Farmers Markets in San Diego

San Diego farmers are an incredible group of people. Their hard work means that people around the nation have access to quality honey, avocados, eggs, limes, and more. Not only that, but they provide an attractive option to local restaurants and home chefs who want to source their ingredients from more sustainable suppliers. 

As anyone who lives here knows, it’s great to have access to all these foods fresh from the farm when you go to local farmers markets. If you’re really lucky, you live within blocks to one and you don’t even have to look for parking!

What is a farmers market? 

A farmers market is an open-air market where farmers, artisans, crafters, food trucks, local cooks, and more all go to sell their handmade, farm-grown, and handcrafted wares to the public. Vendors rent space and bring their tents, tables, and supplies to get their products in front of thousands of people a week. A typical farmers market in San Diego is divided into two sections; one section has booths with wares including local farm-fresh veggies, artisanal honey, local cheeses and meats, imported oils and vinegars, baked goods, kombucha, and hand-made apparel. The other section is where you’ll find food stalls. Typical food options at a farmers market in San Diego include Vietnamese iced coffee, organic smoothies, breakfast sandwiches, stuffed hashbrowns, gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches, crêpes, gyros, vegan Buddha bowls, East African sambusas, Hawaiian poke, and even fresh sea urchin!

Is it cheaper to shop at a farmers market?

Yes. No. Maybe. Shopping at a farmers market gives you access to local food that is fresh from the farm. There are many reasons to visit your local farmer’s market. Some farmers pick food the morning of the market or the day before to ensure you get the highest quality fruits and vegetables possible. The pricing for this is typically a little higher than the grocery store. Although, some non-food vendors may sell their products a little cheaper than they would online because there are less fees to pay.

Can you haggle at a farmers market?

Many business owners at the farmers market are willing to give a little bit of a price break if you buy more of an item at one time. For example, a pint of strawberries could cost $5, but if you buy two pints, the pricing might be closer to $8. If you really want a deal, wait until the end of the day, when many farmers want to get rid of their old produce to make room for new.

Where to park at a farmers market 

If you plan to drive to a farmers market in San Diego, there will be different parking options at each of the farmer’s markets. See below to find out where to park at each location. Other alternatives include taking public transportation or riding a bicycle. And it’s not unheard of for a local to ride a skateboard to their local market.

How to sell at a farmers market?

Selling at a farmers market in San Diego means you need to have the right credentials. Food producers need to be inspected and pass the inspection with a certificate from the County Department of Agriculture, Weights and Measures Office. Many markets also require vendors to have liability insurance and other business credentials. Some of the most important supplies to buy include a tent—like the ones from Instent Industries— a credit card processing solution, tables, signage, and a chair to sit on if you can get a moment.

The Top Farmers Markets in San Diego to Visit

 Spend your morning or afternoon perusing these San Diego farmers markets to find fresh fruit and vegetables, grass-fed and organic meats, pasture-raised eggs, unique gifts, flowers, and so much more. With more than 6,000 farmers in the region, you’re sure to find something delicious to feast on, and something amazing to bring home.

Little Italy Farmers Market

 

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Little Italy Farmers Market (@littleitalymercato)

Little Italy is known for its delicious foods, smells, and sights that bring you into the Old World while walking through San Diego. They host a weekly farmers market in San Diego where people can purchase fresh olive oil, supplies to make a delicious Italian meal, fresh-baked bread, paninis, handmade jewelry, and refreshing lemonades to go. Little Italy is a delightful walk with authentic Italian restaurants, boutiques, and more. 

  • Day & Time: Saturday 8 a.m. – 2 p.m.
  • Parking: Parking for the Little Italy Farmers Market is easy when you use one of the many surrounding parking garages. There is one located at 601 Ash Street and offers interior parking for only $5 per vehicle including all-day Saturday and Sunday. Street parking is limited outside the bounds of the market at metered spots.
  • Address: 501 W. Date Street from Kettner Blvd. to Front St., San Diego, CA 92101

Hillcrest Farmers Market

 

 
 
 
 
 
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The Hillcrest Farmers Market is the original farmer’s market in San Diego. It is also the largest and boasts over 175 vendors. Many vendors offer exquisite selections of international foods and ingredients to make your next meal a true foodie haven. With vendors offering locally grown organic produce, you’ll be able to find many options that fit your pesticide free lifestyle. Hillcrest Farmers Market also features incredible craftsmen who make one-of-a-kind pieces for your home. Parking here is simple because it’s Sunday! This means that all parking is free at the meters or one of the designated free lots. This market is also open year-round including on Christmas and New Year’s.

  • Day & Time: Sunday 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. 
  • Parking: You’ll find 300 FREE Spaces at the School District Parking Lot on Campus Ave. Additionally, there are 153 FREE spots available at the Hillcrest DMV at 3960 Normal Street. 
  • Address: 3960 Normal St Intersection of Normal and Lincoln San Diego, CA 92103

Carlsbad Village Farmers Market

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Swing by the Carlsbad Farmers Market in San Diego on your way home from work. Their mid-week market means you’ll always have something fresh to cook with. Whether you come for fresh-baked cookies, or tart and tasty fermented pickles, there is something for everyone at this weekly farmers market in San Diego. If you’re looking for a bouquet of flowers, Carlsbad Village Farmers Market vendors have you covered. They are known for their extraordinary variety of beautiful arrangements that you can take home each week.

