Best quick getaway for markets and street food
Budapest: home to spas, parties and, erm, 'sparties' – yes, that does literally mean parties in spas. But if that's not your cup of Hungarian tokaj wine, dedicate a weekend to exploring the city's many food markets instead. There's plenty to keep your tastebuds tantalised, whether it's checking out local produce at Szimpla Farmers' Market – DIY your brunch and sit at the tables upstairs to soak up the atmosphere – or scoffing vegan treats at the monthly vegan market at Anker't, one of Budapest's too-cool-for-school ruin pubs. The big daddy of all Buda's markets is Vasarcsarnok, where you can find tons of local delicacies and organic and protected origin goods, which you can take home as gifts. Or you can eat it right then and there. That works for us, too.
Stay: Swerve the stag parties and surround yourself with boutique-style comforts at Pest-Buda. From £103. pest-buda.com
Getting There: Wizz Air flies from Luton to Budapest from £83 return.
Best short haul holiday for markets and street food
Copenhagen and Aarhus, Denmark
Food markets are brilliant for many reasons, and not least because they give you the chance to try loads of imaginative food from up-and-coming chefs at reasonable prices and usually with smaller portions – meaning you can pack even more of it away. One of Europe's most celebrated food markets is Copenhagen Street Food, where you can get your greedy paws on everything from duck fat fries at Bistronomi (yum) to vegan Columbian cooking (yum) and seasonal smørrebrød open sandwiches from Handmade (yuuuum). The market has just closed its original site, but don't fret: it's opening a bigger, better version on Refshaleon soon. If you're still hungry, head west to Denmark's equally cool second city, Aarhus, where you'll find local street-food favourites like meatball subs stuffed with crackling, as well as oodles of art, culture and general Scandi cool.
Stay: Lounge in luxury at sprawling Moorish palace The Nimb, which is home to seven restaurants and bars. From £698. nimb.dk
Getting There: Ryanair flies from Stansted to Copenhagen from £30 return.
Best long haul holiday for markets and street food
Baltimore and beyond, USA
Vespasian/Alamy Stock Photo
Baltimore's vast Lexington Market is more than 230 years old, making it one of the longest-running in the world. It's worth a visit for the history alone, but the 100-odd vendors purveying fun, creative food and drink definitely help. Many Baltimore residents still come to the market for their daily essentials, while the food-obsessed stop in to make a night of it, scoffing everything from fried chicken to authentic Malaysian bites and tempting sweet treats. It's currently undergoing a revamp – although the market is still open – so this Baltimore stalwart is only going to get better. For a more comprehensive overview of food in this up-and-coming US city with a side of history, try a food tour – Charm City Food Tours' well-thought-out itineraries will take you around some of Baltimore's coolest neighbourhoods. Beyond the city, the state of Maryland is home to breweries, wineries and distilleries aplenty.
Stay: The Sagamore Pendry is a grand waterfront hotel on Recreation Pier in the Fell's Point neighbourhood, complete with a pool overlooking the water and a private dock. From £203. pendryhotels.com
Getting There: WOW air flies from Gatwick to Baltimore from £460 return.