Vista may host the oldest and longest running Farmers Market in the San Diego area, but La Jolla has one of the best- the La Jolla Open Aire Farmers Market. A couple dozen international food stalls serve breakfast and brunch foods for you to snack on while you shop at a wide variety of produce stands- organic and conventional. Need to pick up some specialty oils, vinegars, or specialty food treat for a gift (or a treat for yourself)? La Jolla’s Farmers Market has you covered. To top off the variety of vendors the market includes upwards of forty or more stalls selling hand made clothing, trinkets, art, and the odd collection of curios for sale.
One guy dives shipwrecks, for instance, and has a small table of items he has brought up from the ocean floor. He’s dived all around the world and has brought up literally millions of dollars worth of gold and artifacts. Go visit him and ask questions- he’ll tell you about the most expensive individual find, oldest, surprising, and the dive that made him the independent hobbyist that he can be today. It was quite fascinating to hear his stories.
Anyone selling cage free eggs had great prices here- as a matter of fact, they were some of the best prices that I can recall from all the local markets. Some of the egg vendors really appreciate it if you can bring back the cartons and reuse them, how’s that for reusing and recycling?
This is a wonderful, lively, varied, great place to shop. We know people that spend the entire morning and afternoon here in La Jolla- they attend their church’s early service, eat a nice breakfast at Harry’s Coffee Shop, then hit the Farmer’s Market. I think they have a great thing going, for sure.
More than one person buying from Belinda’s Cocina swore to us that they eat here every weekend because it is The Best Mexican Food in The Entire Area. Our chile relleno and chorizo burritos were fabulous.
Vista, north of and just outside of the city of San Diego, claims to have the oldest, longest running Farmers Market in the county.
I found it to have all of the great stalls and vendors of the Wednesday night’s Ocean Beach Farmers Market… with none of the funny cigarettes… ha.
What better way to kick off a weekend visit to outdoor markets than eating A Stuffed Hash Brown, or as I will now call it, Serious Competition For All Breakfast Burritos! My breakfast was the “Egg Head,” and I don’t know how they got that much bacon in there, but mmmmmm is all I can say. The Husband was equally pleased with his “Speedy” full of carne asada, pico de gallo, cheese and avocado. You can go to SpudzPotato.com and see where they will be next.
Other specialty vendors include The Brothery selling bone broth- very tasty I thought. Bone broth has become one of the latest health crazes, which kinds of amuses me since most of our grandmothers have been making it since time began. God have mercy on me if my father ever caught me throwing out the carcass of my Thanksgiving turkey instead of turning it into soup! If you don’t make your own broth (after you’ve carved up a baked or rotisserie chicken put the remaining skin, bones, and bits into a large pot; cover with 6-8 quarts of water; simmer for 3, 4, or more hours; strain and refrigerate the broth to use for soups or to sip when you have a sore throat or cough), The Brothery (at TheFlavorChef.com) is available in several local health foods stores and the Vista Farmers Market.
This location is large enough to support two different bands on opposite ends of the market without stomping on each other’s musical footprint or the listening crowd’s earspace.
Beautiful piles of fruits and vegetables poured out of baskets and across tables from the farmers’ stalls. My brain sluggish recall is that the prices seem on a par with most local grocery stores for organics grown locally. This leads me to believe that if Whole Foods is selling organic locally grown red seedless grapes for $3.99/lb, same as the farmers market, then the farmers are cutting out the middleman at these markets and keeping more of the profit for themselves. And as I understand it, they work on thin profit margins.
Friday’s Farmers Market was up at the Bernardo Winery, Southern California’s oldest operating winery. This is a great place to take visitors, with its numerous shops and stalls, and on Friday they add the Farmers Market to the mix, too.
This is a small market, but the produce looked great, and the stalls with snacks and baked goods have tasty treats.
From the specialty foods seller Wildtree I bought a neat fruit dip powder to mix with cream cheese and cream after just one sample… and I’m rarely an impulse buyer at these markets. Someone is going to get this for Christmas, and the seller is usually at the Bernardo Farmers Market, so I know where to get more, ha!
