It’s summer in Philadelphia, and you know what that means: you now have no excuses for all of those vitamin deficiencies you developed in the winter. Fresh and tasty fruit and vegetables from local farms are available in farmers’ markets throughout the city on all days of the week. On top of that, farmers’ markets are a great way to explore all of the artisanal goods Philly vendors have to offer: from handmade chocolates, wonderfully stinky cheeses, to even something as niche as canelés, Philly seems to have it all.
Located on the corners of 2nd and Lombard, in the heart of picturesque Society Hill, it’s worth it to come to Headhouse Square on a Sunday morning not just for the good eats, but also to revel in the beauty of the many historic homes in the area. While Headhouse does feature some mainstays of the University City Farmers’ Market such as John and Kira’s and Beechwood Orchards, they also offer up a huge selection of vendors that you may not have heard of before. A gem treasured by locals include Talula’s Table, which offers up house–made sausages and gourmet dips made in nearby Kennett Square. Another is Market Day Canelé, which is known for its namesake French pastry, a small cylindrical cake made of custard, vanilla, and rum. If you’re looking for fermented, brined, or preserved food of any sort, be sure to check out Brine Street Picklery, Fifth of a Farm Creations, and Food and Ferments. Looking to imbibe some local spirits? Check out Paradocx Vineyard, Ploughman Cider, and Red Brick Craft Distillery. The list of options for any type of product goes on and on, with several creameries, bakeries, and farms that show up at this farmers’ market weekly with their delectable goods.
2nd and Lombard Streets, 10 am to 2 pm on Sundays
If you’re not trying to trek across the city for good times and fresh food, head over to Clark Park Farmers’ Market on the corner of 43rd Street and Baltimore Avenue. There is a lot of overlap of vendors between Clark Park and Headhouse Square. While Clark Park has all the traditional options for fruits and vegetables you’d expect from local farms like Eden Garden Farm, Hands on the Earth Orchard, Landisdale Farm, Livengood Produce, and more, they also have more niche options if you’re looking to expand your palate. Examples include Margerum’s Herbs, Etc., which sells homemade preserves, raw honey, and blended teas, among other things, as well as Primordia Mushrooms which exclusively sells chemical–free mushrooms varieties.
43rd Street and Baltimore Avenue, 10 am to 2 pm on Saturdays
Previously known as Chestnut Hill Farmers’ Market, Market at the Fareway specializes in its wide variety of world cuisines. From sushi by Tokyo Sushi, Middle Eastern fare from Shundeez Market, to pho and banh mi from Saigon Noodle Bar, the options are endless. In addition to ready–to–eat foods, there are also several vendors that sell large selections of poultry and meat products, such as Neidermyers Poultry, Ranck’s Deli, and Rice’s Quality Meats.
8221 Germantown Avenue, 9am to 6pm on Thursdays and Fridays, 8am to 5pm on Saturdays
While it’s not the most extensive, or the closest farmers’ market to campus, Jefferson Farmers’ Market, located on the corner of 10th and Chestnut, has a huge variety of plants, from flowers to succulents. It is set up conveniently next to City Hall, major retail streets, and Jefferson Hospital. The setup of the market transforms the corner into a lush oasis from the hubbub going on across the street. In addition to the plants there’s also fresh produce from McCann’s Farm, and amazing sweets from the exceedingly talented Aurora Grace, a former pastry chef at a Michelin–starred establishment in New York.
925 Chestnut Street, 11am to 3pm on Thursdays
As possibly one of the city’s largest and most visible farmers’ markets in the heart of Center City, it’s pretty hard not to have seen this one before while living in Philadelphia. Every Saturday the corner of 18th and Walnut is streaming with weekend visitors and vendors from the Farmers’ Market, so if you’re interested in a calmer shopping experience, this might not be the one for you. However, the proximity to campus and the 25+ farmers and artisans selling every Saturday make it well worth navigating through those pesky slow walkers from out of town. It’s important to note that while Rittenhouse Farmers’ Market has a lot of great fresh produce and plants from well known vendors like Beechwood Orchards, Triple Tree Farms, Gail’s Farm, and more, the sweet treats offered at the market are hard to resist. Lil Pop Shop, Flour & Oats Artisanal Cookies, and Philadelphia Lemonade Company make going to the Rittenhouse Farmers’ Market is the perfect way to indulge.
18th and Walnut Streets, 9am to 3pm on Saturdays
Whichever farmers’ market you choose to visit, make it more of an experience and less of just a shopping trip. Get out there and enjoy nature, eat fresh food, and sit in the sun now that the stresses of the academic year are gone. If you’re not in Philly this summer, don’t fret! Most of these farmers’ markets last until Thanksgiving at the very latest.