Although we can’t recommend abandoning your professional commitments, we do know the key to a perfect summer party or picnic: Fresh food from a farmers' market. Read on to find out the best places in St. Louis to unleash your inner locavore and take your picnic game to a whole new level. After all, shopping at a grocery store is so last December.
This family-friendly, hipster-happy paradise congregates on Saturdays in Tower Grove Park for a morning of fitness, live music, and sustainable agricultural goodness. Organized to promote Missouri- and Illinois-grown farm products, the market offers many local favorites, from Baetje Farm cheeses to Salume Beddu sausages, along with more niche products like dog treats and gluten-free baked goods. With free yoga and QiGong classes for adults and a playground and splash pad for kids, the market is all about keeping people healthy in more ways than one. We advise early bird behavior; the place tends to get crowded after 10am, and you're likely to experience more than one infant meltdown.
What makes grocery shopping better? Drinking beer while you do it. On Wednesday evenings, stop by Schlafly Bottleworks after work for live music, over 30 farmers and food vendors, and—of course—a nice cold one from Schlafly. Getting buzzed while doing your produce shopping is definitely something we can get behind.
First held in 1779 in a meadow so that farmers could sell their wares, this tourist-friendly destination has been held in its current location on Carroll Street since 1841. Today, visitors can find out what all the two centuries’ worth of hype is about Wednesdays through Saturdays all year round. Unlike the other markets on this list, not all of the goods are locally sourced (wait, Honduras isn't in Missouri?), so we recommend going more for the history than for the goodies.
The Delmar Loop may be known more for its dining destinations from Seoul Taco to Blueberry Hill, but you'd be remiss to miss out on its weekly farmers' market. Tucked in a parking lot behind the Loop, the market is on the small side, but offers excellent Missouri- and Illinois-grown produce and special events like a zucchini car race for kids. We recommend filling your reusable canvas bag with fresh-from-the-farm goodies in the morning and then spending the rest of your day exploring the Loop for a perfect start to your weekend.
Love farmers' markets but struggle to make time on Saturday mornings? Enter the Kirkwood Farmers Market, open every day of the week five months of the year. Located in the heart of charming downtown Kirkwood, this market is perfect for making memories your children will actually enjoy reminiscing about someday. The fun doesn't end when the weather turns cool either. The market transforms into a pumpkin patch for the month of October and Christmas market and Christmas tree lot in November and December.
For those with preconceived notions about what Ferguson is like, the farmers' market is likely to surprise and delight. This market is known for its friendly, community-centered spirit and diverse variety of vendors from food to jewelry and crafts. Market regulars love the fresh, organic produce, including from Ferguson's own EarthDance Farm, and special events, like art activities and food competitions. With its inviting, festival-like atmosphere, this is more than worth a drive from the city.