There are, of course, so many sights to behold when traveling to a new place—museums, restaurants, people. Yet amongst all these attractions, there is one that consistently grabs my attention no matter where I am: food markets.

There’s something transcendent about the flurry of colors and smells, the cacophony of vendors and customers exchanging barbs, goods, and money. Dining in a restaurant can be a wonderful tool for understanding the way certain people eat, but visiting a local food market reveals something entirely different about a people, and a place, altogether.

So, in honor of these palaces of taste, we've compiled some of the best around the world. Obviously, there are soooo many more than the nine listed ahead, but we thought this would be a good place to start. Read on and try not to drool on your keyboard (I dare you!).

Words by Valerio Farris at Food52

[Photo via @nathaliescuisine]