By Roni Hidalgo
You’ll find plenty of produce, flowers, even crafts that are unavailable or rare in other parts of the U.S., but bring cash with you –including small bills– as only a few vendors at each market may accept credit cards, and vendors may run out of change before the day ends.
Coral Gables Farmers’ Market
You can really get a feel for the locals of affluent Coral Gables at this market, which has young and old, parents with children and pets in tow all walking the streets, socializing and buying their week’s fresh groceries.
Standouts: Not only can you buy locally grown fruits and vegetables, fresh coffee and baked goods, but Coral Gables Farmers’ Market features a wonderful bulk herb stand straight out of an eastern bazaar, where you can select individual spices and skillfully blended fragrant mixes for Indian and Italian dishes. There are activities for adults and kids between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m., so get inspired before you shop the market with cooking demos from local chefs, gardening workshops and children’s entertainment.
Tips: You can have a picnic under the beautiful shady trees adjacent to the market, but don’t forget your sunglasses and sunscreen, as there isn’t much shade while walking much of the market itself.
405 Biltmore Way (in front of City Hall)
When: Runs mid-January through March 26th. Saturdays, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Parking: There is plenty of parking surrounding the market, but make sure to bring quarters; Coral Gables still uses coin meters along Andalusia Ave.
Pinecrest Gardens Green Market
Pinecrest Farmers Market has blossomed into one of Miami’s best farmers markets. It is a must-visit. This market brings together a plethora of local and organic growers and producers. Those who hunger for fresh, local, healthful foods and agricultural goods will have plenty of options to choose from here; everything you would desire in a farmers market and more. The vibe is friendly, diverse and full of energy and beautifully located under the magnificent banyan trees of Pinecrest Gardens parking lot, once the site of Miami’s Parrot Jungle, before the avian theme park was moved to Miami Beach.
Standouts: The first thing you will notice is the smell of fresh kettle popcorn. Sample and pick your favorite homemade guacamole (a must try) made by local Mexican families. Other offerings include honey, local and exotic fruit, and even olive oil and artisan breads. Learn how to grow an organic edible garden. There are plenty of food stands to choose from, including delicious homemade raw food, fresh crepes, conch fritters, and ribs — along with other non-alimentary attractions like shea butter stands and a booth with Tibetan teas, medicinal herbs and traditional remedy books.
Tips: Take your time in this market; there’s plenty to see, sample, and take in, so make sure to arrive early. Though some stands take credit cards, always bring cash or you might miss out on some tasty treats.
When: Open December through April. Sundays, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Parking: There is plenty of parking at the Pinecrest Gardens parking lot, but it gets busy between 10:30 and 11 a.m., so arrive early. If the parking lot is full, you can park along the walls leading up to the entrance of the parking lot.
The Coconut Grove Farmers’ Market has been around for over two decades, and is run by Glaser Organic Farms. You can shop for fruits and veggies, spices and herbs, and eat a great meal all under one big tent.
Standouts: This market is a raw vegan’s dream, but will surprise any non-vegan/vegetarian. The food selections are wonderful and do not lack in flavor. The Thai Coconut Water is to die for. Many local markets carry non-organic local food, but Glaser Farms is completely organic. The Nori wraps are crispy and delicious. They have a delectable selection of raw vegan desserts, including ice “creams” made from cashew and coconut milks. Try their tiramisu or strawberry shortcake if it’s available. Coconut Grove Farmers’ Market also has a sideshow vendor area where you’ll find local homemade breads and crackers, hummus, guacamole, organic homemade creams and skincare products and Jamaican raw food.
Tips: You can plan your Miami farmers market tour by starting or ending at the Coconut Grove market. It opens earlier than most markets in the area and closes much later. This market is set up on earth and grass, not concrete, so ladies, make sure you don’t wear heels — if you wear open-toe shoes, your feet may get dirty in the event of rain.
When: Open year-round. Saturdays, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Parking: The market has a small parking area that fills quickly, but you can find parking along any of the side streets that run around the market.