  •  Day & Time: Wednesday 2:30 p.m. – 7 p.m.
  • Parking: Hunt for spaces in the Village, because they are there. There are also spaces available in one of the public parking lots within just 2 blocks of the market. Make sure you remove your car from State Street starting at 1 p.m. to make room for the market.
  • Address: State Street at 2965 Roosevelt St, Carlsbad, CA 92008

Ocean Beach Farmers Market

 

 
 
 
 
 
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People come to the Ocean Beach Farmers Market in San Diego for the local music, the handpicked fruits, and the unique beach vibe. Guests will walk the market on their evening stroll, they’ll come from the beach in their bathing suits, and find local honey, flowers, food truck style meals, and more.

  • Day & Time: Wednesday 2 p.m. – 8 p.m. 
  • Parking: There are many affordable parking spaces in the area. The best option is to use Park Connect to find a spot. Additionally, for those requiring ADA parking, you can find it at Union Bank, located at 1858 Cable St, San Diego, CA 92107. 
  • Address: 4900 Newport Avenue between Cable and Bacon Streets, San Diego, CA, 92107

La Jolla Open Aire Farmers Market

 

 
 
 
 
 
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What makes the La Jolla Farmers Market in San Diego special is their connection to the community. The vendors at this market are like family, but the market does something unique each week. All proceeds from the market benefit La Jolla Elementary School and help to fund the arts, music, additional classroom teachers and more. The farmers and vendors who sell here bring their best meats, honey, fruit, vegetables, and more. You’ll also enjoy free parking because this market is on Sunday.

  •  Day & Time: Sunday 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. 
  • Parking: There are many affordable parking spaces in the area. The best option is to use Park Connect to find a spot. Additionally, for those requiring ADA parking, you can find it at Union Bank, located at 1858 Cable St, San Diego, CA 92107. 
  • Address: 7335 Girard Avenue La Jolla, CA 92037 at the corner of Girard Avenue and Center Street

Mission Hills Farmers Market

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Designed to be a local neighborhood market, you will find a small, curated selection of around 20 different vendors at the Mission Hills Farmers Market in San Diego. Say hello to neighbors and choose from a local produce, unique cupcakes, and more. The relaxed vibe will help you discover new things and easily find your favorites.

  •  Day & Time: Wednesday 3 p.m. – 6 p.m. 
  • Parking: Park anywhere on neighboring streets where there is a meter or at a local public parking lot. 
  • Address: Falcon Street (between Fort Stockton and Washington), San Diego, CA 92103

North Park Farmers Market

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Bring home the catch of the day with fresh seafood at the North Park Farmers Market. They also offer vendors featuring cheeses, salts, fresh honey, and local chef demonstrations and food. With more than 65 vendors, this farmers market is a fan favorite in San Diego. The live music adds a festival flair to the weekly market and people enjoy shopping the vendors whether rain or shine.

  • Day & Time: Thursday 3 p.m. – 7 p.m. 
  • Parking: Parking at the North Park Farmers Market can be limited. Get there early to ensure you get a spot. The local North Park Garage has some parking options as well as neighboring streets at meters.
  • Address: Located between 29th and Ray Street on North Park Way, San Diego, CA 92104 

Pacific Beach Farmers Market

 

 
 
 
 
 
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With a location right by the beach, you can get some fun in the sun and stop by the market on your way home. The Pacific Beach Farmers Market in San Diego is known for its wide selection of seafood, vegan soups, and organic produce. Neighbors love to shop, socialize, and explore this local market.

  • Day & Time: Tuesday 2 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. 
  • Parking: Parking can be found on the street at meters or at parking garages. The cheapest parking around is located at 1245 Garnet Avenue.
  • Address: 901 Garnet Avenue, San Diego, CA 92109

Imperial Beach Farmers Market

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Imperial Beach, or “I.B.,” as the locals call it, has a reputation for being one of the most laid-back beach towns in all of Southern California. It’s also the most southwesterly city in the continental United States. Take advantage of the relaxed vibes by visiting the Imperial Beach Farmers Market on Thursdays, and stick around to watch the sunset over the Pacific Ocean.

  • Day & Time: Thursday 2 p.m. – 6 p.m. (open until 7 p.m. during the summer)
  • Parking: Parking can be found on the street in the surrounding area
  •  Address: Seacoast Drive Pier Plaza, 10 Evergreen Ave., Imperial Beach, CA 91932

Conclusion

No matter where you work or live in San Diego, there is a farmers market nearby. Whether you go for the food, the music, to say hello to friends, there are infinite reasons to visit your local farmers market. Find your favorites and try something new at the farmers market in San Diego.

About the author: Kristi Crosson is a writer, photographer, and farmer. She and her family raise chickens and rabbits and they are attempting to grow herbs as well. Her favorite part about summer is the time in the evening when the fireflies light up the fields with their luminescent glow. You can find her at KristiCrosson.com.

The banner photo of the Little Italy Farmers Market in this article is from IG user @mikireaume.

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