Seattle's Best Farmers' Markets
If you've been to Pike Place Market in the summer and walked its colorful, aromatic stalls of fresh flowers, berries, and peaches, and if you've had a great meal at a top-rated restaurant, then you know how obsessive Seattle is about its produce and ingredients.
The many neighborhood farmers’ markets throughout the city shape and define how Seattleites eat—from Ballard's year-round colorful and quirky bonanza on Ballard Avenue and Capitol Hill's miniature gem just off Broadway, to West Seattle's weekly bounty and Columbia City's midweek fresh fest. Spend an hour or two to peruse the produce—especially if you're here in the glorious summer months. You'll get a unique sense of each individual neighborhood, and be able to interact with some colorful local characters, as well as some of the best local suppliers and farmers. Children have a blast at farmers' markets, too—there's often a bluegrass band playing, cooking demonstrations, and samples galore.
Be sure to check online ahead of time to find out about the farmers' market you're planning to visit—there are more than we have room to list, and each one offers a special slice of neighborhood life and character. Dogs are allowed only at some of the markets. It's smart to bring a large basket or a reusable bag to carry your goods.
The Ballard Farmers’ Market is open every Sunday, rain or shine, from 10 am to 3 pm at Ballard Avenue, between 20th Avenue NW and N.W. Market Street. Loads of vendors—selling anything from eggs, apples, and greens to candles and hats—set up colorful, welcoming tents and stands. www.ballardfarmersmarket.wordpress.com
The University District Market Farmers’ Market is open every Saturday from 9 am to 2 pm, on University Way between N.E. 50th Street and N.E. 52nd Street. An understated elegance pervades here, with flowers and fine cheeses and meats. Come summertime, more than 60 farmers and vendors set up their goods, including a small food court with a selection of ready-to-eat foods. www.seattlefarmersmarkets.org
The West Seattle Farmers’ Market is open every Sunday from 10 am to 2 pm, and is located in the heart of the "West Seattle Junction" at California Avenue SW and S.W. Alaska Street. Going south on I–5, take the West Seattle Bridge exit, then continue to Fauntleroy Way. At the fourth light (S.W. Alaska), take a right. Fruit, vegetables, herbs, greens, cheeses, free-range chicken, cut flowers, and plants fill the tents here. www.seattlefarmersmarkets.org
The Columbia City Farmers’ Market is open on Wednesday, late spring through early fall, from 3 pm to 7 pm, at 37th Avenue South and South Edmunds. This southern neighborhood is absolutely darling—hit up the market for eggs, nuts, grains, poultry, berries, jams and more. www.seattlefarmersmarkets.org
The Broadway Farmers’ Market on Capitol Hill is open every Sunday, late spring through late fall, from 11 am to 3 pm, in front of Seattle Central Community College at Broadway and Pine. This small and lively market sports fresh produce, plus music, samples, and plenty of cut flowers. www.seattlefarmersmarkets.org
Parking and Planning
It's a good idea to arrive at any neighborhood farmers' market prepared to deal with lots of people. Many of the best markets in the city are set in calm areas that have plenty of residential streets nearby that have free parking, though you may need to walk a few blocks from your spot. Be sure to check street signs, as an increasing number of residential areas are seeing pay machines (though parking is always free on Sunday). Check online to find the market that is closest to you—part of the fun can be arriving on foot, as so many locals do. If you're staying Downtown, and have already hit up Pike Place Market, we recommend taking the light-rail up to Capitol Hill, and making your way on foot to the Broadway Farmers’ market—then you can wind your way back downhill to the Downtown core, or jump on the bus or into a cab. Cal Anderson Park, between Pine and Denny at 11th, is a good place to eat your berries and plan the rest of the day.
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