or with a group of adults the first time around ... when i say this i am not trying to say it is dangerous or negative... just it can get a little fast paced for some select ppl ..thanks have fun

Alanisluv on July 24, 2004 02:26 AM.


The haymarket runs year round, rain or shine. Starts each Friday and Saturday early in the morning (6:30am or so) and ends when the vendors run out of food to sell or if the weather gets too bad, based on vendors judgement but can last until late afternoon if the weather is nice. It's best to go there when the weather is warm though because there are more vendors, having more selection of fruits and vegetables.

Fritz on August 20, 2004 07:45 AM.


Jusr wondering.....does the market sell anything besides food, such as jewlery, clothes, or even just candy?
Please get back to me as soon as possible.
thanks

D on August 25, 2004 06:10 PM.


there are several reasons why shopping early is best at haymarket. there's parking (esp on sat am's) and you might want to drive if you plan to buy alot. i always find a spot on the street either right by the memorial next to fanuel hall, or on a nearby side street (if your comfortable navigating). although vendors don't usually let you pick your produce, i find the quality of what they give you better in the beginning of the day. maybe this is partially because the sun hasn't had time to over-ripen the produce. also, the vendors seem to be in their best spirits in the beginning of the day.

steph on September 3, 2004 08:29 AM.


Haymarket is open 2 days a week -- Friday and Saturday. I've always heard that Friday is the best day to go, when the procude is freshest. The prices are also higher on Friday, but it's still a great deal. The vendor stands are set-up in a progression of quality and prices. The vendors closest to the Haymarket T-station have the highest quality but also the higest prices; the vendors at the Faneuil Hall end have the lowest prices but the produce quality is not as good. There is a pizza joint right in the middle of the market which looks a little skeavy from the outside but the pizza is very good. I like it, anyway.

Jim on October 2, 2004 03:01 PM.


Had the misfortune to get caught in the Haymarket crush on a Saturday as I was trying to see tourist sites. I'm a wheelchair user and it was a nightmare. Boston either needs to find another place for it or just do away with it. Nasty, smelly, filthy, disgusting and some of the rudest people I've ever encountered on the planet. You can rest assured I'll steer clear of it whenever I'm in Boston again. Not a pleasant memory of Boston for this traveler.

David on October 25, 2004 01:04 AM.


the yuppies who are taking over our city are trying to close down haymarket. i read in teh globe a couple weeks back that menino wants to shut it down. if you like being able to afford your groceries, write him a letter!!

me on November 9, 2004 07:04 AM.


Shut down haymarket?!? Bah! Might as well sell off the redsox!

bostonian on November 30, 2004 02:38 PM.


Shut down haymarket? Bah! Might as well sell off the redsox!

Bostonian on November 30, 2004 02:49 PM.


Haymarket pedals more than just veggies, the fish, crab, and oysters are fresh and a absolute great part of the Haymarket visit

Vic on December 1, 2004 11:27 AM.


You really have to be in the right frame of mind for the haymarket. Thicker the skin the better. Great theatrics, abysmal manners. Also, BYOB (bag)--never a shopping cart! Nothing peeves people off more than being banged by a cart!

Jeanne on December 3, 2004 01:17 PM.


Haymarket is a truly unique experience. It takes you back to yesteryear before big-box grocers ruled the world (and charged an exhorborant amount for produce). The market includes foods from around the world, from avacados to zuchini...you will find it here. There are some meat markets and fish markets as well as some fish vendors. My favorite stand is the fresh herb stand where I try to find and use a cheap new herb each week that I go.

Haymarket is one of MY personal favorite attractions in Boston, but I have yet to take any visitors there for the very reason others have mentioned. Yes it's smelly (duh, it's a FOOD market with fish!), it's loud, people are obnoxious, it's crowded and vendors can be rude. Bring a lot of dollar bills because you'll be shelling out just $1 at a time for "lots" of food, depending on the prices of that time. Remember, this isn't the "freshest" food...this is what couldn't be sold at the larger grocers during the week. If you're pretentious and picky about your food, fuggit about it.

The true function of Haymarket is not to make you feel "comfortable" or excel in customer service. It is to get you the cheapest food at the lowest prices anywhere in the area, period.

The market is open year-round....and the following times are guaranteed. 7 AM - 3 PM. Anything out of that range could be a gamble. It is a market and has no set times, when the food is gone, it's gone.

If you are wheel-chair bound, ignore this site completely. If you have baby strollers, stay away (on my orders, I don't want you there either). This isn't and shouldn't be a tourist hangout...it is designed to bring together an ecletic mix of races, creeds and languages to help people get the best bang for their buck on decent and fresh food items. Stay away from McDonald's just one day, use the $$ you saved and go to Haymarket...you could literally feed yourself for a week on this saved money.

This is how food was meant to be sold!

