Your Ultimate Guide to Atlanta Farmers Markets: Expanded and Updated for 2015

Farmers MarketPhoto via Natalie Maynor.

Plucking produce from your own garden is the only way to get real food that’s fresher than you’ll find in Atlanta’s farmers markets. If that whole green thumb thing isn’t for you, grab this guide to Atlanta’s 18 greatest grocery store alternatives and hit the road.

Atlanta State Farmers Market

At 150 acres of space, this OTP market is, according to its website, “considered one of the largest of its kind in the world.”
Offerings: Fresh fruits and vegetables, locally produced meat, flowers, a restaurant, and a large garden center with a wide array of plants, landscaping needs, even sod.
Open: Year-round, seven days a week. Hours are hard to come by. When we called, we were told that most vendors arrive around 6 or 7 a.m. and leave around 5 p.m. Come early, before 10 or 11 a.m., for the freshest options.
Location: 16 Forest Parkway, Forest Park
Good to know: Stop at the Welcome Center and grab a map (you’ll be driving) or navigation will be a challenge. At least half the sellers are wholesale only, but there’s still plenty to choose from. Bulk quantities are available and will bring you big savings.

Avondale Estates Farmers Market

The market is open rain or shine, so bring your umbrella on drizzly days and keep shopping.
Offerings: Fruits, vegetables, dairy, cheeses, pasta, baked goods, pet treats, candles, soaps, and prepared foods.
Open: Sundays, March 15 through November, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Location: 64 North Avondale Road, Avondale Estates

Brookhaven Farmers Market

T11156369_815628728513739_2878984184405721089_nhis cozy five-year-old market moved this year and is now located directly across from the fire station in the heart of Brookhaven.
Offerings: Meat, seafood, fruit (look for the peaches), marinades, prepared foods, baked goods, honey, eggs, coffee, soaps, and more
Open: Saturdays, April 18 through December 12, 9 a.m. to noon.
Location: 1375 Fernwood Circle, Brookhaven
Good to know: This small market has limited stock, so if you’re after something specific, be sure to show up early.

Buford Highway Farmers Market

While not a traditional outdoor farmers market (think YDFM style), the well-organized aisles of the BHFM have been offering a huge range of exotic, tough-to-find foods to Atlantans for 30 years.

Photo by Kate Medley (Creative Commons)

Photo by Kate Medley (Creative Commons)

Offerings: Name something and you’ll find it here. Organic fruits and vegetables from around the world, meat and seafood like you won’t find anywhere else, unusual spices, and products from Korea, Mexico, Central and South America, the Caribbean, West Africa, Japan, China, Thailand, Vietnam, the Philippines, Eastern Europe and more.
Open: Daily from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Location: 5600 Buford Highway, Atlanta (in Doraville at the intersection of I-285 and Buford Highway)
Good to know: There’s free face painting for the kids on Saturdays.

Clarkson Farmers Market

Word has been spreading about this hidden gem founded by Emory students, and for good reason: depending on the week, you’ll not only find a wide array of local produce but also live music, cooking demos, kids activities, or other fun extras.
Offerings: Local fruits and vegetables, breads, dairy, flowers, grass-fed beef, honey, eggs, hand-made crafts, prepared foods, and more.
Open: First Saturday of every month from April through November, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Location: Clarkston Community Center Activity Field at 3701 College Avenue, Clarkston 
Good to know: This small market has limited stock, so if you’re after something specific, be sure to show up early.

Decatur Farmers Market

Decatur Farmers MarketWhat it lacks in size, Decatur’s twice-weekly farmers market makes up for in friendliness and handy location.
Offerings: Organic fruit and vegetables, dairy products, honey, pet treats, salmon, baked goods, kombucha, mushrooms, cheeses, flowers, and more
Open: Saturdays year-round from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Wednesdays (March 25 through December) from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Location: 498 North McDonough Street (near Decatur High School) on Saturdays, 308 Clairemont Avenue (the front lawn of Decatur First Baptist) on Wednesdays
Good to know: Subscribe to the newsletter to find out about fun after-school educational programs, live music at the market and other events.

East Atlanta Village Farmers Market

Because it’s one of the few markets that take place in the evenings, the friendly EAVFM is a fantastic option for night owls.
Offerings: Produce of all types, meats, baked goods, popsicles, Greek yogurt, jams, honey, cheeses, handmade soaps, and quirky EAV sort of stuff like homemade musical instruments, hula hoop demos, and people in weird costumes
Open: April 16 through December 17, Thursdays, 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Location: 561 Flat Shoals Avenue (across from Midway Pub)
Good to know: The market is in the midst of a campaign raise funds to transform the gravel lot where it is held into a green community park.

East Point Farmers Market

In its fifth season, this successful market has changed its schedule from twice a month markets to once a week.
Offerings: A variety of local produce, eggs, cheese, baked goods, meats, pasta, mushrooms, honey, soaps, plants, and “other curiosities”
Open: Wednesdays, April 29 through December 30, 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Location: East Point Fire Station #1, 2757 East Point Street
Good to know: If you’re after something specific, you can pre-order items and pick them up at the market to be sure you don’t miss out.

Emory Farmers MarketEmory Farmers Market

Started in 2008, this lively market draws Emory students, faculty, hospital staff, and local community members.
Offerings: Organic produce, bread, cheeses, honey, salsas, pastas, jams, and other artisan products.
Open: Tuesdays, year-round except during summer and school breaks, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Location: 569 Ashbury Circle, Cox Hall Bridge
Good to know: Parking can be a little tough, especially if you’re not a student or faculty member.

