The state capital of Sacramento (aka the Farm-to-Fork Capital) has an appealing collection of farmers markets sponsored by the Certified Farmers Markets of Sacramento County organization. The one held at the intersection of W and 8th streets on Sundays—one of the largest certified farmers markets in the entire state—cleverly utilizes the cool shade provided by a freeway overpass, and is filled with growers offering their bounties. Think of it as a taste experience ranging from the exotic to the familiar, with fresh Thai lemongrass, black Spanish radishes, and Tokyo turnips sitting right next to fat tomatoes, mounds of juicy berries, and takeaway foods like fresh pastries and golden waffles. There are also seafood vendors with fish, shellfish, and occasionally live crabs and crawfish.
While the main farmers market offers the classic California farm-to-table market experience, just three blocks away there’s another—the Asian Farmers Market—that’s geared toward a different purpose: to supply the city’s Asian community with the vegetables it needs for a typical meal, such as stir fries and curries, in both restaurants and homes. Come with plenty of small bills and be ready to squeeze around shoppers and outdoor stalls packed with a wide array of veggies. Napa cabbage, bok choy, daikon, sugar cane, a variety of keerai (murungai, paruppu, soambu, etc.), long beans… you’ll leave with bags brimming and change in your pocket (the Asian Farmers Market is famous for its value).
Can’t make it on a Sunday? For a list of other farmers markets in the Sacramento area covering every day of the week, check the Certified Farmers Markets of Sacramento County’s market times and locations page.
Useful info: The hours of both the main farmers market and the Asian Farmers Market are 8 a.m. to noon, and both are open year round. Especially at the Asian market, it’s best to arrive as early as possible to get the best produce. There is ample street parking within a few blocks.