America's 50 Best Farmers’ Markets
Markets Across America
Right now is the best time to visit farmers’ markets: They are alive with their biggest bounty of fresh produce—gloriously juicy, crisp, and fragrant. These green markets do more than supply us with colorful fruits and vegetables; they reflect and shape our culture, reinforcing our community spirit and connecting us on a grassroots level to the people who grow the food we feed our families. And that, by extension, inspires us to be better cooks. Here are our picks for the top markets in America, as named by renowned chefs, cookbook authors, and food notables from every state.
PEPPER PLACE FARMERS MARKET, BIRMINGHAM
“[The Pepper Place Farmers Market] is one of the best assets in the city of Birmingham. They've done a tremendous job diversifying: local non-GMO grains of all types, heritage breed pork and poultry, eggs, honey, cheese—it's all there, in addition to the amazing produce. It's also taking on this Southern makers vibe, offering lots of artisan crafts. I love that; it reminds me of the markets I grew up with.” —Chef Chris Hastings, Hot and Hot Fish Club, Birmingham, AL
Don’t miss: White peaches in late August
Alabama Recipe: Hot and Hot Tomato Salad
Chef Hastings' signature summer staple at Hot and Hot Fish Club is adapted here, combining fried whole baby okra and delicate lady peas served over fresh heirloom tomato slices and topped with smoky bacon and a creamy herbed dressing.
SOUTH ANCHORAGE FARMERS' MARKET, ANCHORAGE
“Produce [at the South Anchorage Farmers’ Market] is Wonderlandesque thanks to cool nights and sunny days. I bike from my house for sweet golden carrots, gigantic cabbage, zucchini, and everything else, from wild blueberry jam to reindeer hot dogs. And I love the array of potatoes with their funky names, including Magic Molly and Denali.” —Kim Sunée, author of A Mouthful of Stars: A Constellation of Favorite Recipes from My World Travels, Anchorage, AK
Don’t miss: Squash blossoms
Alaska Recipe: Stuffed Squash Blossom Bruschetta
Squash blossoms can only be found between late spring and early fall, making them a necessary item to grab at the South Anchorage Farmers' Market. In fact, Kim Sunée says she picks them up every Saturday and uses them to create her Fried Squash Blossoms with Mint and Goat Cheese. They're also great paired with grilled bruschetta for body.
UPTOWN FARMERS MARKET, PHOENIX
Badman notes that in addition to a great array of produce and prepared goods produced entirely in-state, the market uses local high school culinary students to clean, peel, and chop fresh produce for shoppers on request.
Don’t miss: Homeboy's Hot Sauce
Arizona Recipe: Black Bean and Cheese Enchiladas with Ranchero Sauce
Ranchero sauce gives this dish authentic Tex-Mex flavor. You can make the sauce ahead, then simply assemble the enchiladas just before baking. Drizzle with a little Homeboy's Hot Sauce for extra heat.
BENTONVILLE FARMERS MARKET, BENTONVILLE
McClure notes that immigrant Hmong and Central and South American farmers have added wonderful diversity and international flair to the market, offering key produce, such as bitter melons, long beans, and chiles, from their cuisines.
Don’t miss: Apples, including varieties such as Jonathan, Jonagold, and Arkansas Black
Arkansas Recipe: Squash-Apple Turnovers
Those delicous Jonagold apples from the market will bring some tartness to the lightly sweet squash-based filling. Serve as a side dish or appetizer.
SANTA MONICA FARMERS MARKET, SANTA MONICA
“The Wednesday [Downtown Santa Monica Farmers Market] is my link to the freshest and most delicious locally grown fruits and vegetables. I’ve met and collaborated with so many farmers over the years—many of whom have come to feel like family.” —Chef Suzanne Goin, Lucques, Los Angeles, CA
Don’t miss: Fresh produce from Schaner Farms
California Recipe: SoCal Guacamole Burger
This Southern California special blends the region's produce-forward approach with Latin flair on a lean sirloin patty. Buttery avocado is the base for a guacamole that's flecked with jalapeño. Alfalfa sprouts, which are prized for their bright taste and springy, crisp texture, add crunch.
