On one of the last week-ends of the school year, I ventured out to some of the farmers’ markets in Dallas to investigate which ones are worthwhile. With the change in seasons, markets always seem like a spring or summer activity to me, so I was excited to revisit some and see new ones in the Dallas area. I narrowed it down to three: the St. Michaels’ Farmers Market in North Dallas, the White Rock Market in East Dallas and the Dallas Farmers Market in downtown Dallas. When I looked at which days the farmers’ markets were open, I was quite worried when I saw how the forecast (not Fourcast) coincided with the only weekend possible, but decided it was just another factor to test the different markets against each other.
White Rock Market
On Saturday, May 11, as it poured from the sky even worse than predicted, I was worried that I would show up to an empty parking lot instead of the market I remembered going to throughout my childhood. However, I was pleasantly surprised by 15 to 20 tents braving the torrents of rain. The market had primarily produce, but I also talked to a vendor selling beautiful hanging pots for plants that I might have to go back for some Saturday, and saw a tent selling items for pet owners. I first purchased some strawberry jam I would definitely recommend, from the brand Highway 19. I also got a fresh scone from a different tent and learned that it was baked with the same strawberries grown by the jam vendor. There were also a lot of great vegetable options, such as baby potatoes, radishes and tomatoes that all looked fresh. As I walked from tent to tent, I realized that I should probably start going to the market often again, especially now that it is moving to a more central location for a lot of East Dallas residents, at the Abrams and Mockingbird intersection.
St. Michael’s Market
Right after going to the White Rock Market, I headed over to St. Michael’s Church for their local market, still in the pouring rain. Unfortunately, I only saw four tents, but the vendors were very friendly and I ended up purchasing some tomatoes. I may be biased, but I found the White Rock Market a much better find overall, and would argue it is worth the drive for those located further away. It may have been the weather, but I think this small market would mostly work for people who lived really nearby the church and were not looking for a particular item.
Dallas Farmers Market
On a bright, sunny Sunday that contrasted against the previous day, I arrived at the Dallas Farmers Market in downtown to Dallas to find a complete lack of parking. I should not have been surprised, considering the beautiful weather and the fact that it was Mother’s’ Day that Sunday, but was overwhelmed while driving in circles. However, once I got past the shock of the crowd, the market was really fun, and had a wide variety of options outside and inside the area called “The Shed”. The inside of the market is modeled off a food hall and seemed similar to Legacy Hall in Plano in the types of restaurants inside. I got lunch from the restaurant Nammy, which has a surprisingly extensive menu considering the small size of the area. There were many produce tables outside as well, for those that want a more traditional farmers market, but the majority of even the tents outside seemed like full restaurants to me. It was Mothers’ Day, so there were a lot of attractions, such as live music and yoga with pigs and bunnies. I thought it was a really fun experience, but would not see it as an option for regular grocery shopping; it was more of an interesting attraction.
Story and photos by Niamh McKinney