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A farmers market stall filled with produce and two women shopping
Photograph: Flickr/Robert Couse-Baker

The best Sacramento farmers markets for fresh, local and organic foods

From fresh fruits and veggies to handcrafted cheese and bread, the best Sacramento farmers markets have it all

By Garrick Ramirez

Sacramento didn’t become America’s farm-to-fork capital by accident. The city is surrounded by 1.5 million acres of farmland, and numerous farmers and purveyors hold almost rockstar-like status in the region. While you’ll find regional ingredients on menus all over town, the best place to enjoy Sac’s bounty is at the best Sacramento farmers markets that enliven parks and blacktops throughout the city. Thanks to nearly year-round balmy weather, farmers markets are on the list of the best things to do in Sacramento in every season. You’ll discover varied markets where tote-wearing caulilini hunters shop alongside local chefs, sip their morning latte, and nosh on take-away plates from buzzworthy food vendors. Here’s where to shop the best farmers markets in Sacramento.

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Best Sacramento farmers markets

A woman scooping nuts in a black and white photo
Photograph: Flickr/Robert Couse-Baker/CC

1. Sacramento Central Farmers Market

Known colloquially as the Sunday Market or Market Under the Freeway, this teeming, year-round gathering—held on Sunday mornings from 8am to noon—features over 100 vendors set under a stretch of Highway 50. Don’t come looking for kettle corn here. It’s all about fresh produce, meats, dairy products, and greenery. Get there early, and you’ll rub shoulders with prominent local chefs loading up their carts with seasonal ingredients. Look up, and you’ll spy an example of Sac’s thriving street art scene with “Bright Underbelly,” a 70,000-square foot mural by local artists Sofia Lacin and Hennessy Christophel.

Tomatoes in crates at a farmers market
Photograph: Flickr/Robert Couse-Baker/CC

2. Capitol Mall Farmers Market

Stretching one whole block on the Capitol Mall between 5th and 6th Streets, this summertime gathering wins the award for best setting. Every Thursday (10am–1:30pm) from May through September, the market fills with hungry downtown workers nabbing crispy chicken sandwiches from Nash & Proper, braised beef tacos from Masa Guiseria, and Connecticut rolls from Cousins Maine Lobster. Ingenious shoppers nab a sourdough batard from Grateful Bread, and pair it with lemon-drizzled avocado from one of the fresh produce vendors. 

A stack of red beets and a stack of purple beets
Photograph: Flickr/Robert Couse-Baker/CC

3. Midtown Farmers Market

A central locale and year-round schedule make this dog-friendly market a popular way to spend Saturday mornings (8am–1pm). Against a backdrop of live music, you’ll shop nearly 100 food vendors and artisans including creative refreshers at Wheel Lemonade, Belgian waffles from VolksWaffle, and Cookie Bomb’s impossibly cute macarons (thankfully, small seating areas are scattered throughout the market). There’s also chef demos, a play area for kids, and a bike valet to stash your wheels. Plus, the adjacent MARRS building features more shops and eateries with outdoor decks overlooking the market.

A pile of carrots, skinny end out
Photograph: Flickr/yooperann/CC

4. Oak Park Farmers Market

Regulars appreciate the small neighborhood feel of this laid-back market in Sacramento’s Oak Park neighborhood (May–October, 9am–1pm). You’ll find the usual assortment of fresh produce and flower vendors in addition to prepared foods such as tamales from Yolanda’s. There’s live music and kids activities every week, and you can attend cooking demos and classes like urban beekeeping and keeping chickens, presented by community members via the market’s Skill Swap. On your way to the market, grab a latte from Old Soul Coffeehouse located two blocks away.

The sweet cherries stall at the farmers market
Photograph: Flickr/Elaine Baker/CC

5. Cesar Chavez Plaza Farmers Market

Downtown lunch options increase exponentially during the summer thanks to this seasonal market held on Wednesdays from 10am–1:30pm. A fleet of food trucks roll in offering options such as bacon and ranch-laden chicken tacos from Drewski's Twisted Taco, brisket sandwiches from Post Oak Barbecue, and lamb and rice plates from the popular Gyro to Go. And don’t pass up a rosemary tangerine popsicle from market staple Wolfpops. There’s plenty of farm stands, too, so you can check off your grocery list before heading back to work. Plus, you can join a chef-led tour of the market with Grange Restaurant & Bar which culminates in a three-course lunch in their dining room across the street.

Fennel and artichokes on a farmers market table
Photograph: Flickr/Ecology Center/CC

6. North Natomas Farmers Market

Situated within North Natomas Regional Park, this low-key, neighborhood market offers a relaxed option to load up on groceries for the week. Despite the cozy footprint, you’ll find a variety of fresh produce, flowers, and dairy products including fresh eggs from The Natomas Farm, breads from Upper Crust Bakery, and a rainbow assortment of herbs and veggies from The ReFarmery. The market is open June through September each Saturday from 8am to noon. 

Two vendors selling vegetables and a woman speaking to them
Photograph: Flickr/Alan Krakauer/CC

7. Davis Farmers Market

Since 1976, this Saturday morning market (8am–1pm) has gathered the Davis community in the city’s Central Park. Under a sheltered pavillion, browse dozens of apple and pear varietals from Patrick’s Garden in nearby Apple Hill, and juicy pomegranates and pomegranate syrup from Good Humus, owned by UC Davis grads Jeff and Annie Main who helped found the Davis market. On warm days, slurp a handmade mango sticky rice popsicle from Fat Face. There’s also a Wednesday afternoon market whose hours shift depending upon the season, with summer being the most popular thanks to a buzzing beer and wine garden.

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