BOULDER FARMERS' MARKET, BOULDER
“Boulder used to be a granola kind of town, and this farmers' market evolved from those roots. You can get organic and locally grown anything at the Boulder Farmers' Market, from fresh produce to spectacular flowers, awesome cheese, and great Colorado lamb.” —Chef Jennifer Jasinski, Rioja, Denver, CO
Don’t miss: Colorado lamb
Colorado Recipe: Lamb, Tomato, and Mint Kebabs
Use your Colorado lamb from the market tonight in this summertime skewer that's perfect for backyard entertaining—no utensils required. Just fire up the grill and enjoy. Don't skip the fresh mint; it complements the lamb's succulent, meaty flavor.
LITCHFIELD HILLS FARM-FRESH MARKET, LITCHFIELD
“[Litchfield Hills Farm-Fresh Market] is my go-to market. This is the most fertile area in Connecticut. And the farmers who sell here don't have huge production, but they have really good quality produce. The berries are fantastic—blackberries, blueberries, gooseberries, white, red, and black currants. And the heirloom tomatoes are some of the best I'll ever see." —Chef Joel Viehland, Community Table, Washington, CT
Don’t miss: Heirloom tomatoes from Wild Carrot Farm
Connecticut Recipe: Heirloom Tomato and Beet Salad
Use those heirloom tomatoes from Wild Carrot Farm to make this vibrant and delicious vegetable salad.
REHOBOTH BEACH FARMERS' MARKET, REHOBOTH BEACH
“Rehoboth Beach has the best farmers market in the area, in my opinion. [Rehoboth Beach Farmers’ Market] happens every Tuesday from May through October, [and it] exudes a great sense of community. Myself as well as many other local chefs shop there weekly for products to feature on our menus." —Chef Hari Cameron, a(MUSE.), Rehoboth Beach, DE
Don’t miss: Bennett Orchards' peaches and blueberries
Delaware Recipe: Blueberry-Peach Cobbler with Pecans
Use up your blueberries and peaches from Bennet Orchards in this mouth-watering cobbler studded with chopped pecans.
Florida Recipe: Cuban Pork Shoulder with Beans and Rice
If you're searching for a meal inspired by the Cuban food at the Greenmarket, look no further than this hearty dinner. Since you blend up a whole orange, peel and all, pick up an orange at the market—Florida oranges have thinner skins than the thick-peeled fruits from California.
FREEDOM FARMERS' MARKET, ATLANTA
"This market represents the best of the best of the farmers in Georgia, and it's a good reflection of where we’re at with food in this state. We're an amazingly agrarian state, Freedom Farmers’ Market has got a very nice diverse portfolio of offerings." –Chef Hugh Acheson, 5&10, Athens, GA
Don’t miss: Peaches from Pearson Farm
Georgia Recipe: Bourbon-Peach Limeade
The flavors point South in this summertime refresher: peaches getting happy with bourbon. Freeze fresh peaches from Pearson Farm on a parchment-lined pan, and drop a few into your drink for a frosty garnish.
HALEIWA FARMERS MARKET, HALEIWA
“Most of the farmers on the island of Oahu are out on that side of the island, so [the Haleiwa Farmers Market] really gets a good farmer turnout. It’s a really tight-knit beach community, so it’s a place where you can always find friends, family, and good food.” —Chef Ed Kenney, Town, Honolulu, HI
Don’t miss: The experience as a whole. Come early, walk through the botanical gardens of Waimea Valley to the waterfall, then walk back to the pavilion for the market.
Hawaii Recipe: Open-Faced Smoked Salmon Sandwich
This sandwich is basically a riff on Hawaii's beloved lomi-lomi salmon, a salad of salted fish and tomatoes. Pick up the fresh produce and herbs from the Haleiwa Farmers Market.
BOISE FARMERS MARKET, BOISE
Komori says many of the farm vendors, such as Peaceful Belly, Next Generation Organics, and True Roots Organics supply his restaurant. “They also work together to make sure they grow different varieties of produce.”
Don’t miss: Freshly roasted Hatch chiles from Peaceful Belly
Idaho Recipe: Roasted Hatch Chile Salsa
Use up a few of those freshly roasted Hatch chiles in this homemade salsa, a simple yet scrumptious blend of roasted peppers, tomatoes, and aromatics. It’ll make a great dip or burger topper for a backyard barbecue.
