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Hear “California Grown,” and you’d be forgiven for not fully understanding what that encompasses. The state of California is an agricultural powerhouse that grows practically every specialty crop, from wine grapes to pears. And visiting one of the many local farmers markets is the easiest way to connect with fresh produce.
By the California Department of Food and Agriculture’s (CDFA) accounts, more than a third of the country’s veggies and two-thirds of the United States’ fruits and nuts are grown in the Golden State. One delicious way to experience local foods and all that’s grown in California is a stop by some local farmers markets.
Best Local Farmers Markets In California
Whether you’re hitting the road on a classic California road trip, exploring the state’s various artisanal cheese or wine trails, or checking off one of California’s National Parks, make time to stop at one of these California farmers markets. Here are some of the most iconic farmers markets across California from north to south.
Northern California Local Farmers Markets
With local produce like tomatoes, nuts, peaches, and rice, these local farmers’ markets bring NorCal’s farmland to the city.
Marin Farmers Market, San Rafael, Marin County
Opened in 1987, the Marin Farmers Market in San Rafael is California’s third-largest farmers market, right behind the Sacramento and Hollywood markets. Visit on Sundays to find fresh sourdough from Rize Up Bakery, Argentinian sweets from Amapola, stone fruit from Kashiwase Farms, peanuts from Xiong’s farm, and organic pears and other seasonal produce from Inzana Ranch, Peach Jamboree, and K & J Orchards. In addition to its 200 vendors, the market has ATMs onsite, live music, local artisans, and family-friendly activities. Elsewhere in the county, the seasonal Point Reyes farmers market is also popular. And further north in Sonoma, there’s also the beloved Sebastopol farmers market.
Marin Farmers Market, 3501 Civic Center Drive, San Rafael, 94903
Ferry Plaza Farmers Market, San Francisco
In a city with numerous local farmers markets, the best-known is the San Francisco Ferry Plaza Saturday market. It swells to over 100 farmers, makers, and producers. Buy figs and stone fruit from Arata Farms, citrus and more from Twin Girls Farm, or kale and tomatoes from Urban Organics, to name a few vendors. You’ll also find everything from kimchi to chocolate, cheese, and olive oil. There’s even a veggie valet for super shoppers, cooking demos, and seasonal celebrations at the Foodwise Kitchen. The market also occurs on Tuesdays and Thursdays, but Saturdays are the biggest market days.
Ferry Plaza Farmers Market, One Ferry Building #50, 1 Ferry Plaza, San Francisco, CA 94111
Alemany Farmers Market, San Francisco
South of downtown San Francisco, the Alemany Farmers Market has offered a variety of local fresh produce since 1943. Located in the Bernal Heights neighborhood, the Alemany Famers Market is, in fact, California’s first farmers market. It operates on Saturdays year-round and is known as “the people’s market” for its comparatively more affordable prices. You’ll find mostly organic produce sold from colorful concrete stalls and a wide selection of produce and herbs typical in Asian and Latino cooking. There’s also a diverse selection of prepared foods, from Hong Kong-style BBQ to pupusas and gumbo.
Alemany Farmers Market, 100 Alemany Blvd, San Francisco, CA 94110
Sacramento Farmers Markets, Sacramento County
At the northern edge of California’s agricultural epicenter in the Central Valley, Sacramento has three local farmers markets on Saturdays. Head to the Elk Grove, Arden-Arcadae, or Fair Oaks-Rancho Cordova markets for seasonal produce from the likes of Magda Morgan Farm, V+V Farm, and Hooverville Orchards. On Sunday, what’s known as the “Asian Farmers Market” pops up on Broadway and sells specialty produce like lemongrass, bitter melon, sweet potato greens, and bok choy. Also, check out the Davis farmers market in neighboring Yolo County.
Sacramento Farmers Markets, various locations, Sacramento, CA
Central California Local Farmers Markets
Whether passing through on a road trip or heading to wine country, check out these Central California local farmers markets for fresh food, flowers, and more from Monterey to Ventura. Expect standout crops, including artichokes, mushrooms, lettuce, and strawberries.
