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Vista Farmers Market review

The Vista Farmers Market
San Diego’s Oldest Farmers Market

by Cheff Jenn

One of the oldest farmers markets in San Diego, is surprisingly one of the least known. The Vista farmers market has been providing San Diego’s North County with fresh flowers, seafood, produce, tamales and more for over 20 years and with its new location in the Vista Courthouse parking lot (on Melrose Drive) it’s become one of the largest farmers markets in the area. As well as having ample parking!
With plenty of room to stroll at your pace and enjoy the wonders, the market is as engaging; crave worthy and as exciting as ever. While showcasing farm fresh produce vendors (many of which come from the surrounding areas like Escondido, Fallbrook and Bonsall) you’ll also find everything from fresh local seafood and tamales to homemade pasta and freshly baked bread.
I find I feel better eating food that is pesticide free, knowing that my food is not only good for me, but good for the earth too. Luckily, the majority of the fruit and vegetables found at the market are all organic. One vendor even confided in me that the only fertilizer they used came out the back end of a chicken. Not the most appetizing thought, but you can’t get more natural than that.

Stands like Knights Salumi sell locally made Artisanal salamis. Farmers Like La Milpa Organica provide you with fresh vegetables picked that morning on their farm in Escondido (ask them about the organic potlucks they do on the third Saturday of the month on the farm). The seafood vendor Dry Dock Fish sells fresh shell fish from Carlsbad Aquafarm, often selling oysters that came fresh from the water that morning.

If your green thumb is itching you’ll find just about every plant you’ve ever dreamed of, and even some you never knew you needed. Ben’s Subtropical carries some of the most amazing exotic plants that bare some of the most delicious fruit (which you’re more them welcome, and encouraged, to sample). Tell them Chef Jenn says hi.

The market is held every Saturday from 8 am to 12 pm, rain or shine. On the second Saturday of the month the market makes room for items not normally allowed in the farmers market like local nonprofits, schools, businesses.


Chef Jenn is a teacher at Alchemy of the Hearth cooking school in San Marcos, You can find Chef Jenn at the Vista farmers market giving tours and cooking demonstrations. For more information go to and find Chef Jenn on Facebook.

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