Know your farmer: A tour of the top 7 farmers markets in the Charlotte area

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As a chef, I tend to find inspiration for dishes in a number of different places. Sometimes I find it from cookbooks, sometimes it’s eating my way through a city, even sometimes looking back on my past can inspire the greatest of dishes. For me, one of my top ways to get inspired is traveling to farmers markets. I like to walk around different farmers markets and scope out what is fresh and seasonal. Nothing gets me more excited than seeing heirloom tomatoes scattered on a table or containers of radishes, shishito peppers and fresh berries. I see them and I suddenly want to buy all of them and make wonderful, delicious things with them.

I know I’m not alone in getting my inspiration from Charlotte’s farmers markets. Chef Luca of Passion 8 frequents the farmers markets on the regular, as does Chef Jay Pierce from ROCKSALT. Want to know where they go to find the best that Charlotte has to offer? Good. So do I. Here’s a look at Charlotte’s top farmers markets. **The order that they are listed does not mean anything.**

This page is constantly updated, so all information is fresh. (Have an update? Let us know or email us hi@charlotteagenda.com)


Charlotte Regional Farmers Market

Address: 1801 Yorkmont Road, Charlotte, NC

1801-yorkmont

Hours of Operation:
Oct-April: Tue-Sat, 8am – 5pm
May-Sep: Tue-Sat, 8a – 6pm AND Sundays 12p-6p

The Facts: One of four farmers markets owned by the state and operated by N.C. Department of Agriculture. This market has five separate “buildings” offering a wide variety of local NC farmers, meat, eggs, dairy, seafood, prepared foods, specialty items, unique produce, flowers, honey, baked goods, beverages, plants and gardening things, crafts, baked goods and more! On Saturdays by the gardening building, there are usually a few food vendors [i.e. donuts, hot dogs and kettle corn]. *No pets allowed*

Popular Favorites: Rosemary Pete, Great Harvest, Grateful Growers, Martin Charolais, Way of Life farm, fresh cut flowers [so pretty and so affordable!], Duke’s bread. Lots of prepared food options.

charlotte-regional-market

flowers

Atherton Mill Market

Address: 2104 South Blvd., Charlotte, NC

2104-south-blvd

Hours of Operation:
Open year round: Mon-Sat, 9a – 6p

The Facts: A Southend must see. This market is smaller than Charlotte Regional, but it does not fall short of options! So many vendors to buy top notch produce, meat, seafood, eggs, dairy, prepared foods, coffee, gardening things, home and bath products. Not Just Coffee is a must go to and if you’re lucky, they’re might be a food truck on Saturday mornings! Chef Alyssa conducts her cooking classes here too! Great community vibes happening here. *Pet friendly*

Popular favorites: Not Just Coffee, Coldwater Creek Farms, Windy Hill, Lucky Fish, Bell’s Best Berries, Beverly’s Gourmet Foods, Chef Alyssa’s Kitchen, Bucksin & Mane

atherton-market

atherton-market

Matthews Community Farmers Market

Address: 188 North Trade Street, Matthews, NC

matthews-market

Hours of Operation:
Open Saturday mornings, year round.
Main season: 8am-noon
*Get there early! They tend to sell sooner rather than later.

The Facts: Established in 1991. They have live music and guest chefs, like Paul Verica of Heritage and Chef Luca from Passion 8 perform demos using the fresh, seasonal ingredients found at the market. They are a “grower only” market, meaning all crops are grown within 50 miles of Matthews. *No pets allowed*

Popular Favorites: Baucom’s Best, Bosky Acres Farm, Charlotte Fish Company, New Town Farms, Tega Hills, Windcrest Farms, U.V.A Cheese

matthews farmers market

matthews farmers market

matthews farmers market

Kings Drive Farmers Market

Address: 938 S. Kings Drive, Charlotte, NC

kings-dr-market

Hours of Operation:
April- October
Tuesday: 6am-6pm
Friday: 6am-8pm
Saturday: Saturday 7am – 3pm

The Facts: Started by The Simpson family. Plants, flowers, produce, meat, eggs, honey all available here. Bring cash, small bills. In October they sell fall things like pumpkins. In December you can get Christmas trees! They do have some things shipped in for convenience for their customers, so just make sure if you want local, you read the signage carefully. Cash only.

