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The Best Market Bags to Tote Your Produce in Style


One of my favorite sources of sartorial inspiration is when photographer Jamie Beck goes to the market. Jamie left the hustle of New York City for an achingly beautiful life in Provence, and every weekend she visits the market with her daughter, Eloise. They go in search of the most delicious local cheeses, fresh-baked baguettes, and juiciest produce the land and its people have to offer. All the while, greeting vendors with a “Bonjour!” and always—always—with a romantic market tote bag in hand.

image via Apolis

Now, I’m not moving to Provence anytime soon. But I sure do have a thing for romanticizing my life. And one day as I watched Jamie taste-test Provençal cheeses, it hit me—the reusable plastic grocery bags I keep wadded up in the trunk of my car are cramping my style. I may not have a cheese guy or French doors that overlook a charming little town, but I’ve got a farmer’s market and I’ve got a daughter with an equally timeless name (Adaline, she’s adorable). All I need now is the perfect market bag to gather our bounty.

What to Look For in a Market Bag

I’ve done the research and whether you’re looking for a tote to carry your groceries, produce, or flowers, I’ve got you covered. There are a few key factors to consider when choosing your perfect market tote. First, you want sturdy, comfortable straps. The tote needs to be cute, yes, but it also needs to haul everything from lemons to melons without wearing down the strap—or your shoulder.

Second, the material matters. Personally, I love a tote made from natural materials like straw, canvas, or cotton. And ultimately, when you’re shopping for produce and pantry items, you need a material that’s easy to clean.

Finally, the design and style of the tote are obviously priorities, here. We want a market tote that matches style with utility and thankfully, there are many market bags that fit the criteria. The only question is… which one feels most like you? Let’s find out.

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Best Crochet Market Bags

You need a set of these mesh cotton grocery bags as a baseline. They’re less of a market tote, per sé, but they are very French-inspired (if, like me, you happen to care about that). Most importantly, they serve as incredibly convenient ways to sort produce—and these babies can hold a LOT. They’re machine washable to boot!

Best Market Bags With Compartments

If your first order of business upon getting a new purse is to count the pockets then you’re going to love a compartmentalized market tote. There are sections for your wine, produce, bread, eggs, and flowers. And let’s be honest—what more do you need in life?

Best Washable Tote Bag

It isn’t every tote bag that can stand up to the machine wash and last. And even if it does, rarer still that it’ll keep any structure after the fact. But I’ve got good news for the clean freaks among us: there is a bag that can do it all.

Best Classic Canvas Market Bag

You’ve seen this bag on the shoulder of many for good reason. As far as canvas bags go, you can’t go wrong with a well-made classic. It’s versatile in looks and those handles are all about durability. The only question—which color will you choose?

Best Woven Raffia Market Bags

I have to admit, woven bags are a look. A good one won’t unravel under pressure—which means it’ll be an investment. Well worth it, if you ask me.

Best Structured Canvas Bag

I love my stash of canvas bags until it’s time to carry milk. Or jarred sauce. Or anything with weight and structure. A canvas bag that can stand up to the task is a winner. Add pockets? Damn near perfection.

Best Market Tote Bag Kit

Why have one when you can have six? The minimalists will cringe but hear me out—there are bags for produce, a large tote for pantry items, mesh bags for artisan bread—plus, it’s the perfect eco-friendly starter kit for a major grocery haul.

Best Customizable Market Tote

Apolis is the brand behind The Bag. You know it when you see it—rectangular jute and leather construction and often bearing a brand logo or clever saying. You can customize this bag to your liking or keep it clean. Either way, it’s a beautiful bag that creates a fair wage for mothers in Bangladesh.

Best Foldable Market Tote

Three cheers for a bag that can do it all—and then be tucked away without creating clutter in and of itself. This bag takes it one step further by including pockets in its structure. Now, that’s some kind of magic.

Bonus: Best On-the-Go Tote Bag

Sometimes you just need a bag in a pinch. Throw this one in your purse or keep it in your favorite market tote above for those days when you can’t contain all the kale in a single bag. Amazingly, it’s treated with antimicrobial technology to keep groceries fresh and clear from bacteria and viruses. This is the bag I keep in my own purse and it gets the job done perfectly.

Now that you’re perfect market tote it in tow, it’s time to fill ‘er up! Get some inspiration for the farmers market this weekend—you can’t go wrong with any of these produce-packed recipes.


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