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Santa Monica Farmers Market (Saturday)

Heading to the Santa Monica farmers market on Saturday for the first time and could not find a recent post on the topic. We are heading up from San Diego to hit the Market and visit some family in the afternoon. Looking for your market favorites, we will be traveling with coolers. We are frequent farmers market shoppers in San Diego and our scene is on a good growth spurt. Also are there any secrets to getting a parking spot?

Much Appreciated

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  1. Secret to parking is to Go Early. I typically park in the 4th st structure between Arizona and Wilshire.

    My favorites are Weiser Farms, Harry's Berries(Gaviota's!!), Fitzgerald, and on and on. You can't NOT have fun!

    4 Replies
      1. re: MissCast

        3rd and Arizona was the market we were planning in going to, what's the deal with Cloverfield park?

      2. re: baloney

        Thanks for the advice, Gaviota's?? - Seagull?

        1. This is my weekly market. I think the Harry's Berries rec is a great one if you're a strawberry fan. Other vendors I frequent: the walnut vendor whose name I can't recall for their incredible chipotle cocoa walnuts and their walnut oil; Pudwill Farms for blueberries and raspberries; the mushroom guy at the far north end of the market always has great stuff; Maggies farms for their stellar greens mix; Healthy Family Farms for their free-range chickens and eggs. If the vendor selling cheese has quark, especially a flavored kind, I would try some of that, too.

          5 Replies
          1. re: mollyomormon

            The mushroom guy is supposed to have porcini mushrooms right now!

            http://www.latimes.com/features/food/...

            And for other recent articles on what's hot at the local FMs, David Karp is the person you want to be following:

            http://www.latimes.com/features/food/...

            Another good (and entertaining) source for the Santa Monica FM is Laura Avery's FM segment at the beginning of, "Good Food," with Evan Kleiman on KCRW:

            http://www.kcrw.com/etc/programs/gf

            1. re: bulavinaka

              I go to the Pico Cloverfield Farmers Market. Parking is very easy. There is a big open lot next to the market and also there is street parking normally available.
              My favorite vendors are:
              Lily's Eggs
              Gloria's (she is also at the Wed Mkt). I buy her Chandler Srawberries, broccoli, basil, fresh corn, peppers, cukes, (actually, most of my veggies are from Gloria).
              Pudwill Farms for berries (raspberries and blackberries have been beautiful recently)
              Summerhill Farms for the most fabulous stone fruit (peaches, apricots, etc). Also, he has great heirloom tomatoes right now.
              The potato, melon guy with the British Accent (can't think of the name, but he is on the corner of 3rd and Arizona on Wed). He currently has delicious sweet onions. Haven't seen any melons yet but the fingerling potatoes are delicious.
              Kenter Canyon Farms
              Pomegranate juice folks
              Asparagus from the asparagus vendor (again, can't think of name, but great variety of thin and fat asparagus
              Mushrooms

              1. re: bulavinaka

                Saw porcini's and morels today! So tempting....

                1. re: bulavinaka

                  He definitely had big fat porcinis today.

                2. re: mollyomormon

                  I have been buying Harry's Berries for years and love them. I bought some a week ago and for some reason they weren't as good as usual. Has anyone else had that problem?
                  For the price of their berries they should be great. They have Gaviota and Seascape.

                3. I hope you understand that the premier farmers market in LA, by far, is the Wednesday SM market and not Saturday. Saturday is good but there are a number of key farmers who only come to Wednesday. If you can only make it up here during the weekend, I would rate the Sunday Hollywood farmers market above the Saturday SM market. I would avoid the Sunday SM market like the plague.

                  For tips on what's in season, Laura Avery gives a weekly market report which you can hear at the start of Evan Kleiman's Good Food show on kcrw.com. Laura is the manager of the Wednesday SM market. David Karp also writes about specific fruits in season in the LA Times. Good luck and enjoy.

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: houndofmusic

                    Thanks for all the good info. Saturday is the only day we will be up in LA. There is always the future. Looking forward to the posibility of fresh porchini, berries, and BTW how is the bison vendor?

                    1. re: stevuchan

                      You mean Kathy Lindner? She's a delight. Personally, I'm not a huge fan of bison meat and have only tried the ground bison. FWIW, her product seems better than any bison meat I've seen in grocery stores.

                      1. re: stevuchan

                        I used the ground bison from that vendor recently to make lasagna and it was fabulous! I haven't been the past few weeks because of work schedule, but if Munak Farms is there now (they're only there summer through fall), their tomatoes are consistently awesome.

                        1. re: stevuchan

                          I should add that if you want porcini, you should try to get there as early as you can. David West is the vendor and he does sell out.

                          1. re: houndofmusic

                            Planning on getting there early, the promise of porcini should get the wife out of bed early.

                            1. re: stevuchan

                              Well worth the "early" trip there. It officially opens at 8:30AM. If you get to any of the public parking lots that early, you will have no problem parking. The porcini supply and quality can vary quite a bit, so find and hit them first. The FM on Arizona and 3rd St starts to get crowded around 9AM so do the hustle!

                      2. Seek out the African dude with the humongous belly and buy whatever it is he's selling.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: aventinus

                          "treat yourself don't cheat yourself"

                        2. Healthy Family Farms has great chicken and their eggs are fantastic, as well.

                          I can't remember the name, but there is a wonderful grass fed beef vendor. The ribeye was amazing. (They also sell melons and squash, I believe.)

                          If you are hungry, I highly recommend the oyster guys who shuck them for you. You can also buy them by the bag, but it's my favorite Saturday brunch.

                          FYI, I've had flowers from the vendor in the middle for a week and a half and they still look wonderful!