There are tons of farmers markets in Westchester—but these make my top 5…
BY ILANA ARAZIE Living in Westchester means you’re many miles closer to some of the best farms in the state—and that means you’ll get a taste of their goodies at some great farmers markets in the area. Of course, there’s plenty of organic food to be had at “regular” grocers now, but there’s something special about buying local. I once chatted up a cool organic mushroom farmer who explained his start-to-finish growing process. It was fascinating—and now I’m his best customer! Besides that, though, Westchester farmers markets are fun community events where you get out of the house to “see and be seen,” with plenty of opportunities to chat it up with your neighbors, make new connections and get a sense for the community—all this with tons of amazing eats, sure to satisfy any palate. So the next question: how to choose the best farmers market for your family’s tastes? That’s a tough question—but, really, there’s no wrong answer. Virtually every Westchester community has at least one nearby go-to—but it’s also fun to get out and explore farmers markets outside of your immediate reach. Here are some of my top picks…
#1. Hastings Farmers Market Located in the Hastings-on-Hudson library parking lot, this market overlooks the Hudson River and Palisades and draws local and visiting families alike. Head here Saturday mornings from 8:30am-1:30pm starting in June and running straight through to November. After that, don’t worry—the market moves inside to the James V. Harmon Community Center. Find all your favorite veggies and fruit, and then also try their naturally made dumplings to crepes, flowers, pickles, homemade pasta and kimchi—truly, there’s something here for everyone. Besides the amazing food, catch musicians playing live, plus drop in on activities for kids—think story time, crafts and yoga depending on the weekend. If you have little ones in tow, you’ll want to also stroll in and out of the library next door, where they can roam, play and read in the AC—during the summer, it’s a welcome way to beat the heat.
#2. TaSH Farmers Market Saturday mornings between 8:30am and 2pm, head to the farmers market at Prospect Park in Tarrytown. Run by community members, this market is packed with incredible and very diverse local vendors who sell everything and anything you can imagine. While you’re sure to find farmers market staples like veggies and fruit, many of the vendors have ready-made-food, desserts, breads and more. Local caterers No Place Like Home, for example, cooks up some tasty papaya dishes every weekend. You can also snag homemade teas and Kombucha drinks, which are always popular among market-goers. Aside from food, the park has a large grassy area behind the vendors and, many weekends, there’s live music throughout the day. If the kids get bored, you can also swing and play at a small playground nearby, or hit up the library—there’s a large kids’ room filled with books and toys. [rp4wp]
#3. Chappaqua Farmers Market Located at the Chappaqua train station right off the Saw Mill Expressway, this centrally-located farmers market is a great spot to snag some local eats. Expect fresh seasonal vegetables and fruits plus tons of artisanal products from area vendors. Plus, this market has some of my favorite Greek food—I can’t help but grab a few pieces of homemade spanakopita whenever I stop by. Beyond the Greek eats, there are tons of premade food options making it a perfect stop-over for weekend lunch. Grab homemade mozzarella and tomato sandwiches, veggie chili and, on some days, artisanal pizza from a local food truck. Then head to the grassy space right behind the vendors for live music and plenty of space for kids to play. While not a guarantee, there are usually children’s activities and family-oriented vendors in this area, too, making it a perfect kids day out. This market runs Saturday mornings from 8:30am-1:00pm.
#4. Pleasantville Farmers Market This market has been voted Best of Westchester by Westchester Magazine for the last six years, and it just takes one visit to see why. The Pleasantville Farmers Market offers lots of choices because of their size—think three poultry vendors and three for bread, plus tons of options for desserts, drinks, cheeses, produce and more. Another perk? This market has three certified-organic growers and a huge focus on home cooks—people who love to cook find their ingredients and learn how to cook them directly from vendors! If you’re ready for lunch at the market, there are two vendors who can serve you up a yummy stir-fried option or, even, vegan samosas. If not, there are many ready-to-eat options to take home with you. This market is open Sundays from 8:30am-1:00pm.
#5. New Rochelle Farmers Market This market brings the farm downtown, literally, every Saturday from 9am to 1pm through October 30. The market is located at Ruby Dee Park, right outside the New Rochelle Public Library on a beautiful area of greenery surrounded by high rises. Every week you can find lots and lots of organic produce, fresh local fruit from Wright’s Apple Farm, European-style breads from Wave Hill Breads—voted the #1 Bakery in Connecticut—the Penny Lick Ice Cream cart and local cheeses from Dobbs & Bishop. The Sprig Flower truck sells local flowers from vintage Chevy truck that has been retrofitted into a mobile flower truck. There’s also live music every weekend and, since the market is affiliated with a very active local library, you can count on fun pop-up events and activities such as Touch a Truck Day, Jazz Day and African drum performances. There are hundreds of towns to choose from. How do you figure it all out? You simply don’t, without getting a Suburban Jungle Strategist to help you through it all. Schedule here for your strategy session with our innovative suburbs strategy team. All services are completely free.