Food Adventures: Lancaster's Central Market

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Food Adventures: Lancaster's Central Market

In Lancaster County farm to table is not a fad, but a long-standing point of practice, as it is still a vibrant farming community and county. So it’s no surprise that the city’s market has long been a hub for those in the city and the surrounding areas to gather, buy and sell the bounty from the surrounding areas in the county.

Lancaster’s Central Market is the heart of its namesake city and the longest continually running inland market in the U.S. The market itself has been held on the existing land since 1730 and in the current, beautiful red brick building since it was built in 1889. The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1972, was named as one of the Great American Public Places in ‘95 and made it on the top 10 list for best markets in the world for CNN Travel in 2013.

Today, there are currently 65 vendors, four Amish-owned and run and a few Mennonite stands catering to as many as 17,000 visitors a week. Open Tuesday, Fridays and Saturdays, it is by far one the biggest attractions in the city and the county.

The buzzing market has seen its share of famous faces. Culinary queen Martha Stewart popped in a few weeks ago to gather goods to feature on her show. Other well-known shoppers have been as varied as megastar Lady Gaga, whose ex was from Lancaster, to anthropologist Jane Goodall, a New Jersey Housewife of two and several cooking show stars including Extra Virgin Cooking Channel star Debbie Mazar.

The Amish families and farmers, the longstanding Lancaster vendors and residents and the young, hip and artisanal combine with an abundance of ethnically diverse vendors and visitors, making the market a great place to shop and people watch. If in town, here are but a few of the can’t-miss stands.