Best Farmers’ Markets in the US, and How to Find Them
Although farmers’ markets have been around since human beings developed the ability to grow things, their popularity in the United States had been previously eclipsed by the convenience and consistency of the almighty grocery store.
However, the past decade has seen a steep rise in the number of people in urban centers getting their produce directly from the source: local farmers with fresh, organic, and abundant merchandise at a reasonable price point.
Farmers’ markets are expanding from niche weekend novelties to neighborhood staples, offering more than a few fruit stands and a lone one-eyed fish monger. These 5 markets are among the best in the country. Not only do they provide a place for people to shop for the week, they represent a center of culture and community where the very best of each can be sampled for free.
These are the best farmers’ markets in the United States, and how you can find them.
As a city, Portland is known as being one of the most progressive in terms of environmental protection and eco-awareness. The market held on Saturdays on Portland State’s college campus is a prime example of the region’s fixation on local produce.
It is home to over 150 of the areas best local farmers, who diligently and esoterically sell seasonal produce, handmade products, and some of the freshest fish this side of Tokyo. If you wake up early and have a hankering for Mexican, try the mondo breakfast burrito at Enchanted Sun.
There are certainly no shortage of open-air markets in New York, but if you had to choose just one to see while you visit, you can’t go wrong with the Union Square Greenmarket. It is an outdoor farmers’ market mecca open every day from 8am – 6pm, and the best place in Manhattan to get fresh, seasonal produce.
Check the schedule ahead of your visit, as local chefs often give cooking demonstrations to passersby and onlookers. You’ll also find the best local cheeses and artisan breads the tri-state area has to offer.
Seattle’s foremost tourist attraction also happens to be a place locals go when they’re looking for a local taste of food, culture, and flying fish. It’s best known for its iconic ‘Public Market Center’ sign and gregarious salmon throwers, but there are many other shops and stands to catch the passing eye.
The Pacific Northwest is known for seafood, and you’ll find everything from caviar to crab legs at this market, which is open every day. There are few better things to do in the country than visiting Pike Place Market on a sunny summer day in Seattle.
In many ways, Charleston is the Southern Atlantic Coasts crowning jewel. It is culturally diverse, naturally stunning, and carries with it a deep tie to the history of America. The Charleston Farmers’ Market manages to encapsulate all these things while simultaneously providing a bustling destination for local food and merchandise.
The only downside is the accessibility. The market is only open every Saturday between April and December, so you’ll have to get your timing right if you’re planning to visit. If you do, you’ll be rewarded with a true, authentic, southern community experience.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t include at least one Los Angeles market on this list. And while I’m sure many locals would disagree with this selection, it’s the market that provides the best tastes, sights, and sounds So Cal is known for. It’s open on Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday, and is home to over 75 local vendors who are passionate about their goods.
In fact, the produce is so good that many local chefs do a majority of their weekly shopping at the market. So, slurp a glass of freshly-squeezed blood orange juice, buy some avocados, and enjoy a breezy stroll along the Santa Monica pier.