It's no secret that I love farmer's markets and especially the ones here in Monterey and Carmel. There's one every day!! One of the first things I did when we moved here was visit all of them and as the weeks and months passed, I found my favorite markets and vendors that I go back to each week with John Shea, usually with a coffee in hand and a basket hanging from his stroller. It's fun not only picking out locally grown foods, but also being outside, talking and developing relationships with the farmers (most are from small farms) and being inspired by the stands of beautiful changing vegetables, fruits, flowers, breads, nuts, meats, cheeses and home baked treats. You can imagine why I get so excited to go every week!
Hopefully this will be helpful to anyone moving here, or coming to visit, or will just be fun to have a glimpse into this area's amazing growing seasons and outdoor markets.
Superman loves going as much as I do! He leaves with a full belly each time simply from being so cute. Not a week goes by that he isn't freely given an apple to munch on, strawberries (from Cortez Farm B! They have a weekly special for blackberries, blueberries and strawberries), sausage, an orange, and bell peppers, which happen to be his favorite.
You can see a full list of markets in the area here, but my favorites are:
Mondays in Pacific Grove from 3-6pm // This is a smaller market but they have the best prices for strawberries and berries and great food trucks and stands. The Latvian dessert stand is incredible!
Tuesdays in downtown Monterey from 4-6pm // This isn't on my personal favorites list, but it is for most everyone we know here. Wide selection, live music, good food trucks, fun atmosphere, but it's usually really crowded and has a lot of imported items.
Thursdays in Carmel-by-the-Sea from 10am-12pm // This is a very small market but the stand of David Austin garden roses is not to be missed!! You can get over a dozen of the most glorious smelling blooms for $7 or about 2 dozen for $10. I believe they're also at the Tuesday afternoon market. It's a quiet time in Carmel and it's fun to walk around the darling town and grab a coffee or chai tea latte (remember this post?) from The Carmel Coffee House (tucked away in such a cute courtyard!)
Fridays at MPC from 10am-2pm // Love this one. You can buy everything from fresh eggs to bacon, cheese, breads, fresh brewed coffee, local honey, olive oil, olive trees in the summer (where I bought ours!) and fruits and veggies in season. It's all organic. Some must-tries are the local cheeses (they have samples!), olive oil, Cowboy Sausage and Chili Company (he will get you with his incredibly delicious and plentiful samples!) and the fresh rosemary focaccia from Sweet Elena's Bakery.
My favorite markets for flowers are garden roses on Thursdays in Carmel-by-the-Sea and the gorgeous variety from Thomas Organic Farm at MPC on Fridays. They had the most beautiful dahlias throughout the Fall. Right now they have tulips, ranuculus, freesia, anemones and orchids. They don't grow peonies, but if they did I would probably have a heart attack and spend all of our pennies. I can never resist their tulips or ranuculus -- they make me think so much of Easter and Spring!