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Jan 31, 2009 10:59 AM

Best Farmer's Market in San Diego?

I'm from Santa Barbara originally where we have lovely, bountiful farmer's markets. I moved here in June and have been so disappointed with the Del Mar and La Jolla farmer's markets in San Diego. There aren't that many produce vendors, everything is really expensive and they mostly sell clothes and trinkets these days!

Any farmer's markets in the area worth checking out?

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  1. Hillcrest Farmer's Market is every Sunday from 9-1 and it's widely regarded as one of, if not the, best markets in town.

    2 Replies
    1. re: mimosa

      I'll second that...the one in Hillcrest is probably the best local farmer's market. But San Diego needs to increase the number and variety of vendors in its farmer's markets. Having recently moved back to S.D. from Oakland it's clear that the S.F. bay area farmer's markets are superior to those of S.D. with a greater variety of high quality products...produce, cheeses, breads, sausages, and much more.

      The Berkeley and Oakland weekly farmer's markets are as good or better than the one in Hillcrest, and the one at the San Francisco Ferry Building far outshines any local farmer's market. Still, I keep hoping for improvements in our local farmer's markets.

      1. re: mimosa

        I agree that Hillcrest has the best Farmer's Market. There isn't much in Hillcrest that isn't the best. I love that community for what it has to offer. Check it out.

      2. I agree wtih Mimosa on Hillcrest, it's probably the largest and most diverse of the farmer's markets. I also like teh Wednesday market in OB but parking can be a real pain on market day, especially in the summer. I just got home from the Little Italy market where I picked up some fresh lettuce, broccoli, multiple varieites of potoates, a couple of tomatos, meyer lemons, blood oranges and a specialty bread. Eggs, onions, cruciferous vegetables, honey, jam, cheese, pastured meat and fish was also available along with multiple vendors selling hummus, olive oil and the usual trinkets.

        In general, I find the prices at the farmer's markets in San Diego are on the high end. I rarely find really good deals, but I do find really good produce.

        5 Replies
        1. re: DiningDiva


          I just got back from the little italy farmers market too.

          I love it.

          Fresh eggs, meats, cheeses, and produce.

          1. re: stevewag23

            I got strawberries there last weekend, and, at $11 for three baskets, they were a bit pricey. However, I was very surprised at the quality for the size of the berries. Past experience, for me, was the smaller the berries, the more sweet. But these were large, sweet, and juicy. They advertised as being grown in Oceanside. If you see them, check 'em out. Worth the price, IMO.

            1. re: phee

              I saw those, but did not pick any up.

              Will next time for sure.

              I did get some tomatoes from them (oceanside).

              1. re: phee

                Phee, I saw those too and didn't buy because I thought they were too big. Also at $4 a basket they were more than I wanted to spend.

                For a little over $4 I got 5 baskets of Blackberries at Windmill Farms on my way home ;-)

                1. re: DiningDiva

                  Good buy on the blackberries. I picked up some blackberries at Zion Market today. I'm not used to seeing blackberries that big, but, again, these were juicy and sweet. I'm just lucking out on the big berries as of late!

          2. though technically not a farmers market, chino farms has great produce. I can't compare it to Hillcrest's FM 'cause I haven't been...

            1 Reply
            1. re: upstarter

              where is chino farms located exactly?

              * found it
              6123 Calzada del bosque
              Rancho Santa Fe

            2. I'll second Hillcrest as a good one. You can also sign up with a local CSA, which gets you a box weekly or bi-weekly full of good, organic produce. People's Co-Op in Ocean Beach has great produce all the time, among other good things to eat. If you're in North County, Jimbo's in Del Mar has some nice produce, too.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Josh

                Jimbo's is like the one shining star in that culiary wasteland of Carmel Valley.

              2. For San Diego, I think that the Hillcrest Farmers Market is one of the best..
                I have been to the mid-week one in Escondido and that has quite a bit of local produce from North County and reasonable too..some great Mexican vendors with their tamales, salsas and carne...lots of flowers.
                Plus, its a great reason to go and have a pint at O'Sullivans and have the killer fish n' chips!

                2 Replies
                1. re: Beach Chick

                  Thanks! I went to Hillcrest today and was quite pleased. Got an amazing crepe and some Turkish coffee and was on my merry way :)

                  1. re: Beach Chick

                    Yes, the Tuesday Escondido market does have a nice variety of produce for very reasonable prices! (Plus, you can duck around the corner to Panaderia Ortiz when you're done!)