Farmers Markets

Santa Maria strawberries

One of the (many!) things that my wife and I love about Santa Barbara is the availability of the area’s fresh produce. There are five farmers markets in downtown Santa Barbara, Goleta, Montecito and Isla Vista, as well as one in Solvang and another in Carpinteria.

The Santa Barbara Farmer’s Market Association was founded in 1983 and has 130 grower members. And you can really tell when you tour the market on Tuesday afternoon or Saturday morning—a bounty of delicious fresh fruits and vegetables, roasted nuts, fresh baked bread and even cheese, meats and seafood is there for purchase. And they are really popular, so if we go, we go early. On Tuesday afternoon, the chefs arrive as the market opens. My wife loves to go at that time so she can see what the chefs of Santa Barbara will be putting on the menu that week.

Recently we found an even better way to shop at the Farmer’s Market, without even going! Local Harvest Delivery lets you shop our market vendors on their website, and then delivers your order to your door on Saturday. It’s not any more expensive than shopping the market yourself, and it stops my wife from buying things we don’t necessarily need. Plus, you don’t have to carry your heavy bags back to the car on market day!

That said, there’s nothing better than wandering the farmers market, even if you don’t need to shop. Just seeing the amazing selection that our local area produces is truly astounding. It’s no wonder that the food is so good in Santa Barbara if this is what the chefs have to pick from! But even if you’re cooking at home, you’ll be able to tell the difference by using our local growers’ vegetables, fruits, and more.

State Street farmers market