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  1. “What makes the farmers market such a special place is that you’re actually creating community around food.” –

    -Bryant Terry

Every home has a story, and they are as vast and varied as the world is wide. But they all start with inspiration, and inspiration starts with our surroundings. That’s what home is. Family. Friends. A sense of place. An amazing view. It is all part of what makes a space a home because your home is where you truly live. As homeowners ourselves we understand that your best life begins with a home that inspires you. (This page includes affiliate links – our full disclosure statement is available {here}



The Davis Farmers Market in the city’s Central Park is well worth the hour-long journey from the East Bay. It routinely wins accolades as one of the best farmers markets in the country —and it’s a favorite of Chez Panisse founder Alice Waters. Started in 1975 by local students and farmers, this produce extravaganza immediately reminded Waters of the French village markets she fell in love with during her travels  As Waters wrote in her foreword to “The Davis Farmers Market Cookbook,” the market helped pioneer a national movement connecting food consumers with farmers and creating places where people could “celebrate the rhythm of the seasons and rich traditions of diversified, sustainable and local agriculture.”

Don’t miss the stands manned by two market co-founders, Capay Organic and Good Humus Produce, which sell spectacular beets, lettuce, kale and chard beginning in September. Got a gardening question? Look for volunteers from the UC Davis Master Gardener program, who are often on hand to help answer queries at a table near the park’s native plant garden.

Eat it there: Some of Davis’ most popular restaurants and bakeries have stands here, offering up snacks and lunch fare to enjoy in the park. Check out Upper Crust Bakery’s baguettes and bagels and Kathmandu Kitchen, which sells Nepali and Indian samosas and curries.

Details: 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays and 3 to 6 p.m. Wednesdays at Central Park, Fifth and B Streets in Davis.



Come for the shopping, stay for the sightseeing. You know you’re in for some glorious San Francisco Bay and Peninsula views when you arrive at this hilltop campus and wind up and around to the Galileo parking lot, where this market from the Pacific Coast Farmers’ Market Association is situated every week.

There’s a nice mix of coastal and valley produce. Look for seasonal legumes — Italian butter beans, Blue Lakes, favas, romanos or English peas — from the Iacopi family, who have farmed in Half Moon Bay since 1962. The growers from Pescadero’s Fly Girl Farm bring flowers galore and vegetables. And fourth-generation farmer Brad Payne drives over from Modesto with Early Girl tomatoes (they’re late girls, too) and walnuts.

Artisanal goodies include San Jose’s Sweetdragon for nut brittles and pies and San Francisco’s Nana Joes Granola, which is made by hand.

Eat it there: For lunch, check out the pork belly bao from The Chairman’s food truck or the chicken at Roli Roti’s rolling rotisserie. Snag a spot at the overlook to enjoy both your bounty and the beauty. Even on a hazy day, you can see the San Francisco skyline. And, from this distance, the Salesforce Tower doesn’t look half bad.

Details: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays at 1700 W. Hillsdale Blvd. in San Mateo;



A trip to downtown Brentwood takes you into the heart of East Contra Costa’s famous farming region, known from high-end restaurant menus for its corn, peaches, cherries and zinfandel grapes. The market recently went from a seasonal occurrence to a year-round affair that occupies several blocks in front of a 1930s movie theater, diner and stately newspaper office — a mid-20th-century farm town setting.

The market’s vendors include some of the region’s popular local family farms, including Smith Family Farm, known for its juicy heirloom tomatoes, available through September, as well as fall pumpkins, apples, squash and greens. At the Kite Hawk Farms stall, self-described farmer’s wife Lindsey McCord can offer delicious recipe tips for pan-roasting their shishito peppers and other peppers and greens.

Eat it there: Grab French pastries at the Dore Bakery Inc. stall or enjoy lunch or all-day breakfast with everyone else in town at M.J.’s Cafe and Bakery nearby;

Details: 8 a.m. to noon on Saturdays at First and Oak Streets in Brentwood;




Where else can you buy squash, otherworldly mushrooms and, for the upcoming holiday season, a Frog Hollow Farm fruitcake? This wildly popular farmers market along Palo Alto’s southern restaurant row is a nearly 50/50 mix of growers and artisans.

Certified organic produce reigns here, courtesy of Watsonville’s Happy Boy Farms, the Fifth Crow Farm of Pescadero, Tomatero Organic Farm from Aptos, Borba Family Farms from Aromas and others. And there are always unexpected delights: One week it was the French prune plums, rarely seen these days, from Allard Farms, another time the mulberry-ginger sheep’s milk popsicles at the Garden Variety Cheese booth.

Get in line early for Bolani (handmade flatbread from Afghan family recipes), Esther’s German Bakery (the cheesy pretzels sell out early), the Santa Cruz Pasta Factory (ravioli and sauce to complement the salad you’re going to make) and the Midwife and the Baker (bread, croissants).

