San Antonio sprouts up as a top U.S. city for winter farmers markets
For much of the country, winter means cold and snow and a whole lot of ick: Roads get icy, sidewalks get slushy, and everyone heads indoors, hibernating like bears, until spring.
Obviously, San Antonio doesn’t (usually) have this problem. One epic freeze aside, San Antonio’s temperate climate means life here goes on pretty much the way it does the rest of the year: wine on the patio, strolling the River Walk, yoga in the park.
And while San Antonians didn’t need anyone to tell them this, it was cool all the same to wind up No. 6 on the list of Lawnlove’s Best Warm Cities for Winter Farmers Markets.
Lawnlove, a company that offers lawn and yard care and has an extensive blog on its website, ranked 101 of the biggest cities in the U.S., dividing them into warm and cold, which they determined based on the mildness of a city’s winter. To tally the availability of farmers markets, the team looked at USDA-registered farmers markets that operated at least once between November and March.
San Antonio’s overall ranking of No. 6 put it behind Los Angeles, Honolulu, Miami, Houston, and San Diego. Lawnlove gave big love to the Alamo City, which topped San Francisco, Atlanta, and others, for the sheer availability of its farmers markets, along with its temperate climate. San Antonio ranked No. 4 overall for access, No. 28 for walkability, and No. 21 for climate.
Likely coming as no surprise to locals, the list notes, “Pearl Farmers Market is a beloved local spot in San Antonio. Hosted outside of the Pearl, a former brewery, all vendors operate within 150 miles of the city, giving the market a uniquely Texan flair.”
Held every weekend at the Pearl Brewery, this lively market brings together grower/producers unique to South Texas. Ranked one of the country’s top farmers markets by USA Today, the market is as much a gathering spot as it is a chance to get local food and produce. Look for vendors such as South Texas Heritage Pork, Freshwater Farms, Alamo Gristmill, and Swift River Pecans.
Other Texas cities also fared well on Lawnlove’s list. Houston ranked number 4, while Dallas cracked the Top 30 at 29, and Austin came in at 32. Lubbock (20), Corpus Christi (31), and Fort Worth (35) also made the cut.
Standout Texas markets
Urban Harvest Farmers Market in Houston, open every Saturday from 8 am to noon, is a standout. Head there for veggies, breads, honey, dairy products, meats, and more from more than 100 vendors who hail from a 180-mile radius around the city.
The Dallas Farmers Market at the Shed is open weekends and has a great newsletter that lets visitors in on who’s going to be there, as well as offering recipes and other foodie tips. Some vendors also set up shop at the nearby Market, which is open seven days a week.
The Barton Creek Farmers Market in Austin has two locations, both open Saturdays and Sundays. In addition to producer and prepared foods, there are vendors offering jewelry, clothes, and gifts, making it a terrific one-stop shop for stocking the cupboards and finding that special something for a special occasion.