If you shop for gluten free baking mixes or desserts, there are a few baked goods stalls selling to your needs, along with one totally conventional vendor with a banner advertising “Full of Gluten!”
One particularly interesting vendor, Across Africa, was selling baskets made by Rwandan and Ugandan women. You may have seen similar baskets to these at your local Costco- Rwanda Partners Baskets. Across Africa, with its slogan “This is a Success Story,” is a company that has not only brought a steady income for many families through organized cooperatives. Look at these beauties, and look them up. Don’t you know someone who would like one of these for a gift? I know I would.
I don’t know if the Rwanda Partners Basket company will be in the Bernardo market much longer, but the rest of the vendors (including, you guessed it… the same hummus seller) are here year round.
And the setting can’t be beat. Spend a nice morning visiting the winery’s shops, have a cup of coffee at the cafe here, and finish your Friday morning with the Farmers Market.
Carmel Valley’s Farmers Market is… practically nonexistent. But if you are looking for about half a dozen different food vendors, or want your Carmel Valley teen to get a nice bite to eat after school, it is a handy hodge podge of snack shops. No McFood here!
There are about seven food vendor stalls, and the students from Canyon Crest and Cathedral Catholic High Schools are very fond of them, but that’s all there is.
I had a great chat with one vendor, in French, yeah! Go me. He sells breads and traditional French pastries and cookies up at the Welk Resort Farmers Market on Mondays, too. According to this Parisian boulanger, Carmel Valley’s market used to have three more produce vendors, but they are gone for the season. As for his bread, I bought the small, rustic, olive bread. I willbe back for more- this is seriously good bread!
Other vendors included Red Brick oven fired artisanal pizza (Holy Stromboli, it smelled crazy good! I’ve heard great things about their foods), the ubiquitous hummus guy (he’s at all the markets!), a smoothie/boba place (pricey at $6 for a boba tea, according to our International Teen who lives with us), Cassie’s Crêpes (could this be the same stand that we saw at the OB market last night?), and a Mexican food vendor, Mariskos Mi Playita, selling seafood snacks.
The olive bread made a great dinner for The Husband and me, along with soft goat cheese and our last pineapple tomato picked up on Monday’s Farmers Market visit. On the list tomorrow: tomatoes.
Every Wednesday from 4-8 pm (& pm in the winter), Ocean Beach has a Farmers Market on Newport Ave. between Cable and Bacon Streets. The website has information on the groups performing and promises a funky and free-spirited vibe is in store for its patrons.
Who could resist such promises?
If you want to get your vegan on and gas up your gluten-free mojo, get down here to Ocean Beach. After passing several international food vendors I stopped to try a sample of the most different ice cream I have ever tasted- Strawberry Basil Sorbet… It. Was. DELICIOUS! I was unprepared to bring home ice cream, so, this little delicacy will be at the top of my list the next time I visit. Sold at $10 per pint in glass mason jars, but bring back the jar and it nets a $2 discount. A little online searching helped me figure out that this is Na Pali Coast Frozen Organics. Worth the drive, people, check out their site for details.
I’ve had my online eye on De La Ranch’s meats for awhile. If you thought there were no local, grass fed meat suppliers in The Southland, think again. De La Ranch is in Elsinore and the ranch is open to the public if you are interested in seeing where your food comes from. We bought a pound of their Farmers Sausage for breakfast this weekend. Can’t wait to try it.
There was officially invited music for the crowd to dance to and enjoy, and there were so many people dancing that I couldn’t get a great photo. Everyone was really enjoying themselves. I counted four other buskers scattered about the market playing an assortment of styles.
Ocean Beach has the most produce and food vendors that I’ve seen at the different markets in the area- meats, nuts, dried fruits, ice creams, desserts, baked goods, cheese, sausage, kombucha, mushrooms, in addition to the much desired fruits and vegetables. We bought onion and garlic flavored pistachios and WILL BE BACK for the coco almonds. I tasted the kombucha and give it two thumbs up.
The Ocean Beach Farmers Market delivered on its promise. It was indeed the most fun and best market that I’ve visited yet.