It’s funny really how often we forget to explore the areas around where we live. I used to try to make it down to Washington DC to explore when I got the chance, and now that I live in the area, I seldom actually do any exploring. I can become an expert exploring around places like Tokyo, but yet not really know local cities where I live like Philadelphia or Washington DC. I’ve been trying to change that, with the intent on further exploring my new area, with Cherry Blossoms coming soon, and just generally all the amazing things to see in DC. So a bit ago I decided to wander down to DC and check out a few sights, and that is how I ended up at Eastern Market.
Eastern Market is Washington’s oldest continually operating Market opening about 1873. Unfortunately the market suffered a fire in 2007 but reopened again in its current state in 2009.
Every Sunday the market area has a flea market that occupies an area near the market. There are various vendors selling their wares. Honestly it was a bit annoying many of them didn’t want photos taken close to their booths. I can understand possibly for photographs, but overall maybe a little exposure would be good.
There were plenty of different vendors, and it seems that when I’m near home I tend to forget how to take photographs! Or perhaps I’m less confident in my ability to approach and get close with my cameras. Having one of the vendors get upset with me sort of through me off my game as well.
The market itself is rather small. There is a north area that is basically wide open and empty that I believe can be rented out for functions. The main building of the facility mostly has fruit and meat vendors.
There was also a little restaurant and snack bar.
In case you needed a model of the animal you were buying, that is shown there too!
I should have totally gotten closer to take some of the fruit photos, but dang it getting frustrated with some of the vendors in the flea market sorta carried over into the regular market too.
There was also a little bakery there at the end. Honestly though overall I was a bit disappointed with the Eastern Market building here. I had hoped it would have been a bit bigger, there really was not much overall in there. Sure maybe if I lived really close to the market I would go there for purchasing items, but it wouldn’t be a huge destination to get fresh items when you could easily get everything you need and more in plenty of other places.
There was more market outside of the main market building. I guess something like a market overflow lot perhaps. It was a bit hit or miss on the items there, some of the things looked pretty decent like the fruit, and some things well I’m not sure if anyone was purchasing things.
I’m not sure if some of the stuff was abandoned or for sale perhaps. Didn’t always appear people were working there.
It should be no surprise that my favorite area of the market was some of these food vendors, like this mobile wood fired pizza area (where I ate). I had every good intention of taking photos of the actual food if I hadn’t been too hungry for patience.
It was an interesting collection of places, a pickle place, pizza place, donut place, and a crepes stand as well. An awkward assortment of cuisines to have all near each other, but I guess it works as well as the rest of the things there perhaps!
I had a fun day out at the market overall, even with the slight bit of disappointment. Lunch was good, and it was nice wandering around a new area of the city and the weather was perfect. It is possible I came at a slow day or period of time, but I’m used to far larger markets in major cities than this one seemed to be. I will have to look at exploring some of the area markets in the DC area as well.
Located near the Eastern Market Metro station. Follow the signs from the metro exit.
Hours of the market:
- Monday: closed
- Tue-Fri: 7am – 7pm
- Saturday: 7am – 6pm
- Sunday: 9am – 5pm
The flea market is only on Sundays from 10am – 5pm
This is a really nice post on Eastern Market. Looks still cold outdoor in March. I had the chance to visit it in August on a rainy day. So inside was very nice. I like the non-pretentious ambiance.
Thanks Askan. Glad you enjoyed your trip there. Definitely I hope you get the chance to visit once again when the weather is nicer! It really is nnice outside as well 😉
Dana de Brito says
Looks great – I love an outdoor market!
I always feel a bit odd taking ‘blog pictures’ at home… I always feel less like a tourist appreciating and experience, and more like that annoying friend who post a picture of everything she eats on facebook… ha ha – where’s the line?
Enjoy your local exploring!
You are totally right. It feels so unnatural. But I want to know my new area better, so I’m trying to make an effort. Haha yes I feel the same way too about feeling like the “annoying one” taking all the photos.