(credit: Abdullah Pope/AFP/Getty Images)
One of the many benefits of living in California is the never-ending abundance of fresh produce. Bay Areans can easily access locally grown fruits and vegetables in all four seasons of the year. One of the best ways to score the highest quality produce is directly from area farmers at one of the many local farmers’ markets. Peninsula residents have a number of great markets to choose from, all of which have a vast selection of fresh-from-the-field produce. Here are five of the Peninsula’s best farmers markets.
Mountain View CalTrain Station
600 W. Evelyn Ave.
Mountain View, CA 94041
The city of Mountain View’s Farmers’ Market is held every Sunday morning from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., year-round, rain or shine. Being one of the largest markets in the Peninsula area, Mountain View’s market is held in the parking lot of the CalTrain station and features roughly 80 vendors each week, selling a wide variety of fresh fruits, vegetables, herbs and flowers. Shoppers will find an appetizing selection of prepared foods ranging from Acme breads to handmade sausages. This market also frequently has harder-to-find items like fresh grass fed meats, garden plants and locally roasted coffees.
Park Rd. at Burlingame Ave.
Burlingame, CA 94010
Burlingame residents are lucky enough to have access to the local farmers market twice a week. With the regular Sunday morning market running year-round from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., May through mid-September, there is also a Thursday afternoon market open from 3 to 7 p.m. The Burlingame Farmers Market showcases California grown produce, much of which is organic, in addition to flowers and other locally-produced food items. Shoppers may also find anything from local honey and freshly-baked pies to smoked salmon and rotisserie chickens.
Gilman St. and Hamilton Ave.
Palo Alto, CA 94301
Unlike several other area markets, the Palo Alto Farmers’ Market is open seasonally, each year from mid-May through mid-December. The Saturday morning market is open from 8 a.m. to noon each week and features solely locally sourced flowers, produce and plants. In addition to plenty of booths of fresh produce, every week the farmers market features a local musical act. Check out the Palo Alto market’s website for a list of participating vendors, lists of what is in season and even recipe ideas for using up those delicious veggies.
CalTrain Parking Lot
El Camino Real and O’Neill St.
Belmont, CA 94002
The Belmont Farmers Market is another Peninsula area market that makes its home in one of the CalTrain parking lots, providing space for parking and shopping as well as convenient access to public transportation. The Belmont market operates year-round on Sunday mornings from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Shoppers will find a wide variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as some prepared foods, breads, popcorn and nuts. Regular vendors also sell eggs, mushrooms, pies and juices.
Chestnut St. between Santa Cruz Ave. and Menlo Ave.
Menlo Park, CA 94025
Menlo Park’s Farmers Market is another year-round Sunday morning Peninsula market. Each week, from 9 a.m. to noon, residents peruse a tempting selection of fresh, California-produced products. Shoppers will find everything from the expected fruits and veggies to local honey, shellfish and dates. Other products frequently offered are olive oil, mushrooms, eggs and nuts.