13 top farmers’ markets to visit around the Sacramento region

Images at left by Nicholas Wray; Midtown Farmers Market image by True Love Photo

With many of the farmers' markets in the Sacramento region kicking off in May, we’ve rounded up some of our favorites, both ongoing and seasonal. Here's a fresh list of where to shop till you chop in and around the Farm-to-Fork Capital of America.

Old Town Auburn's Farmers' Market

The foothills are known for their fresh produce and irresistible citrus products, such as mandarin marmalade from Newcastle’s Twin Peaks Orchards, and you can find all of that and more at Old Town Auburn’s farmers’ market. Plus, shop for Alpaca rugs, socks and yarn from Auburn’s Fair Winds Alpacas, and Japanese maple trees and pottery from High Hand Nursery in Loomis. Saturdays year-round. 8 a.m.-noon. Old Town Courthouse Parking Lot. Auburn-Folsom Rd. at Lincoln Way. Auburn. foothillfarmersmarket.com

Capitol Mall Farmers' Market

During Thursday lunch hours this spring and summer, Capitol Mall will be lined with shoppers, farm stands and food trucks. With plans of expansion this year, approximately 20 vendors—including Lodi’s Rhythm & Blueberries and Clarksburg winery Heringer Estates—will accompany 14 hot food stands across the street. Nosh on garlic naan from Raja’s Tandoor, get messy with Big Joe’s BBQ or check out any of the rotating food trucks that stop by each week: Drewski’s Hot Rod Kitchen will roll in on May 7, followed by Azteca Street Tacos, Krush Burger, Cecil’s Taste and Fuzion Eatz in following weeks. Thursdays from May 7 through Sept. 24. 10 a.m.-1:30 p.m Capitol Mall. Between 5th and 5th Streets. california-grown.com

Davis Farmers' Market

More than 70 regional purveyors make up the Davis market, selling everything from fresh smoothies by Bare Juices to Asian vegetables from Stockton’s Busalacchi Farms and homegrown wine from Dixon-based Purple Pearl Vineyards. On Wednesday evenings, the farmers' market hosts “Picnic in the Park," featuring a beer and wine garden, live music from local bands and an international food fair. Kids can get their face painted and hang out with Dilly Dally the Clown, or head over to the rock climbing wall while parents shop and stroll. Saturdays year-round (8 a.m.-1 p.m.); Wednesdays through Oct. 28 (4:30-8:30 p.m.) Central Park. 4th and C streets. Davis. davisfarmersmarket.org

Fair Oaks Sunset Farmers' Makrket

Make a stop at this farmers’ market for certified organic, locally grown fruits and veggies, as well as artisan cheeses, breads, pastries, salsas and raw honey. Indulge in Emma’s tamales made with pumpkin or seafood (real crab, shrimp and scallops), or browse dozens of Sunny California Soap Company’s handcrafted soaps. In addition to over 30 vendors, a craft fair and live music (jazz, R&B, folk and indie rock) liven up this midweek market. Wednesdays through Nov. 25. 3-7:30 p.m. 8101 Sunset Ave. Fair Oaks. ilovemyfarmersmarket.com

Florin Mall Farmers' Market

Let your palate explore the ethnic specialties that this diverse Thursday farmers’ market has to offer—including fresh chayote, black-eyed peas and sugar canes. The more than 40 vendors on hand offer one of the largest selections of Asian fruits and vegetables across California's certified farmers’ markets. Thursdays year-round. 8 a.m.-noon. Florin Mall Sears parking lot. Florin Rd. & 65th St. california-grown.com

Historic Folsom Farmers' Market

Park your bike at the complimentary valet and stroll through the over 60 vendors that occupy the streets of downtown Folsom. Relax during the on-site chair massages or reboot with cold-pressed berverages from WholeHearted Juice Co. Frenchy’s Waffles food truck rolls through every weekend, with authentic Belgian Liège waffles topped with local organic fruits and whipped cream. Other features include chef demonstrations every third Saturday, a health and fitness fair on May 30 and a peach festival on July 4. Saturdays year-round. 8 a.m.-1 p.m. 915 Sutter St. Folsom. ilovemyfarmersmarket.com

Land Park Farmers' Market

Sacramento welcomed a new market to the scene last November. This location of over 60 sellers is a one-stop shop for prepared foods, fresh produce, baked goods, flowers and charcuterie. Grab white truffle cashew spread from The Cultured Kitchen, fresh and dried fruits from Turlock’s Cipponeri Family Farms or jujube fruits from Strutz Ranch in Sloughhouse. The season’s events include wine and food pairings, and a tomato taste-off on Aug. 30. Sundays year-round. 9 a.m.-1 p.m. May 3 & 10: 1944 Sutterville Rd. Starting May 17: Sacramento City College parking lot (4001 21st St.). ilovemyfarmersmarket.com

