I’ve always wanted to write a book about the best farmers markets in the America. A travel guide for foodies and locavores that would be part travelogue – because I do plan my travel around farmers markets – and part guide-book for those needing basic details, facts, and photos.
I would cover the biggest market in every city, and there is always one big market. A place that draws all the attention and energy of the city, which includes live music, civic issues and crafts, kids and petting zoos. These are typically on weekends and draw huge crowds, like a bustling bazaar in the Middle East.
Of course that always leaves room for the little market that could. Which draws few crowds and even fewer farmers. But it is the right assortment of farmers just enough overlap to make sure you get what you need. For some shoppers these smaller, quieter markets are greatly preferred to the frenetic energy of the great markets.
I’m just getting started on this idea but I do have a few great markets that I’ve visited. They are some of my favorite places on Earth:
- Madison Farmers Market – Madison, WI
- Dupont Market – Washington D.C.
- Little Italy Mercato – San Diego, CA
- Irvine Farmers Market – Orange County, CA
- Santa Monica Downtown Market (Wednesday) – Los Angeles, CA
- Heart of the City Farmers Market – San Francisco, CA
- Union Square Greenmarket – NYC
- Pike Place Market – Seattle, WA
If you’re ever in these cities, try to visit these markets. There is no better way to hear the heartbeat of a city than through its market. Sample the local favorites and gourmet specialties, learn about the ethnic farmers in the area, and watch the rich and poor of the city as they mingle and haggle.