Fresh Food Daily at San Diego Farmers Markets

San Diego Farmers Markets

San Diego may be a laid-back town, but we take our food very seriously. With a diverse landscape and mild temperatures, San Diego County boasts ideal conditions for farming, so it’s no surprise that the county is home to more than 6,000 small and family owned farms. These farmers provide chefs from local restaurants with access to the freshest possible ingredients, but you don’t have to pull up a seat at a restaurant to enjoy some of San Diego’s local bounty.

San Diego Farmers Markets

Whether you are packing supplies for a picnic in Balboa Park, picking up fresh fruit to snack on in your hotel room, or even enjoying an impromptu lunch streetside, there are a number of California Certified Farmers Markets that take place every day in San Diego all over the county.  These colorful and festive farmers markets offer fresh picked fruits, crisp heirloom vegetables, regional cheeses, locally baked breads and desserts and a unique window on life in this sun-kissed Southern California paradise.

Uni served at Little Italy Farmers Market in San Diego

How about some uni served fresh from the sea at the Little Italy Mercato?

On Sunday mornings, an offbeat crowd of neighborhood musicians, artists and residents gather at the Hillcrest Farmers Market, where they enjoy fresh finds from around the county along with a unique collection of handcrafted art and housewares.

On Wednesday afternoons, visitors step back into the 1960s at the Ocean Beach Farmers Market; in this eclectic beachfront setting, fresh produce mixes with a laid-back surfer vibe and dash of the bizarre—llama rides are optional.

On Saturday mornings, the Little Italy Mercato brings the streets of this colorful downtown neighborhood to life as farm fresh produce rubs elbows with prepared foods from some of the region’s best kitchens.

Fresh meats available at San Diego Farmers Markets

It’s not just for fruits and veggies: you’ll find locally raised meats at many San Diego Farmers Markets.

Markets are held across San Diego County 7 days a week, so no matter where your travels take you, your sure to find something fresh nearby. Check out the San Diego County Farm Bureau for a complete list of markets.

Which Farmers Market in San Diego is your favorite?


Run Away With A Citrus Circus In Little Italy

Sweet citrus! This Saturday at the Little Italy Mercato.

What do you do when life gives you lemons…and limes and oranges?

Well, if you’re the Little Italy Mercato, you throw a party!

That’s right, downtown San Diego’s favorite farmer’s market is celebrating it’s third anniversary this month with a “Citrus Circus” celebration tomorrow June 18th.  From 9:00 am to 1:00 pm this Saturday, in addition to the regular market festivities, you’ll find jugglers juggling local citrus fruit and a panel of local chefs and food writers judging original citrus-centric recipe entries by local chefs and home cooks.

Chef Jenn Felmley, who can often be found sharing her culinary tips at Pacific Beach’s Great News! cooking school, will be demonstrating how to make yummy Italian-inspired dishes by harnessing the power of local citrus in items like lemon risotto and a fresh arugula salad with lemon vinaigrette. Citrus farmer Linda Zeiser who owns Rancho Del Sol Organics in Jamul will also be demonstrating how to make the classic Italian aperitif, limoncello. Yum!

All this, plus two stages of live music with award-winning guitarist Johannes Linstead and, market favorite, Smilin’ Jack playing his Italian accordion.

Held every Saturday along five full blocks of Date Street in the heart of the historic Little Italy neighborhood, the Mercato is my go-to farmer’s market. Here, it’s not all about shopping. Over the last three years, the market has delighted the taste buds and sparked the culinary imagination of locals and visitors with fresh organic produce, farm-fresh eggs, meats, olive oils, pastas and cheeses; artisan crafts; live chef demos, tastings and more.

Every time I stroll through it’s streets I discover something new and make a treasured food memory. From savoring live, Point Loma sea urchins straight from the shell within sight of the waters from which they came to my first discovery of local taste makers like Viva Pops or Eclipse Chocolat, every Saturday at the market is an adventure. That’s why the Little Italy Mercato has a special place in my heart.

So, do me a favor, pucker up and say ‘happy birthday’ to the Little Italy Mercato this Saturday…mangia bene!


5 To Try: Earth Day Edition

For those looking to connect with the environment this weekend, we offer you our 5 to Try: Celebrating Earth Day in San Diego.

1. On Sunday, April 17th, head down to Balboa Park to the annual EarthFair. Each year, EarthFair draws around 70,000 earth loving visitors making it the largest free annual environmental fair in the world. Produced by over 400 volunteers, EarthFair features more than 350 exhibitors, special theme areas, a food pavilion, a special kids’ activity area, three entertainment venues, the Children’s Earth Parade, the eARTH Gallery Art Show, and the Cleaner Car Concourse. It can get crowded so here are some transportation options to help you get to the fair.

2. From coral reefs to kelp forests, celebrate Earth Day with the Birch Aquarium at Scripps. On Saturday, April 16, meet Scripps Oceanography scientists who are working to understand and preserve our oceans, make a recycled craft and learn new ways that you can help protect our ocean planet.

3. Looking to really help make San Diego green? Join the San Diego Surfrider Chapter for a beach cleanup Saturday morning at Moonlight Beach in Encinitas. This is a great opportunity to help make San Diego’s beaches free from unwanted trash. All you have to do is show up and wear comfortable clothing. Surfrider will provide bags (or you can bring one from home), latex gloves and hand sanitizer. Moonlight Beach will appreciate your help!

4. Earth Day may be April 22, but SEA LIFE Carlsbad Aquarium wants to inspire kids to do their part in caring for our seas every day. Throughout the month of April, SEA LIFE will feature an Earth Month-themed show daily at 11:00 am as well as special green learning activities and crafting activities every Saturday from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm.

5. It might surprise some to know that San Diego is home to more than 6,000 farmers and #1 in the nation for small farms. While dining out this weekend, why not try a restaurant known that takes advantage of locally produced ingredients. A few of my favorites include Urban Solace and Cucina Urbana. Even better, stop by one of San Diego’s farmers markets this weekend and make your own farm to table meal!


5 to Try This Weekend

1. All month long, 40 museums throughout San Diego are 50% off during San Diego Museum Month! From the San Diego Air & Space Museum to the Oceanside Museum of Art, you can definitely get your culture on. Be sure to pick up your pass at any Macy’s in San Diego County. It’s a great time to try your favorite museum or something new.

2. I love having a three-day weekend; that extra day allows me to do something I wouldn’t normally have time for. This weekend I’m going to the Little Italy Mercato on Saturday (weather please hold up). With over 6,500 farms in San Diego County, there is always plenty of fresh fruit, vegetables and other goodies to be found at Farmers Markets.

3. The 21st Annual San Diego Jewish Film Festival runs through February 20th. Some of the films playing this weekend include “The Matchmaker” and “Who Do You Love”.

4. Did you know that Friday, February 18th is going to be a full moon? Take a romantic full-moon dinner cruise on a Hornblower yacht and enjoy dinner, champagne, music and dancing under the stars and the beautiful San Diego skyline.

5. One of our staffers recently saw “Superior Donuts” playing at the San Diego Repertory Theatre through March 6. She said it was both a funny and poignant play set in a 1960’s donut shop. Eat before you go, otherwise you may be drooling over the donuts during the show!


20 San Diego Green Facts

San Diego’s commitment to the environment and the protection of its most treasured resources – 70 miles of beautiful beaches and the best year round weather in the country – is far reaching.

Below are 20 Green Facts about San Diego. On your next visit to San Diego, be sure to check one of them out!

San Diego International Airport

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