Have you been to the Irvine Farmers’ Market? It’s held Saturdays in the shopping center at Campus Drive and Bridge Street (near In-N-Out, across from UC-Irvine). Every Saturday, 8am – Noon (rain or shine). Seriously, even if it’s pouring rain (like last week), the vendors are still out. The produce selection is phenomenal. You know how some farmers’ markets end up being filled with cutesy craft booths and only have a few food stands? The Irvine market is the real deal. Each booth of fruits and vegetables look better than the last. There are also stands with yummy baked goods, hummus in a variety of fun flavors, fresh pasta, beautiful plants and herbs, fresh seafood and even grass-fed beef.
There are free samples at about every stand, so many in fact, it puts Costco to shame (you could have a great Saturday morning breakfast on samples alone). We bought baby tomatoes, raspberries, grapes, cilantro and sweet corn tamales. Everything we bought was so good. And it was cheap. The prices are really reasonable, much better than the grocery store and the quality of product is much higher and almost entirely organic! For example, the big bunch of cilantro cost me 50 cents!
This market is a must-do for any Orange County resident. Even if you have to drive a little ways, it is totally worth it. I wish they held it twice a week so that I could get the fresh produce in the middle of the week, too.
Make sure to bring a basket or bag, it will make it much easier to carry all your purchases around. Also, the parking fills up fast so it’s best to get there early.