Best Flea Market

Traders Village

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Winner: Traders Village

9333 SW Loop 410

(210) 623-8383

tradersvillage.com

In a blog post titled "Evolution of the Flea Market Industry," the online source Flea Market Zone addressed the "cloudy origin" of the term flea market (which many attribute to a 19th-century Parisian marché aux puces that offered up furniture possibly inhabited by a few puces, or fleas), online shopping's reverberating impact on the second-hand industry and the fact that "the flea markets of our parents and grandparents are not the same as the flea markets of today." Easily the biggest overall shift is (sadly) away from used, vintage and antique items in favor of run-of-the-mill imports, dollar-store fare, designer knockoffs and plastic crap destined for the landfill. With sprawling outposts in San Antonio, Houston and the Dallas/Fort Worth area, Traders Village isn't immune to these modern-day pitfalls, but its sheer size makes for an engaging (and lengthy) browsing experience that comes complete with festival fare, real-deal carnival rides, games, excellent people watching and special events (from car shows to concerts). And that's not to say Trader's Village doesn't have its hidden gems. Boasting "more than 1,000 dealers every weekend," the 100-plus-acre marketplace delivers on the scavenger-hunt front thanks to a number of booths specializing in everything from rare comic books and action figures to military surplus and tchotchkes only a granny could love.

2. Bussey's Flea Market

18738 I-35 N.

(830) 609-0800

busseysfm.com

3. Mission Open Air Market

707 Moursund Blvd.

(210) 923-8131

missionopenairmarket.com

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