Del Monte Farmers Market, Monterey, Monterey County
Monterey has four weekly certified farmers markets, but with more than 90 vendors, the Friday and Sunday Monterey Bay Farmers Market at Del Monte Shopping Center are the most frequented. On other days smaller local farmers markets pop up in Aptos and Carmel. Find growers like Blue Heron Farms, Donna Dirt Farms, and Spade & Plow Organics at these markets. The Monterey region and surrounds happen to grow much of the state’s fruits and vegetables, so expect these markets, as well as markets in Clovis, and the Vineyard farmers market in Fresno, to show off some of California’s freshest local produce.
Del Monte Farmers Market, 1100 Del Monte Center, Monterey, CA 93940
San Luis Obispo Farmers Market, San Luis Obispo County
The college town of San Luis Obispo (a gateway to Central California’s wine scene) has a Thursday evening market in the middle of downtown SLO. Vendors selling fresh produce are typically clustered together, but you’ll also encounter crafts, prepared food, and live music. The market spreads across five blocks of Higuera Street, where you’ll find permanent fixtures like its famous Bubblegum Alley and Nightcap, a cocktail den draped in velvet, dark woods, and moody lighting in the historic Granada boutique hotel.
Downtown SLO Farmers Market, Higuera St, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401
Downtown Santa Barbara Farmers Market, Santa Barbara County
Santa Barbara hosts six local farmers markets throughout the week. Downtown Santa Barbara hosts the Saturday morning market, the Friday market in Montecito, and the Sunday market in Goleta. Go for fresh foods like sustainably caught seafood from vermillion, rock cod, and salmon from Wild Local Seafood Co.; habanero chiles and fresh turmeric from Her Produce; and organic kale from Ebby’s Organic Farm. You’ll also find fresh-cut flowers and bottles of wine.
Downtown Santa Barbara Farmers Market, 119 E Cota St, Santa Barbara, CA 93101
Downtown Ventura Farmers Market, Ventura County
If you are heading to Ventura, Ojai, or the Channel Islands National Park, don’t miss out on the numerous Ventura County Certified Farmers Markets. This county is known for its strawberry producers, but you’ll also come across local citrus and avocados. Check out that the Downtown Ventura farmers market along Main Street boasts over 40 local vendors. Find fruits and veggies, jams and jellies, honey from Blue Ridge Honey, eggs, meats, and more. Some of the Ventura County farms represented include Baltazar Farms, F&F Farms, and Shepherd Farm.
Downtown Ventura Farmers Market, E Main St, Ventura, CA 93001
Southern California Local Farmers Markets
Don’t miss these bustling local farmers markets in southern California (and don’t miss the avocados and citrus, especially), from Los Angeles to San Diego.
Hollywood Farmers Market, Los Angeles
Every Sunday, the Hollywood Farmers Market stretches along Ivar Avenue in the heart of Hollywood. This market goes beyond fresh fruits and veg like heirloom melons and avocados. With more than 160 vendors, you’ll also find food products like cashew-based butter and cheese from Monty’s, French pastries from Le Saint Honoré, wellness products from Serein Botanicals, a small-batch apothecary, plus a variety of guest vendors during special events like People’s Pottery Project. A few of our favorite vendors include Aviila & Sons for nuts, JJ’s Lone Daughter Ranch for avocados, Pudwill Farms for berries, Thao Family Farms for fresh turmeric and winter melon, and Weiser Family Farms for heirloom melons and potatoes.
Hollywood Farmers Market, 1600 Ivar Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90028
Downtown Santa Monica Farmers Market, Los Angeles
The downtown Santa Monica farmers’ market pops up every Wednesday and Saturday step from the ocean. This market is the favorite among local chefs, who mostly attend the Wednesday market. Meanwhile, the Saturday edition is a beloved weekly stop for locals. Many of the local farms present are known for their specialties, from different types of avocados to berries and microgreens. It’s also considered a destination as there’s much to immerse yourself in here, from live music to face painting for kids, to enjoy a full meal starting with coffee from Groundwork and a chocolate croissant from Frogs Bakery to lunchtime chilaquiles from Mis Padres Salsa.
