Local Farmers Market Rundown
Everyone loves a good farmers market. An open-air market full of fresh produce, great face-to-face interactions with farmers, chefs and artisans, and a great place to educate yourself or your family on fruits, vegetables and health. In addition to offering locally sourced fresh produce and goods to the community, farmers markets help preserve farmlands, and promote economic stability and sustainability. Luckily, here in Southern California, we have optimal weather for farmers markets and a huge variety of local farmers and artisans to choose from. Every town in the area has its own farmers market, so you never have to go far to find one, but with so many options, how do you choose which one to go to? Well, we’ve got you covered.
Irvine has a long history of farming in its blood and still has great small farms all over the city. With multiple farmers markets within the city, and many more just a short jaunt from the city limits, we’ve got a great range of markets to consider. But, not all markets are created equal. We have put together your go-to list for local farmers markets, with helpful information and insights gathered from weeks of farmers market adventures.
Irvine Certified Farmers Market
5001 Newport Coast Dr., Irvine, CA
Saturdays, 8 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Taking place on Saturday mornings at Mariners Church, this is the local favorite for Farmers Markets in the area. This large market has tons of vendors, offering something for everybody. We’re talking about locally grown Asian vegetables, freshly made breads, fresh seafood, honeys, organic and non-GMO fruits and vegetables, gluten-free (and regular) donuts, grass-fed organic meats and cheeses, the best nut selection in the area, fresh gorgeous flowers and succulents, freshly made shumai and musubi, artisan hot sauces, tasty German bratwurst, live music and delicious hummus and Baba Ganoush. This market isn’t the cheapest, but the quality of goods and foods are well worth the cost. The vibe and atmosphere at this market is also friendly, welcoming and plentiful – a great weekly event for all ages in the neighborhood.
O.C. Great Park Farmers Market
6950 Marine Way, Irvine, CA
Sundays, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
The Great Park Farmers Market is the quaint but lively market taking place on Sunday mornings in the center of the gorgeous Great Park, near the Palm Court Arts Complex. This location is the best of the best – a perfect weekend morning venture with room for a picnic and some art adventures before or after shopping. The food vendors are outstanding, but the variety is by far the best aspect. This destination farmers market has delicious vegan cheeses, handmade salsas and hot sauces, fresh organic produce, wood-fired pizzas made on the spot, locally sourced meats, a good selection of food trucks, handmade natural pet foods, Hawaiian shave ice and other custom desserts, some of the best empanadas around, a great selection of artisan pickles, olives and nuts, and a ton of other independent small businesses.
Orange Home Grown Farmers & Artisans Market
303 W. Palm Ave. Orange, CA
Saturdays, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Although the Orange Home Grown Farmers Market (OHG) is all the way in Old Towne Orange, this is a huge farmers market event every Saturday and is definitely worth the journey. This market takes place in the parking lot of Chapman University’s Becket Building and in the street on Palm Avenue between Cypress Street and Lemon Street. The vendors here offer amazing locally grown fruits and vegetables, sustainably sourced eggs, meat, seafood, cheese (vegan and non-vegan), hummus, spreads, salsas, baked goods and other artisan products. The crowd is lively and excited to be out and about. There is usually live music or an awesome DJ, a kid’s club area, cooking demos, a pet-sitting area, yoga classes on site, and a ton of different food trucks for people to choose delicious snacks from. They even have complementary coffee and pastries for guests! The OHG is a great time for the whole family and has a fantastic selection of goods for every kind of diet and person.
Laguna Beach Certified Farmers’ Market
505 Forest Ave., Laguna Beach, CA
Saturdays, 8 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Laguna Beach’s Farmers Market is an intimate but high-quality market. Open to the public Saturday mornings, this market has very few food vendors but a great curated selection of produce, meats, cheeses, fresh baked goods, organic juices and kombuchas, spreads, dips, honeys and salsas. Most vendors here offer samples of some of their best sellers, which is a great plus, but you might want to leave your dogs at home (they’re not as welcome here as most other farmers markets). But don’t worry, the gorgeous beach by your side will keep you happy and calm while you shop. If you head west for this gem, you’ve definitely got to try the jumbo tamales and the crepes.
Tustin Certified Farmers Market
El Camino Real and 3rd St., Tustin, CA
Wednesdays, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
The Tustin Farmers Market is one of the more affordable farmers markets in the area. On top of that, it takes place in gorgeous Old Town Tustin near Cream Pan, making it a great little mid-week jaunt for fresh ingredients and tasty treats. They offer free parking for guests of the Farmers Market, a great assortment of Asian fruits and vegetables, amazing hummus, fresh breads, eggs, seafood, flowers, salsas and oils. They also have a good, yet small, selection of food vendors, with freshly made kettle corn, tamales and fresh dog food!