Markets in Austin
I will be in Austin at the end of the month and was wondering if there are any local grocery stores, gourmet markets, or farmers markets that locals might recommend. I'm visiting from Houston so I have available to me Whole Foods and Central Market. Not that I won't visit those also but I'm looking for the local treasures. I recall a Co-op that I really liked, just north of the University. I'm going to look for it again. Are there any others?
The co-op you're referring to is Wheatsville on Guadalupe @ 30th/31st. In the S. Congress neighborhood at the corner of Mary and S.5th is P & K Grocery. It's a locally owned market that has recently been receiving praise for their sandwiches...supposed to be modeled after Dean and DeLuca.
On Saturdays there's the Sunset Valley Farmer's Market at Berger Center(just off 290/Brodie area),and as luck would have it, it's just down from Central Market. There is also the Austin Farmer's Market on Saturdays downtown(might be seasonal).
In addition to P & K, check out Farm to Market on S. Congress at Live Oak(just S.of the river)
I recommend a visit to Grapevine Market on Anderson at Mopac. They have a grand selection of wines and also stock gourmet foods. Last Saturday afternoon you could have tasted six or so wines, with knowledgeable personnel explaining them. You could have sampled chocolates hand made in Austin, a wonderful brie with pesto that Grapevine makes, their fresh baked beer bread etc. They even have a small luncheon menu and tables. A fun experience.
I'm not sure it will still be open at the end of the month, but the best vegetable market in Ausin is the Angel Valley Farmer's Market.
In Austin, in front of the Asian American Cultural Center on Jollyville Road (between Oak Knoll and Duval), Wednesdays 10:00-2:00.
Great food. Get on their mailing list.
This week they'll have (from their weekly newsletter):
Cauliflower; nutty-sweet little cabbages; lots of lettuce mix; some spinach (it hasn't grown much in these cold temps); heads of lettuce -- butterhead (huge and beautiful, thanks to double row covers), romaine, green leaf, and "Blushed" lettuce; the first bunches of sweet white turnips; bags of chard (maybe not many); bunches of brussels greens; green bell peppers (rescued before the freeze); bunches of green garlic; and whatever else we find that survived!
I thought of a few other suggestions. There is Mandolos (sp?)Italian market at the triangle on upper Guadalupe. I haven't been there yet but friends are big fans - they have a bakery as well as gourmet italian specialties. Then there is Phoenicia - with locations on south Lamar, and Burnet road. It is middle eastern food. They have a bakery, do take out falafel and pitas, they have a selection of specialty groceries, cheeses, olives, baklava etc. When I wanted to recreate some of the food we had in Turkey, I was able to find many of the ingredients there. Finally, I noticed a Russian market just off Anderson. Don't know anything about it but maybe someone else does.
Thank you all so much. I will only be in Austin for 2 nights, but will check out as many of your recommendations as I can and since I live in Houston I can go back often.
Keep the suggestions coming.
And, if you have time, you might as well check out the Whole Foods palace on 6th/Lamar. I believe Houston is getting one nearly as big, but I have to admit, it's a pretty nice store.