You’ve been able to score art deco cocktail shakers, aged Turkish rugs and Edwardian oddities at the Georgetown Flea Market since 1972. And jewelry makers, antique-postcard dealers and African-mask sellers have plied their wares outside Capitol Hill’s Eastern Market since 1974. But in the past couple of years, these granddaddies of D.C.’s outdoor souk scene have gotten company in the form of fresh craft bazaars and pop-up vintage marts. “A lot of small businesses, whether they’re artists or antiques sellers, are looking for a platform to showcase their things,” says Virginia Arrisueno, the manager of DC MEET Market, a monthly craft/food/vintage happening in Logan Circle. “These kind of markets are a great way to bring people together.” Read on for our take on the top spots to browse or buy.
When: Outdoor vendors Saturdays and Sundays, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., year-round.
Where: 225 Seventh St. SE; 202-698-5253, easternmarket-dc.org.
The scoop: More than 100 artisans, flower-sellers, importers and antiques dealers hawk wares on the sidewalks outside (and a paved lot across from) Capitol Hill’s iconic red-brick 1873 food market.
For sale: New and old finds, including locally crafted pieces like Mann Made Design’s PBR bottle-cap cuff links ($39) and Seeing in Fabric’s quilted cityscape wall art. African beads, Turkish lanterns and a smattering of hats and sunglasses round out the selection.Fave finds: Mayawool’s Peruvian leather/wool belts ($50), Zachary Sasim’s giclee prints of D.C. sites including the Capitol and, of course, Eastern Market.Snack stop: Grab an eclair inside the market at A Fine Sweet Shop.
Fenton St. Market
When: Saturdays, April-October, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Where: Veterans Plaza, Fenton Street and Ellsworth Drive, Silver Spring; fentonstreetmarket.com.
The scoop: On a recent morning, high school wrestlers tussled on a mat as a nearby fiddler reeled off tunes at this lively, 4-year-old crafts/antiques/food agora, which rivals Eastern Market in size and scope. Finds veer between international (African beaded earrings, $10; Thai crocheted sweaters, $20) and home-grown (Hooked and Loopy’s whimsical knit rabbits and octopi, $15-$20).
Favorite finds: Funky Colombian boots sewn from multicolored cotton textiles ($125), a vintage typewriter ($45) at an antiques booth.
Hot for tots: Since it’s held on a sprawling, paved park with amphitheater seating, Fenton Street amounts to the most kid-friendly of D.C.’s outdoor markets. Live bands create more distractions.
DC MEET Market
When: First Saturday of the month April-December. Next market is Aug. 3.
Where: Parking lot at 15th and P streets NW; dcmeetmarket.com.
The scoop: Logan Circle’s year-old, upstart market fills a church parking lot with locally made foods and crafts from around 40 vendors. Hula-hooping, hipster crowds and snacks for sale add to the appeal.
For sale: A rotating cast of D.C.-based businesses offer goods from chic (really!) fanny packs and stylishly reupholstered vintage chairs to loads of made-around-here jewelry.
Fave finds: Juanita’s Adventures’ map wine stoppers ($25), Kelly Towles’ buffalo-print posters ($40), Twisted Aristocrat’s colorful leather cosmetic bags ($50-$75), above.
Sweet tooth booth: Cooling and decadent, Capital City Cheesecake’s slightly bigger-than-an-Oreo mini cakes come in flavors such as Lemon Berry and Key Lime ($2.75 each).
Grant Ave. Market
When: Sun., July 14, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
Where: The intersection of Grant and Carroll avenues, Takoma Park, Md.; grantavenuemarket.com.
The scoop: Though only in its first year, the Grant Avenue Market has pulled an impressive (if small) selection of vintage-heavy furniture, jewelry and knickknack vendors. It’s produced by the masterminds behind the well-established Fenton Street Market (previous page), which helps explain the roster of high-quality sellers including U Street industrial-chic home-goods dealer Foundry and pack-rat favorite Ruff & Ready Furnishings.
For sale: Don’t expect the usual lackluster street-market suspects. (We’re looking at you patchouli soap and button jewelry.) Instead, come prepared to scoop up 1960s housedresses from Quarter Life Vintage ($25-$75) and old-school paper ephemera from S.H. Jemik.
Fave finds: A worn edition of “The American Woman’s Cook Book” circa 1942 ($5), a pretty little compact mirror graced with the image of ballet dancers ($9).
Georgetown Flea Market
When: Sundays, 8 a.m.-4 p.m., year-round.
Where: School parking lot at 1819 35th St. NW; georgetownfleamarket.com.
The scoop: Dozens of dealers — eccentric junk hounds (old LPs and a $5 bag of unopened dog food, anyone?), serious antiques pros (silver, lamps) and rug sellers — set up shop on tables and, sometimes, the ground of the Hardy Middle School parking lot.
For sale: Enough unusual housewares to furnish a thousand design-blog posts, from a mid-century rattan ottoman ($75) to a set of velvet ropes from a long-shuttered nightclub. Other strengths: vintage jewelry and linens (as in a set of 1940s cocktail napkins embroidered with cacti, $25).
Fave finds: A 19th-century silver charm/medal that reads “Prohibition Prize” ($60),a mammoth bronze bust of George Washington for patriotic types ($550).