Saturdays 9:00am – 2:00pm, year-round
University Way NE (the “Ave”) between 50th and 52nd
The U District Farmers Market has been recognized as one of the best markets in the entire nation, and for good reason. Rain or shine, summer or winter, this two-block stretch is bustling every Saturday. Their wide selection means you can find all your groceries here, as well as some specialty gifts.
The atmosphere is friendly and family-oriented. Dogs and strollers are right at home, and the popsicle stand is a favorite for kids and grown-ups alike. There’s always plenty of music – a new performer every few stalls. Along with regular shoppers, you’ll find plenty of UW students out for a Saturday stroll.
Meat, Seafood and Dairy
The largest and most reliable meat vendors are Skagit River Ranch, Olsen Farms and Sea Breeze Farms, though there are many more that come and go seasonally. Lamb, pork, beef – you’ll find every cut you can think of, and probably some you can’t! Sea Breeze also offers homemade terrines, sausages, headcheese and raw dairy. Multiple vendors offer poultry and eggs and although availability varies, someone’s sure to have what you need. Eggs go fast so it’s a good idea to arrive early!
There’s no need to list all the produce vendors here, but rest assured you’ll find what you’re looking for (if it’s in season!). For a full list, check out the market website.
Ready-made food vendors rotate seasonally, but you can always find a paleo bite here. Regulars include Patty Pan Grill, which serves seasonal grilled veggie platters and homemade salsa; and Loki Fish Co., offering ready-to-eat artisinal smoked salmon. If you’re lucky, you might even catch Outside The Box, Seattle’s only 100% paleo food truck!
Our Favorite Vendors
- Olsen Farms Meats: When I (Grace) started cooking offal for the first time (beef heart, kidney, liver), Abigail from Olsen Farms took time on multiple occasions to explain how to make each cut come out right. She’s the best!
- Let Us Farm: These guys almost always offer the lowest prices on beautiful quality produce, though they are cash-only. They’re incredibly friendly and as their name suggests, they’ve got the best lettuce selection of the bunch.
- Woodring Northwest: If ferments are your jam, you must check this stall out. They offer shrubs, multiple pickled vegetables, a variety of kimchis and krauts, along with always-rotating flavors of jams, jellies, fruit butters, and tasting vinegars. Plus, owner Dale is a riot to chat with.
- CommuniTea Kombucha: This stuff is the real deal! Made the traditional way with high-quality Darjeeling green tea, CommuniTea sticks to the tried and true green tea flavor and uses very little sugar.
- Harbor Herbalist: If you’re a tea drinker, or just an appreciator of good logo design, you’ll love the Harbor Herbalist. Her loose-leaf tea blends are made with intention and care, each hand-blended and created to encourage personal wellness. As a knowledgeable herbalist and ecologist, owner Sarah gives great care to the land she cultivates to grow her ingredients as well. She’s only at the Ballard and U District markets!
Could you do ALL of your shopping for the week here?
Yes. Their uniquely varied pool of vendors means you could definitely find what you’d need for a week’s worth of paleo meals. Meat, eggs, honey, raw dairy and plenty of produce – you’d be good to go.
In addition to the wonderful food vendors, this market attracts some delightful performers. From cello to bluegrass, the musicians that attend are really impressive. We also love the traveling poets who will type (on a typewriter) a personalized poem for you while you shop. Pay what you can.
Condé Nast Traveler also included the U District Farmers Market in its list of the top 9 farmers markets in the nation!