I love taking my daughter to the farmers market on the weekends.
The markets nearest to us mostly have weekday hours (boo) so we frequent two of my old favorites – The Mill City Farmers Market and Minneapolis Lyndale market.
Now that I’m pregnant and toting around a toddler, decent parking, spaces to wander around, and a nice indoor bathroom is a must. I am absolutely not bringing a child into a porta potty with me.
The key to good parking at any of the popular farmers markets in the Twin Cities is to get there early. Like, get there around opening-early.
I’ve had all summer to think about this.
My favorite farmers breakfast is from the big Minneapolis Farmers Market on Lyndale.
It consists of two things:
- Iced Vietnamese coffee with boba pearls from Rainbow Chinese ($5). If you are lucky enough, the owner may mix it up for you. It’s so flipping good I long for it all week.
- Spring rolls and/or egg rolls. There are no bad egg rolls at the MPLS farmers market. Rainbow sells big ones. GreenHearts (also listed as Vang Express) sells long, thin egg rolls and huge spring rolls. Their spring rolls are nearly twice as large as everyone else’s and cost only $3. They’re packed with shredded veggies. Sometimes you can choose from different meats or vegetarian ones. Last time they included some sliced chicken breast. Another vendor down the stall from Rainbow (I think it’s called Deelish) also sells egg rolls and spring rolls + coconut curry.
I haven’t visited the Minneapolis Farmers Market for years.
The reason why I didn’t visit often is because of the produce resellers (I just want to know I’m buying from local farmers), the flea market feel, and lack of hot food vendors.
Now it’s one of my favorite markets to shop – I’ve visited two weekends in a row.
There’s plenty of parking beneath the overpass on Lyndale. I arrive before 8:30 a.m. to avoid crowds.
You’ll still find some vendors that sell grocery store produce (just look for the tropical fruits!) but it’s pretty clear which vendors are local farmers. Compared to the smaller neighborhood farmers markets I usually shop at, the variety of produce and herbs is stunning. The prices are also incredibly affordable. Take advantage of buying a bag of bell peppers for about $6 at the farmers markets instead of paying $7 for a pepper at Whole Foods or a co-op.
Wandering around the stalls curiously gazing at all of the vegetables with an iced coffee in hand makes me feel closest to heaven.
On Saturday mornings I treat myself.
In the winters, I make bakery runs. In the summer, I visit farmers markets.
I love waking up early on Saturday mornings. Neither of us can sleep in anymore, anyway. I enjoy a cup of coffee, take the dog on a walk, and head to a farmers market during the opening hour.
My favorite low-key market near us is the Midtown Farmer Market in the Longfellow neighborhood. This year it’s located in the Moon Palace Books parking lot instead of the lot near the YMCA. I kinda love the vibe.
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.