It’s the Perfect Season to Visit These 7 Local Farmers Markets
Austin is home to several markets with goods from local farmers, ranchers, beekeepers, artisans, and more -- with great vibes galore
Sweater weather! It’s here! This is one of the best times of the year to meander through your local farmers markets. Stroll around, taste the many yummy samples, and buy all the farm fresh and locally produced goodies on display. Some Austin farmers markets even have live music or cooking demonstrations to entertain the masses.
Along with farm fresh produce and all the grass-fed, pasture-raised meats and organic eggs, shoppers can expect to find a wide variety of prepared foods, artisan wares, honey and flowers, freshly ground flours, and beverages like kombucha, fresh roasted coffee, and yaupon tea.
Tips for your visit
Most markets are open from mid-morning through early afternoon. To make your visit to the the farmers market most pleasant, go early to avoid the biggest crowds. Bring your own bags if you can, be polite to other market-goers, keep all kids close by, and be sure to thank your local vendors. Note that there are a lot of people, smells, food, and other dogs at these markets, so make sure keep your pups leashed if you bring them, or if you think they might be overly reactive to all of the action, consider leaving them at home.
Top Local Farmers Markets and When to Visit:
Texas Farmers Market
Texas Farmers Market (TFM) is the standard bearer around town, with popular, large markets open all year at Lakeline and Mueller. Each market has a variety of vendors, about 40% of whom are agricultural vendors from within 150 miles of Austin. There is so much to see and do! They both usually have local live music and cooking demos to enjoy while shopping, and they have kid-friendly activities regularly. These TFM markets tend to get crowded, so be patient.
- TFM Lakeline is open on Saturdays and hosts around 90 vendors. This is at Lakeline Mall (11200 Lakeline Mall Drive, Cedar Park).
- TFM Mueller is open on Sundays year-round, rain or shine. TFM Mueller is home to about 120 vendors. Street parking is free but can be hard to come by, or you can park in one of three paid garages (Branch Park Pavilion, 2006 Philomena Street, Austin).
Good Shepherd Farmers Market
Good Shepherd Farmers Market is a seasonal farmers market in Tarrytown on the grounds of the Episcopal church of the Good Shepherd. Open Saturdays from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. through December 16. This is an easygoing, smaller, and easily walkable market with around 30 vendors, live music, with a food truck court and courtyard seating. There is free street parking. Look for special events like the recent Kids Corner Storytime. Presented with with BookPeople. It’s very low-key and easygoing (3201 Windsor Road, Austin).
Barton Creek Farmers Market
Barton Creek Farmers Market boasts of being Austin’s first farmers market, having started in 1987 in the original Whole Foods parking lot. It’s now at the Barton Creek Mall, on the back 40 of the parking lot. More than 90% of their vendors sell only “what they grow or produce,” and practice sustainable farming. They are open Saturdays in the parking lot at the Barton Creek Mall (2901 S. Capital of Texas Highway, Austin).
Sustainable Food Center Farmers Market
Sustainable Food Center Farmers Market (SFC) supports small to mid-sized farmers and also carries out a mission to increase access to food. They have two markets open all year, one in Republic Square downtown and one in Sunset Valley. They are the most “farmer-forward lineup” of any farmers market in Austin, according to their website.
- SFC Downtown has been around since 2003, is open every Saturday, and offers live music. Its 75 weekly vendors bring lots of fresh produce, as well as coffee and prepared foods. Plus there’s a nice lawn to kick back on and people-watch. There are paid street and garage parking options (Republic Square, 422 Guadalupe Street, Austin) .
- SFC Sunset Valley hosts 35 vendors and is open on Saturdays. They have fresh produce, pasture-raised meats, prepared foods, and artisan wares (Toney Burger Center, 3200 Jones Rd, Austin).
Bee Cave Farmers Market
Bee Cave Farmers Market is open every Sunday in the central plaza at the Hill Country Galleria. They have a rotating list of vendors, with about 25 or so on site each week, free parking, and lots of room to roam. (Central Plaza, 12700 Hill Country Blvd., Bee Cave).