Medfuhd Trash on January 7, 2005 12:24 PM.


the best part of haymarket is mikes raw bar the best i ever tasted he also has the best seafood in the market tell him the doctor sent you

ray on January 30, 2005 11:16 AM.


Does anyone know of a written history about the market? When in started? How long has it been running? Is it's present location at or near the original location?

VWD on February 20, 2005 12:09 AM.


Does anyone remember a stand/store in Haymarket called "Carl's Supply"? My dad got a shirt there once with a man on it saying "Want some meat?" The shirt is too small now and I would love to get him a new one. (The shirt is porbably 15 eyars old). Does this ring a bell to anyone? I saw there was a Carl's Deli nearby on Pearl Street, but I don't know if it is the same one.

Julie on April 26, 2005 02:18 PM.


Does anyone remember a stand/store in Haymarket called "Carl's Supply"? My dad got a shirt there once with a man on it saying "Want some meat?" The shirt is too small now and I would love to get him a new one. (The shirt is probably 15 years old). Does this ring a bell to anyone? I saw there was a Carl's Deli nearby on Pearl Street, but I don't know if it is the same one.

Julie on April 26, 2005 02:19 PM.


Want some meet. Carl had this great basement level butcher shop - the kind of place that would make vegans run weeping from the area. When business got to be slow, he would put some big slice of cow on (I remember his palm, but it may have been a platter) and drum up business on the sidewalk. He'd wander around aproaching passer's by sidling up, thrusting out the large bleeding slice and sayng "want Some Meat?". Shopping being what it is, and the haymarket being what it was, more often than not it would be some young woman, newly wed and being extra diligent [to go to the haymarket], skipping across the street from parking under the expressway, scooting between some haymarket carts, to be confronted by a scary looking guy thrusting a large piece of red flesh in her direction. Some of us husbands, perhaps me among them, have still not been forgiven for laughing rather than being poperly sympathetic when our horrified wife arrived home.

Not that this stopped her from carfully pointing him out the next time we were down there.

Toby on June 13, 2005 07:25 PM.


hey,
can anyone suggest what time is good to shop here and any particular items that are best to buy.. thanks

Ajay on June 19, 2005 12:21 AM.


Been there yesterday by 4:30pm but could not find any fish.

I remember going there last year (5:00 pm) and seeing a lot of fresh fish on the open market. Even live crabs running around!!! That was awesome!

Looks like the cheapest place to get fresh fish in Boston.

sva on August 1, 2005 01:09 PM.


Medfuhd Trash:

thxxx for summarily defending our haymarket...And counseling those "Mr. and Mrs. Pretties" who love space, odor sprays, customer "baby pampering", ramps in haymarket..Have are stayed too long in boston or I am just in for the naturale style of people interaction. I clearly can wrestle with the vendors- my smile, wit and bunter and always get a laugh and a "tip" from the vendors whenever I am there. I just love the market and can handle the crowd. In fact I never smell the filth unless I am somewhere else in a grocery store

forever haymarket on December 10, 2005 12:03 PM.


Yeah, it sure sounds like the weekly markets in rural India. The vendors are primarily the growers and cultivators themselves and one gets to see th entire family of a peasent in the traditional attire. They all come in their bullock carts, some can afford modern means of transportation though.

These markets are called HAAT or BAAZAR, and they provide much needed weekly cash to the growers who are otherwise dependent upon the agents, govt agencies for the payment against their crop.

'Haat' also symbolises sustainable life style. One buys oly for a week, eats fresh and lives healthy.

Great to know such markets exist in the U S too.

kalyani on June 21, 2006 01:29 AM.


I recently moved to mass and went sightseeing in boston with my two very small children. Unfortunately I turned the corner and somehow got caught in the market. a guy clocked my son with his bag and didn't even apologize! So I would have to agree with everyone here about strollers. BUT it did look very exciting and I can't wait to go there without my kids!!!!!

ad on June 21, 2006 08:23 AM.


So there is wonderful produce available at Haymarket, but what about antiques, art, etc.? I just moved to Boston, and I am looking for a great combination of both...Thanks!

Jacqui on June 27, 2006 11:35 AM.


HI

What are your weekend hours for the open market?

Thanks

Saroj on August 14, 2006 02:28 PM.


For antiques head to Charles Street. While your there stop into Savenor's Market. all the best!

Tammy on September 1, 2006 09:46 AM.


its kind of funny looking at everyone post these comments. i worked at a stand with my boyfriend when i was only 16. it was a lot of fun but don't bring any kids there or anything. and future reference for everyone..DONT TOUCH THE PRODUCE!!! it takes us a lot of time to put everything together.

Kristina on October 19, 2006 09:36 AM.


I love love love the market...the smells and craziness remind me of being a little kid and heading in w/ my family.

And where else are you going to find amazing deals like this?

CB on November 16, 2006 10:21 AM.


