The first few weeks of the fall are always so bittersweet. As summer slowly starts to slip away we half want to cling with all of our might to all the deliciousness of the sunshiny season; peaches as sweet as candy, tomatoes so plump and rosy you want to eat them like an apple, and the lovely way that the warmth of the day lingers on long after the sun has set. Yet, at the same time another part of us is giddy at the thought of all things fall; dressing in layers, planning for holiday meals, pumpkin carving, apple picking, and slow cooked comfort foods that warm the house and your belly. The past few days you can feel fall beginning to sneak up on summer. There are pumpkin patches popping up in parking lots, baskets of brightly colored berries have been replaced with persimmons and pears at the farmers market, and there is a new crispness to the morning and evening air that was most definitely not there a week ago. Rather than lament the loss of summer it’s time to embrace the new season full on and one of my favorite ways to do that is by visiting my local farmers market!
In my thirty (ahem) plus years here in San Diego I have lived in a handful of neighborhoods around our fine city and each one has most happily had nearby a farmers market. Depending upon what you are looking for some may be better for your own personal shopping needs than others but in my book the farmers markets in San Diego are among the best out there! I have though through the years naturally developed a list of my most favorites. Leading the pack of course is the Saturday Little Italy Market which provides not only a one stop shop for most of your food needs but also has a fabulous selection of local arts, crafts, and even when you are not looking to shop for anything in particular always provides a most enjoyable place to spend a Saturday morning, meandering about with friends and family enjoying whatever delightful sunny season it currently happens to be in San Diego. In my heart I also hold a soft spot for the Sunday Hilllcrest Market which I lived nearby for several years and offers a great array of fruits, veggies, and other locally produced foods and stands as well as a great spot to go to for a grazing Sunday brunch. Wednesday nights the Ocean Beach Market is a fun place to go and take in the uniquely OB San Diego beach culture and again is another fun spot for a gazing/walking meal alfresco. There is also the Tuesday Pacific Beach Market, Saturday Vista Market, Sunday Leucadia Market… depending upon what part of San Diego you live in there is likely a market nearby or at least within a short driving distance. As convenient as grocery stores are sometimes for your food good needs there really is so much more joy to be found in shopping at the local farmers market. In terms of celebrating the summer to fall transition what better way to find inspiration for comfort meals that pair perfectly with cooler weather than by surrounding yourself with the bounty of the season!? As a new homeowner (whaa I bought a house!? I know!! Bloggy post on that coming soon I swear!) My most recent favorite farmers market is in my newish neighborhood of North Park.
The North Park Thursday Market in my experienced farmers marketing book is the ideal neighborhood weeknight market and offers a perfect balance of prepared foods, fresh fruits and veggies, local edible and dry goods, music, and a plethora of friendly neighborhood faces to run into. The Thursday market runs 3pm-7:30pm Thursday evenings at 3000 North Park Way. Hopefully I will see you there sometime, happy shopping all! xoxo