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Fiddlehead ferns, morel mushrooms, ramps, leeks, asparagus and radishes. Don’t forget avocados, beets, spinach, strawberries, rhubarb and artichokes. If spring is about one thing, it’s a cornucopia of fresh produce, and there’s no better place to capture the season’s bounty than at your local farmers’ market. Among the thousands nationwide, the wildly eclectic list assembled here highlights some of the best.

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1. Crescent City Farmers Market, New Orleans, LA
Only in New Orleans does crawfish sell out, but that’s the case at this year-round market held weekly at four citywide locations including Uptown, the French Quarter, Mid-City and Downtown. The Crescent City Farmers Market attracts more than 140,000 visitors annually and since its 1995 founding has raised more than $11 million to benefit the local economy. Want to cook up some fried green tomatoes with shrimp remoulade while rubbing elbows with the city’s colorful locals? Then put this market at the top of your list.
Must have item: Beet juice lemonade at from Amanda’s Fruit Specialties.

NOLAFarmersMarket

2. Eastern Market, Detroit, MI
We know this much about Detroit:Despite the city’s many financial woes it boasts one heck of a weekly farmers market. Part of a public market where locals have gathered to eat since 1891, Motor City’s Eastern Market brings together 250 vendors every Saturday to downtown Detroit for a year round smorgasbord of fruits, vegetables, fresh-cut flowers, homemade jams, maple syrups, specialty food products and pasture and/or grass-fed meat sourced from farmers in Michigan, Ohio and nearby Ontario. The market is anchored by annual events like Flower Day and the Harvest Celebration.
Must have item: Bloody Marys from Vivio’s Food and Spirits and pierogis from the People’s Pierogi Collective.

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Pikes Place Market Seattle.600

3. Pike Place Market, Seattle, WA
Did you really think you were going to make it through this list without a mention of one of the most famous tourist destinations in the country? Pike Place in Seattle boasts 10 million visitors annually and is currently undergoing an expansion which will give it even more retail space. Tourists may queue up to watch local merchants toss fish around, but locals know this nine-acre historic district is home to more than 80 farmers, 200 craftspeople, 200 independent businesses and five social services (oh, and awesome local seafood).
Must have item: A bag of mini doughnuts from Daily Dozen Doughnut Company.

PikePlace

4. Rochester Public Market, Rochester, NY
This historic city-run market has racked up impressive number of recognitions over the years and remains one of the nation’s most robust with an attendance of up to 2.5 million visitors annually. The year round Rochester Public Market has been operating continuously since 1905 and operates thrice weekly including every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday when more than 300 vendors gather beginning at 5am. The market boasts a plethora of Rochester-area farmers and indie local businesses including food stands, coffee shops, florists, breweries, and more.
Must have item: Empanadas from Juan and Maria’s.

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RochesterPublicMarket

5. Dane County FarmersMarket, Madison, WI
The Dairy State’s capital city hosts a twice weekly downtown market and it’s a doozy. The largest “producers only” farmers market (no resale allowed) in the nation boasts more than 300 member vendors who gather every Saturday in Madison’s Capitol Square every summer (a midweek version happens Wednesdays) to showcase meats, cheeses, flowers, fruits, vegetables and specialty products. The Dane County Farmers Market also features live entertainment, political and nonprofit information, and arts and crafts vendors.
Must have item: Individually hand-battered cheese curds from Curd Girl.

Photo Courtesy of The Original Farmers Market

Photo Courtesy of The Original Farmers Market

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6. The Original Los Angeles Farmers Market, Los Angeles, CA
The strip malls may have come in droves to mucky up the landscape that is modern day Los Angeles, but that hasn’t deterred the city from boasting one of the oldest and most well-known daily farmers markets in the nation. Operating within the same space as the shopping complex the Grove, the Los Angeles Farmers Market is nevertheless an enchanting collectionof food stalls crammed cheek-by-jowl next to one another in an exhilarating display of local bounty that showcases the City of Angels’ impressive ethnic melange.
Must have item: You can’t go wrong with a cinnamon roll from Bob’s Doughnuts, an L.A. institution.

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Tagged: California

Jason Heidemann

Jason Heidemann

Jason is an associate editor at Orbitz, a social media marketing consultant and a freelance cultural reporter for numerous publications. His works has been featured in the Huffington Post, Time Out, Passport, the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Magazine and many others.

8 thoughts on “6 farmers’ markets worth checking out right now”

  1. I visited the Rochester Public Market on my lunch break today, I love it there! I got a quart of radishes and two quarts of brussel sprouts for $1.50, and ham, egg and cheese on a huge roll for $3.95.

  2. The Rochester Public Market is a must see when in Rochester, especially in the Summer and Fall. Outstanding selection and prices along with a festive atmosphere! Other excellent markets include the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market in San Francisco and the Halifax Seaport Farmers Market in Nova Scotia.

  3. And the Rochester Public Market also has Flower Market Sundays in the Spring and Flea/Antique markets + music evenings in Summer.

  4. I’ve been to all these market and hands down the BEST market isn’t on this list. It’s in Cleveland and I believe it’s called simply the Westside Market. It is without doubt the biggest and best market around!!!

  5. The Rochester Public Market is actually a flea market not a farmers market. Fun to go visit but very few vendors are actual farmers.
    As they say, garlic from Mexico, but not Mexico, NY!

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