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Open-air produce markets in S. Florida

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  • Nick Aug 24, 2006 04:14 AM
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I live in Hollywood and I was wondering if anyone could point me towards a good outdoor, flea-market-type place with produce. If anyone is familiar with the Red Barn Flea Market in Bradenton, FL, that's what I'm looking for. While that one was predominately Hispanic (outside, at least), these needn't be. I'm just looking for a good and fun place to browse and hopefully get some good, cheap produce. A taco stand would be a tremendous bonus, however.

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  1. Check out the link below. This is at least a good starting place for farmer's markets across the state of Florida.

    http://www.ams.usda.gov/farmersmarket...

    John

    1. Thanks for the link. Does anyone have any experience with the year-round farmers markets listed on there (Normandy Village, Lincoln Road or Coconut Grove)?

      Also, I seem to remember someone metioning a large (outdoor, I think) Hispanic market in or near Miami. This was a long time ago, and unfortunately I can't remember the name.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Nick

        Bargain town maybe?

      2. In Homestead, there's a fascinating fruit stand called Robert is Here. I've not been there but a friend of mine wrote about his experience on another board. I think you will be there this weekend after reading his posts and seeing the pictures.

        http://www.lthforum.com/bb/viewtopic....

        http://www.robertishere.com/

        1 Reply
        1. re: RevrendAndy

          Oh I'm already a big fan of Robert Is Here. I go home to visit my family in Key West about once a month and always stop there.

        2. There's a large outdoor market near Pompano Beach on State Road 7. I think it's the Swap Shop market, but i'm not 100% sure. I usually go there from Miami when I need to get my fill of Vietnamese Banh Mi at the nearby Vietnamese restaurant. The address of the restaurant is 1392 N. State Rd 7, Margate. The market is about 1/4 mile south of it. You can't miss it. It has all types of fruits and vegetables. Some tents specialize in Asian/Indian, others more Latin/Mexican and others Caribbean. There's also a guy selling fish from coolers with the cheapest price on pompano I've ever seen.

          1. Nick, I've chased down most of the markets north of your area and find most of them to be inadequate. Most of the vendors simply buy from the wholesalers in Miami and set up shop, and at best, the prices are not that much better than your local grocery chain. Very seldom do you find anything right from the fields.

            A few exceptions. The Delray market is a complete waste of time except for one stand selling heirloom tomtoes. The same goes for the Boca Raton market but with yhe addition of one stand selling some farm-fresh greens & herbs. The Pompano market is a complete waste of time as is the now defunct Wilton Manors market. Incidently, the markets I mentioned are only open from November until April or May.

            The one better than average market you might enjoy is the one in Margate which takes place all year long on State Road 7 and just north of Atlantic Blvd. It has a good variety of vendors with both a Carribean and Oriental influence, no doubt influenced by the many ethnic restaurants up and down State Road 7. The variety of produce is plentiful and very cheap compared to the chain stores

            A couple of caveats though. This time of the year only sees about 60% of the vendors that are there during the season. I would guess this still means there are somewhere beteen 20 and 30 sellers. There are quite a few more during the season. Secondly, I find them to be somewhat weak in the fruit department. I believe (a guess only) they are not buying top quality goods from the wholesalers.

            As a plus, as per your request, the market is accompanied by the Margate Flea Market. They are both on the grounds of the old Margate Drive-In Theater.

            Good luck!

            1. Lax2mia,
              The Vietnamese place is Saigon Deli, right? I've been meaning to check that out, as well as the swap shop. This'll turn into a regular field trip.

              1. Yep, it's Saigon Deli. And it's probably the best Vietnamese place I've found and the only one with banh mi. The market is a riot, but last time I went it was in early August and I was about to pass out from the heat. It was pretty bad. But then a salty lemonade at Saigon Deli helped me recover. Note, the restaurant will be closing for a month for renovations so make sure you call if you plan to drop in.

                1 Reply
                1. re: lax2mia

                  Thanks for the heads up on renovations. I was planning on going this Saturday, but I'll give them a call first.

                2. Saigon Deli is indeed closed for renovations. The sign said they'd be down until mid-september. As a consolation, I got plenty of inexpensive produce at the swap shop.