Eat and shop your way through these 10 great farmers’ markets around the region

Photo courtesy of Oak Park Farmers' Market

Spring has sprung, and farmers' markets are back in a big way. Here are 10 of our favorites to eat, drink and shop your way through right here in America's Farm-to-Fork Capital.

Capitol Mall Farmers’ Market

Smack-dab between the State Capitol and the Tower Bridge, this Capitol Mall farmers’ market gets lively during Thursday lunch hours as hungry downtowners line up in front of food trucks like Drewski’s Hot Rod Kitchen, Cecil’s Taste and Azteca Street Tacos for the ultimate midday recharge. At 11:45 a.m., join the crowd for the weekly 1-mile walk through Downtown Commons or get your dinner shopping done by picking up some pesticide-free tomatoes from Oroville-based Scott Lawrence Farms or baby eggplants and giant butternut squash from Clarksburg’s Loving Nature Farm. Thursdays from May 3 to Sept. 27. 10 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Capitol Mall between 5th and 6th Streets. 916-442-8575.

Carmichael Park Farmers’ Market

Every Sunday, market-goers storm Carmichael Park as it hosts over 100 vendors, boasting a lineup of specialty products and fresh organics. Look for Fair Oaks' Cherry Hills Farm to help get your summer garden started with vegetable seeds and tomato planters, sample The Cultured Kitchen’s selections of dairy-free cashew cheeses, or taste Turlock-based Cipponeri Family Farms’ seasonal harvest of peaches, nectarines and Crenshaw melons, as well as River City Jerky Works’ semi-spicy sriracha bacon jerky. Sundays year-round. 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Carmichael Park. 5750 Grant Ave. Carmichael. 916-484-7000.

Cesar Chavez Plaza Farmers’ Market

This bustling market showcases some of the region’s best right in the heart of downtown. Pick up everything from lettuce grown at Shared Abundance Organic Farm in Auburn and fresh strawberries from V & M Farms in Monterey to jars of sweet raw honey from Sola Bee Farms in Woodland. Every other Wednesday beginning on June 6, the new executive chef of Grange Restaurant & Bar, Dane Blom, leads a guided tour of the market called "Follow the Chef," before returning to the restaurant across the street for a special three-course meal ($45 per person, with details here). Wednesdays from May 2 to Oct. 31. 10 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Cesar Chavez Plaza. 910 I St. 916-442-8575.

Photo courtesy of Downtown Sacramento Partnership

Davis Farmers’ Market

Shop, dance and dine under the sun and stars at this farmers’ market, which USA Today ranked as one of the 10 best in the nation in 2015. The twice-weekly market offers Capay Organic’s farm-grown eggplants, kumquats, lavender and persimmons, as well as seasonal, sweet figs from Winters’ Everything Under the Sun farm. Bring your own blanket and chairs for Wednesday's "Picnic in the Park" series, where you can pick up a cream cheese coffee cake from Davis Bread & Desserts or a rice plate with braised pork belly and a fried egg from Open Rice Kitchen while one of the 33 bands scheduled for the season serenade you. Saturdays year-round (8 a.m.-1 p.m.); Wednesdays from March 14 to Oct. 24 (4:30-8:30 p.m.). Central Park. 301 C St. Davis. 630-756-1695.

Historic Folsom Farmers’ Market

More than 70 local vendors gather every Saturday morning at this farmer’s market in historic downtown Folsom, which features products like freshly collected eggs from Orangevale’s Common Kettle Farm and organic coffee beans from Bravo Coffee Bar (try its decadent, one-of-a-kind maple cream iced coffee). Look for Sacramento-based Greg Dorris’ handmade wooden wine boxes and lazy Susans, or de-stress at one of the onsite massage chairs as live music from local bands plays in the background. Saturdays year-round. 8 a.m.-1 p.m. Historic Folsom Plaza. 915 Sutter St. 916-484-7000.

Midtown Farmers’ Market

A favorite among chefs like Patrick Mulvaney of Mulvaney’s B&L and Rick Mahan of The Waterboy, this lively farmers’ market takes over the 20th Street block between J and L every Saturday, featuring more than 50 vendors, including Spring Hill Cheese from Petaluma with its Monterey, Colby and years-long aged cheddar cheeses to Zuckerman Family Farms in Stockton, who grows a variety of red, yellow and purple potatoes. Groove to live music from local artists every last Saturday and bring your tots to the kids’ area every third Saturday for the various activities provided by Sol Collective. Saturdays year-round. 8 a.m.-1p.m. 20th St. between J and L Streets. 916-442-1500.

Photo courtesy of Midtown Farmers' Market

Oak Park Farmers’ Market

Starting its ninth season at McClatchy Park, this farmers’ market brings out a bevy of local organic produce like crossbred heirloom and ambrosia melons from R. Kelly Farms, Asian veggies like bok choys and taro roots from Moua's Farm, as well as non-pasteurized raw milk and Gouda cheese from Stuyt Dairy Farmstead Cheese Co. Market-goers can also start their weekend off with a free yoga class at the park, watch a cooking competition—where kids and professional chefs pair up to present mouthwatering dishes—and learn about the arts of beekeeping, garden design and fruit preservation from local experts. Saturdays from May 5 to Oct. 27. 9 a.m.-1 p.m. McClatchy Park. 3500 5th Ave. 916-452-5356.

Old Town Elk Grove Farmers’ Market

At this Sunday market, shoppers can find more than just fresh produce. In addition to the artichokes and carrots from Watsonville’s RHJ Organic, browse through stand after stand of other specialty vendors like Naturiffic in Folsom and its gourmet cooking salt mixes and pure essential oil for aroma therapy, or pick up a plant-based burger or taco from Healthy Nut Hut. Elk Grove’s own Garlish will have its ready-to-eat garlic spreads and ZellyMarz Fine Candy, a local "farm-to-fork candy" maker, will offer sweet treats like macarons and chocolate truffles. Sundays year-round (9 a.m.-1 p.m. until June 30; 8 a.m.-Noon from July 1 to Aug. 31). 9615 Railroad St. Elk Grove. 916-484-7000.

Sacramento Central Farmers’ Market

Located under the expansive Bright Underbelly mural, which was painted on the underside of Hwy 50 in 2016, this Sunday market spreads out over 70,000 square feet as hundreds of locals show up to peruse some of the best produce in the area. Arrive early to scoop up handfuls of Stockton-based Lagorio farm’s Burlat cherries before they run out, stock up on J&J Ramos’ sweet seedless mandarins, or pick up small bags of shiitake, portobello and oyster mushrooms from Vacaville’s Solano Mushroom Farm. While you shop, keep an eye out for local chefs like Kurt Spataro of the Paragary Restaurant Group and Randall Selland of Selland Family Restaurants, two of the market’s most loyal customers. Sundays year-round. 8 a.m.-Noon. 8th and W Streets. 916-688-0100.

West Sacramento Farmers’ Market

The Sacramento River serves as a serene backdrop for this market, which hosts more than 20 vendors at the West Sacramento River Walk Plaza. On offer, you'll find fresh vegetables from Yanez Farms, organic olive oil from Lodi’s Olive Drop Olive Oil Co. On-the-go West Sacramentans can also grab Philly cheesesteak sandwiches from one of the hot food stands or quick bites from food trucks like Hefty Gyros and India Jones. Tuesdays beginning May 5. 9 a.m.-1 p.m. River Walk Plaza. 200 Waterfront St. West Sacramento. 916-484-7000.

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