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Before grabbing a gourmet breakfast or taking that first taste of wine in California’s premier wine country, make a stop at the Napa Farmers Market.
You’ll find ample parking at 500 First Street (next to Oxbow Public Market) in the historic district of Napa. The certified farmers market runs from May through October on Tuesday and Saturday from 8:00 am to 12:30 pm. The Napa summer mornings are quite delightful, the heat rising as the morning passes.
Get there early
Foodies will want to get to the market right as it opens. Famous chefs are eagerly waiting for the market to go live so they can get fresh produce for their restaurants’ lunch and dinner menus. These chefs generally know what they are after and even email a list to farmers ahead of time to make sure they have ample stock, but some also like to look for what’s fresh and in season that week. The community as a whole is big on growing, eating and buying all food from the Napa area. Many local restaurants feature a “Farmers Market Salad” on their menus.
If you get to the market after the celebrity chefs don’t worry, this market will not disappoint. There is an abundance of beautiful produce at the market. The vendors have large booths that are filled with stacks and crates of lush produce. You might even find yourself waiting in line to make your purchase as this market is pretty crowded with families, couples and self-renowned chefs. Everywhere shoppers are picking up, squeezing and smelling varieties of tomatoes, stone fruit, lettuce varieties, eggplant and peppers.
One of the larger vendors at this market is Tenbrink Farms. They are located 8 miles from the market in Suisun Valley. Tenbrink Farms, also known for its wine, takes great pride in its heirloom tomatoes. Every year they provide the tomatoes for the Fairfield Tomato Festival.
They grow over 300 varieties of tomatoes on their 52-acre family farm.
Tenbrink Farms is a big advocate of bringing locally grown produce to chefs, restaurants and the community while living the Farm-to-Fork philosophy. You can follow Tenbrink Farms on Facebook to see what they will be bringing to the market that week, as well as learn the secret catchphrase that will get you a dollar off your produce purchase.
Once past the produce aisles you’ll find homemade trinkets—everything from tablecloths to book covers. You’ll also find local bakers selling treats and food vendors offering salads, coffees, meats and cheese.
And wine, of course! What else would you find at a Napa farmers market?
What’s your favorite farmers market? Tell us in the comments.