San Diego is known for its rich agriculture.
Blessed with a year-long growing season and fantastic weather, finding farm-fresh products is as easy as pie. San Diego County boasts more than 6,500 small farms, more than any other county in the U.S. It’s no surprise that it has become such a big part of San Diego life. The county offers countless farmers markets to choose from, allowing residents access to the freshest local produce, amazing artisan goods and other cool finds each week.
Here is our list of the 6 best farmers markets to check out in San Diego:
One of the larger farmers markets in San Diego, the Little Italy Mercato has 200 vendors to peruse on a sunny (or rainy) Saturday morning. Come here for fresh fruits and veggies, meat, fish, eggs, olive oil, artisan goods and flowers, among other products. It’s also famous for its freshly-caught sea urchin, if you want to add some extra excitement to your morning. If a relaxed morning is more your style, just enjoy the nice ocean views while you shop. Plus, closeby is one of San Diego’s best coffee houses, where you can stop to fuel up on caffeine on the way there.
When: Saturdays, 8 am – 2 pm
Where: W. Date Street from Kettner Blvd to Union Street
This San Diego staple is hosted in the DMV parking lot (it’ll be fun, we promise). It hosts around 175 different vendors, who sell everything from local produce, to arts and crafts, to clothing. The market offers a wide selection of prepared dishes, a large portion of which is international cuisine.
When: Sundays, 9 am – 2 pm
Where: 3960 Normal St
This is the market to check out if you’re looking for anything trending on social media. Come for kombucha on tap, CBD products, microgreens, vegan baked goods, among others. It also offers a plethora of other delicious prepared bites, including bao buns, tamales, churros and pad thai.
When: Thursdays, 3 pm – 7:30 pm
Where: 2900 North Park Way & 30th Street
The second mid-week treat on our list, the Ocean Beach market is another San Diego favorite. Here you can find fresh produce, spreads, baked goods, honey, etc. With many pre-packaged and to-go dishes available, it’s a great spot to grab a bite to eat for dinner after picking up your favorite local goods. The market also has live music for visitors to enjoy while shopping. Visitors should note that the market is currently a one-way market, and the entrance is located at Cable Street & Newport Avenue.
When: Wednesdays, 4 pm – 8 pm
Where: 4900 block of Newport Between Cable & Bacon Streets
This market is hosted by La Jolla Elementary School, which receives all proceeds from visitors’ purchases. With over 120 vendors, you can find everything from handmade soaps and handcrafted Native American jewelry, to succulents and almond butters. There is even a complimentary dog sitting service while you shop!
When: Sundays, 9 am – 1 pm
Where: La Jolla Elementary School, 7335 Girard Ave.
Vista Farmers Market is the longest running market in San Diego county. It opened in 1981, soon after it became legal for farmers to sell directly to customers. It’s open every Saturday of the year, rain or shine, and features 53 farmers, 34 food makers, and 18 artisans. It’s not as central as the other markets on our list, but it’s worth the drive to Vista to see how the farm-to-table culture in San Diego got its start.
When: Saturdays, 8 am – 12 pm
Where: 345 South Melrose Drive, Vista
For detailed information about safety guidelines and policies for each market, please visit the market’s website.
[Featured image: Anne Preble via Unsplash]