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A Day at the SoWa Market

A Day at the SoWa Market
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Over the past five years, Boston has created a weekend attraction that may surpass Freedom Trail in sheer gravitational pull. It’s the SoWa Open Market (SoWa being a concatenation of “South of Washington Street,”) and it’s an open-air food/craft/vintage market with food trucks spread over two parking lots and an old warehouse building in the South End. Intrigued? Follow me!

The noble tower of the Pine Street Inn, a replica of the Torre del Mangia in Siena, looms above the SoWa market.


The market is located on Harrison Avenue, between Randolph Street and Paul Sullivan Way. You’ll find a public parking lot ($5 during market hours) on Randolph. Park there, walk around the corner, and the first thing you’ll encounter is the farmer’s market, where booths are stacked with beautiful produce, fresh flowers, spices, meats, prepared foods, maple syrup, honey, and even clothing from The Fashion Truck.

Valicenti pasta
Joshua Davidson of Nutting Farm Maple Syrup
Herbs and spices from Soluna Garden Farm


Continue heading northeast on Harrison Avenue and you’ll see the craft market, which is bordered to the north by a line of food trucks. Grab lunch here, then browse stalls stocked with jewelry, clothing, baby gear, art prints, hats, stationery, and all kinds of crafty/handmade treasures.



These shoppers were in town from Montreal.


Jewelry from Stonehouse Studio


Glitter baby booties from Kaya’s Kloset


Artist Carrie Wagner of SepiaLepus Ilustrations


I purchased this whimsical map of the New England coastline from Carrie.


The last major section of the market lives in a sprawling former warehouse on the southern side of the plaza. It’s the indoor vintage market. The goods here are eclectic: midcentury furniture, old prints, vintage campaign buttons, plastic jewelry, clothing, even a bowl of bison teeth.

The Vintage Market building


Shabby chic/French Country/gorgeous goods at the Painted Pretty booth

Have I convinced you to go? The outdoor market is open from 10am – 4pm, every Sunday from May through October. The indoor vintage market is open year-round. And since this is prime farmer’s market season, I suggest you get there soon.


Amy Traverso


Amy Traverso


Senior lifestyle editor Amy Traverso oversees Yankee's Food and Home & Garden departments and contributes articles to the magazine. Amy book, The Apple Lover's Cookbook (W.W. Norton), won an International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) cookbook award for the category American. Follow !
Updated Thursday, August 16th, 2012

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4 Responses to A Day at the SoWa Market

  1. Stephanie Pernice August 10, 2012 at 12:53 pm #

    SoWa Vintage Market is open YEAR ROUND, including winter featuring 30 rotating vendors in everything from vintage art + furnishings + decor, to couture (vintage and current), vintage fashion, jewelry + accessories to oddities and eclectics. You never know what you will find but you will find an interesting afternoon diversion + prized possessions that speak to the heart.
    Market creators, John Warren + Stephanie Pernice create the market + keep it interesting + filled with fabulous vendors.
    Check out our Facebook + Twitter @ SoWa Vintage Mkt

  2. Painted Pretty August 10, 2012 at 2:27 pm #

    Thank You for the beautiful picture of our booth at the SoWa Vintage Market! We are there every Sunday, it is a great way to spend a Sunday, so much to do and see! Yopu can check us out on Facebook or our blog www,

  3. Carrie August 13, 2012 at 9:18 am #

    It was a pleasure meeting you Amy! Thanks so much for including me and my artwork!

  4. Cher Angelo September 19, 2012 at 11:34 am #

    Thank you for letting people know how diverse this special place has become. Many years ago, it was primarily an offering of spectcular fruits and veggies. My Cousin uesd to have a booth there, then opened a family store there; now he has grown and has stores and products all over the place. you may know the name as Pace’s…people call it patchies but trust me it is Pace like in walking back adn forth. LOL
    I used to buy produce after work when I worked in town, and when I didnt, we would make special trips just for the fresh produce.
    Another great offering we would partake of weekly were the fish markets which for the most part are gone, at least the large affordable ones that we used to frequent. Its a shame,
    But as you showed us the marketplace, as we call it, is alive and well. Great article. In fact its inspiring as it lets artists know that they might be able to sell their goods there, not just food, but crafts.

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