Four of the Best Farmer’s Markets on the East Side
The summer is upon us and that means it’s growing season! Local businesses, like farms and vineyards, are in full swing and producing a bounty of amazing homegrown products.
While there are plenty of benefits of living in the Pacific Northwest, one of the greatest things about being part of this local area is the abundant access to everything growing up and down the west coast.
Farmer’s markets are an amazing spot to not only take in plenty of local flavors, but they also offer so much more than just food and drink. A perfect spot for a family outing or a Saturday morning date, they offer entertainment and activities along with other local products and services.
Most importantly, farmer’s markets are a wonderful way to get to know more about the businesses and people in your community.
To help you make the most of the season, we’re sharing everything you need to know about the best farmer’s markets on the east side of greater Seattle.
Maple Valley Farmer’s Market
25700 Maple Valley Black Diamond Rd SE., Maple Valley, WA
Hours: Saturday from 9 am to 2 pm
Known for the activities and entertainment they offer every week, the Maple Valley Farmer’s Market has a little something for everyone. Each week has a different theme where they do everything from honor veterans, celebrate the benefits of green living, show local pride for the Seattle Seahawks and so much more.
For food to take home, there are plenty of farms represented at the market, along with a plethora of vendors offering delicious handmade treats, from pies and cookies to pickles and nuts.
If you want something to nibble on while you’re at the market, you won’t be disappointed. Enjoy a smooth cup of coffee, chow down on some Mexican cuisine or delicious grilled fish, or even start with dessert first by enjoying a gourmet cupcake.
In support of the community, there are many local non-profits who operate tables at the market. From the library to the local cat rescue to the veterans association, there are ample opportunities to learn more about how you can be of service.
Bellevue Farmer’s Market
1717 Bellevue Way NE, Bellevue, WA
Hours: Thursday from 3 pm to 7 pm
With a mission to support local farms by providing a viable and vibrant marketplace where farm products can be sold directly to consumers, it’s no surprise that this farmer’s market delivers a multitude of options to attendees.
Billed as a weekly event for Bellevue’s residents that “educates, nourishes, and fosters community,” this market is everything you’d expect and so much more.
There is a minimum of 25 different vendors dubbed the Farmers, Fishers, and Foragers — all offering local products. From the amazing apples the PNW is known for to honey made from local bees, these vendors have everything you could want.
What makes these vendors stand out is that they aren’t just selling. They’re there every week to connect with the community they serve and help to educate the public about the different ways they are each committed to sustainability and promoting local growth.
Of course, you’ll likely be tempted by plenty of mouth-watering treats as you stroll through the market, and you’ll have no shortage of options for more things to bring home. With over a dozen artisanal food producers to choose from, you can find something to satisfy your sweet tooth or savory craving.
Last but not least, if you’re looking for an adult beverage, there is almost always at least one cidery or winery on hand to help you find that special something to drink.
Issaquah Farmer’s Market
1730 10th Ave. N.W., Issaquah, WA
Hours: Saturday from 9 am to 2 pm
Every year, for the entire season that runs from May to late September, the Issaquah Farmer’s Market plays host to music acts and a variety of other entertainers.
In addition to the traditional farmer’s market fare of farm-fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables, you can find a variety of ready to eat treats along with exceptional baked goods.
Looking to up your cooking skills? Check out a cooking demonstration to learn exactly what you can do with all those fresh, local ingredients you just bought. Pick up some spices and other specialty cooking mixes and release your inner gourmet cook!
If a gift is what you’re after, find some incredible fresh cut flowers and a bottle of wine from a local vineyard to bring along to your next dinner party. You can also check out some of the handcrafted arts and crafts for a perfect one-of-a-kind item.
Best of all, the Issaquah market has on-site master gardeners and experts to answer questions and help you take your gardens to the next level.
Mercer Island Farmer’s Market
7700 SE 32nd St, Mercer Island, WA
Hours: Sunday from 10 am to 3 pm
Located right next to Mercerdale Park, a large community gathering area with a musician’s pergola, a playground, and a skate park, a trip to the Mercer Island Farmer’s Market is the perfect destination for a day trip.
In an effort to support their mission statement of connecting growers, consumers, and the Island business community to create a valuable, sustainable community asset, the Mercer Island Farmer’s Market offers something for everyone.
Thanks to their focus on making an impact on their local community, the vendors and visitors collected and donated over 2000 pounds of food to local organizations in 2018 alone.
For those looking to try before they buy, this farmer’s market offers a tasting table where customers have the opportunity to learn about various products and produce sold at the market.
If you’re bringing the kids along, make sure you check out the children’s table where every week a local school teacher provides educational activities related to food and farming.
With approximately 70 vendors and upwards of 3000 visitors every week, this farmer’s market should not be missed.
While there are plenty of great reasons for you to shop at a local farmer’s market, the opportunity to support local businesses while creating lasting connections within your community makes is more than worth a trip out to see what the markets have to offer.
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