While many parts of New York City are known as urban food deserts, with little to no access to healthy, fresh foods, times are changing rapidly. There are an increasing number of fabulous farmer’s markets within the city. In fact, there’s at least one to visit every day of the week and several in each borough! We’ve been surprised by the high quality of produce we’ve found at each, and also really enjoy taking the kids to the markets. It’s important that children get up close and personal with their food, learning where it comes from and how much variety exists. They get to learn about farming practices and the seasonal nature of the food we eat, not to mention that they learn to shop local and support their neighbors. There is a personal aspect to farmers markets that can’t be rivaled by big box stores. The live music, the pet-friendly nature of markets, and being out in the fresh air doesn’t hurt either.
Not sure where to begin? Start here, with this list of New York City’s best farmers’ markets and when to visit them:
1. Union Square, Manhattan
Open Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays
The world-famous Union Square Greenmarket has been around since 1976, and now has 140 regional farmers, fishers, and bakers selling their products. The variety here is the best in the city, with fresh fruits and vegetables, heritage meats, award-winning cheeses, artisan breads, jams, pickles, as well as flowers and plants, wine, ciders, maple syrup and tons more. You’ll likely also see cooking demonstrations by some of New York’s hottest local chefs, and quite often book signings. Warning: Expect crowds!
2. Grand Army Plaza, Brooklyn
You’ll find this one at the northwest entrance to beautiful Prospect Park. You can get plenty of farm-fresh products at this well-known and much-loved community destination. A mix of shoppers from the nearby neighborhoods of Park Slope, Prospect Heights, Crown Heights all converge to shop and check out the awesome cooking demonstrations that take place every Saturday all year long.
3. Learn It Grow It Eat It Youthmarket, Bronx
Open Wednesdays from July through November
169th St & Boston Rd at McKinley Square
This unique market is aimed at improving the health of kids through nutrition education and improved food access in their schools and communities. Your family will leave with fresh produce, lots of information, and maybe even a few new cooking skills!
4. Corona, Queens
Open Fridays from July through November
Surrounded by shops, this market serves a diverse community with fresh produce and family-friendly activities based on teaching the importance of eating locally grown food. Here, you’ll find seasonal vegetables grown in the famous “black dirt” region of Orange County, as well as specialty Mexican vegetables and herbs among other produce.
5. Fort Greene Park, Brooklyn
Located just outside the beautiful and historic Fort Greene Park, this market serves a diverse community of young, urban professionals and multi-generational Fort Greene families. Shop for potatoes, onions and vegetables (again grown in the famous “black dirt” region), as well as fresh seafood, cheese, orchard fruit, baked goods, a variety of sustainably raised meat, and dairy products. While you’re there, pick up a bottle of wine pressed from Long Island grapes!
6. Saint George, Staten Island
Overlooking New York Harbor and the downtown Manhattan skyline, this market provides the freshest seasonal fruit, produce, cheese, meat, seafood and baked goods. You’ll find plants, berries, juice pressed from upstate orchard fruit, heirloom tomatoes and more.
\Photo: Namrata Dwarakanath
About Carmen Sognonvi
Carmen Sognonvi is a luxury family travel content creator at Top Flight Family, named a top 10 family travel Instagram account by Time Out New York and Brit + Co. Her insights on travel have been featured in The Washington Post, INSIDER, Huffington Post, Wanderlust Travel Magazine, TravelPulse, HOTELS Magazine, and more. Carmen firmly believes that you can (and should) travel with your kids from a young age. She offers families practical solutions for travel, as well as tips on how to travel in luxury for less. She lives in New York City with her multiracial and multicultural family of four. Follow her on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.
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