There’s nothing like the produce, baked foods, and farmstand goodies that you can get at your local farmers market. Unfortunately, in Philadelphia, the majority of markets are closed until spring warms the city again. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t a few hearty stragglers, but exploring long rows of stands with your reusable bag is a April-ish game. Right now it’s cold outside and bitter. While we look forward to balmier days ahead, take a look of the best farmers markets in the Center City area so that you can plan your springtime Saturday mornings!
Located just off Baltimore Avenue, this locally-famous market reflects the bohemian soul of West Philly. The vendors here rotate seasonally, meaning that if you encounter something you love, you should stock up, but there is generally always a great selection. No matter what you are buying, you can rest assured that it didn’t come from further than 100 miles away. In some cases, as with the hyper-local brews and products of urban farming, it might be within walking distance. If you get peckish, grab some portable Mexican fare from the Don Memo taco truck.
Goods at this chichi, upscale market tend to be a little pricier than their other local competitors’, owing to the ultra-exclusive location set up on the perimeter of Center City’s most-desirable parks. Over twenty-five vendors participate in the bazaar every Saturday, filling the air with the perfume of fresh-baked sweets and crisp, fresh produce. Seafood from Jersey, adorable succulents, artisanal chocolates, and locally-fermented kombucha are just some of the higher-end treats you can expect. This is perhaps one of the best-known markets in Philly, so it can definitely get crowded.
One of the city’s smaller markets, this one is nonetheless still very worth visiting. Best of all, it is open all year round! Thanks to the magic of hydroponics, you can snag local-grown lettuces and herbs even in the coldest months. Philly Fair Trade Roasters have a booth here, ensuring that your morning brew is flavorful and fresh as can be at all times. Pick up some grass-bed beef for your Sunday crockpot dinner, and sip on a West Philly brew. Not to be missed: the apple cider donuts. This hidden gem is well worth exploring.
Enjoy this picturesque, medium-sized market with a side serving of the prettiest homes in Philadelphia. It is open all year, but fresh greens and produce are only available May through the end of summer. Explore local vintages with wine by Paradocx, amazing fruit offerings at Beechwood Orchards, and a general selection of vendors that you can only find here. Cater your cocktail hour with one stop by Nick Macri’s LaDivisa Meats for a hand-crafted charcuterie selection, or sip genuine Ploughman cider so fresh that the crisp apple flavor explodes against your tastebuds. An insider secret? Pick up a still-warm baguette and some homemade jam for an impromptu picnic alongside the Delaware River.
This market is a Thursday-evening institution with a mindful focus on superfoods and all things good for you. Across from the menacing walls of the defunct Eastern State Penitentiary, this bazaar sets up shop weekly during spring and summer. There’s a strong Amish presence among the vendors, and you’ll have to queue up early for the baked goods and farm-fresh eggs they bring, or else you’ll miss out. Fruits and veggies from nearby Francisville are cultivated by local children, and your purchase benefits their agricultural education. When they are in season, this is a hotspot for local pawpaws, an indigenous fruit that is something of a Pennsylvania hidden treasure.
Students at Drexel and other Center City institutions can supplement their diets with fresh, delicious foods from this humble, but well-stocked market that is open weekdays. Tumbling bushels of apples and seasonal stonefruits come courtesy of Beechwood, with an assured juiciness that makes grocery store offerings seem pale and anemic. Homemade muffins and granola blends are perfect for a healthy, effortless breakfast, and vendor PetAl sells small potted plants that will bring freshness and charm to your dorm window.