Farmers Markets

Every time I take a road trip somewhere and visit the city’s public market, I think, ‘gee, Pittsburgh really needs something like this!’ Well, now we’ve got it!  There are so many reasons to be excited about the opening of the Pittsburgh Public Market, but here are my top three:

  1. Convenience: There are twenty-seven vendors listed as being there every day, and an additional five on Friday, nine on Saturdays, and three on Sundays.  All this shopping under one roof is fantastic (or dangerous if you are an impulsive buyer like me!).
  2. Unique vendors: Although there are some familiar ones to the Strip (La Prima; Fudgie Wudgie) and the Pittsburgh area in general (East End Brewing Company; Spice by Tamarind), there are also vendors that are just getting their start in the area (Tupelo Honey Teas; Crested Duck Charcuterie).
  3. When winter comes, you can shop in an enclosed area and not freeze your tookus off! (more…)

This is the second post in my Farmers Market Series, in which I give you the scoop on Pittsburgh farmers markets.  This post will feature the East Liberty Citiparks Market, the Southside Citiparks Market, and the Oakland Market.

Oakland Farmers Market This tiny market takes place Friday afternoons from 3:30 to 6:30 on Sennot St. between Meyran Ave. and Atwood St.  Although it’s tiny, it has a very important feature that could keep me coming back: multiple bakeries!  There are about 3-4 bakeries with all manner of regular loaf breads, pies, and other baked goods.  If you’re in the mood to munch, there’s a great stand that has Polish donuts (paczki) which have cinnamon and raisins inside.  Tasty!  There are also the standard fruit and veggie vendors, and a Lebanese stand with hot food to eat there.

East Liberty Citiparks Market This market takes place on Monday evenings from 3:30 to 7:30 pm at 5800 Penn Circle West in East Liberty, next to the Midas.  I was really, really impressed with this market!  The sheer number of vendors is enough to make me a regular here, not to mention the variety!  There are plenty of the standard fruit and vegetable vendors, as well as a few organic produce vendors.  I bought some absolutely gorgeous tomatoes from the main organic vendor (pricey, but worth it).  There are also numerous other vendors selling things like meat, cheese, salsas, Italian ice, flowers, smoked meats, jams, jellies, pies, etc.  The only thing I was disappointed with in this market was the lack of a bread vendor.  Not a deal-breaker, just something to keep in mind so you don’t end up going there to buy a loaf of French bread and come away disappointed like I did.  Still, this market is probably my favorite out of all the ones I’ve reviewed on this blog.

Southside Citiparks Market Taking place on Tuesday nights from 3:30 to 7:30 pm at Sidney and 20th St., this market has a lot of the same vendors as the East Liberty Market (smoked meats, salsas) and the Oakland Market (the bakery with the Polish donuts, Lebanese food stand).  There’s also a pierogie vendor, which sells hot or cold pierogies in different quantities.  I got four hot ones to eat there for $2.50 and they really hit the spot- so cheesy and topped with caramelized onions…yum!  I also stopped at an Amish bakery and got a huge maraschino cherry whoopee pie for $1.  Dessert!  Who needs dinner when you can eat your way through the market?

As I mentioned in my previous post, I’ve been visiting farmers markets in the Pittsburgh area recently.  In the coming weeks, I’ll be starting a weekly farmers market feature here in which I’ll review two to three markets, giving the pros and cons of each.  Today’s post features the Bloomfield Citiparks market, the East Liberty Farmers Co-op market, and the Farmers at Phipps market.  For a comprehensive list of area markets, see the recent Post-Gazette article with interactive map.

Bloomfield Citiparks Market: This is a decent sized market located next to the Immaculate Conception School in Bloomfield (Thursdays from 3:30-7:30 pm).  Parking is very limited here (all metered) and I had to park a few blocks away, but the walk was very much worth it!  There are plenty of fruit and veggie vendors, plus a goat cheese/feta cheese/goat milk stand, an organic produce vendor, lots of options for fresh flowers, and a biscotti vendor (plus more that I’m probably forgetting).  If you’re in the mood to munch, there are a few options: a pierogi stand (available hot to eat right away or cold to take home), a Greek-ish stand with gyros and sausages, and an Italian ice vendor.  This is where I got my $4 peaches for my peach cobbler- yum! (more…)