In the weeks leading up to spring break, I spent hours procrastinating studying for midterms by digging through dozens of articles on London and Dublin food markets, in anticipation for my long-awaited trip overseas.

When I finally arrived in Europe, I was overwhelmed not only but the culture, but by the magnitude of restaurants, foods, and, specifically, markets. Between London and Dublin, there are dozens of weekday, weekend, and full-time markets to choose from.

After visiting three markets in London and two in Dublin, I was surprised by the unique vibe and offerings of each. Each food market had a personality of its own, which made browsing them a fun activity. I found myself spending hours wondering through these markets, and thus came to the conclusion that the United States really needs to step up their food market game. 

With that, here is a recap of my favorite markets in both London and Dublin: Trust me, you will be wishing you were on your way overseas by the end of this article.

Let's start with my time spent in London...

1. Spitalfields Market

Renee Spillane

Of the markets I visited in London and Dublin, Spitalfields was the largest in size with the widest variety of vendors to choose from. The market is a conglomeration of full time cafés and shops with brick-and-mortar storefronts surrounding vendors operating out of makeshift kitchens in tents. 

Every day of the week, thousands of visitors flock to this British market. It's a one stop destination for fashion, antiques, art, food, and special events like concerts. 

Spitalfields is the prime example of what we are missing here in America: the market started as a humble Sunday morning food market and then steadily grew to the massive enterprise that it is today. Whether you have hours to browse handmade clothes and sample cuisines from around the world or just a fifteen minute lunch break, Spitalfields is a must when visiting London.

Looking for some must-try Spitalfields noms? My favorite of the food vendors included one of the falafel shops, a homemade Turkish delight stall, and a wood-fire pizza vendor. Sadly, I couldn't spend the whole day in this famous London market, but I would highly recommend spending the day here if you get the chance.

2. Sunday Up Market in Brick Lane

Renee Spillane

As the name suggests, the Sunday Up Market is a Sunday extravaganza. When I walked in, I was instantly bombarded with delicious smells and vendors eager to let me sample their offerings. 

The market is proud to offer British, European, Asian, Pan American, and Middle Eastern street foods. Whether you're in the mood for something sweet or savory, you're in luck. There are even stalls specifically for people with dietary restrictions

The most unique aspect of the Sunday Up Market can be found below ground. Once you've had your fill of street food, you can descend underground and browse vendors selling antiques, clothes, and art. 

This combination of food and shopping makes the Sunday Up Market an all-day destination. In the United States, it would be the perfect place for college students and families alike to ward off the Sunday scaries

3. Whitecross Street Market

chicken wings, chicken
Renee Spillane

This little street market is more like what may come to your mind when you hear "food market". The unassuming tents and cramped makeshift kitchens pack big flavors from cuisines around the world. 

Whitecross Street Market is hidden between rows of office buildings full of men and women dressed in suits, just counting down the minutes until lunch break. This market reflects the needs of its customers: the food is ready quickly, cheap, and (most importantly) it tastes fantastic. 

Simple markets are the best way to bring this trend to the United States. Office buildings in cities and middle-sized towns across the country are always full of hungry employees eager for the variety and quality of food that markets have to offer. If Whitecross could make its way to America, everyone's lunch break would get infinitely better.

Though I was sad to leave London, next foodie destination was Dublin...

1. Temple Bar Food Market

Renee Spillane

Dublin felt more homey, like a small town compared to London. When I was browsing markets in Dublin, I felt like they could actually work in the United States, even in smaller cities...

The first market I visited in Dublin was located in the center of the tourist area, Temple Bar. It felt more like the traditional farmer's markets I am used to, with several stalls selling locally grown produce. 

Temple Bar Food Market turns it up a notch with vendors selling fresh, traditional foods from around the world. One offered more cheeses than I could count while its neighbors sold crepes, chocolates, dumplings, and customizable juices. Unlike Dublin, the US is really lacking this variety in its market offerings. 

2. Eatyard

beer, wine
Renee Spillane

Eatyard is essentially an immobile food truck park located just outside the central tourist area of Dublin. Each "truck", also known as a shipping containers, offers a small, unique menu of some of the trendiest foods on social media today. 

There's an Instagram-worthy meal to be found for everyone at Eatyard. Some of the options include bao buns, loaded bubble waffles, pasta in a box, chicken in a cone, vegetarian fish and chips, and barbecue.

tea, coffee, wine, pizza, beer
Renee Spillane

You can take your burger in a box, as the truck suggests, or hang out and eat at one of the booths or standing tables. I felt trendier by the second as I watched Dubliners around me chow down. 

This kind of food market could be easily thrown together on a weekly basis in the United States. All you really need are some food trucks and a parking lot. People will flock. 

The food market trend has taken European cities by storm, so how long do we have to wait for food markets to start popping up here? Farmer's markets, selling fresh produce in the summer, have been growing in popularity, especially with the help of social media, so, hopefully, year-round food markets aren't too far behind.