Why Farmers’ Markets Rock: 5 Reasons to Shop Little Italy Mercato

Farmers’ Markets are more popular than ever. Whether your city offers them seasonally or year-round, it’s a great way to engage with the community and walk away with lots of fun, local finds.

One of San Diego’s most popular Farmers’ Markets is located right in our neighborhood. We’re very excited that Little Italy Mercato moved back to Date Street between Front Street and Kettner Boulevard! The market now runs through the new Piazza della Famiglia, amongst the tiled fountain- and umbrella-lined cobblestoned street. It’s right across the street from our boutique hotel.

The Mercato is a must-visit for San Diego residents and visitors alike. It runs every Saturday, year-round, rain-or-shine, from 8 am to 2pm. Here are a few of the top reasons why it’s good to show some local love and shop the Farmers’ Market.

1. Love Local
In an age when on-demand shopping is the norm, it’s important to remember our local roots and support small business owners and farmers. They work so hard to produce fresh, quality items and take pride in meeting the customers who buy them. Isn’t it nice to shake the hand of the person who you’re helping support with your purchase?

2. Fun for Everyone
It’s all about the experience. Take a solo trip to the Farmers’ Market and enjoy the people-watching or take the whole family, because there’s something for everyone. Hey, why not make a weekend date out of it? Getting outside and breathing in the fresh air, soaking in the sunshine, and trying a few samples from local vendors is always a good time. Not to mention it can be an exercise in mindfulness, helping you to live in the moment and make thoughtful purchases.

3. Expand the Palate
You’d be surprised at how many new foods are right at your fingertips! Fresh produce, spices, cheeses, artisan foods, fish, coffee beans…the list goes on an on. Don’t be afraid to ask for a sample if you see something that looks good. Ever try pickled garlic or just-caught sea urchin, for instance? The Mercato is a great place to try new foods–you never know when you’ll hit the taste bud jackpot.

4. As Fresh as It Gets
Grocery stores are convenient, but do you know how long that head of lettuce or bag of carrots has been sitting in the produce section? When you shop a Farmers’ Market, you’re often getting fresh-picked produce, flowers, freshly-baked breads, shucked oysters…and you can tell by the taste. Remember to grab a fresh bouquet of flowers for your home on the way out, and they’ll act as a reminder to shop the market again next weekend. PRO TIP: Pick-up your fresh pasta at Assentis Pasta!!! It’s one of favorites.

5. Environmental Impact
Trying to lower your carbon footprint? Shopping at the Farmers’ Market is a great way to help the earth. When you purchase local goods, you’re eliminating the transportation cost that most commercial goods absorb when they’re shipped to stores. Buy straight from the source instead! You’ll also notice many organic options that were grown with love and without synthetic pesticides.

What are you waiting for? Put a trip to your local Farmer’s Market on the calendar, and if you’re staying with us be sure to reserve your Saturday morning for Little Italy Mercato.