Haymarket is the best place for veggies. You can get fresh produce at a very cheap rate. If you are really planning on eating lots of fruits and vegetables for health, you can easily afford them, unlike supermarkets where each fruit costs a lot. Here you can get exotic vegetables and fruits often.
It is open two days friday and saturday from early morning to around 5 p.m all year round.
You can go there by either green or orange T.
Keeping the crowd and chaos aside, the quantity and quality of produce and offcourse the price lures me to go there often.

jhunka on December 2, 2006 04:18 PM.


Hi All,

I have seen all of your comments, they are really informative for me to know about Haymarket. Still i need small information, can any one furnish me...

Tomorrow i am planning to go there, can you please let me know what are the other things available except vegetables.

Thanks

satya on March 9, 2007 10:14 PM.


the freshest fish i have seen anywhere in the US - mackarel, salmon, herring, smelt, butterfish, eel, tuna, even shark. Yes, great or not so great vegies, it pays to walk around the while market ( its only two blocks ), see the prices. Scallions 4 for a dollar in one place, and two places down, 8 for a dollar. many vendors don't allow one to choose, and thats where this differs from street markets in India. but all in all its a super super bargain, very fresh, and how lively, unlike antiseptic sterile dominics where one even has to pay for the sterility - ugh ! the elderly better walk craefully woing to the veg litter on he ground. there are also meat marhets in the basements, and cheesevendors and a vendor of middleeastern breads...theHaymarket is the big attraction of Boston for me, that and the coastline of mass, and if the haymarket is gone, i aint' comin back ;)

martesbhai do brasil on April 23, 2007 06:20 PM.


Haymarket for is open during day light hours, longer in the summer and shorter in the winter. It's the best deal in town for fruit and veggies.

RMBishop on December 28, 2007 07:20 AM.


HELLO! I WANT TO KNOW WHAT DAYS HAYMARKET IS OPEN AND THE HOURS THEY WORK?
THANK YOU.

JOSE on February 5, 2008 05:50 PM.


I have this old crock/jug that has blue writing inscribed on it that says

DANIEL SHEA
HAYMARKET SQ
BOSTON

JUST WONDERING ABOUT IT? WHERE IT CAME FROM? HOW OLD IT IS? If you have any information on this, please let me know! Thank You
kathy

katherine on March 1, 2008 04:14 PM.


I have this old crock/jug that has blue writing inscribed on it that says

DANIEL SHEA
HAYMARKET SQ
BOSTON

JUST WONDERING ABOUT IT? WHERE IT CAME FROM? HOW OLD IT IS? If you have any information on this, please let me know! Thank You
kathy

katherine on March 1, 2008 04:14 PM.


can someone please give me the address to this market? and how do we get a stand or reserve a spot. who do i need to talik to or is this just like first come first serve kinda deal. my parents wants to sell fresh veggie's there for less. They are farmers themself. they pick there veggies early that morning or the day before sales day. they sell for less like $1/bundle so somebody help me out so we can get out there. THANKS A LOT.

Bee Vue on June 1, 2008 07:54 PM.


Hey guys

I just came back from the market - was wondering if anyone had any bad experiences with the fish they sell there. The impression I got was that the fish was old, and dirty - very unhealthy looking (cloudy eyes) etc.

Where do they get their fish from? Is it prime catch, or the sickly leftovers?

thanks

Colin on June 21, 2008 05:41 PM.


haymarket is open every fri and sat, 52 weeks a year weather permitting ..where there way before most people even think about hitting the snooze button and usually close around 7ish..

haymarket vendor on July 20, 2008 12:00 AM.


Dem people talking/comaring India's Market VS HayMarket, PLEASE SHUT UP ALREADY! This is NOT INDIA, THIS IS BOSTON---Why do you compare markets? (IF you cannot tolerate Haymarket, GET OUT!!!!!

Babs on July 28, 2008 05:55 PM.


Hello. I have an inquiry for video shooting Haymarket in September. It would be few hours of one day in the second week of Sep.
I would like to ask for the permission for video shooting, and would like to know the contact info.

Thank you very much
aki
212-581-1010

Aki Yamamoto on July 31, 2008 12:59 PM.


heyyyy i want to know days and working hours of heymarket.
thanks

deepa agrawal on August 29, 2008 01:10 PM.


i want to know days and working hours of haymarket! thanks

mari on September 12, 2008 09:00 PM.


1) why do people keep asking about the time?? read the prior posts people - there are no set hours!

2) the produce is the cheapest you can get. it's also the closest to going rotten, so you'd better eat it within 2 days.

3) the trash and filth associated with haymarket is unbelievable - it's never been a pristine farmer's market, but those of us who live nearby don't need the smells and trash that linger for days. The city really needs to crack down on clean-up efforts!

North Ender on September 20, 2008 06:12 PM.


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