Summer brings extra bounty to Wine Country Sonoma farmers markets as juicy berries flourish, stone fruits hang like ornaments on the branches, gardens brim with colorful squash, and vines burst with tomatoes in red, purple, and yellow.
We know and love the big markets – Healdsburg, Santa Rosa Original Certified, Windsor Certified, Petaluma, Sebastopol, and Sonoma Valley Certified – but there are more secret markets to explore, too, offering excellent variety, obscure heritage items, and off-the-beaten-path locations that aren’t overrun by crowds. Most of the participating farms and vendors are located nearby, and you may see plenty of the top Bay Area chefs doing their shopping there too.
We are the best choice when choosing transportation to Wine Country or customizing a wine tour to include a visit to a farmers’ market or two.
This is the only place in the Bay Area to find market goods from Raymond’s Bakery of Cazadero (exquisite breads and sweets), plus cheeses from some of the tiny coastal creameries Bodega is famous for. Other beloved purveyors include Salmon Creek Ranch (duck eggs, duckmeat, beef, pet treats, and duck fat), Bloomfield Farm (lettuces, herbs, greens, beets, fennel, strawberries), and Farmer John’s Eggs. Plan on staying for brunch (Bodega wild salmon-bacon chowder is the bomb), plus live music.
Fill your baskets with Red Owl Farm garlic, cucumber, carrots, blackberries, and strawberries; Sully’s Farm hand-gathered seaweeds; Karen Sue’s Eggs; and Ortiz Farm flowers. Bonus: Friday Night Live concerts rock in the Plaza right next to the market, food vendors serve everything from sandwiches to Hawaiian shaved ice.
The downtown Plaza comes alive with music, food booths selling diet-destroyers like kettle corn, artists presenting their handcrafted arts, and lots of boutique ingredients to stock up on. Just a few recommendations are Rojas Family Ranch (blueberries, cherries, nectarines, and peaches), Bloomfield Bees (local flavored honeys), SucherNova Farm (eggs, locally raised meats, greens, lettuce), and fresh-from-the-oven Full Circle Bakery organic breads.
Simply Ceviche owner Mateo Hernandez offers fresh ceviche (fresh fish, crab, shrimp and other seafood marinated in lemon/lime juice so that the meat is actually “cooked” by the acidity of the liquid) tostadas, mango prawns, hibiscus iced tea, and fig ice cream. The tiny market, tucked quite literally into the redwood forest, also beckons with Bodega Bay-caught fresh salmon and rock cod, Neufeld Farm peaches, and greens and veggies grown on the Corks/Russian River Vineyards right around the corner. Save room for wood-fired pizzas and jam to live music from local talent like Crosby Tyler, a one-man band featuring guitar, harmonica, and bass drum.
This joyful little market has replaced the former Glen Ellen Market, lining up booth featuring Two Moon Family Farms produce and specialty peppers, Four Chicks Farm eggs and mixed greens, Noeller Farms almonds and walnuts, and The Patch tomatoes and basil. Grab a great meal, too, from choices like Chai’s Gourmet Sonoma Vietnamese sandwiches, soup and spring rolls, The Farmer’s Wife sandwiches, and Nana Mae Organic apples.