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The 7 Best Farmers Markets in San Diego

Where to get the best urchin, CBD tea, and pasta-stuffed baguettes, and have the best time possible at the DMV


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Photo by Priscilla Iezzi

We get it: It’s tough to decide between San Diego’s 50 weekly farmers’ markets supplied by farms and vendors producing everything under our glorious sun. (After all, San Diego County has 6,500 small farms—the most of any county in the United States). From the best market to take a date to where to find the most on-trend items, we’ve helped narrow down the options, so you can decide which is best for your eating, drinking, and shopping needs.  

 

Little Italy Mercato Farmers’ Market

Best for: Dates

When: Saturdays, 8 a.m.-2p.m.

Where: Date Street, between California Street and Amici Park

We didn’t name this market best for dates just because it encompasses five blocks of Date Street. Boasting 200 vendors, it’s among the biggest in the county. Which means you and that special someone will have no shortage of farm fresh produce, meat, fish, flowers, and local chefs’ specialties to stroll between while you enjoy live music. Want to impress your date with your adventurous side? Try the just-caught sea urchin. Visitors the world over rave about it.

 

Hillcrest Certified Farmers’ Market & Open-Air Bazaar

Best for: Global cuisine  

When: Sundays, 9 a.m.-2 p.m.

Where: 3960 Normal Street

Hillcrest Market takes over the asphalt near the DMV with more than 175 vendors offering local produce, gifts, arts and crafts, flowers, clothing, and more. The large variety of prepared and hot food items includes an emphasis on international cuisine. And with free parking and a free shuttle (every 15 minutes) from San Diego Unified School District’s parking lot at 4207 Campus Ave., it’s easy to get here and start browsing. It’s the most fun you’ll ever have at the DMV!

 

Pacific Beach Farmers’ Market

Best for: When you’re low on cash

When: Tuesdays, 2-7 p.m.

Where: Bayard Street between Garnet Avenue and Grand Ave.

No cash? No problem! A unique feature of the Pacific Beach Farmers’ Market is that you can swipe your credit or debit card at the information booth to buy “market money” (does not expire) for use at all vendors. You’re welcome for that gift idea!  

 

North Park Farmers’ Market

Best for: Coolhunting

When: Thursdays, 3-7:30 p.m.

Where: North Park Way and 30th Street

Perpetually on the hunt for trendy products? Look no further than this market in North Park, where vegan cookies, reusable straws, CBD tea, and alcoholic kombucha are just some of the cool commodities on offer.

 

Ocean Beach Certified Farmers’ Market

Best for: Grabbing dinner and watching the sunset

When: Wednesdays, 4-8 p.m.

Where: Newport Avenue

Ocean Beach’s signature funky vibe can be felt throughout this farmers market. In addition to fresh produce, there’s prepared food and live music to set the tone for a fun night out. The market runs until 8 p.m., so it’s the perfect time to grab dinner (might we suggest the Torpasta, a pasta-stuffed baguette?) and head to the pier to take in the sunset.

 

La Jolla Open Aire Market

Best for: Starting a family beach day

When: Sundays, 9 a.m.-1:30 p.m.

Where: La Jolla Elementary School, 7335 Girard Ave.

Wake up early and grab the kids to shop for a good cause. All of La Jolla Open Aire Market’s proceeds benefit La Jolla Elementary School. After perusing the 120 vendors offering local artisans, fresh produce, and delicious food, pick up some snacks and make the short journey to the coast for a family beach day.

 

Coronado Farmers’ Market

Best for: Fresh produce

When: Tuesdays, 2:30-6 p.m.

Where: 1201 First Street

One of San Diego’s longest-running farmers’ markets, vendors come here from all over the county to sell locally-grown, fresh-off-the-truck produce.

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