Freedom Farmers’ Market at the Carter Center

Formed last spring by a small group of farmers who wanted to bring their fresh food to intown neighborhoods, the Freedom Farmers’ Market has been as popular as it is new.
Offerings: Local produce, dairy and cheeses, baked gods, eggs, prepared meals, coffee, pickles, Korean food, mushrooms, pasta, flowers, and more.
Open: Saturdays, March 7 through December 19, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Location: The Carter Center, 453 Freedom Parkway
Good to know: Keep an eye on their website or Facebook page for updates on visiting artists and authors, live music, restaurant pop-ups, and special events.

Grant Park Farmers Market

This popular market, started in 2011, is just as beloved for being a laid-back gathering spot for the neighborhood as it is for its wide array of products.
Offerings: Fresh produce, pasta, dairy, eggs, honey, mushrooms, baked goods, jellies and jams, handmade soaps, prepared foods, and gifts.
Open: Sundays, April 19 through December 20, 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Location: 600 Cherokee Avenue
Good to know: The market’s website features a variety of useful resources including tips for storing your produce and eating on a budget, a guide to what is in season, and recipes aplenty.

Heritage Sandy Springs Farmers Market

This family-friendly market in the heart of Sandy Springs hosts a variety of nonprofit groups throughout its season and also offers a rotating roster of local artists and jewelers.
Offerings: Organic fruits and vegetables, pasture-raised meat, eggs, mushrooms, pet treats, baked goods, dairy, bath and body products, coffee, and a variety of specialty foods.
Open: Saturdays, April 11 through November 2, 8:30 a.m. to noon
Location: Century Springs East parking lot, 6100 Lake Forrest Drive, Sandy Springs
Good to know: North Fulton Master Gardeners will be presenting a free gardening series at the market throughout the year, starting April 19, 2015.

Morningside Farmers Market

Opened in 1995, the Morningside Market is the only Atlanta farmers market that requires the produce from all of its vendors to be organic.
Offerings: Fresh, local, certified-organic fruits and vegetables; locally produced meats raised on 100% organic GMO-free feed; bread; organic flowers; and artisan crafts.
Open: Year-round, Saturdays, 7:30 a.m. (8 a.m. during winter months) until 11:30 a.m.
Location: 1393 North Highland Avenue
Good to know: Their website features videos of healthy recipes that can be made from the market’s offerings:

Peachtree Road Farmers Market

This nine-year-old farmers market claims to be the largest producer-only market in the state, meaning that everything in the market was grown, raised, or made by the seller.
Peachtree Road Farmers MarketOfferings: Mushrooms, vegetables, fruits, flowers, artisan creamery products, local butter, coffee, dry goods, seafood, pickles, jewelry, art, wooden culinary utensils, handmade paper, origami, pottery, and more.
Open: April 11 through December 19; Saturdays, 8:30 a.m. to noon (April through September) or 9 a.m. to noon (October through December)
Location: 2744 Peachtree Road (Cathedral of St. Philip)
Good to know: As much an arts, crafts, and handmade goods market as a food market, PRFM is a great place to get unique locally made gifts. Watch for special events such as pop-up chef demos, live music, gardening demos, and health screenings.

Piedmont Park Green Market

The Piedmont Park Conservancy, in partnership with the City of Atlanta Parks and the Bureau of Cultural Affairs, hosts this Midtown market, which has live music, chef demos, cooking classes for kids… oh, and produce.
Offerings: Baked goods, handmade body products, healthy prepared foods, produce, meats, honey, eggs, flowers, and more.
Open: Saturdays, March 1 through December 13, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Location: The park entrance at Piedmont Avenue and 12th Street
Good to know: A walking tour showcasing the park’s history and wildlife leaves from the market each week.

Sweet Auburn Curb Market

Curb MarketThe Curb Market, an Atlanta landmark, has been open since 1918 and was located in a tent until its permanent home was built in 1924.
Offerings: Fresh fruits and vegetables, meat, fish, nuts, cheeses, and flowers, plus restaurants, specialty food shops, and even a book store.
Open: Year-round, Monday through Saturday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Location: 209 Edgewood Avenue SE
Good to know: Parking is $5/hour but free for the first hour with validation. Or ride the Atlanta Streetcar to the Sweet Auburn Market stop.

Tucker Farmers Market

To add to the lively flavor of this market, local musicians are invited to come play, so you never know what shopping soundtrack awaits you.
Offerings: Vegetables, fruits, baked goods, coffee, cheeses, organic meat, seafood, prepared foods, and more.
Open: Thursdays, April 9 through December 17 (except Thanksgiving), 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Location: 233 Main Street, Tucker
Good to know: First Thursdays are Food Truck Thursdays at the market. Show up hungry and grab a bite while you shop.

Your DeKalb Farmers Market

This permanent, indoor 140,000-square-foot world market  serves as many as 100,000 people every week.
Offerings: Produce, seafood, meat, baked goods, beer and wine, cheese, flowers, fresh coffee, international foods, and more.
Open: Every day except for Thanksgiving and Christmas, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Location: 3000 East Ponce de Leon Avenue in Decatur
Good to know: Look for the “World Direct” labels to find all-natural, preservative-free specialty products such as pastas, sauces, soups, and cakes — all made in house using ingredients from the market.