If you blindfolded me and took be to the Berkeley Farmer’s Market, I could tell you in two second we were smack dab in the middle of Berkeley. White folks with dreadlocks, ethnic scarves, smelling of patchouli abound. There’s even a bodywork area for anyone interested in releasing tension from their chakras. That said, there a reason why Berkeley is home to the Gourmet Ghetto. This is a great farmer’s market. Surprisingly, a pretty standard size with the standard number of vendors.
You seriously cannot get more convenient than the Berkeley Farmer’s Market. It’s open on Saturday from 10 am to 3 pm. Located on Center Street and MLK Jr. Way, it’s a block an a half from the Downtown Berkeley BART station. For the drivers out there, there’s plenty of street parking that like a dollar an hour (take THAT Ferry Plaza!).
Vibe – 4
As I said in the intro, this is Berkeley. That’s the vibe. Most of the vendors are friendly if not particularly engaging but I have give props to the awesome Bear Paw vinegar guy who is positively delightful. We bought $50 of vinegars and olive oils from him and they were worth every penny. One plus is that the farmer’s market does have a place for people to drop off plastic bags for use in the market.
Produce – TBD
Considering I started going in the dead of winter, it would be unfair of me to make any definitive pronouncement on their produce. Nevertheless, the variety of products is pretty standard. Nothing you wouldn’t get at the supermarket of Whole Foods.
Prepared Foods – 3
There’s a decent variety of prepared foods that includes Thai, crepes and kettle corn, and tamales and Mexican street food. I would say that a lot of the prepared food is of the variety where you need a knife and fork. It’s not really walking around food.
Well it’s the dead of winter so I won’t ding them for the lack of flowers. I’ll revisit this once spring hits.
Total: 12 out of 15 (with 2 categories to be scored in the Spring)