You can’t live near Berkeley, love food, and NOT visit their farmers market. It’s not quite illegal (yet), but I’ve heard a band of local yippies will bombard your house with useless pamphlets about water conservation (don’t flush the toilet after each use? YEAH, THAT IS NOT GROSS AT ALL) at all hours of the day.
Consequently, the homeless will also ring your doorbell, minus the water conservation pamphlets and add a little “Need Money” sign. But unless you are planning on feeding them, the homeless don’t give a shit if you go to Berkeley’s Farmers Market.
The market runs on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays in different locations around the city, with the Thursday market devoted entirely to organic producers.
I was surprised how small the market was, both on organic and non organic days. It was no larger than the tiny farmers market in my Chicago Lincoln Square neighborhood, but I guess because Berkeley has such a long history of great food people living here (Alice Waters and Ruth Reichl to name a few), I assumed it would be massive. I stand corrected.
Not that I have an issue with mostly organic vendors, a slew of ethnic food vendors and artisanal yogurt–I actually enjoy it a lot. To steal a line from that great movie, 40 year old Virgin, I guess I just put the farmers market on a pedastol.
While the Berkeley Farmers Market is not a weekly destination for me, I know it is the place to go if I am looking for gorgeous organic produce or grassfed meat. The organic market on Thursdays is worth visiting, even if you are from out of town, as it is near The Cheese Board, Chez Panisse and many other delicious foodie stops.
Berkeley Farmers Market
*Saturdays 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Center Street @ M. L. King, Jr. Way
*Tuesdays 2 p.m. – 6 p.m.
Derby Street @ M. L. King, Jr. Way
*Thursdays 3 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Shattuck Avenue @ Rose Street