Find fresh produce, one-of-a-kind crafts, and delicious prepared foods wherever your travels take you this summer
The Best Local Eats in the Country
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If you're traveling this summer, be sure your route takes you by one or more of these top-rated farmers' markets, as ranked by the food-centric site The Daily Meal. The Daily Meal editors looked at the quality, quantity, and variety of products sold, "street credibility" based on social media fans and awards given, and length of time different markets stays open. All that number crunching lead to a list of 101 beautiful, bountiful marketplaces across the country showcasing local produce, tempting prepared foods, and artisan-made crafts to give you a true taste of the local flavors wherever you may be, from Memphis, TN, to Tacoma, WA. Click ahead for the top 10 farmers markets, and be sure to check out the complete list over at The Daily Meal.
Pike Place Farmers’ Market, Seattle, WA
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Established in 1907, Seattle’s nine-acre Pike Place Market is one of the best-known farmers’ markets in the nation. If you're shopping for seafood, the four famous fish markets are sure to have what you’re looking for, offering Alaskan halibut, swordfish, tuna, salmon, shrimp, lobsters, oysters, and more from the Pacific Northwest and Alaskan waters, all delivered fresh daily. And with abundant Washington-grown produce offered year-round, handmade crafts, local artisanal foods, takeaway restaurants, and sit-down bistros, you’ll certainly check off everything on your shopping list—and most likely, much more.
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Downtown Farmers’ Market, Des Moines, IA
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Sourcing from more than 300 local producers, the Downtown Farmers’ Market offers beautiful produce, Iowa-raised meats, local wines, tempting baked goods, and handmade crafts every Saturday from May to October. Named the “Best in the Midwest” by Country Living magazine, the market is very community-oriented: Organizers encourage vendors to donate leftover food to local homeless shelters and provide weekly health programs to market-goers.
Green City Market, Chicago
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Now this is truly a “green” market. The Windy City’s outdoor marketplace, which focuses on supporting local producers who use organic farming practices, was dubbed “the best sustainable market in the country” by culinary legend Alice Waters. So if you find yourself in Chicago between May and October, head to the south end of Lincoln Park to check out the amazing selection of locally sourced fruits and vegetables, meats and poultry, dairy, prepared foods, and more.
Phoenix Public Market: Phoenix
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Open year-round, rain or shine, the Phoenix Public Market features a variety of local produce, meats, and prepared foods every Wednesday and Saturday. Market-goers will also find a vast selection of beautiful handmade crafts, Southwest-inspired jewelry, home wares, and fashion accessories. And don’t miss Food Truck Friday, where you’ll find freshly made lunches inspired by global cuisines, from Indian tacos to Cajun fusion to Southern-style fried chicken.
St. Paul’s Farmers’ Market, St. Paul, MN
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This historic farmers’ market has been a Twin Cities tradition for 150-plus years since the first market in the area opened in 1853. Currently operated by the St. Paul’s Growers Association, the St. Paul’s Farmers’ Market prides itself on selling only locally sourced foods, including organic produce and plants, poultry and meat, eggs, and artisan-made foods. And it doesn’t close in the winter months despite the region’s freezing weather: You’ll still find meats, cheeses, dairy, honey, bakery items, jams, sauces, and more at the indoors winter market.
Photo: Dan Tilsen/saintpaulalmanac.org
Omaha Farmer’s Market, Omaha, NE
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More than 100 vendors sell locally grown foods and one-of-a-kind products at the Omaha Farmer’s Market every Saturday from May to October. Visitors will find a tempting selection of farm-fresh produce, plants and fresh-cut flowers, gourmet baked goods, meats, cheeses, specialty items, and a variety of handmade crafts at this civic-minded market, which opened an additional location in 2011 to bring fresh produce to an underserved community.
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Memphis Farmers’ Market, Memphis, TN
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The Memphis Farmers’ Market has grown rapidly since opening in 2006 as a small shop to the current covered pavilion featuring more than 75 vendors. Open from April to October, the thriving marketplace showcases local produce, flowers, herbs, meats, dairy, prepared foods, and baked goods. The market focuses on highlighting farmers and artisans from the Mid-South region, from the greater Memphis area to as far as northern Mississippi, western Arkansas, and middle Tennessee.
Downtown Farmer’s Market, Salt Lake City
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Located in historic Pioneer Park, the Downtown Farmers’ Market has become a summer tradition for Salt Lake City residents for 20-some years. With the addition of a flourishing arts and craft market, this farmers’ market is one of the largest community markets in the western U.S. In addition to a large selection of artisan-made jewelry, ceramics, art, and home decor, there’s a large variety of produce, fresh seafood, and homemade baked goods, including gluten-free cheesy bread and biscuits and gravy.
Ithaca Farmers' Market, Ithaca, NY
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Offering everything from blueberries to blueberry wine, the Ithaca Farmers’ Market has been “cultivating earth and community” since 1973. Situated next to the waterfront at the historic Steamboat Landing, this owner-operated market features goods from more than 160 vendors. You’ll find something for everyone here, including prepared foods, fresh fruits and veggies, dairy, meats, and artisan crafted gifts such as hand-blown glass and beautiful cutting boards.
Tacoma Farmers’ Market, Tacoma, WA
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Founded in 1990 by two community activists with the goal of revitalizing the downtown district, the Tacoma Farmers’ Market has grown from its humble roots into a flourishing culinary and artistic scene. Open year round, the open-air, European-style marketplace showcases not only fresh foods but also offers handmade crafts, live entertainment, and educational programs throughout the year.