Downtown Santa Monica Famers Market, 155-199 Arizona Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90401
The Original Farmers Market, Los Angeles
Since 1934, the Original Farmers Market has been on the corner of 3rd & Fairfax in LA. Over the decades, it has grown from a dozen farmers selling their produce from the back of their trucks to a full-blown destination that now includes restaurants, live entertainment and events, and shopping. This is more of a farm stand than a pop-up farmers market, but because of the name, we’re including it on this list. Here you’ll find fruits and veggies from Farm Boy Produce, Farm Fresh Produce, and Rick’s Produce Market to keep the original idea of the Market alive. These days, you can also sit down for a meal and pick up gourmet French ingredients from Monsieur Marcel and other eateries, shop for hot sauce, accessories, and more.
Original Farmers Market 6333 W 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90036
Irvine Farmers Market (Great Park Farmers Market), Irvine, Orange County
Every Sunday at Great Park in Irvine, there is the Irvine Farmers Market. Find veggies from Chaves Farm, citrus and avocados from Atkins Farm, berries and eggs from Divine Farm, and almonds from Hopkins Ag, to name a few. The market has also prepared foods from tamales, dumplings, and drinks like kombucha and cold-pressed juices. If you’re a plant parent or leaning toward becoming one, the market also has Farm + Food Lab, where you can learn about urban gardening and composting or take workshops in its solar-powered teaching kitchen.
Great Park Farmers Market, 6950 Marine Way, Irvine, CA 92618
Laguna Beach Farmers Market, Laguna Beach, Orange County
If you’ve extended your classic California road trip south of LA to sunny beach towns like Laguna Beach, know that weekends bring the Laguna Beach Farmers Market on Saturdays. There’s produce from Bluebird Canyon Farms, J.R. Organics, and Valdivia Farms, plus prepared foods and products like salsas, raw honey, and sheep milk yogurt from The French Yogurt. It’s located across from the Lumberyard shopping center and just a few blocks from the beach.
Laguna Beach Farmers Market, 521 Forest Ave, Laguna Beach, CA 92651
Leucadia Farmers Market, Encinitas, San Diego County
The hippie-chic coastal enclave of Leucadia in San Diego’s northern parts has a popular farmers market on Sundays. Some of the more than 70 vendors include Perennial Pasture Farms’ grass-fed beef, Gaytan Farms’ produce, salsas and jams, and Golden Heart Family farms. There are also organic bone broth, breakfast, and lunch options, crunch wraps from Nomad Vegan Eats, ceviche from Reel Street Eats, Thai food, and more.
Leucadia Farmers Market, 185 Union St, Encinitas, CA 92024
Little Italy Farmers Market, San Diego
In Downtown San Diego’s lively Little Italy neighborhood, the Little Italy Farmers Market on Saturdays takes up six city blocks where you can get fresh produce, eggs, meats, nuts, and more from local and regional farms like Heritage Family Farms, Kawano Farm, and Smit Farms. You’ll also find hot sauce, dips, and vegan cookies to nut-based milk. Lunch options range from Indian samosas to Mozambican cuisine and Cuban sandwiches. This is San Diego County’s largest farmers market.
Little Italy Farmers Market, 600 W Date St, San Diego, CA 92101
Explore More Local Farmers Markets
The truth is that these are just a few of the many noteworthy markets across the Golden State. If you’re searching for a market in Clovis or Torrance, reach out, and we’ll help you sort out the best! Otherwise, head to our friends at California Grown if you’re searching for farm stands.
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Photo Credit: opening photo by Rawpixel.com; stone fruit Photo by Thom Milkovic on Unsplash; Santa Monica farmers market Photo by Dane Deaner on Unsplash; shopping at Outdoor Market By Jayme Burrow