Back in Nashville, I'd go to the 12 South Farmer's Market every Tuesday from its opening in May to its closing in September. It was my favorite weekly outing, because it gave me a chance to sample lots of fresh, local food and stock up delicious goodies for the week. But when I moved to California, I quickly became overwhelmed by the sheer amount of farmer's markets that I just avoided them altogether. I couldn't decide whether to go to the one in Santa Monica or the one right down the street, and my GOD can't they just pick one day to hold each one??? TOO MANY OPTIONS YO.
When my best friend Danielle was in town last week, I finally buckled down and went to the Hollywood Farmer's Market (held on Sundays), and man am I glad I did! Sure, the farmer's markets here are bigger than they are in Nashville, but for good reason- they're absolutely packed with SO MANY amazing vendors selling the widest range of products I've ever seen! This is the plate I created with the noms I got last week- best tzatziki I've ever had & that little tortilla thing (super healthy and filled with butternut squash) was essentially heaven.
I loved it so much last week that I went again this week- but this time, with my handy dandy DSLR! Check out some of my favorite vendors/products below. And believe me, there is so much more at this market than I was able to photograph, so make sure to check it out for yourself!
Every week, The Sanctuary at Soledad Goats brings a baby goat to the Farmer's Market! They will only be selling their goat cheese for a few more weeks, as they're transitioning over to making vegan cheeses, so get the lemon lavender flavor (my personal fave) while you still can! And definitely stop by and pet the adorable lil goat :)
I'm a pretty big fan of pickles (only like actual pickles though, no other pickled vegetables for me please and thank you), so I was thrilled to find this vendor! The Hattie's Hotties were great, but I fell in love with the Vampire Slayers. Though I do love garlic, I didn't find them overly garlic-y, and the flavor was spot-on! We also bought their spicy bread 'n butters, which will be delish on grilled cheese sandwiches.
I actually haven't bought tea or spices from this vendor yet, but I think they have the coolest display. So authentic! And their spices smell amazing so when I'm in the market for them, I'll be coming here immediately.
Bloom Foods is a plant-based Mexican food startup, and I am a huge fan! Their vegan dark chocolate mole is great, but I really loved their jicama ceviche - so much so that I bought it, even though I have no idea what I'm going to eat it with this week! It's super fresh and light, and I've discovered that it pairs well with tzatziki sauce (which I will mention later). Their amaranth chips are also a delicious yet healthy alternative to the basic corn tortilla chips we all know and love.
I cannot say enough about this vendor. SO MUCH CHEESE and it's all so delicious! I'm lactose intolerant, but I'm very loose with it AKA I eat dairy way more than I should. Even though I'm trying to cut back a little more these days, I have to make an exception for their burrata and their cream cheese, both of which are the best I've ever had. Don't miss out on this cheese! It's located next to the vegan bakery, if that's helpful :)
If you're looking for some healthy ethnic noms, look no further than Dave's. I'm casually obsessed with their tempha (soy-free and SO good), and I just tried their spicy daikon and am loving it so far. It's good for digestion, which is always a plus! They also make veggie broth that's supposed to be as good for you as bone broth except vegan... and it's also delicious. You can't go wrong here!
The fruit from this Ojai vendor is INSANE- the Murcotts are easily the best citrus I've ever had, and I'm from Florida, so that's really saying something. The little pixie tangerines are also super yummy, but if you're looking for citrus that will blow your mind, BUY THE MURCOTTS!!!
NOT PICTURED: there were some vendors that didn't have the best light for pictures, so I'm just gonna list the rest of my favorites in text. And then I'm closing out with pictures of beautiful produce from random farms, because the whole point of a farmer's market is the amazing produce and this post makes it seem like I only bought random stuff... which I kind of did... but whatever.
Ari's Natural Food: So the guy who mans this vendor is literally the most obnoxious/flirtatious/hilarious man I've ever met, but I visit him every week because the food is INSANELY good. I cannot get enough of the greek yogurt, which is supposedly sugar-free, lactose-free, and insanely low in calories but I wouldn't be surprised if it's all a lie because it's the best yogurt I've ever had in my life. The fig flavor is my fave, but the blackberry, apricot, and pumpkin are also great. Their tzatziki is also lactose-free, and even though I typically HATE tzatziki, I'm so in love with this spread that I find excuses to eat it on foods that it doesn't typically go with. Oh, and he gives a ton of samples, so wear your stretchy pants over to this vendor and get ready to fall in love.
MOM's Specialty Food: Another vendor that will literally sample all of their products. I haven't gotten one dud from here yet, but I'm OBSESSED with their pita chips (seriously they're perfect), their parmesan habanero hummus, their tabbouleh (and I actually hate tabbouleh so I'm thrilled to finally find one that I like), and their garlic sundried tomato spread. I've been spreading the latter on literally everything, from veggie burgers to green beans, so I hope it's healthy... oops.
Marcie's Pies and Goods: Get the mini triple-berry pie. Even if you think you hate pie (because I have met weirdos who don't like it), this will make you a believer.
Old Town Baking Company: The sourdough from here is too legit to quit. Also their cinnamon french toast bread made the best french toast I've ever had, so get that if you like carbs as much as I do.
Now for the pretty pictures!!! :)