In New York City, there’s plenty to do outside, including lots of shopping and dining at outdoor markets in the boroughs.
Savvy New York tourists, locals and natives know that shopping and dining in this city doesn’t have to cost a ton of money. If you’re thrifty, you already know that flea and vintage markets, greenmarkets, and farmers’ markets, can add up to savings. And with New York City as a backdrop, outdoor markets are a great option for sightseeing and people-watching, too.
Check out our handy list of the best outdoor markets in New York.
The Chelsea Flea Market
This flea market has history: the district of Chelsea in Manhattan has been home to a flea market since the 1970s. After some recent ups and downs, complicated by the impact of Covid, the storied Chelsea Flea has now reopened under new management, and things are going swimmingly.
The emphasis is on high-quality antiques and furniture. But there is much more than that on hand. Indeed, the market holds a bewildering variety of treasures, ranging from architectural salvage and hardware, to mid-century modern finds, to decorative arts, vintage posters, photographs, and publications. You’ll also find clothing and jewelry, as well as a fascinating selection of hard-to-categorize oddments – think opera glasses, shoemakers’ lasts, turn-of-the-century engraver’s tools, vintage type-setting slugs, and the like.
29 West 25th Street, NY NY 10001
Between Broadway and Sixth Avenue
Hours: Saturday and Sunday 8am-5pm, rain or shine.
Grand Bazaar NYC
You can feel great about shopping this market, because not only do local and regional vendors get a chance to sell their goods and wares, but 100% of the proceeds go to support four local public schools. That’s because this market has its roots with a group of parents back in the 1980’s, who organized a massive stoop sale to raise funds for their kids’ schools.
Fast forward some four decades later. Now, according to its website, Grand Bazaar NY is “the oldest, largest, and most diverse curated weekly shopping market in New York City.” You will find work by local independent artists, crafts, antiques and collectibles, artisanal food vendors, vintage clothing and ephemera, and furniture and home décor.
100 West 77th Street, NY, NY 10024
At Columbus Avenue
Hours: Every Sunday from 10:00am – 5pm, rain or shine.
Brooklyn Flea, DUMBO
In case you didn’t know, DUMBO is an acronym – it stands for Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass – and it’s one of the coolest places in New York. With its cobbled streets, historic brick facades, and a breathtaking view of the Manhattan skyline, it’s scenic as anything and a gorgeous place to spend a summer day. A creative district, its distinctive buildings are home to artists’ studios and start-ups, as well as a great mix of bars, cafés, galleries, bookshops and boutiques.
The Brooklyn Flea fits right into that vibe. Run by the same people who run Chelsea Flea, the Brooklyn version has the added distinction of having been named by Time Out NY as one of New York’s Essential Pick-up Spots. Vendors are a broad mix that includes vintage clothing, furniture and décor, arts and collectibles, and vintage records. There are local food vendors too if you need to grab a snack.
80 Pearl Street, Brooklyn, 11201
Saturdays and Sundays, April – December
The Union Square Greenmarket
Speaking of food, this amazing greenmarket is essential weekend shopping for many New Yorkers – in fact, an estimated 60,000 people visit the market stalls on an average day. With over 140 vendors, the sheer variety of fresh and local food is inspiring.
You’ll find fresh produce and orchard fruit from regional farms; mushrooms; kimchi; meat, fish, and artisan cheeses; local honey, yogurt, wines, ciders, and maple syrup; plants and flowers; fresh-baked bread and treats; crafts and gifts. There are also events, including cookbook signings, chef demonstrations, and educational booths. Best of all, the farmers, growers and artisans are there to answer questions.
Union Square West & E. 17th Street, New York, NY 10003
Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, 8am – 6pm
Artists & Fleas Williamsburg
Okay, so technically it’s not outdoors, but with nearly 50 individual sellers under the cavernous roof of a former dry-goods storage warehouse, Artists & Fleas Williamsburg feels like an outdoor market. Run by an organization that organizes open-air markets all over the U.S., the Williamsburg location is the Artists & Fleas flagship.
The mix is eclectic, with artisanal skincare and small-batch beauty brands thrown into the mix. Browse clothing, furniture, home décor, and crazy finds you didn’t know you needed until you set eyes on them is a great way to spend a day. New Yorkers are some of the savviest and most fashionable people on the planet, so it stands to reason that flea and vintage markets here are packed with once-in-a-lifetime finds. Artists & Fleas is no exception.
70 North 7th Street, Williamsburg, Brooklyn
Saturday and Sunday 11am – 6pm
With a curated selection of just under 20 vendors, this smaller outdoor market is a hidden gem with a laid-back, indie feel. Need organic cotton baby clothes and baby blankets? Want something unique to complete your look – something you can’t find in just any store? This is the place to go.
Nolita Market, located on one of the prettiest blocks in Soho, on Prince Street between Mott and Mulberry, specializes in apparel. You’ll find clothing, toys, handbags, sunglasses, jewelry, hats and tee shirts, and more, most of it handmade by local artists. Check back often, as artists update their wares often. And take note: unlike some markets that are rain or shine, this one is open “weather permitting.”
223 Mott Street, New York, NY 10012
Friday, Saturday and Sunday, 10am-7pm, weather permitting, March – December
The Bronx Night Market
Launched in 2018, and run by a majority-female group of Bronx entrepreneurs, this market celebrates Bronx’s wildly global neighborhood identity. True, it’s a food-centric market–but with pop-up shops, music, and crafts, clothing and other vendors, it’s also an immersive cultural experience.
The Bronx Night Market prides itself on its diversity, with over 20 national cuisines represented among its food stalls. Showcasing local entrepreneurs and talent is also a focus, with everything from pizza and sandwiches to jerk chicken and vegan Puerto Rican cuisine on offer. In addition to the culinary delights, there’s a sound stage where DJs and live performers take turns entertaining marketgoers throughout the evening. There’s also a “kid zone,” art installations, arts and crafts vendors, educational booths, and more.
1 Fordham Plaza, Bronx, NY 10458
Opens April 30 and runs until November. Saturdays 1pm-7pm.