The arrival of spring and the promise of summer means an abundance of fresh produce and colorful blooms — and the return of some of New York’s finest farmers markets. If you’re new to the city and are looking for healthy alternatives to prepackaged supermarket fare, don’t miss these spectacular NYC farmers markets and greenmarkets.
1. Union Square Greenmarket
This impressive year-round greenmarket is a city icon, first opening in 1976 on the north side of Union Square Park. The Union Square Green Market is open Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 8 am until 6 pm. The sprawling market has grown to encompass the west side of the park, as well, with up to 140 vendors plying their goods during peak season. Over 60,000 New Yorkers shop the Union Square Greenmarket each day, so come prepared to compete for the most popular offerings.
Local greenmarket favorites include:
- Flying Pigs Farm, which offers delicious sausages, succulent chops, tender pork roasts, home-cured bacon, and a variety of comfort foods like pork belly, smoked hocks, and lard made from free range heritage pigs.
- Tamarack Hollow Farm, which sells certified organic, pesticide and fungicide-free vegetables and greens grown in Plainsfield, Vermont. They also sell farm-fresh eggs and some meats.
- Painted Goat Farm, which specializes in artisanal fresh and aged goat cheeses from goats raised in upstate New York.
The Union Square Greenmarket also offers cooking demonstrations and special events showcasing locally sourced produce. You can even pick up a greenmarket cookbook. Check the website before you visit to see which vendors are in and out.
2. Park Slope Down to Earth Farmers Market
This quaint Brooklyn neighborhood farmers market is open year-round on Sundays from 10 am until 4 pm (3 pm in January and February) and is managed by Community Markets. It’s located on the corner of 4th Street and 5th Avenue; if your vehicle is in storage or you don’t want to drive on New York’s chaotic streets, take the BMT Fourth Avenue line to the Fourth Avenue/Ninth Street Station and walk a few blocks north to Washington Park and the farmers market.
Don’t miss these popular vendor stalls:
- American Pride Seafood, which offers a tantalizing array of fresh seafood including skate, monk fish, sole, tuna, clams, mussels, scallops, and even squid.
- Doctor Pickle serves up delicious sweet and sour pickles, authentic giardiniera, sauerkraut, pickled olives, pickled mushrooms, and even pickled tomatoes.
- Stone and Thistle Farm sells a lovely selection of honeys, goat milk yogurt and cheeses, jams, jellies, chutneys, and fresh pork, poultry, and lamb products.
Look for summer cooking and food preparation demonstrations; Community Markets was awarded a grant to demonstrate canning techniques at its farmer’s markets.
3. Jackson Heights Greenmarket
This diverse greenmarket is open year-round and is the busiest in Queens. Open on Sundays from 8 am to 3 pm (2 pm during the winter seasons), this greenmarket has an amazing variety of specialty Mexican produce. The Jackson Heights Greenmarket reflects the diversity of this vibrant Queens neighborhood and attracts residents, visitors, couples, and families to its bustling Travers Park location. There’s even a “play street” on 78th, designated by Friends of Travers Park for kid-friendly activities on market days.
Jackson Heights Greenmarket features these excellent vendors:
- Hot Bread Kitchen serves up fresh baked artisanal ethnic breads and fresh tortillas from its New York County kitchen.
- Nature's Way Farm brings the finest honey and honey products including soap, lip balm, and even bee pollen.
- Maynard Farms and Orchards offers a delicious selection of apples, pumpkins, peaches, plums, pears, and nectarines throughout the year.
The Jackson Heights Greenmarket is located on 34th Avenue at 77th Street and is accessible by both bus and train. Don’t miss on fun activities, such as live music, recipe exchanges, and cooking demonstrations.
4. Grand Army Plaza Greenmarket
Grand Army Plaza Greenmarket is the second largest greenmarket after Union Square, and by far the largest in Brooklyn. This year-round market is open every Saturday from 8 am to 4 pm. In addition to its tempting assortment of vendor stalls, the Grand Army Plaza Greenmarket features live music by local artists, cooking demonstrations, educational sessions showcasing various produce, and family friendly activities that draw a diverse mix of shoppers.
Look for these Grand Army standouts:
- Castello di Borghese Vineyard, voted the best winery on Long Island, offers their signature Founder’s Field Sauvignon Blanc and Barrel Fermented Pinot Noir, in addition to its Meritage, Riesling, and Bianco di Pinot Noir.
- Evolutionary Organics sells a selection of plants and produce including heirloom tomatoes (over 30 varieties), hot pepper plants, arugula, and fresh and dried herbs.
- Lavender by the Bay is premier NY lavender farm and offers products like dried lavender, tea, essential oils, soap, and more.
The Grand Army Plaza Greenmarket is located near the entrance to Prospect Park and is just minutes from the Brooklyn Public Library, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, and the Brooklyn Museum.
5. Fulton Stall Market
The Fulton Stall Market is located in South Street Seaport, the oldest market district in the city. This indoor farmers market is open daily from 11:30 am to 6 pm. The outdoor market is open Sunday's between May and December. Opened in spring 2009, the Fulton Stall Market embodies the farm-to-table movement.
Favorite Fulton Stall producers include:
- Amuse Pooch, which offers all-natural treats for your furry friend.
- Beth’s Farm Kitchen offers home-made jams, jellies, pickles, salsas, mustards, marmalades, chutneys, and sauces made with locally grown produce.
- Sweet Vegan offers vegan chocolates that also include real fruit and fresh ingredients for a new way to experience chocolate.
The Fulton Stall Market has movie screenings, chef demos, and other fun events on the weekend, as well. Take the subway to Fulton Street or Broadway-Nassau and walk toward the East River.
Moving to the big city doesn’t mean giving up on a slice of country life. Visit these five farmers markets for an afternoon of family-friendly activities, cooking tips, and fabulous regional produce and local gourmet goodies.