In an area where we have one of the world's renowned farmers' markets, it is easy to overlook neighborhood markets. But the truth is that often we don't have the time or the will to elbow through the crowds at the Ferry Building. On the weeks when you'd like to avoid the weekend farmers' market crush, or you'd simply like some drama-free shopping at markets that will provide you with many of your necessities, consider one of the Bay Area's neighborhood markets.
The Temescal Farmers Market in Oakland is one of the Bay Area's newest farmers' markets. It opened this summer, and is already a bustling and busy market. It is set up in the DMV parking lot, and is very close to the shopping area of the Temescal district. The market is largely organic, and is well represented by vendors who have a solid reputation for providing quality products.
I could easily do all my shopping for the week at this market, as most major food products are covered: fruits and vegetables, soy products, fish, eggs, and baked goods. I didn't see cheese or meat/poultry vendors. The only negative of this market is that there is not a bathroom facility, and to use a restroom one must walk several blocks to the Walgreen's.
I was really pleased to be able to try Bakesale Betty's products, as I had been reading about them for a while. They were handing out an entire vanilla shortcake as a sample, which was delicious and thoroughly enjoyable. Ella Bella Farm was another happy surprise. Ella Bella attends the Saturday Ferry Plaza market, but it was nice to see them at a smaller market as well.
When I attended the market on August 20, the following vendors were in attendance:
Bakesale Betty (Oakland). Baked items.
Bay Bread (San Francisco).
Big Paw Grub. Oils, Vinegars.
Blossom Bluff Orchard (Parlier). Stone fruit.
Blue Bottle Coffee Company.
Borba Farm (Aromas). Vegetables, berries, peppers.
Brentwood Corn (Brentwood).
East/West Afghan (Martinez). Prepared Afghan Food.
EGB Farms (Ripon). Stone fruit.
Ella Bella Farm (Santa Cruz). Berries, dry-farmed tomatoes, vegetables.
Feel Good Bakery (Alameda).
Glaum Egg Ranch (Aptos). Eggs.
Hamada Farm (Kingsburg). Stone fruit.
Happy Boy Farms (Freedom). Vegetables, melons, tomatoes.
Happy Girl Foods (Freedom). Pickled, canned items.
Hodo Soy (San Jose). Tofu products.
Kashiwase (Winton). Stone fruit.
Laloo's Ice Cream (Sonoma County). Goat milk ice cream.
Little Bug Organic. Baby Food.
Lucero Organic (Lodi). Tomatoes, strawberries, squashes.
MacDonald's Organic Farm (Sebastopol). Apples.
Mt. Moriah Farms. Stone fruit, grapes.
Olio Olinda (Happy Valley). Olive oil.
Pinnacle Organic Produce (San Juan Bautista). Vegetables, tomatoes, corn.
Pot Pie Paradise. Pot pies to take home.
Sterntaler Bakery (San Carlos). German baked goods.
The Pasta Shop (Oakland). Fresh pasta.
VB Organic (Watsonville). Berries, snow peas.
Wild King Salmon.
Various prepared food vendors: crepes, Thai food, Filipino Food.
You can visit the Temescal Farmers' Market on Sundays from 9 am to 1 pm. It is located at the Oakland DMV, 5300 Claremont Ave (near Telegraph). You can park in the neighborhoods near the market or in the DMV parking lot. This is a year round, rain or shine market.