Cheapside Public Market
Bridgetown, St. Michael
Open All Year From 7-0 To 17-0 (Mon, Tue, Wed, Thu, Fri, Sat)
Distance From Airport:
14.1 Km (8.76 Miles)
Distance From Bridgetown:
1.1 Km (0.68 Miles)
The liveliness of lower Bridgetown starts near the Old Town Hall building, with residents hustling to and fro to their respective destinations. The streets are swamped with people of all ages and sizes, along the Cheapside area. But they're not just all passing by. For many a trip to the Cheapside Market is a weekly routine.
Before the decades-old market place is in your sites, you are met with lines of umbrella-shaded carts, stands and even some open vehicles ready to serve the people their food staples.
A first-time visit is like experiencing a casual farmer's market with produce in contrasting hues of reds, blues, yellows and greens confronting your eyes. Piled ominously top each other, so much variety is packed to daring heights in the stands, appearing as if a subtle nudge might almost topple them over.
Customers are found crowding around their favourite vendors, bags latched onto their shoulders carrying the country's very best produce from bright orange carrots, starchy sweet potatoes, shiny sweet peppers, fuzzy yams and native favourites all popping with fresh flavour. Ever had sweet Bajan soursop? Or experienced the tingling tang of a mango fresh off a tree in the peak of its season? Cheapside is where you can find it and much more.
But don't stop there. A walk through the front doors of the spacious, two-storey brick building reveals even more variety at your fingertips. Rows of stalls fill the space from corner to corner, brimming with fiery spices, succulent fruits and the sweetest veggies.
Though captivating colours dominate Cheapside the real life of the market is found with its people.
Customers and vendors alike can be seen jostling between each other for the best deals. This is where you get the modern 'huckster or hawker' experience, the sound of vendors shouting exclusive prices, fills the air, while customers barter - fighting competitively to get the maximum amounts of produce along with the best quality for the best prices.
Cheapside also has a fully refrigerated meat section on the western side of the Market. There, shoppers can choose from a wide section of locally sourced meats including chicken, lamb and Proper Pork. Here, customers line up to buy their favourite Bajan sweetmeats by the pound, sourced fresh from local sellers on various farms across the island.
If all that shopping has made you a bit hungry, follow the aromas upstairs and relax with a taste of authentic Caribbean flavour. Food stalls upstairs provide a range of hot meals to tantalize the taste buds of the market’s delighted patrons. Again, the diversity of the market is displayed, offering everything from Indian doubles to fried chicken and even vegan food choices like the marinated plantain cutter.
After your meal, don't forget to peruse the selection of clothing vendors while upstairs to find your next ensemble. Cheapside has everything you need in one convenient place.
After this stop, check out any of the nearby restaurants, stores and boutiques in the area. Or head next door to the oldest consecrated land on the island for a visit to St. Mary's Anglican Church, one of the UNESCO World Heritage buildings.