Eat it there: Parklets abound on this street, so you’ll be tempted to grab Sunday brunch at one of the local restaurants. Put your name on the list for Pastis, La Boheme or Joanie’s Cafe and shop for some more veggies while you’re waiting. Backyard Brew is a funky outdoor space for coffee and conversation.

Details: Sundays, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., along California Avenue, Palo Alto;



Berkeley, the birthplace of California cuisine, has three farmers markets run by the Ecology Center, which pioneered city recycling and school environmental education programs. The Saturday market downtown is the city’s biggest, but the North Berkeley market has a neighborly vibe, offering a place to pick up fresh, organic fruits, vegetables, nuts and baked goods in the middle of the week. Word is, Alice Waters and other local chefs shop here.

Look for fresh peaches and plums, as well as stone-fruit conserves and baked goods from Brentwood’s famous Frog Hollow Farms, delectable mushrooms from E&H farms and handcrafted sourdough and whole-grain loaves from Berkeley’s Morell’s Breads. Don’t miss the fresh pastas and sauces made by Berkeley’s Phoenix Pastificio.

Eat it there: The market offers plenty of choices, but the Cheeseboard Collective, just across Shattuck Avenue, offers scones, muffins and seasonal pizzas to go.

Details: 3 to 7 p.m. on Thursdays at Shattuck Avenue and Vine Street in Berkeley;




Surrounded by trees and wisps of coastal fog, the Cabrillo College market stalls are arrayed across three open-air levels and offer everything from rainbow carrots and baby lettuce to spicy riffs on the hummus theme. Hit it just right, when the marine layer fades away, and you’ll enjoy ocean views with your produce.

Sacramento’s Zena Foods makes nearly a dozen varieties of hummus and other Mediterranean spreads that range from artichoke-lemon-dill to Prince Gabriel, a sundried tomato-feta number, and a sinus-clearing jalapeno-cilantro. At the Kashiwase Farms stall, the stone-fruit lineup includes not just pluots but nectaplums and nectacherries in season. And while Blue Heron Farms offers organic veggies from its Watsonville farm,  it’s their spectacular flowers that stop (farmers market) traffic.

Eat it there: Start your morning with espresso drinks and kouign-amann at Companion Bakeshop’s full-service cafe just down the road. (You can refuel later at the bakery’s farmers market stall, too.)

Details: 8 a.m. to noon at Cabrillo College, 6500 Soquel Drive in Aptos;



It’s not often that you find a farmers market in the shadow of a Frank Lloyd Wright-designed building. But if you venture north of the Golden Gate and San Rafael bridges to San Rafael, you’ll find a wonderful farmers market held on Thursdays and Sundays in the parking lot of Marin County’s landmark Civic Center.

The Sunday market is one of the North Bay’s largest, with more than 100 vendors, while the Thursday market is a midweek shopping destination for chefs from top Bay Area restaurants, as well as families and county workers looking for a tasty lunch.

Many farmers host stands on both days, a lineup that includes Hale’s Apple Farm from Sebastopol; Kashiwase farms, a stone fruit and nut specialist, from outside Merced; and Tomatero Organic Farm from the Aptos area.

Eat it there: Pick up custom-made sandwiches on Dutch crunch rolls from the Rozmary Kitchen stand on both days. On Sundays, a section of the Civic Center parking lot is transformed into a food court, complete with porchetta sandwiches, wood-fired pizza, crepes and souvlaki.

Details: 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursdays in the Marin Veteran’s Memorial parking lot, near the lagoon; 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sundays at 3501 Civic Center Drive in San Rafael;



The large, bustling market at Lake Merritt’s Splash Pad Park, across from the Grand Lake Theatre, bustles on Saturdays, as older couples and millennial and Gen-Z hipsters converge at what’s become as much a hangout as a shopping destination. A steady soundtrack of live music accompanies the buzz of conversation as visitors catch up with friends on the lawn, tables by the fountain or at the 70-plus stalls selling fresh fruit, vegetables, seafood, meat and specialty food items.

Don’t miss the Ledesma Family farm stand, longtime vendors from Watsonville who sell carrots, cabbage, chard and leeks. Cheese lovers can find artisanal brie, chevre, fontina-style and blue cheeses made by half a dozen creameries from Cambria to Crescent City. And the line for croissants, savory tarts and ginger scones from Emeryville’s Starter Bakery is worth the wait.

(For those anxious about mingling in line during a pandemic, the Agricultural Institute of Marin, which runs the market, offers “bounty boxes” of produce that can be picked up curbside;

Eat it there: Tru Gourmet Dim Sum’s creative fare uses local, seasonal ingredients — asparagus, broccoli rabe, wild petrale sole — that it buys from Grand Lake and other farmers markets.

Details: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays at Splash Pad Park in Oakland;

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