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Which Saturday farmers market to visit, Berk or Grand Lake?

5akman Mar 3, 2010 01:13 PM

We'll be driving to the sister in laws in Morgan Hill over Easter weekend. If I remember correctly, we'll be coming down I80 then to 580 into the San Jose area. We want to stop and check out some of the markets along the way. Looking at the reviews, it appears that both the Saturday Berkeley and Oakland Grand Lake markets would be easy to access and might be the ones to hit up. We'd probably just buy some non-refrigerated veggies to take home a day or two later and perhaps grab lunch. Is one bigger than the other? Are there any "must see" vendors, perhaps to get some quick eating grub to keep the kids occupied in the car?



  1. Robert Lauriston Mar 3, 2010 02:34 PM

    Berkeley's Saturday market is one of the best in the area.

    You'll be taking 880, not 580.

    7 Replies
    1. re: Robert Lauriston
      BigWoodenSpoon Mar 3, 2010 03:55 PM

      The parking at the Grand Lake market is awful!
      At least Berkeley has a small park right there that the kids can run around in
      after you pick stuff up, but close parking will still be a challenge.

      1. re: BigWoodenSpoon
        Robert Lauriston Mar 4, 2010 07:11 AM

        Except on UCB football game days, there are plenty of free parking spaces two or three blocks south of the Berkeley market on MLK. There's also a city garage on Center half a block east of the market, $1.50 for up to two hours.

        1. re: BigWoodenSpoon
          lexdevil Mar 4, 2010 07:52 AM

          Give up on the lot under the freeway. Pay your $2 and park in the lot just past the Grand Lake Theatre. That's $2 very well spent.

        2. re: Robert Lauriston
          wolfe Mar 3, 2010 04:06 PM

          Actually if they decide to go to Grand Lake off 580 and continue down 580 and cross to 880 the distance to San Jose will be about the same.

          1. re: wolfe
            pockyjunkie Mar 4, 2010 07:46 AM

            Yes, agree with wolfe re 580. And since often 880 through Oakland gets clogged with traffic on the weekends, you can be better off going down 580 and then across 238 to 880, skipping most of the traffic portion.

            Re Grand Lake, for prepared food, there is a great tamale stand, Uhuru does breakfast (eggs and potatoes, etc) with good cornbread; and there's a Himalayan place with good tsel and sha momo (dumplings) and excellent mango lassi. Phoenix Pastificio also has a stand and makes wonderful olive bread and almond cookies for takeaways to snack later.

            1. re: pockyjunkie
              Robert Lauriston Mar 4, 2010 08:04 AM

              If you're not in a huge hurry, taking 238 aka Mission Blvd. can be more pleasant than 880, and there is some interesting food along there, e.g. Curry Corner.

              1. re: Robert Lauriston
                5akman Mar 4, 2010 08:44 AM

                Great info, thanks. I believe we'll adjust our driving route and try to hit both while missing as much of the weekend traffic as possible.


        3. Ruth Lafler Mar 3, 2010 01:30 PM

          Grand Lake is definitely the most convenient, since it's right off 580. Grand Lake had a prepared foods area, plus the Belgian Waffle truck and Roli-Roti. They usually have a jumpy your kids might like, and the lake is right across the street. There's also a Trader Joe's nearby if you want other roadtrip munchies.

          I can't really speak as to which vendors will be there this time of year, although by the first week of April the strawberries from the Santa Maria area should be in. Part of the fun of a farmers market is sampling and seeing which vendor has the best produce on that particular day.

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