Davis Farmers Market
C Street (between 3rd and 4th Streets), Davis
Wednesdays, 4:30–sunset (mid-March to mid-October) and 3–6 p.m. (late October to early March), and Saturdays, 8 a.m.–1 p.m. (year-round)
The University of California at Davis is well known for its Agricultural and Environmental Sciences College, so it’s not surprising that the city’s largest farmers’ market attracts stellar produce—much of it certified organic. Among the 50 farm and food stands piled with a valley’s worth of seasonal fruits, vegetables, and cut flowers, look for pistachio butter from Fiddyment Farms, goat cheese from Jollity Farm, and Montoya’s 10 kinds of tamales. About 30 artisans also sell their crafts here, including fiber arts and woodworking. Spring through fall, the Wednesday evening market is called “Picnic in the Park,” and features live music (ranging from bluegrass to klezmer), an international food fair, and a beer and wine garden, as well as kid-friendly enticements like face-painting, bounce houses, and pony rides.
San Joaquin Certified Farmers Market
4994 Claremont, Stockton
Thursdays, 8 a.m.–1 p.m. (early May through mid-November) and Sundays, 8 a.m.–1 p.m. (year-round)
The San Joaquin Valley is one of the world’s most productive agricultural regions, and many of its 250 different crops are sold at this huge farmers’ market, held in the parking lot behind Stockton’s Weberstown Mall. In addition to seasonal staples like walnuts, tomatoes, garlic, asparagus, and table grapes, you’ll find fresh-baked croissants, Filipino teriyaki chicken, artichoke hummus, buttery pecan brittle, rosemary olive oil, a rainbow’s worth of eggplants, Southeast Asian herbs, and seemingly endless varieties of mushrooms. Not sure what to do with that veggie or fruit you’ve never seen before? Ask vendors for recipes, and you shall receive.