Eating quality, fresh food is ingrained in our being. Biologically, our bodies crave the nutrients just like they crave water or sugar. Community is another aspect that is essentially part of being a human as camaraderie brings us closer to building the societies that have allowed our species to thrive throughout the centuries. Thankfully today, farmers markets bring both of those factors together creating a brilliant place of commerce, healthy living, and local culture together in one spot. As Louisiana has an abundance of rich soil and local game, the possibilities at these markets are endless. Here are the 10 best farmers markets in Louisiana that truly embody the spirit of the market and will bring you back to your roots.
This market hosts a Wednesday and Saturday market in the quaint town of Covington on the Northshore of Lake Pontchartrain. The market brings together community producers and consumers for a day of fresh produce and live music. Every Wednesday market there is an acoustic jam with an array of lunch possibilities. Saturdays make for an exciting outing as well with one featured chef cooking up something good at the market along with live music performances. It goes from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Wednesdays and 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. every Saturday rain or shine.
This farmers market is run by the organization BREADA, a group of locals who started the Red Stick Farmers Market in November of 1996. Today, the sprawling market is a hub for the local economy and is held every Saturday in the streets of downtown on 5th and Main Street. Their mission is to create a healthy and strong local food system, while supporting small local farms fisheries, and food producers so that stewardship of the community as well as land can be promoted through public markets. From wine to fresh produce, seafood, hand crafted items, and baked goods. Everything can be found at this market in the Capital City.
Hosting Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday markets at different spots in the city including uptown, mid-city, downtown, and the French Quarter. Year-round fresh baked breads, and other prepared foods can be found at the market with seasonal produce available as well. Regional treats like pralines are found every week along with prepared foods like alligator sausage, Andouille, kettle corn, and creole cream cheese. Experience the freshest tastes of New Orleans four days a week at the Crescent City Farmers Market!
Providing for affordable food and consumer educational on seasonal products, this farmers market is in the Cajun capital city of Lafayette. Located in Lafayette Central Park, this market is a true hub of local commerce delving in produce, baked goods, artisan crafts, and much more. Some of the specialty items found at this market are Tamales by Emilia and Vegan Ravioli by Vie Pasta. Many of the crafts come with a regional flavor depicting Cajun scenes, old Acadian craftsmanship, and pictures of local wildlife along with duck calls! It is a big market so guests are encouraged to first visit the welcome center where they can get information on the all of the products available that’s season.
Held in historic Rivertown in Kenner, this market is open every Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. They not only provide an array of fresh, local produce in this community space but also have cooking demonstrations available. Jams, preserves, and baked good can also be found at the market. Plants can also be purchased along with a variety of local craft items. Located only about 15 minutes from New Orleans this market is must-see for visitors and locals.
Held in downtown Lake Charles in southwest Louisiana, this market truly increases the awareness of all the local downtown businesses that keep popping up in this growing city. Held every Saturday from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Bilbo Street behind the Historic City Hall and Cultural Center, the market goes on rain or shine though will be moved to the first floor of the building in the chance of rain. Thursday the market is held in the afternoon from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. inside the recreational building at University Park. The market highlights Louisiana-made items including brown jasmine rice and fresh produce along with gumbo, canned goods, honey, herbs, and much more!
Farmers and town markets have been occurring in the port town of Shreveport since the city’s beginnings in the early 1900s. However, the market of today came together in 1986. Having had several site changes, the present location is at the Festival Plaza where people from around the region flock to the streets of downtown Shreveport to enjoy the market. Over 150 vendors occupy the space with about 12,000 attendees on opening day of the market alone in recent past years. According to research study in 2009, this market has shown to do exactly what it set out to accomplish: To improve the local economy around the downtown area.
Starting in the fall, the historic town of Opelousas hosts a local farmers market and concert series during Friday afternoons. The concerts boast a local lineup of Cajun, swamp pop, and zydeco stars from the region. Though that is just to get the people there. A ton of local produce and other Louisiana products are sold at the festivals market each week. Held at Le Vieux Village, Farmers Market Pavilion, the market open at 5:30 p.m. with the music beginning a half hour later.
That’s right! This farmers market allows fresh consumers to get all their groceries in the middle of the week and with all the farms located in central Louisiana some of the best items are available right here. Products from Inglewood Farms, Flowing Hills Creamery, and Jelly by George are some of the most notable rock stars of the region! However, many more local farmers, artists, food producers attend the event every Tuesday from 3 to 6 p.m.
At this farmers market in North Louisiana you never know what surprises are in store. Fresh, juicy tomatoes, okra, watermelon, and hot baked goods like local cornbread are the staples at this market. Still, vendors from the region bring in other items like goat cheese, homemade jellies, honey, and herbs. One of the greatest things about this market is the community garden where master gardeners can often be found readily available to give tips to the local community. This helpful market also provides a shelling service for items like peas and pecans.