Many of us look forward to the summer, not just for the long, sunny days, but also for the multitude of fresh produce that the season brings. Summer also heralds the reopening of farmers’ markets around the country, providing locally-grown farm-fresh and typically organic produce to the local community.
Farmers’ markets are typically delightful places, filled with multi-hued farm fresh produce. They also serve as a gathering place for locals and visitors alike, where everyone can catch up on the gossip while getting their groceries. Many also play host to vendors selling delicious home-made pastries, pizzas and more. Good farmers’ markets are buzzing with energy, where you can feel the pulse of the local community. Here are some of the best in America:
Union Square Greenmarket, New York City, New York
Open Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays
New York’s flagship farmers’ market, the Union Square Greenmarket caters to both top New York chefs as well as ordinary New Yorkers. Open in 1976, the market now spans two acres and hosts more than 140 producers each week. On peak days, the market attracts up to 10,000 visitors. The Union Square Greenmarket prides itself as the biggest farmers’ market in the city, with the largest variety of produce ranging from fruits and vegetables to meets and cheeses as well as breads, jams, pickles and more. However, be careful if you’re on the 100-mile diet, as the Greenmarket allows farmers in a 200-mile radius to ply their wares.
Portland Farmers Market, Portland, Oregon
Open Wednesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays at different locations
Portland is one of the premier foodie cities in America, so it is unsurprising that their farmers’ market is one of the best in the country. While the market is dominated by produce, excellent seafood, including wild salmon, clams and oysters, can also be found here.
Santa Monica Farmers’ Market, Santa Monica, California
Open Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays at different locations
If you’re on the 100-mile diet, you’ll want to live near the Santa Monica Farmers’ Market. A wide variety of California’s plentiful produce is available here, and the market also hosts talks by various experts like food preservers and gardeners, and dietitians.
Santa Fe Farmers Market, Santa Fe, New Mexico
Started in the late 1960s, the Santa Fe Farmers’ Market is now the largest in the state. All produce and at least 80% of the ingredients and materials of processed foods and crafts available at the market is locally grown. You’ll also find lots of free samples and healthy living advice here.
Coconut Grove Organic Farmers Market, Coconut Grove, Florida
Open on Saturdays
Presented by Glaser Organic Farms, the Coconut Grove Organic Farmers Market is an epicurean’s dream. Aside from the incredible variety of fresh produce, there’s also an extensive salad bar, raw food pizzas, and uncooked pies that are more delicious than they sound.
Green City Market, Chicago, Illinois
Open on Wednesdays and Saturdays
Open year-round, Chicago’s Green City Market at the southern end of Lincoln Park has one advantage that many farmers’ markets don’t – free public transport via the touristy trolley service. Expect to find chef demonstrations and plenty of free samples.
Dane Country Farmers’ Market, Madison, Wisconsin
Open on Saturdays year round, and on Wednesdays as well in the summer
This producers-only market pays tribute to Wisconsin’s best-known products: cheese! You’ll also be able to find some of the best butchers in town here in addition to fresh local produce. Housed in the Madison Senior Center during the winter, this market moves to the State Capitol in the summer months.
Marin Farmers’ Markets, San Rafael, California
Open on Sundays
The Sunday Marin Farmers Market is the third largest farmers market in California, with nearly 200 vendors during the peak summer months. You’ll find fresh local produce, specialty food and artisan goods for much cheaper than the more central farmers’ market in the San Francisco Bay Area’s Ferry Building.
Boulder Farmers Market, Boulder, Colorado
Open Wednesdays and Saturdays
Boulder Farmers Market prides itself as the largest farmers’ market in the state. Located in downtown Boulder next to Central Park, this market is only open during the summer months.
Crescent City Farmers Market, New Orleans
Open Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays in different locations
New Orleans may be known as the city of jazz, but it also has a great food culture and the seafood gumbo is a reason to visit in itself. The Crescent City Farmers Market is at the heart of the city’s food scene. Let yourself be serenaded by live jazz bands while you shop for fresh produce and enjoy the chef’s demonstrations.