The Coast’s Best Farmers’ Markets
Fresh Find: Blackberry cobbler or any of the other yummy baked goods.
On the Market: “The canary melons are by far my favorite find. We drive about an hour just to get them here. They are a succulent, bright yellow melon that pairs great with a local-greens salad topped with feta, black-eyed peas, olives, pickled onions, and a squeeze of citrus, olive oil, and a little salt.” —Wesley True, executive chef/proprieter of True in Mobile
Where: 3100 Highway 59
When: Seven days a week year-round, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
More Info: 251/964-6464 or burrisfarmmarketandbakery.com
Fresh Find: Heirloom, organic apples from Silva's Apple Orchards
On the Market: "Rain or shine, every Saturday, I am here. While I relish every season, I especially wait all year for the dry-farmed tomatoes from Molino Creek Farm that arrive August through November. They are grown without irrigation along the central coast of California. Because they aren't watered, they are the most intensely flavorful tomatoes I've ever had." —Maureen Wilmot, executive director of the Organic Farming Research Foundation in Santa Cruz, CA
Where: Cabrillo College, 6500 Soquel Drive
When: Saturdays year-round, 8 a.m. to noon
More Info: montereybayfarmers.org
Fresh Find: Westfield Farms organic avocados
On the Market: "My wife, children, and I go every Sunday to buy fresh vegetables and fruit. I love the seasonality of the produce; every time you go, you find something different. One of my favorite things to pick up is fresh corn. We take it home and put it on the grill with a little olive oil and salt and pepper." —Wolfgang Puck, chef, restaurateur, and author in Los Angeles
Where: 9300 block of Civic Center Drive
When: Sundays year-round, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
More Info: 310/285-6830 or beverlyhills.org/exploring/farmersmarket/
Fresh Find: Home-smoked chipotles from Tierra Vegetables
On the Market: "Whenever I visit, it takes me back to the giddiness I always felt as a kid on a school field trip. Whether it's discovering a rare pepper, a peach that's perfection all on its own, luscious French yogurt in lovely ceramic jars, or a bowl of ramen that will warm your soul, you never leave hungry or unenlightened." —Carolyn Jung, San Francisco native and blogger at foodgal.com
Where: 1 Ferry Building
When: Year-round, Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Saturdays, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
More Info: 415/291-3276 or ferrybuildingmarketplace.com/farmers_market.php
Fresh Find: Scallops, shrimp, and other locally caught seafood
On the Market: "It's more than just a great place to find the bounty of farm-fresh products. The tall white sailboat masts just beyond the peaked white tents, the salty ocean air, the chorus of dogs, kids, and neighborly greetings, all combine to delight the senses. Going there is one of the greatest highlights of my job, and not only because I get to leave with just-picked blueberries or fresh goat chèvre, but because I am part of that scene." —Jan Dane, food forager for Ocean House Resort in Watch Hill, Rhode Island
Where/When: Saturdays, 9 a.m. to noon, May 4 to October 31 (Stonington Town Docks); Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., November 11 to May 3 (28 Cutler St.)
More Info: sviastonington.org
Fresh Find: Fruit preserves and tender organic chicken and ducks from Twin Oaks Farm
On the Market: "Any community without a farmers' market is lacking an essential element of connection. The Seaside market started with Jen Kuntz's Raw and Juicy Airstream and one or two vendors, and in just a few years, new growers have come out of the woodwork. Mac Farms has amazing tomatoes and arugula." —David Rauschkolb, owner of Bud & Alley's in Seaside
Where: Seaside Amphitheater, 2255 East County Hwy 30-A
When: Saturdays year-round, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
More Info: sowal.com/event/seaside-farmers-market-1
Fresh Find: Organic oranges, sastsumas, and kumquats
On the Market: "I wait all year long for peaches and watermelons. I buy from growers in Chilton County, Alabama, who bring them in from right on the border of Mississippi and Alabama. As a chef, I want to develop a relationship with these farmers. For example, I purchase blue crab for my restaurants from a local fisherman at the market because I know he is working in an area with really safe and clean water." —Baruch Rabasa, executive chef of Mesón 923 in New Orleans
Where/When: Year-round, Tuesdays, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. (200 Broadway Street); Thursdays, 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. (3700 Orleans Ave.); Saturdays, 8 a.m. to noon (700 Magazine St.)
More Info: crescentcityfarmersmarket.org
Fresh Find: Turkey and chicken pot pies from Maine-ly Poultry
On the Market: "I always search for beautifully ripened tomatoes and local cucumbers. Later in the summer, I look for Maine wild blueberries; they're so delicious. I throw them in smoothies, or eat them plain out of the container, like candy." —Rebecca Daigle, blogger at mainefoodiefinds.com, Portland, Maine
Where/When: April to November, Saturdays (Deering Oaks Park), 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Wednesdays (Monument Square), 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.; December to April, Saturdays (200 Anderson St.), 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Wednesdays (Monument Square), 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.
More Info: portlandmainefarmersmarket.org
Fresh Find: Lady peas, butter beans, and freshly dug potatoes from farmer Celeste Albers.
On the Market: "I am seduced by the aromas—scenting out the strawberries or peaches or melons first—sliding the tender fruit into my wheeled wicker basket, moving the freshly dug potatoes and green vegetables around, trying to get the heaviest on the bottom. Finally, the eggs are settled in on top. I am the richest woman in Charleston as I pull my cart home, past boutiques and shops, jewelers and antiques stores—the envy of all." —Nathalie Dupree, Charleston-based cookbook author and educator
Where: 329 Meeting Street
When: Saturdays, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., mid-April to late December
More Info: charleston-sc.gov
Fresh Find: Wild mushrooms from Foraged & Found
On the Market: "You're most likely to find chefs and avid food lovers at the University District Farmers' Market. With as many as 60 vendors, shoppers have a vast selection, including foraged mushrooms, and sea beans, fingerling potatoes, regional cheese, and organic meats and eggs to inspire the next meal." —Cynthia Nims, Seattle-based food writer and cookbook author
Where: Corner of University Way NE and NE 50th St.
When: Saturdays year-round 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
More Info: seattlefarmersmarkets.org
Fresh Find: Crusty baguettes from Bonaparte Breads
On the Market: "My favorite thing to buy is fresh milk from Clear Springs Creamery. They sell whole milk and flavors as well as cream. The best part is when you buy whole milk, they ask how much fat you would like to have, and you can choose based on the cream layer at the top of the container." —Peter Smith, executive chef and propretor of PS 7's in Washington D.C.
Where: Dupont Circle; 20th Street NW between Massachusetts Avenue and Connecticut Avenu (see the freshfarmmarket.org for other locations)
When: Sundays, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., January to March and 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., April to December
More Info: freshfarmmarket.org