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BUY LOCAL: 14 GO-TO FARMERS MARKETS IN SAN DIEGO

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ERICA FRIEDMAN

APR 18, 2019

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IMAGE VIA ENCINITAS STATION FACEBOOK

When it comes to buying fresh and local in San Diego look no further than your neighborhood farmers market. Stretching from South Bay to North County, the nearly 50 certified farmers markets have everything your heart (and stomach) desires. And with a year-round growing season and plenty of sunshine, there’s always an abundance of fresh and healthy goods up for grabs.

Feast on flavorful prepared food items, sample fresh fruit, veggies, cheeses, and stretch your legs as you pack your tote! Shop local, eat fresh, and check out this list of go-to farmers markets around town.

No Sunday morning is complete without a trip to Hillcrest. This fresh and fabulous farmers market favorite has been taking over the DMV parking lot for 20 years, with 150+ vendors lining two city blocks. With a wide selection of international cuisines and samples up for grabs, the market is a foodie paradise. Feast on pierogies, Korean BBQ, gourmet tamales, vegan pizza, Flavors of East Africa, and more. Thirsty? Enjoy fresh green juice samples or a pour from a local craft brewery. Sundays, 9am to 2pm, year-round

There’s something special about Saturday mornings in Little Italy — and you don’t want to miss out. Restaurants along India St. are ramping up for a busy day, and the nearby Mercato is bustling (even at 8am). Coffee cup in hand, visitors head to West Cedar for fresh produce, pastured eggs and poultry, meat, breads, nuts, olive oils, flowers, soaps, and more. One of the biggest markets in the county, there is plenty to choose from, including clothing, jewelry — and bowties for your dog! Fitt Tip: arrive early for the best selection of fresh goods and parking. Saturdays, 8am to 2pm, year-round

Live music, delicious eats, and a beautiful beachside view — the OB Farmers Market has it all. Take your pick of locally-grown fruits and vegetables, mouth-watering, ready-to-eat meals, fresh-cut flowers, and homemade crafts. Join surfers along Newport Ave. for a bite before hitting the beach to watch the sunset near the pier. Wednesdays, 4pm to 8pm, year-round

Held on the grounds of La Jolla Elementary, this Open Aire Market is a one-stop shop for produce, crafts, flowers, clothing, and lunchtime eats. The family-friendly spot features 140+ vendors and a food court serving everything from kettle corn to kebabs to Chinese dumplings. Meet a friend for a quick stroll before a day spent at the Cove. Sundays, 9am to 1:30pm, year-round

Liberty Public Market just stepped up its game in a big way, with the launch of an outdoor farmers market. Swing by on Thursdays to explore over 60 vendors selling produce, baked goods, sauces to the sounds of live entertainment. Come hungry for the monthly pop-up tastings and cookies demos, with local chefs taking market-goers along for a mini shopping spree before preparing the main dish. Thursdays, dates and times TBD

Head to Carlsbad to support local businesses you may not catch at other markets around town. The quaint market has 50 vendors offering organic produce from area farms, flowers, desserts, and specialty-packaged foods like olive oil and spices. Fill your reusable bag with fresh goods before popping into a neighborhood restaurant for happy hour. Wednesdays, 3pm to 7pm, March to October; 3pm to 6pm, November to March

The small hometown feel of the Poway Farmers Market attracts visitors to Old Poway Park week after week, and the railroad train ride is a fun adventure for kids (even “big kids”). It’s all a true family experience. Sample fruits, jams, handmade dips, olive oils, teas, nuts, and other food items (including gluten-free treats) from 65 vendors. Saturdays, 8am to 1pm, year-round

This is one time you’ll be glad you showed up to court! The longest-running farmers market in the county, this Vista market has regulars that make a visit to the San Diego County Courthouse their Saturday morning ritual. The 53 farmers sell what they grow; local, certified-organic, in-season produce. You should probably stop by the Vista Farm Cafe for a morning bite, too. The food stand makes all of their dishes with fare from the market’s farmers. Saturdays, 8am to 1pm, year-round

Situated on the south end of the Cedros Design District, the Solana Beach Farmers Market is the perfect place to end a Sunday spent shopping. Start at the south end and work your way to the small food court at the north. And with shaded tables, it’s the ideal spot to sit and enjoy the artsy atmosphere, food, and live music. Sundays, 12am to 4pm, year-round

Support a small group of East County farmers every Friday afternoon at the La Mesa Blvd. A Silver Star-winner for Best Produce in East County, this market has the best field-fresh produce around. Collect your greens, nosh on samples, and meet the neighbors at the quaint family-friendly spot. Fridays, 3pm to 7pm, year-round

Grab your tote bag and head to the North Park Farmers Market on North Park Way for artisan pastries, spices, locally-sourced eggs, vegetables, and meats from over 90 vendors. When you’ve picked up all you can carry, head over to the Vintage Flea section for crafts and treasures you can’t get anywhere else. And parking — it’s not a problem thanks to the adjacent 340-space garage. Thursdays, 3pm to 7:30pm, year-round

We all know that the fresh fruits, veggies, and produce are the big draw for farmers markets, but this one at Mira Mesa High School has stand after stand of vendors selling all sorts of varieties. They’ve got all the usual suspects, strawberries, raspberries, corn, cucumbers. But what they also have are quail eggs, sea urchin, purple cauliflower, Thai bananas, and more. The best part? Proceeds benefit the Mira Mesa High School Foundation. Tuesdays, 2:30pm to 7pm, year-round

When you find yourself unsure what to make for dinner in the coming week, just head to the Pacific Beach Farmers Market on Bayard St. between Garnet and Grand, and let the local farmers there be your guide. They’re always happy to provide recommendations and recipes. Plus, before you know it, you’ll have gained a little extra knowledge and a new friend, too. Tuesdays, 2pm to 7pm, year-round

This East San Diego City farmers market is a haven for colorful veggies, organic fruits, herbs, homemade jewelry, and more. But what this market is really known for is being a multicultural hub. You can pick up Argentinian empanadas, Algerian tangerines, and other speciality treats native to other countries. It’s officially time to branch out and try something new. Saturdays, 9am to 1pm, year-round

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