Underrated (American) Farmers' Markets?

I think Farmers Markets have diversified a good deal in the past 20 or 30 years, and two of my favorites reflect that diversity.
My all-time favorite will probably always be family run Wrights Market, NW of Salisbury MD in a rural area just off Rte 50. I used to stop there on my way to and from OC’s beach area, though I have not been back in several years due to moving home to Montana. When I first started going it was an old shack on the side of the road and now it is a huge 10,000+ sq ft air-conditioned market with events for kids and families. But the part I like the most is that they still grow a lot of their own produce on their farm. They do sell other farms goods but they try to keep their own farm active as much as possible.

My current favorite now that I am back in Montana is the Kalispell Farmers Market on Saturdays, May to October. It is more of the urban type of market with 30’some different vendors selling a WIDE variety of products, from Montana kitsch, to fresh produce/meat, cotton candy to live plants. Love the artisanal cheese at the cheese guy’s stall!
But my point is that there is not just one type of farmers market, and I like them all.

https://kalispellfarmersmarket.org

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The WNC (Western North Carolina) Market near Asheville is huge. Right behind there is the Cavazos Family Market, also really big.
In the summer, I have purchased large amounts of cannonball-sized peaches from South Carolina, both yellow and white. These are amazing monster peaches I have no access to up in the DC area.

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Two farmers markets here in Central Pennsylvania are worth mentioning. Lewisburg - near Bucknell University - and the York Eastern Market - in the suburbs of York near the big Harley Davidson factory.

The Headhouse Market in downtown Philly is really great in its own way, but not in the league of the Union Square market.

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I’ll be in Philly for most of the second half of the year. How does it compare to the Italian Market on 9th?

Lingua, the Italian Market in Philly is a neighborhood, not a farmers market in the modern sense. There are many great shops and restaurants there and you might enjoy them, but the two markets I mentioned are actual outlets for local artisans and farmers (and at least a hundred miles from Philly).

The Headhouse Market is an actual farmers market with actual farmers. The quality is easily the equal of places like Union Square, but there are fewer different vendors. Headhouse and the Italian Market aren’t really comparable. You can easily visit both in a day with proper planning.

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I’m familiar with the Italian market, as I visit the city quite often & it’s always on our list of places to go and shop for fresh pasta & other goodies hard to come by in the boonz :slight_smile:

I’d never heard of Headhouse market before, so I was curious. So, more local produce, etc. than the stands on 9th street proper? Looking forward to checking it out!

Eastern Market in York is my weekly stop year-round. It is the lone survivor in a town where there used to be half a dozen similar markets.

I also make weekly stops at individual farms and butchers.

In nyc, I go to Union Square whenever I can be there super early. But my true love is the Grand Army Plaza market on Saturdays in Brooklyn.

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Actually, nothing like the Italian Market and more like Union Square. One isn’t better or worse than the other unless you’re looking for specific items.

Eastern Market in York is the place to go if you want to see what most Pennsylvania market houses were like forty years ago. I’m delighted to hear that you’re a regular.

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I grew up here - I know the deal :slight_smile:

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I just realized that I probably went to the wrong market in York a few years ago. Friends from PA had recommended a couple Amish markets and a market in York and I thought that I had the right York address on Google Maps. But I thought Central Market was only ok, but the recommendations I had gotten were probably to go to the Eastern Market a few miles east of there.
My GF and I did a mini-roadtrip from McLean VA to York via the Markets at Shrewsbury and Shrewsbury was a lot more fun and delicious than the Central Market. Central was more of a collection of shops, cafes and bars inside a beautiful old brick building and the people there were nice but a lot more busy.
At Shrewsbury we got a great “German” sandwiches, candy and some wooden bowls and had a great time with the very outgoing and friendly staff.
Eastern Market looks more like a vendors market for fresh produce and stuff, I will try to check it out next time I am in the area.

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Somewhat off topic, but a co-worker moved from upstate New York to Lakewood, NJ, which is heavily Orthodox Jewish. At some point he asked someone, “Why are there so many Amish in Lakewood?” :sweat_smile: (Shades of THE FRISCO KID!)

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The Friday Old Oakland farmers’ market is a little more varied than what’s available at the Berkeley farmers’ markets and the other big Oakland markets.

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On Mig’s recommendation I’ve been to the York Eastern market several times on my way to Lancaster. It is great indeed

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Only issue is that Eastern is only open on Friday so you need to trip plan accordingly. Because don’t we all plan our trips around food procurement goals??

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Yea it’s definitely inconvenient. It’s my most important weekly shop, so I have to get up and go before work.

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Not sure if it is underrated but in San Diego we like always the Saturday one in Little Italy, in LA the one Wednesday one in Santa Monica and here in SF/Bay area we are just starting to explore and so far the Saturday one at the Ferry Building or in San Mateo are nice (in different ways) as is the Sunday one in Palo Alto

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Shrewsbury is great if you get there early and can park close by, but Eastern is really old school. Pennsylvania market houses are amazing.

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Most of the places I’ve mentioned are only opened one or two days a week. Be careful out there!

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If you happen to be around the East Bay on Saturdays, the market in Pleasanton is very good, as is the one in downtown Niles.

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