Browsed around this morning for the first time. It’s a beautiful space and everything is super shiny and nicely laid out. There’s still a bit of a question in my mind about who the sustaining customers will be- local office workers? Tourists? Lunch crowd? For me, half the stalls are easily accessible either around the corner (Q’s nuts, literally, or Taza or Union Square donuts a short bike away) or at a closer farmer’s market (Soluna, Boston Smoked Fish) so it’s probably a once a year type of trip. I did enjoy some coffee from George Howell, and had a kale and crab meat salad from Red’s Best which was very good, but at $13 would be a very occasional treat. Boy, did their fish and seafood selections look great! I’ve also heard hype about the pastrami sandwich, but decided I didn’t need quite that many calories today.
I’ve been twice, once on a Saturday and once on a Sunday, and it’s been packed both times. I don’t know who their customers are, but there are a lot of them.
I live in Somerville, but not that close to Q’s nuts, etc. It’s actually very quick for us to get to the Public Market,and the parking is discounted nicely. We go early on Sunday morning. It is a great convenience for us to have so many good vendors in one spot, and that will be even more important when the outdoor farmers markets close in November. Yes, the Somerville Winter Market is great, and we usually go there at least twice a month. But at the Public Market, we love the cured meats from RI, the wide range of cheeses (and especially the Vermont cheese stand and the all-Mass cheese one), the greenhouse lettuce place, the cider donuts, and even Siena Farms, although it is quite expensive, that offer some variety not available at the Somerville winter market (though we will keep going there). It will be interesting to see how the produce is once winter comes. We aren’t big meat eaters but the wide range of those products would appeal to many. Red’s Best is amazing for seafood and fish.
As many have complained elsewhere, there is not enough inside seating for eating prepared food. So I’m not sure how well it will work for lunch goers in the winter.
I’ve been four or five times - I treat it the same way I would a farmers market like Dewey Square, just with more options. Siena Farms does half off vegetables on Sunday night… highly recommended!
Yes, it has vendors who are familiar to you if you frequent farmers markets around the area, however I find it more accessible in terms of the hours (8am-8pm and open all year) and location (right on the T- which will be handy when it’s -2F outside). Like others have mentioned, you can treat it as a farmers market and that’s how I do it- snapping up produce and things like Red’s Best fish which is my favorite of the vendors there. I have to balance my stuff out with a visit to a supermarket though.
I have to confess I go there alot because it’s right on my way home from the office and I’ve encountered everything you’ve mentioned (tourists, locals, corporate drones, suburban day trippers). The location is such that a variety of people will make it there either purposefully or out of curiosity. It’d be cool if tourists get to try some of our local stuff that they wouldn’t have seen otherwise.
One thing to watch will be the events held in their kitchen. I’m still upset at myself for missing out on the George Howell lecture earlier this year (a four hour session on coffee, with food and drink served).
Last night there appeared to be another event going on that I again missed out on.
These events are posted here:
If you’re looking to avoid crowds, Wednesdays seem to be the least crowded and the earlier in the day you go, the less crowded (and better pick of the goods) you’ll get.