Wolf Ranch Farmers Market
Wolf Ranch Farmers Market is a small, local market created to give Williamson County and nearby farmers and makers a place to sell directly to their customers. They are open year round on Saturdays (Wolf Ranch Town Center 1015 W. University Drive, Georgetown).
Dripping Springs Farmers Market
Dripping Springs Farmers Market is open Wednesday afternoons from 3PM-6PM. It is open year-round, weather permitting. It is hosted by the city of Dripping Springs as an investment in local agriculture. Expect to see around 30 vendors each week (419 Founders Park Road, Dripping Springs).
What’s in Season?
These are some of the November-December seasonal produce you should be able to find at your local farmers market:
- Citrus fruit (including the delectable Ruby Red grapefruit)
- Root vegetables, including beets, carrots, potatoes, sweet potatoes, radishes, and turnips
- Broccoli, cauliflower, and broccolini
- Herbs including basil, sage, fennel, parsley, cilantro, and dill
- Peppers (jalapeño, serrano, bell, shishito)
- Pumpkin, gourds, and squash (several types)
- Lettuce, spinach, greens, and kale (various types of each)
- Garlic, green onions, onions
Prepared Goodness to Grab and Go
In addition, several other types of food vendors peddle their delicious wares at our local farmers markets. Here are some excellent vendors to look out for and where to find them:
Yapa Artisan Empanadas: These Chilean-style empanadas have taken the city by storm, showing up in farmers markets across the city including both SFC and both TFM locations, Wolf Ranch, and the Downtown Buda Farmers Market. Yapa takes a secret dough recipe for their empanadas and fills them with either traditional Chilean fillings, like beef, or flavors catering to Texas tastes like BBQ brisket or al pastor, and they have vegetarian, vegan, and sweet empanadas as well. Buy them fresh or frozen around town at the farmers market, or at one of their two dedicated food trucks, in the deli section and Royal Blue Grocery, Old School and Proof liquor stores, or at Bobo’s Snack Bar.
Mum Foods: This is an if-you-know-you-know situation. Mum sells several types of BBQ and smoked meat, but their pastrami is the Holy Grail of pastrami. Trust us on this! You can find Mum Foods at TFM Mueller on Sundays, and on Saturdays at TFM Lakeline or Barton Creek Farmers Market. They also recently opened a brick and mortar on Manor Road. Check their website for their schedule.
Round Rock Honey: Round Rock Honey has been around since 2003. Their Texas wildflower honey is some of the best local honey around. You can catch them on Saturdays at the Cedar Park Market or Wolf Ranch Farmers Market, and Sundays at the Texas Farmers Market at Mueller. Their cinnamon orange oil honey is quite special.
Jinx Bread: This bread baker makes bread with heritage wheat grains and doesn’t add sugar, dairy, nuts, seed, or anything artificial to their bread. They only use three ingredients and a natural leavening (sourdough starter). You can find Jinx Bread at Barton Creek and Dripping Springs Farmers Markets, and you can order ahead on their website.
Lost Pines Yaupon Tea: Yaupon, per the Lost Pines website, is North America’s only native caffeinated plant, the Yaupon holly. Native First Americans drank Yaupon both daily and ceremonially. It’s a mild, slightly earthy tasting tea. Lost Pines sells bags of the tea leaves or Yaupon Tea concentrate enhanced by flavors such as basil lemon, mint, apple spice, and raspberry.
Teddy V. Pâtisserie: These famous chocolate chip cookies, each one weighing in at 7 ounces, have local foodies raving about them! Find these chocolatey two-handers at TFM Lakeline or TFM Mueller. You can also find them fresh at all Caffe Medici locations, Sa-Ten Coffee & Eats, or buy the frozen dough at Central Market.
Farmers markets are the perfect weekend activity. Where else can you hear live music, eat fresh food, meal-plan for your week, soak up sunshine and fresh air, and people-watch to your heart’s content, all while supporting local? We love our local farmers markets!