It’s not uncommon to see lines of Austin locals sampling the fresh delicacies available at fresh food markets – products vary from free-range eggs to organic popsicles. Keeping with Austin tradition, these food markets focus on healthy production models and are a go-to for sourcing organic, environmentally friendly ingredients. Visit our top 10 favorite food markets to do your grocery shopping the Texas way.
Boggy Creek Farm Produce
| Courtesy Boggy Creek Farm
After shopping at Barton Creek Square Mall, many stop by the Barton Creek Farmers’ Market, located in the back of the parking lot and overlooking the city skyline. This market is open every Saturday between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m., rain or shine, and provides unique vendors such as Samurai Sharpening, which will sharpen knives, and Javalina Books, which sells mystery novels. This farmers’ market also provides original music performed by local songwriters, which is fun for kids and the family. This busy weekend event is a great place to shop for unique gifts, or pick up pre-prepared food made using the same healthy ingredients sold by the market vendors.
For a less-crowded way to get a farmers’ market fix, swing by the market days at the Boggy Creek Farm in East Austin, where local owners Larry and Carol Ann serve freshly harvested produce. The farm, open to customers between Wednesday and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., houses produce grown on-site as well as at the Milam County Farm, located 75 miles northeast of Austin. The produce is harvested the day before or that morning – some varieties may even be harvested during the market, according to demand. Fresh food is always a staple here, and is great for those looking to beat the two-week cycle of supermarket producers.
Owned and operated by the same organization that runs the Mueller Market (below), the Cedar Park Farmers’ Market boasts an equally impressive selection of producer-only vendors offering ethnic foods, locally made teas, and delicious cheeses. The vendors who serve the public at the Cedar Park Farmers Market often have their farms inspected by the Texas Farmers’ Market, who ensure that ethical and safe growing practices are being utilized. If you want to know more about where your food comes from, this market may be for you — the Cedar Park Farmers’ Market will only host vendors who are upfront and honest about their growing practices, as well as about whether or not a food is organic. Stop by every Saturday at Lakeline Mall in Cedar Park between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m.
Good Earth Farmers’ Market, Leander | Image Courtesy of Greenling
Take a trip to the outskirts of Austin and visitors will find the Leander-based Good Earth Farmers’ Market, which aims to provide the necessities for a weekly family meal. This market is more than just a typical set of stands –kids can enjoy a petting zoo, parents can get recipes and menu planners, and soon the market will offer home-delivery of groceries. Good Earth is also a part of the Roots Community, so members will receive 5% off all purchases if they show their membership card.
Farm Stand Fresh Veggies | Courtesy HOPE Farmers' Market
Greenling takes all the work out of shopping by providing online ordering and delivery of fresh foods. Customers who want farmers’ market products but don’t have the time to shop around can order at least $25 worth of groceries at Greenling’s website to receive free delivery of vegetables, baked goods, dairy, and prepared items that are either certified as organic or grown sustainably. Order a Local Box, the only non-customisable basket, which samples a variety of in-stock options. The box offers a rotating selection of fresh produce and an additional recipe list, so make note of which products are a hit. Most of Austin is in the delivery range, making Greenling the perfect choice for large families, new parents, or the elderly.
The HOPE Farmers’ Market in East Austin aims to elevate regional food habits by providing innovative community programming to locals. Held in the cultural Plaza Saltillo, the market celebrates healthy eating and provides a diverse selection of foods, artisans, artists, educational programs and music. The HOPE Farmers’ market even offers small business mentoring programs and collaborations to help grow the local economy.
Real food meets community outreach at in.gredients, a neighborhood grocer whose focus is on providing natural ingredients while eliminating food-related waste. The concept is simple: bring a clean container and fill it with delicious ingredients, before weighing the contents at the checkout stand. This small market in East Austin is open every day from morning until evening, so consumers can pick up supplies to cook with, as well as fresh beverages.
Fresh Breads and Pastries | Courtesy Phoenicia Bakery and Deli
Locals flock to the Mueller Farmers’ Market for a great buy on locally grown produce and artisan foods such as Texas French bread. This market describes itself as a ‘festival of foods’ and invites families, pets and friends to come explore the cheeses, meats, teas and other products. The Mueller Farmers’ Market takes place each Sunday between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., but get there early for the best selection, as it can get crowded in the afternoon. Fun fact: the market is held in the Browning Hangar next to Mueller Central – an old airport hangar that is now used to direct sustainable products to locals.
For a different type of food market check out the Phoenicia Bakery and Deli which carries a global selection of food with an emphasis on Mediterranean goods. Phoenicia bakes fresh bread and pastries each day, such as pita bread and baklava. The focus of this market was originally to provide a location for foreign customers to find goods they would use in their native countries, but has now expanded into a way for chefs and families to source fresh ingredients and find unique products. Phoenicia is best noted for a multilingual and friendly staff who can special-order items that are not generally stocked.
Located in the historic Republic Square Park, the SFC Farmers’ Market – Downtown, sponsored by Sustainable Food Center (SFC), is one of the city’s most prominent food markets, and a destination for locals and tourists alike. The SFC Farmers’ Market is the largest certified growers-only market in the state. This market is great for families with kids due to the fun-park atmosphere and the live musicians that perform during the operating hours. Snack on a Mom & Pops All Natural Frozen Pops to beat the Austin heat.