Popular Favorites: Although not local, some generic grocery items can be found here for cheap [i.e.: peppers, carrots, celery, etc], fresh cut flowers, the fish guy, pastries, jams, grass fed meats.

kings-drive-market

strawberries

Davidson Farmers Market

Address: 120 S. Main Street, Davidson, NC

davidson-farmers-market

Hours of Operation:
Saturdays year round
April-October: 8am-noon
November-March: 9am-noon

The Facts: You’ll feel like you’ve stepped into a Norman Rockwell painting walking around the quaint Davidson College neighborhood. A “producer only”, market with offerings that are sourced within 100 miles. Offers music, chef demos and special events, so check their website or follow them on social media to see upcoming events. Has produce, honey, dairy, eggs, meat, bread, flowers, soaps, prepared foods, and pastas. You may also find the occasional, guest food truck here! *Pet friendly*

Popular favorites: Barbee farms, Bruks Bars, Beverly’s Gourmet Foods, Cackleberry Farm, East of Eden, Gilcrest Farm

bruks-bars

NoDa Farmers Market (Agenda briefing)

Address: 704 E. 36th Street, Charlotte, NC

noda-market

Hours of Operation:
April-November: Saturday 9am – 12pm
December-March: Every other Saturday 9am-noon

*In colder weather, they move indoors to the Neighborhood Theatre (511 E. 36th St)

The Facts: Producers-only market. They are all about relationships and community and connecting people with farmers and artisans. One stop shop! You can get meat, fish, cheese, veggies, coffee, baked goods all in one place! *Pet friendly*

Popular Favorites: Local Loaf, Orman’s Cheese, Smell Cat Coffee, Coldwater Creek farms, Cackleberry Farms, Mary L Farms, Dover Vineyards

Noda-farmers-market

Noda-farmers-market

Noda-farmers-market

7th Street Market

Address: 224 E. 7th Street, Charlotte, NC

7th-street-market

Hours of Operation:
Monday-Thursday: 7am-7pm
Friday: 7am-8pm
Saturday: 8:30am-8pm
Sunday: 8:30am-7pm

The Facts: This place has come a long way since it’s opening in 2012. Even though I would probably consider it more of an artisan market than a farmers market, I chose to include it in this list. Here you can get cheese, baked goods and breads, booze, coffee, meat, vegetables and more. Some of the vendors here at 7th Street Market make appearances at other local farmers markets, which I think is awesome [here’s looking at you Local Loaf, Orman’s and Not Just Coffee]. They strive to promote local and regional farmers, artisans, etc. *No pets allowed*

*7th Street Market validates parking for visits under 90 minutes! Just make sure you park in the 7th Street Station parking deck!

Popular Favorites: Local Loaf, Orman’s Cheese, Not Just Coffee, Pure Pizza.

local-loaf

Here are a few pointers: 

  • Not all vendors take credit/debit cards. Bring cash, a variety of bills.
  • Bring a sturdy bag or basket with you for your goods.
  • Hydrate.
  • Don’t go into a market with a concrete list of ingredients. It might not be seasonal or it might be sold out. Get inspired by what you see.
  • Talk to the farmers. They love to show off their goods, so ask them questions.

So, have I convinced you to get up early this Saturday and go to one of these fabulous markets? Good. Get out there and explore what fantastic ingredients Charlotte has to offer!

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Vanessa Smith
| @lifeundeveloped |
Chef, foodie, coffee addict and blogger behind Life Undeveloped, who's perpetually early to everything. Lover of craft beer, red wine and everything Charlotte.