Foodies on the lookout for local, organic produce in Pittsburgh won’t be short of choice: every day of the week, a farmer’s market pops up somewhere in the city. Here, Culture Trip looks at six of the best, where you can pick up top-notch ingredients to cook in your accommodation or indulge in treats to enjoy on the spot.
Every Monday throughout spring and summer (from 3pm to 7pm), around 20 vendors set up in Garland Parklet, in the entrepreneurial East Liberty neighborhood. Stalls have been building relationships with customers for years, resulting in a friendly environment that’s as much a social setting as a shopping venue. Buy and sample a varied range of local produce, including organic herbs and vegetables from the Who Cooks For You Farm, Trinidadian street food from Shado Beni and olive-oil soap by talented local Emily Bonk.
Run by local collective Lawrenceville United, this colorful market is committed to making fresh, organic produce accessible to low-income households. Every Tuesday afternoon, more than 25 stalls open in Arsenal Park, Lawrenceville, offering locally produced meats, cheeses, fruits, vegetables and beverages (and loads more). Must-visit stands include Hog Dog Winery, where wine expert Ed offers unusual varieties made with banana and tomato; The Pickled Chef, a family-owned specialist in jams and sauerkraut; and Turquoise, where you can pick up Turkish and Mediterranean food to go.
The Bloomfield Saturday Market is spread along Liberty Avenue, featuring live music and cooking demonstrations, plus a tantalizing array of goodies. Buy life-enhancing cheesecake at Kyle’s Cakes N’at – where local history graduate Kyle makes them all from scratch – or artisan bread from Mediterra, which sells loaves baked on volcanic rock from the Alps. The summer market runs every Saturday from May to November and the winter market reduces to every first and third Saturdays from December to March. Food trucks provide takeout snacks and meals.
Every Sunday morning from June through November (from 9am to 1pm), an otherwise bland expanse of concrete in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood of Pittsburgh morphs into a foodie’s heaven. Spread throughout the Beacon-Bartlett parking lot are stands touring everything from fresh fish, meat and fruit to takeout kebabs and locally brewed coffee. Nearby Murray Avenue – one of the key draws in the area – is home to cafés, bakeries and Indian and Japanese eateries, as well as two of the most popular Italian joints in the city: Aiello’s and Mineo’s.
One of the official Pittsburgh City farmer’s markets, the Carrick opens every Wednesday afternoon from June to November. It only has a small number of vendors, especially towards the end of the season, but they’re known for selling the ripest and juiciest fruit and veg in the area, from onions and garlic to pumpkins and pears. Just a few doors down on Brownsville Road is the Turner Dairy Farm (formerly the Colteryahn Dairy), where you can indulge in award-winning chocolate milk and/or cottage cheese.
This family-run business is technically more of a shop than a market (it’s open every day of the week), but deserves a mention here for the exceptional quality and range of the organic produce. Located in the commuter town of Butler, a half-hour drive north of Pittsburgh, Freedom Farms showcases the lovingly created products of local businesses, whose specialties range from chocolate and cheese to olive oils and barbecue sauces. After filling your basket in the store, head to the attached takeout joints for a hoagie and a donut.
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