With a variety of produce flourishing year-round, California’s farmers markets are a can’t-miss. California communities come together to sample the state’s famously fresh produce, discover artisanal products, ready-made foods, live music and entertainment. Here are our 10 favorite farmers markets in the state.
There are eight weekly farmers markets in the Santa Barbara area, with the main event taking place in Santa Barbara’s Old Town State Street each Tuesday in the late afternoon. Explore unique vegetables that are locally grown, along with a selection of locally made cheeses, breads and more gourmet delights that you won’t find just anywhere.
Santa Monica hosts farmers markets four days a week, but the most popular by far is the Wednesday farmers market in downtown. It’s where L.A.’s most renowned chefs head for inspiration and to find new ingredients—you might even spot someone from your favorite television cooking shows. Make like a chef and try something new, or just enjoy the close proximity to the ocean as you stroll through the stands.
The Little Italy Mercato in San Diego features not only locally grown produce but also a variety of gift-able items. If you need a gift or want to try something new, it’s definitely worth checking out for everything from jewelry to vegetables.
Held on Saturdays and Wednesdays, the Davis Farmers Market has become a local tradition, with many of the same families spending decades participating and even creating a cookbook using the fresh finds from the farms. Explore produce, meats, seafood, cheeses and artisanal products that are locally made.
The San Luis Obispo Farmers Market is a weekly event that attracts college students, locals and visitors looking for a fun way to spend time. More than just your usual produce stands, you can also find live music, and tables and chairs to enjoy the sights, sounds and foods.
The Saturday Farmers Market in San Francisco’s Ferry Plaza involves produce suppliers, surrounding restaurants and a changing seasonal roster of sellers. There are also crafts and unique food items.
Chino Family Farm isn’t a typical market, and it is definitely something to check out if you find yourself in Northern California. The farm dates back nearly 100 years, and supplies local restaurants with fresh and innovative produce, including Chez Panisse. The family is Japanese and retains strong ties, including hosting Japanese farmer trainees in innovative farming techniques to yield the best vegetables.
If you find yourself driving through Stockton, take a short detour and stop at one of the San Joaquin Certified Farmers Markets. The Stockton area grows some of California’s most famous agricultural examples and the San Joaquin Certified Farmers Market is open to public sale to help support the community with the best fruits and vegetables.
The Point Reyes Farmers Market is world renowned for its prime location between nearby hiking trails and the Pacific Ocean. Open seasonally from June-November, Point Reyes Farmers Market offers not only local produce but demonstrations from local chefs and live music. Thanks to its location and offerings, the Point Reyes Farmers Market is more of a day trip than the average market.
Hillcrest Farmers Market has become San Diego’s largest and most popular market. With 175 vendors on any given Sunday, you can find nearly anything imaginable, from fresh and organic produce to a large selection of international cuisines and live entertainment from both regular and rotating bands.