LOGAN SQUARE FARMERS MARKET, CHICAGO
“[Logan Square Farmers Market] is in the heart of a historic neighborhood, a really great environment with a diverse and perfect amount of vendors—so it doesn’t feel overwhelming like some larger markets can.” —General Manager/Owner, Adrienne Lo, Fat Rice, Chicago, IL
Don’t miss: Lucila's Homemade Alfajores, bangers (British-style sausages), lamb, distilled whiskey
Read our extended coverage on Logan Square Farmers Market.
Illinois Recipe: Chicago Char Dog with Fresh Cucumber Relish
Grab some fresh cucumbers at the Logan Square market to create the homemade relish for these tasty dogs. Classic Chicago dogs are served in poppy seed buns, but if you can't find them, lightly brush buns with egg white and sprinkle with poppy seeds. Toast in the oven at 350° for 2 to 3 minutes.
BLOOMINGTON FARMERS' MARKET, BLOOMINGTON
"My professional and personal life was changed by our farmers' market here. I ran away from the Hoosier State for about 25 years but rediscovered my roots. Bloomington's local food movement and the [Bloomington Farmers' Market] had a lot to do with that. There are so many great farmers in the area, and many of them supply my restaurant." —Chef Daniel Orr, FARMbloomington, Bloomington, IN
Don’t miss: Sweet corn
Indiana Recipe: Sweet Corn Ice Cream
Use fresh corn from the Bloomington Farmers' Market to make this refreshing summertime dessert. Steeping the cobs in the cream mixture infuses it with corn flavor—and if possible, chill the corn mixture overnight. This lets flavors meld and helps the ice cream to freeze faster: The quicker it freezes, the creamier it will be.
DOWNTOWN FARMERS' MARKET, DES MOINES
“I’ve lived in New York, and [the Des Moines Farmers' Market] is about as good an array of vendors and produce you’re going to find outside of a big city. Iowa is a rich agricultural state, and this market is a great showcase for that.” —Chef Andy Schumacher, Cobble Hill, Cedar Rapids, IA
Don’t miss: Iowa sweet corn
Iowa Recipe: Sweet Corn Relish
With our simple refrigerator relish recipe, you can preserve a bumper crop of Iowa sweet corn for up to six weeks. Serve with any grilled meat or fish, or spoon over salad greens.
OVERLAND PARK FARMERS' MARKET, OVERLAND PARK
“Overland Park Farmers' Market is the best in Kansas. I've been shopping there for twelve years, buying produce for restaurants and my family. It has a little bit of a festival atmosphere on Saturdays—live music, prepared food vendors, huge crowds. The variety and quality of the produce is outstanding, and there are quite a few organic farmers." —Chef Carl Thorne-Thomsen, Story, Prairie Village, KS
Don’t miss: Lettuce from Two Sisters Farm, heirloom tomatoes from Juhl Greenhouse and Truck Farm, berries from Gieringer’s Orchard, honey from Jordy’s Honey
Kansas Recipe: Grilled Peaches with Honey Cream
The perfect summer cookout treat, grilling brings out the sweetness in peaches. Use local honey from Jordy's Honey in the yogurt topping, and garnish with mint to serve.
LEXINGTON FARMERS' MARKET, LEXINGTON
“The area around Lexington is mostly farm country, and all of the best ones come out [to the Lexington Farmers' Market] in a communal and friendly environment to celebrate the best of our local products.” —Chef Edward Lee, 610 Magnolia, Louisville, KY
Don’t miss: Pawpaw fruit during late August or early September; otherwise one of the dozens of variations of beer cheese
Kentucky Recipe: Louisville Hot Browns with Cauliflower Mornay
A Kentucky classic gets a modern twist with a light but creamy cauliflower puree that stands in for the traditional cheese sauce.
Louisiana Recipe: Creole Tomato Salad
New Orleanians rave about Creole tomatoes, grown exclusively in south Louisiana. If you can get them at the Crescent City Farmers Market, they're perfect for this simple no-cook salad, but you can also use your favorite heirloom variety―the juicier and tangier the better. Make this salad the spotlight of a great BLT (use the dressing in place of mayo), or add sliced mozzarella cheese for a Creole Caprese Salad.