Midtown Sacramento Farmers' Market

Enjoy free bike valet and 60 certified organic farmers, local growers and more offering a diverse array of items like aromatic lavender bunches from Garden Valley’s Purple Oak Lavender Farm, lychee sage kombucha by local brewer Zeal, and eco-friendly accessories by Humble Seed Jewelry. Groove out every first Saturday at the market’s Lettuce Turnip the Beet event, take advantage of the extended crafters’ area every second Saturday and meet your local farmers at the end of every month at Know Your Grow. Other activities include tasting gardens, cooking demonstrations and kid-focused farm tours. Saturdays year-round. 8 a.m.-1p.m. 20th St. (between J and K). midtownfarmersmarketsac.com

Oak Park Farmers' Market

To celebrate the newly renovated McClatchy Park, a festival will kick off the farmers’ market season on opening day May 2. After gathering fresh produce, enjoy your market goods on a blanket from 1-7 p.m. at Picnic in the Park, with live music, food trucks, a beer garden, spoken word, face painting, volley ball, a trackless train for kids and more. Also new this summer will be a Food for Thought chef series—featuring Ed Roehr of Magpie Café on May 9—which will invite local farm-to-fork chefs for cooking demos, and a kids’ pop-up library called the Book Nook. Sat. from May 2 through Nov. 28. 9 a.m.-1 p.m. McClatchy Park. 35th St. & 5th Ave. facebook.com/OakParkFarmersMarket

Sacramento Central Farmers' Market

Beneath the WX freeway lies the city’s oldest largest markets, which will soon be enlivened by the Bright Underbelly mural set to be completed this summer. Shoppers should plan to arrive early in the morning to make the most of their time at this fresh food showcase bustling with over 120 vendors. Find rare rinds like the Tipsy Cow—a fruity spice cheese with a purple outer layer—from Orland-based Pedrozo Dairy & Cheese Co. and summer squash and gourds from West Sacramento’s Vierra Farms. Complete with desserts, flowers, breads, meats and an abundance of Asian produce, exploring this market will become your favorite Sunday ritual. Sundays year-round. 8 a.m.-noon. 8th & W Streets. california-grown.com

Sunrise Station Farmers' Market

BYOB (bring your own bag) to this bustling light rail station on Saturdays and fill it up with freshly made olive oil by Sacramento’s Bariani Olive Oil, Golden Oyster mushrooms from Dragon Gourmet in Sloughhouse or honey roasted walnuts and orange honey almonds from Salle Orchards in Wheatland. While live music fills the open air, sample baked goods from the Sacramento Baking Company, and grab a giant cinnamon roll—or two—to go. Saturdays year-round. 8 a.m.-noon. Sunrise Light Rail Station. Folsom & Sunrise Blvd. Rancho Cordova. california-grown.com

West Sacramento Farmers' Market

In addition to nearly 25 vendors and popular food trucks (like Culinerdy Cruzer, Dog Town and Local Kine Shave Ice), this market is packed with activities. Expect family fun at the Kids Zone with bounce houses and live music (every first Thursday), check in with your local microbreweries like Bike Dog and Yolo Brewing Company at What’s Hoppening (every second Thursday), and learn drought-friendly DIY projects at the Good Living event (every third Thursday). Each last Thursday of the month features DigIn!, a three-course farm-to-fork dinner crafted by a local chef. This year's lineup will include Broderick’s chef-owner Chris Jarosz (May 28), chef Randall Selland (June 25), Dos Coyotes’ head chef Mark Casale (July 23) and chef Patrick Mulaney (Aug. 27). Thursdays from May 7 through Aug. 27. 4:30 p.m. until dusk. 1110 W. Capitol Ave. West Sacramento. westsacramentofarmersmarket.com

Woodland Farmers' Market

This twice-weekly gathering takes over Main Street with live music, face painting and, on Saturday mornings from 10-11 a.m., workout classes—including yoga, zumba, martial arts and boot camps. In addition to organic produce from the likes of Woodland’s Pacific Star Gardens and Eckhoff Ranch and Olivehurst’s Dhillon Farm, the month of May is lined up with activities with a different focus each weekend: Fiber Day (May 9), Olive Oil Day (May 16), Rice Day (May 23) and Chalk the Block Day (May 30). Tuesdays from June 2 through August 25: 4:30-7 p.m. Woodland Healthcare. 1325 Cottonwood St. Saturdays from May 9 through mid-October: 9 a.m.-noon. Downtown Woodland. Main St. thewoodlandfarmersmarket.org