Lincoln Road Farmers’ Market
Strolling the Lincoln Road Farmers’ Market is a mainstay of weekend recreation for Miami Beach tourists and locals alike. From 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., you can stroll past rows and rows of locals pushing their fresh goods, while experiencing Miami’s iconic Lincoln Road.
You will find a spectacular display of fruits, veggies, fresh flowers and plants, bread, honey, jams, and other items in this stylish outdoor walking mall. This is a great location to shop, people-watch and sightsee. Though vendors of all sorts line up along the Lincoln Road pedestrian mall between Washington and Meridian Avenues, you will find the organic produce in front of Lincoln Theatre (at Pennsylvania Avenue and Lincoln Road). There are boutiques, cafes, art galleries and more on both sides of the Road, with the Farmers’ Market located in the middle. There is always something going on on Lincoln Road, with a great selection of stores and restaurants to visit as well.
Standouts: You can experience Lincoln Road Farmers’ Market year-round and, you’ll always find something to see and do here regardless of the time of year.
Tips: This is an outdoor location that runs for several blocks, so wear comfortable shoes and plenty of sunscreen. Vendors accept cash and some accept both cash and credit cards, so bring both to be safe.
When: Open year-round. Sundays, 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Parking: The parking situation around the mall can be difficult if you want to street park, but there are several large public and private parking lots and garages off of 17th Street, between Alton Road and Washington Avenue.
South Miami Farmers’ Market opened this year. It promotes a community-focused environment and attracts individuals from all age groups, and with diverse backgrounds and experiences. Additionally, the Market is operated by Earth Learning, the City of South Miami, and South Miami Green Task Force, and is run by a very motivated, fun group of people eager to share their vision.
Standouts: Smaller than other local markets, it’s only just begun, yet it has everything you need under the big green tent from Florida fruits, veggies, eggs, and grass-fed beef and cheese, and delicious food demonstrations. You can also learn about native and edible plants from an enthusiastic and welcoming group and sample delicious sweet and spicy jams, hummus, guacamole, salsas, and other products.
Tips: The market will be open year-round and right now, only accepts cash. South Miami also encourages riding bicycles to the market and is working on a bicycle valet system in the near future.
When: Open year-round. Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Parking: Parking is free and easy, right by City Hall and South Miami Library.
Mary Brickell Village Farmers Market
Set within the beautiful surroundings of Downtown Miami, this is a gorgeous location and so very “Miami”. Vendors emphasize goods more than produce, and offerings may change on a weekly basis, but there’s plenty to do and plenty of delicious restaurants to finish your day off. You can also purchase local artisanal jewelry for yourself and your pet. The amazing Perricone’s Restaurant is just steps away.
Mary Brickell Village, 901 South Miami Avenue (In the 900 Block of South Miami Avenue)
Miami, Florida 33130
Phone: (305) 775-2166
When: Year-round. Sundays 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Parking: There is metered parking along South Miami Avenue and the surrounding streets.
Aventura Mall Farmers Market
This is a seasonal market surrounding fountain in Aventura Mall’s Center Court. The market is small, but you’ll always find a diverse selection of vendors selling items such as cut flowers, tropical plants, pastries and baked goods, fresh guacamole, cooking oils, potpourri, and honey. Prepared fresh foods are more plentiful than tropical produce.
19501 Biscayne Boulevard
Phone: (305) 531-0038
When: Mid-February through October, two weekends a month.
Check The Market Company website for more information: www.TheMarketCompany.org
Overtown Market – Roots in the City Urban Farmers’ Market
Miami’s Inner City Market brings the freshest of produce and returns the outdoor community market to a neighborhood that once featured the southern homes of some of the luminaries of the Harlem Renaissance. A coalition of local farmers, chefs, and businesses have partnered to bring fresh fruits and vegetables to one of Miami-Dade County’s underserved neighborhoods. Similar monthly events have shown the Overtown rebirth in the visual arts and music.
When: Open September through May. Wednesday and Friday from 1 to 4 p.m., Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.