Highlights From My 1st Summer Visit: Mill City Farmers Market

It’s been years since I’ve visited the Mill City Farmers Market.

This market is larger than the Midtown Farmers Market (my recent post here) and much smaller than the Minneapolis and St. Paul downtown markets.

It’s really a perfect size.

Founded by Brenda Langton, the market is located in a space between Spoonriver and The Guthrie near the Stone Arch Bridge in downtown Minneapolis. On a nice morning, the scene is dreamy; Happy people walking their dogs and wandering the market, the morning sunlight glow illuminating the grassy hill and sculptures rising up from Gold Medal Park.

This stretch of 2nd street N. is very busy, but I never have trouble finding a street parking spot earlier in the morning. I like to visit the markets before 9 a.m.

One thing that keeps me from visiting the big Minneapolis farmers market less often is that it felt like a flea market and it allows vendors who re-sell produce from big food distributors. You’ll also find many vendors selling tropical fruits. On one hand, I can see how it helps people have access to produce seen in most grocery stores. On the other, it seems there’s too many of these types of vendors here. When I go to a farmers market I don’t want to guess which vendors are and are not selling local produce.

The Mill City Market’s vendors are vetted through their mission statement. Everything at this market meets their standard for local, sustainable and sometimes organic. I love the large variety of vendors. You’ll find everything including produce, high quality baked goods, bath and body care, and prepared food vendors.

The market spills inside the Mill City Museum, which, by the way, has great bathrooms.

Here are some of the foods I picked up last weekend:

Gorkha Palace: Momos

Gorkha Palace is one of my favorite restaurants in the Twin Cities. A friend recently took me here for dinner where we shared a variety of curries and naan. This was one of those types of meals where I loved the food so much I wanted to go back immediately. The people who work here are extraordinarily kind.

At the farmers market stand, they serve momos and veggie curry at their stand. I scarfed down veggie momos and Chef Shack’s mini doughnuts for breakfast.

Chef Shack Indian-Spiced Mini Doughnuts

Chef Shack is the first food truck I ever visited. Prior to our Fargo move, I used to stop by from time to time for mini doughnuts and whatever caught my eye; bison burger, tongue tacos, soft-shell crab sandwich, everything is good.

These aren’t just any mini doughnuts. They’re scratch made with organic ingredients and tossed in a cardamon-scented cinnamon sugar mixture.

It’s been too long since I’ve visited Chef Shack; my old favorite treat tastes as good as I remember.

Salty Tart: Cinnamon Raisin Bread

Chef Michelle Gayer’s Salty Tart stand sells all types of baked goods from breads to croissants. Both Gayer and Lisa Carlson of The Chef Shack are James Beard Award nominees.

I’ve been enjoying a big slice of this cinnamon raisin bread every day for breakfast.

A pint of tiny strawberries

A trick I learned when I volunteered in Spoonriver’s kitchen many moons ago is to toss strawberries with some honey and a pinch of salt.

Beets

I cooked the beets and beet greens and tossed with pasta for dinner one evening. Here’s a quick recipe:

Roast beets and dice.

Wash greens, roughly chop, and sauté with some olive oil and garlic.

Toss in cooked pasta, beets, more olive oil, and some pasta water.

Season with a squirt of lemon juice or good drizzle of syrupy balsamic, salt, and lots of black pepper.

Top with parmesan.

Mill City Farmers Market
704 S 2nd St
Minneapolis, MN 55401

6 Comments

  1. I love the Mill City Farmers market for the too for the same reasons you mentioned. Too many tropical fruits 🙂 But now I’m dying for a bit of that cinnamon raisin bread you bought.

  2. Looks like some great treats!

  3. Sounds like a great Farmers Market! Everything looks so good, especially the Momos!

  4. I go to Mill City practically every week that it’s open, so definitely a fan for the reasons you mention. That said, I’m sick to death of Chef Shack. Before they opened brick-and-mortar restaurants, they always had weekly specials at the farm market, and that was often the highlight of my visit. (I still dream about the spicy Asian duck noodle soup they had one fall.) But for several years now, they’ve saved that creativity for the restaurants, and the truck menu never–ever–changes. Very tired of it and wish Brenda Langton would find another truck, or maybe a rotating list of trucks, to bring in instead.

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