When you're visiting a new city, one of the best ways to spend a weekend morning is at the local farmer's market, sampling whatever's in season. If you find yourself in any of these 20 cities, here are our recommendations for good markets, along with hours, locations, and links.
Mill City Farmers Market
Located along the River between the Mill City Museum and the Guthrie Theater, this market is in a great neighborhood with lots of attractions. It's open from May through October, Saturdays from 8 am to 1 pm.
St. Louis, Missouri
Soulard Farmers Market
First established in 1779, this is one of the country's oldest public markets. It's been in its current location in the French Soulard neighborhood since 1838. Open year-round Wednesday through Friday from 8 am to 5 pm and Saturdays from 6 am to 5 pm.
Located in a large building at 225 7th Street SE, this is DC's "oldest continually operated fresh food public market." It's open year-round daily from 7 am 7 pm, Saturdays from 7 am to 6 pm, Sundays from 9 am to 5 pm, and closed Mondays.
Atlanta State Farmers Market
Located in Forest Park off I-75, this market covers 150 acres and is one of the largest of its kind. It includes a garden center, wholesale, and retail areas, and it's open to the public daily, with shopping hours from 7 am to 3 pm.
Austin Farmers Market
It takes place in 3 main locations: Downtown on Saturdays from 9 am to 1 pm (at 4th and Guadalupe), in Sunset Valley on Saturdays from 9 am to 1 pm (3200 Jones Road) and at the Triangle (46th and Lamar) on Wednesdays from 4 pm to 8 pm.
Baltimore Downtown Farmers Market
From May through December, the Downtown Farmer's Market is open every Sunday from 8 am to 12 pm. Located at 407 East Saratoga Street, it's under the Jones Falls Expressway overpass.
City Hall and Copley Square Markets
On Mondays and Wednesdays, check out the City Hall Market at 100 Cambridge Street. On Tuesdays and Fridays, go to the Copley Square Market at 139 Saint James Ave. Both markets are open May through November, 11 am to 6 pm.
Brooklyn, New York
Grand Army Plaza Greenmarket
Open Saturdays from 8 am to 4 pm at Grand Army Plaza (Flatbush Avenue/Prospect Park West), this is Brooklyn's largest farmers market, with a diverse selection of produce, plants, and flowers.
Green City Market
From May through October, the Green City Market is open every Wednesday and Saturday from 7 am to 1 pm. In the winter, it moves indoors to 2430 N Cannon Drive. Alice Waters called it "the best sustainable market in the country."
Dallas Farmers Market
Unofficially operated since the 1800s and officially established in 1941, this public market is open year-round, seven days a week, from 8 am to 6 pm. It's located at the intersection of Pearl and Cadiz streets.
Located in a huge 20,000 square foot space, it's a covered market that's open year-round every day from 6 am to 8:30 pm. Canino specializes in local farmer's produce, but they also carry items shipped in from elsewhere.
Kansas City, Missouri
Downtown City Farmers Market
The city's largest farmers market, it's open from March through October and has over 140 vendor stalls. Hours are Saturdays from 6 am to 3 pm and Sundays from 8 am to 3 pm. In the winter, the City Market shrinks to 30 full-time vendors.
Los Angeles, California
Hollywood Farmers Market
Located at Ivar and Selma Avenue, it's open on Sundays from 8 am to 1 pm. This open air market has over 90 farmers, 30 local artisans, and 30 bakers. Free special events regularly include chef's demos and cookbook signings.
Manhattan, New York
Union Square Farmers Market
Manhattan's largest farmers market, it covers 2 acres and is open year-round on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 8 am to 6 pm. During the summer, there's a full schedule of events, including cooking demos and book signings.
Lincoln Road Farmers Market
Located in South Beach on Lincoln Road between Meridian and Washington Avenues, this open air market takes place year-round on Sundays from 9 am to 6:30 pm. There's a special organic market in front of the Lincoln Theatre.
New Orleans, Louisiana
The French Market District has 6 blocks of shops, restaurants, flea markets, and a newly renovated farmers market open daily and year-round from 9 am to 6 pm. Originally founded as a trading post in the 1770s, it's the country's oldest farmers market.
Reading Terminal Market
Philadelphia has lots of great farmers markets, but one of the best known is Reading Terminal, established in 1893. Located in the city center at 12th and Arch Streets, it's open Monday through Saturday, 8 am to 6 pm, and Sunday from 9 am to 5 pm.
Portland Farmers Market at PSU
Located at Portland State University, this farmers market is open March through October on Saturdays from 8:30 am to 2 pm. In November and December, it's open Saturdays from 9 am to 2 pm.
San Francisco, California
Ferry Plaza Farmers Market
The Ferry Building hosts three markets per week: Tuesdays from 10 am to 2 pm, Thursdays from 10 am to 2 pm, and Saturdays (the largest and most popular market with special demos and events) from 8 am to 2 pm.
University District Farmers Market
This is Seattle's oldest and largest farmers market. Located at the corner of University Way and NE 50th, it's open year-round on Saturdays from 9 am to 2 pm, and it hosts over 50 vendors.
ADDITIONS FROM READERS
Thanks to our readers for sending in these additional recommendations for amazing markets! (If you've sent in a recommendation and you don't see your listing, please be patient. We will be updating the guide as time allows. Thank you!)
Detroit Eastern Market
From Tom: "Heya, Please add in Eastern Market in Detroit. It's really a gem!" Every Saturday year-round from 5 am to 5 pm, the Eastern Market (2934 Russell Street) hosts 250 independent vendors. The 119-year-old market draws up to 40,000 visitors on a busy weekend.
Dane County Farmers Market
From Melissa: "Hi! It would be great if you guys could add the Dane County Farmers' Market to your list. It takes place year-round on Saturdays, and also on Wednesdays in the summer. It's reported to be the largest producer-only farmers market in the country."
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Photo: Green City Market, Chicago by Flickr member Johnny Hunter used under Creative Commons license