Next Sunday marks the re-opening of SoWa Open Air Market, Boston’s summertime shopping and dining mecca for vintage wear, craft, and food truck enthusiasts. The seasonal marketplace will remain open to the public every Sunday through October.
SoWa takes its name from Boston’s South of Washington district, often referred to by locals as “SoWa.” The district spans east-to-west from Massachusetts Avenue to East Berkley Street, and north-to-south from Washington to Albany Street. In the 1900s, the area was a manufacturing hub for (among other things) shoes, pianos, and canned goods, but remained largely nondescript once these industries left the Boston area. Only in the early 2000s did SoWa begin its dramatic gentrification. Now, previously abandoned brick-and-beam factories are filled with art studios, galleries, and upscale restaurants, and the area has become one of the most desirable neighborhoods for developers, creative businesses, and families alike.
SoWa Open Air Market is perfectly emblematic of the area’s new character. Beginning in 2003, the summertime ”SoWa Sundays” have attracted thousands of the cities hippest shoppers with the promise of unique craft finds and gourmet foods to be discovered at the market’s dozens of vender stalls. Shoppers can also spend hours wandering through the indoor Vintage Market, rifling through piles of vintage clothing and local crafts, fueled by the possibility of a vintage MiuMiu Pump or genuine mother-of-pearl cigarette case.
After uncovering such treasures, shoppers can break for lunch at one of the many food trucks that set up in a parking lot adjacent to the markets. Here, mobile chefs combine often locally grown ingredients to produce delicious international flavors bound to satisfy even the most adventurous appetites. Some of the more intriguing-sounding of the food truck line-up this year include Fugu Truck, Area Four, ShuckinTruck (a rawbar to go!), and Culinary Cruiser.
And, for those who feel compelled to bring some of the local flavor home with them, SoWa Open Air Market also features a full-scale farmer’s market. For the environmentally conscious cook, this is the perfect place to pick up fresh ingredients with a minimal carbon footprint. Stands include a wide array of produce and baked goods, as well as preserves, herbs, candy, chocolate, and flowers. This year, the market will feature non-GMO milk and meat products, seafood, and wine. Additionally, the SoWa farmer’s market hosts several food-related events throughout the season, including a tart bake-off and a plant swap.
So, if you’re sticking around Boston for the summer, make sure you get yourself over to the SoWa Open Air and Vintage Markets at some point. It’s a great way to spend a beautiful day, support local artists and farmers, eat delicious food, and buy awesome stuff!