Asheville’s food scene has earned the reputation as a culinary hotspot filled with award-winning farmers, chefs and artisan food makers who fill the stalls of eight excellent markets in Asheville. Many of these are tailgate or seasonal markets, but one market does keep their doors open seven days a week year-round. Here are the best markets in Asheville to get the freshest produce and other goods that all home chefs will appreciate.
WNC Farmers Market
Right off I-40 in North Asheville sits this massive year-round farmers market. This market is owned and managed by the state, which operates three others as well, and has been serving the Western North Carolina area for over 40 years. It promises high-quality fruits and vegetables, plus other homemade goods like baked goods, bread and breakfast spreads. Many visitors opt to add in stops at The Moose Cafe, which also takes advantage of the fresh goods and a nursery center.
WNC Farmers Market, 570 Brevard Rd, Asheville, NC +1 828 253 1691
North Asheville Tailgate Market
This market has been running nearly as long as the WNC’s, but with an April-through-November season on Saturdays. Expect more of a festival vibe here since it’s on the weekend and they have live music in addition to cooking demonstrations and talks given by experts such as dietitians and educators.
River Arts District Farmers Market
Folks love coming to this market because it’s always pleasant to spend time in the city’s most creative district. Make a day of it and visit the numerous shops, galleries and working studios that are clustered together in RAD peppered with stops for coffee, food and local craft beer in between. At the weekly Wednesday market starting in May, shoppers can feel good about supporting a producer-only market, meaning a collection of small farmers plus specialty food makers that can pickle, ferment and bake with the best of them.
Farside Farms Market
This market mostly carries products farmed and raised by Farside Farms along with a curated selection of fruits and vegetables from other trusted farmers and vendors. And together with Mills River Creamery, they also carry whole milk and buttermilk. And since they have a store location in Woodfin, people can shop here six days a week (closed Sundays).
Farside Farms Market, 83 Weaverville Rd, Asheville, NC +1 828 645-2506
Fresh Quarter Produce
For a convenient option downtown that’s open seven days a week, head to the Grove Arcade’s Fresh Quarter Produce. Folks can sign up for a CSA, but the best part is being able to tack on lunch, shopping or some reading time at the fabulous Battery Park Book Exchange and Champagne Bar. Usually, some free samples are set out here too.
Fresh Quarter Produce, 1 Page Ave, Suite 112G, Asheville, NC +1 828 252-0023
French Broad Food Co-Op
French Broad is a wonderful people-owned grocery store that vets every product to ensure that it meets their prerequisites, including being healthful, organic, produced responsibly and grown locally. On Wednesdays, they support even more local farmers with their weekly tailgate market, which features about two dozen producers. Expect all the staples, plus plants, goat cheese and fresh eggs.
French Broad Food Co-Op, 90 Biltmore Ave, Asheville, NC +1 828 255-7650
Asheville City Market
One of the draws to this downtown market is the proximity to several free parking areas, especially since it’s a Saturday morning market. The same group also manages Asheville City Market–South, and they keep the produce coming year-round by moving indoors during the winter months. Like the North Asheville market, this market is much more than just stalls and tables as they, too, book musicians, chefs and tastings to keep the atmosphere lively.
Asheville City Market, North Market Street, between Walnut and Woodfin Street, Asheville, NC
East Asheville Tailgate Market
For over 10 years, the East Asheville Tailgate Market has been giving folks a place to pick up seafood, meats, bread and more along with crafts and jewelry. Now, it kickstarts many locals’ weekends with weekly hours on Fridays from 3–6pm so people can stop by on their way home from work from May through September.