It wouldn’t be summer in St. Louis without our favorite local farmers markets. From meeting the men and women who grow and raise our food to sampling some of the tastiest culinary confections St. Louis vendors have to offer, these 17 local markets all make a perfect – and delicious – place for St. Louis families to spend a summer morning or afternoon.
1. Historic Soulard Farmers Market (Wednesday-Saturday, year-round)
The largest – and certainly the most historic – of St. Louis markets, Soulard Farmers Market has been offering locally-raised fruits, vegetables, dairy and livestock since 1779. Today’s visitors can shop year-round Wednesday through Saturday, and enjoy the wide variety of homegrown produce, spices and flowers, general merchandise, and food and drinks that are available for purchase.
2. Tower Grove Farmers Market (Saturdays, 8am-12pm)
Some of our area’s finest local vendors make an appearance at this popular market in beautiful Tower Grove Park. Free yoga, artisan foods and some of the freshest produce you can find are all part of the appeal at the Tower Grove Farmers Market. Make it a full day of family fun by packing swimsuits and towels and letting the kids cool off in the nearby Children’s Fountain.
3. Schlafly Farmers Market at Schlafly Bottleworks (Wednesdays, 4-7pm)
Yes, the Schlafly Farmers Market is located at a brewery, which means you can shop for things like farm fresh eggs, locally raised pork or lamb and artisanal loaves of bread – and then enjoy a pint (or two) of your favorite Schlafly beverage before heading home. What better way to conclude a Wednesday?
4. Clayton Farmers Market (Thursdays, 4:30-7:30pm)
If you consider yourself a family of “foodies,” Downtown Clayton is the place to be on Thursday evening. The Clayton Farmer’s Market boasts a variety of “food-themed products with a strong emphasis on being home-made, home-grown or handcrafted goods that were produced in Missouri or Illinois.”
5. Cherokee Street Farmers Market (Fridays, 4-7pm)
Cherokee Street has really blossomed in recent years, and the Cherokee Street Farmers Market reflects the area’s commitment to diversity, as well as access to fresh, affordable produce for all. You’re likely to find an abundance of diverse food traditions -- as well as arts and crafts -- at this growing market.
6. City Greens Market (Tuesday-Saturday)
City Greens Market follows a unique model; you have to purchase a membership to shop here. But once you do, you can buy seasonal and organic produce – along with a wide variety of other healthy foods – at cost. And because the market is located in a food desert within St. Louis city, low-income families (who are exempt from the membership requirements) have access to fresh, nourishing food choices they wouldn’t be otherwise able to find or afford.
7. Kirkwood Farmers Market (Monday-Saturday)
The Kirkwood Farmers’ Market operates almost daily, but if you want the full farmer’s market effect, visit on Saturday morning for lots of samples, the best variety of vendors and, of course, everything that downtown Kirkwood has to offer. And while you’re there, be sure to take the kids to Tropical Moose Shaved Ice for a special frozen treat that far surpasses your typical sno-cone.
8. Ferguson Farmers Market (Saturdays, 8am-12pm)
Now in its 12th season, the award-winning Ferguson Farmers Market offers up a bounty of freshness every Saturday morning during the summer season. It is a “growers-only” market, which means that all of the more than 45 vendors present either grow or produce the items they sell.
9. Webster Groves Farmers Market (Thursdays, 3-6:30pm)
Located in the lively Webster Groves business district, the Webster Groves Farmers Market offers live music, chef demonstrations, children’s activities and lots of fresh-picked, locally grown food. Look for special events (such as a 5th Birthday Celebration on June 5th) to happen weekly.
10. Midtown Farmers Market in the Loop (Saturdays, 8:30am-12:30pm)
The Midtown Farmers Market in the Loop is a “rain or shine” market (as many of them are). Stop by on Saturday mornings for artisan specialty foods, hand-crafted home goods and your favorite fresh produce, meat and dairy from Midwest farms.
11. Lake Saint Louis Farmers & Artists Market (Saturdays, 8am-12pm)
Everything you find at the Lake Saint Louis Farmers and Artist Market has been grown or produced within 100 miles, so it’s a great place for families to meet local farmers, ranchers, bakers and even beekeepers. Formerly known as the O’Fallon Farmers and Artists Market, this market relocated in 2012 to its current location in The Meadows shopping center.
12. Ellisville Farmers Market (Thursdays, 4-7:30pm)
From spices to soaps to dried mushrooms and fresh greens, the Ellisville Farmers Market at Bluebird Park has something for everyone. Plus, during the summer months, you can stick around for the park’s free outdoor Summer Concert Series from 7-9.
13. Swansea Farmers Market (Thursdays, 11am-3pm)
Prefer a market on the Illinois side of the river? Head to the Swansea Farmers Market, where vendors have been selling fresh fruits, vegetables, meats and crafts since 2009.
14. North City Farmers Market (Saturdays, 10am-1pm)
The North City Farmers Market is located across the street from Crown Candy Kitchen – which is all the incentive we need to visit, right? Much of the market’s produce comes from the 13th Street Community Garden, and is sold to the community at below market prices.
15. Wildwood Farmers Market (Saturdays, 8:30am-12:30pm)
Live in or near the vicinity of Wildwood? Be sure to visit Wildwood Town Center on Saturday mornings for all the fresh and local goodness the Wildwood Farmers Market has to offer.
16. St. Charles Lions Club Farmers Market (Saturdays, 7am-12pm)
From jams and jewelry to homemade natural soaps – and, of course, plenty of fresh produce – St. Charles residents can stock up on their favorite items at the St. Charles Lions Club Farmers Market. The market is located on the parking lot of the Foundry Arts Centre.
17. De Soto Farmers Market (Saturdays, 8am-12pm)
At the De Soto Farmers Market in Jefferson County, all produce is grown within a 50-mile radius, and live music, homemade baked goods and a special Kid’s Korner are all part of the Saturday morning routine. Farms abound near this small community market, making it a worthwhile trip for families looking to head outside the city limits and shop at a farmers market with a truly local feel.
Most St. Louis farmers markets have already opened for the season, with a select few set to open during the first week of June. For complete details, visit the individual market websites.
Main Photo: Schlafly Farmers Market Facebook page
Alyssa Chirco is a freelance writer, mother and margarita lover, not necessarily in that order. In addition to writing for STL Parent, she is Contributing Editor at Parenting Squad, and covers parenting, health and lifestyle topics for publications across the country. She recently moved from the suburbs of St. Louis to a small town in rural Jefferson County, where she is learning to survive with no Target or Starbucks in sight. Follow her on Twitter @AlyssaChirco
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