Saturday Farmers Market in Santa Rosa?
I heard a commercial on the radio for a year-round Farmers Market on Saturdays and Wednesdays in Santa Rosa. I did a Google search, but kept getting info and directions to the Wednesday night Farmers Market in Santa Rosa, which is seasonal. Can anyone tell me where this year round one is held, and if it's worth the drive to get there on Saturday mornings. I'd be delighted to hear as much detail as possible, including who some of the better vendors are, how big it is, how easy parking is, etc. Thanks!
I haven't been there during the winter, so can't tell you who's around this time of year. It's across from the fairgrounds in the Veterans memorial building which has an enormous parking lot. Here are some of my posts from the folks I like during the summer months. You might call Ecco, Drake's Bay, and Gandolf to see if they're coming on Saturday . . . those three alone are worth the drive from Napa. Unlike some chocolate vendors, Gandolf is quite generous with samples. And, haven't tried it yet myself, but Stephanie has touted a new pupusa place close by.
Drake's Bay Oysters,
Santa Rosa Seafood,
Crescent Moon Farm,
Full Circle Baking,
The other thing I'd do while in Santa Rosa is check to see if Traverso's has its house-cured guanciale and panetta on hand. It's in downtown and a close hop from the farmers market.
And, check to see whether Cafe St. Rose is serving brunch or not.
Please let us know what you find this time of year.
P.S. Spring Hill participates in this markets.
The Santa Rosa Farmers' Market is just off Hiway 12 - one exit east of Hiway 101. Parking at the Veterans' Building is easy and the market isn't as big as San Rafael, though probably the largest in Sonoma County with plenty of organic growers. There hs been different phases at the market as managers change. Currently there are more crafts people, pantry items and premade food. You can usually find breakfast (Market begins at 8:30) if you like coffee, tamales, sausage sandwiches, BBQ oysters (3 for $5) or bakery items. At least 3 bakeries are usually there including Full Circle and Bennett Valley.
Produce varies widely by season. Right now you'll get good roots, greens & brassicas. The citrus was hit pretty hard, so not the usual variety. The kiwi vendor retired, though the dried fruit folks provide fruit year round. You'll almost always find eggs, honey, cheese (Spring Hill Farm), jams, sauces, pita, fish (a huge variety - smoasted salmon yummy), oysters, pork and lamb. Asparagus & peas should appear soon. From then it's a straight run through spring (potatoes, berries, stone fruit, more greens, fennel, etc.) and summer (fruits including melon, cucumbers, squash, tomatoes, beans, corn) to autumn (peppers, eggplant, tomatoes, apples and more).
Not knowing where you are (Napa?) nor how this market compares to what's available locally for you, it's difficult to recommend a trip. As Melanie suggested, you could make it into a Santa Rosa food adventure. Besides the places she mentioned, Phnom-Penh Market is just around the corner at Santa Rosa Avenue and Petaluma Hill Road where you'll find a large collection of Asian food including produce. Grocery Outlet is due North on Fourth Street and Village Bakery and Pacific Market are a few blocks further North off Pacific Avenue. Village Bakery should have hot cross buns now in addition to bread, breakfast pastries, slices of cake, etc.
BTW, the Saturday market will have far more vendors than the Wednesday market. And a sunny morning more vendors and shoppers than a cold, rainy one.
Hope this helps!
re: Stephanie Sugars
Fabulous report, Stephanie--Thanks! Yes, I'll be coming from mid-Napa Valley, so a bit of a drive to Santa Rosa, but no Farmers Markets in the valley right now. I usually truck out to the East Bay or SF, and am completely unfamiliar with Santa Rosa. Thanks again for all the good info. I hope to make it a day trip out that way next weekend if its not raining.
Santa Rosa will offer different driving and parking problems than East Bay or SF. I will give a few pointers for the new-to-town in a separate posting.
The farmers markets in Sonoma County offer many local treasures - the larger growers/producers will also attend SF or East Bay markets, but you'll find some small gems in SR.