Jul 17, 2023 - Things to Do

Our favorite San Diego farmers markets

Hundreds of people fill the street to buy produce and other items from vendors at a city farmer's market on a sunny day.

One of the largest in the city, the Little Italy farmers market fills six city blocks in downtown San Diego. Photo courtesy Little Italy Mercato

Southern California farmers are showcasing their wares at local markets this summer — from ripe tomatoes to juicy peaches and crisp summer squash.

What's happening: It's easy to take for granted, but you can find local produce, fresh flowers and artisanal goods any day of the week, all year at farmers markets scattered across San Diego County.

  • Here are some of our favorite open-air markets to peruse, rain or shine:

Of note: California law prohibits pets at farmer's markets. So, it's best to leave your pups at home unless they're registered service animals.

Little Italy Mercato

  • One of the largest in town, this market fills six city blocks and is a popular spot to visit on your own, with the family or on a casual date. Find fresh produce, meat, fish, bread, pasta, sauces, flowers and gifts from local artisans and farmers.
  • Follow Little Italy's Farmers Market on Instagram to stay in the loop.
Families walk through downtown street vendors and shop for produce at a farmers market.
The farmer's market in Little Italy in downtown San Diego is one of the largest in the city. Photo courtesy Little Italy Mercato.

Time: Saturdays, 8am-2pm and Wednesdays, 9:30am-1:30pm

Location: West Date Street from India to State Street on Saturdays and West Date Street from west of Kettner Boulevard to Union Street on Wednesdays.

Parking: Street parking is available, but limited. Pay to park in a nearby garage or for free at the Old Town transit center and take the trolley.

Leucadia Farmers Market

  • Browse through dozens of vendors offering fresh-picked seasonal fruits and vegetables, houseplants, hot food, locally-made cheeses, art and sweet treats.
Shoppers browse fresh, local produce at a farmers market stand.
Shoppers browse through fresh produce at the Leucadia Farmers Market in Encinitas, California. Photo courtesy Leucadia Farmers Market

Time: Sundays, 10am-2pm

Location: Paul Ecke Central Elementary School at 185 Union St. in Encinitas

Parking: Free parking is available at the school and neighborhood streets.

La Jolla Open Aire Market

  • This weekly community market features more than 120 vendors selling a variety of homemade artisanal goods and fresh produce, plus a gourmet food court.
  • It's a great spot to go after brunch or exploring La Jolla Cove and its tide pools.
A tote bag that says "Farm to Beach open aire market La Jolla" with fresh produce sits on a sandy beach.
The La Jolla farmers market features fresh produce, hot food and goods from local artisans. Photo courtesy Love Like Harry Photography
  • Worthy of your time: Started by an elementary school mom in the '90s, the market's proceeds help fund school improvements, STEM and art programs and more teachers at La Jolla Elementary School.

Time: Sundays, 9am-1pm

Location: 7335 Girard Ave. in La Jolla

Parking: Street parking along Girard Ave. and nearby lots are open

Pet policy: You can't bring your pup into the market, but they offer a complimentary dog-sitting service on site.

North Park Thursday Market

  • More than 50 vendors set up at this trendy weekday outdoor market to offer farm-sourced produce, baked goods and handmade crafts. You'll also find live music and activities for kids.
  • Follow them on Instagram or Facebook for highlights and current vendors.
Vendors line the street at farmers market.
Vendors line the street in North Park for the popular weekly farmers market. Photo: Courtesy North Park Market

Time: Thursdays, 3-7:30pm

Location: North Park Way from Ray Street to Granada and at North Park Mini Park

Parking: The North Park Parking Garage is $1 per hour.

Hillcrest Farmers Market

  • With more than 10,000 weekly visitors, the Hillcrest Farmers Market claims to be "the original and largest farmers market" in the city with more than 175 vendors.
  • Stroll through the stands featuring organic produce, flowers, clothing and international cuisines. Explore the vibrant neighborhood and look forward to hearing local musicians.

Time: Sundays. 9am-2pm

Location: Normal Street between University Ave.nue and Lincoln Avenue

Parking: Free street parking in the neighborhood and lots at the DMV, school district facility and post office nearby.

Pet policy: Don't bring your dog or other pets, but they'll make exceptions for service animals or "those really cute little dogs in a carrier."


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