Sure, there are many greenmarkets open around the five boroughs throughout the year, even during the doldrums of winter. However, the return of spring is truly a time to enjoy some fresh air and browse the week’s selection of fresh, local produce. Thankfully, the non-profit GrowNYC organizes dozens of great greenmarkets, redoubling their efforts this time of year, as some of the dormant participants look to make appearances once again. Here are five of the best-rated NYC greenmarkets.
1. Union Square
17th Street and Park Avenue South
Open Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 8am – 6pm
Not only is the Union Square greenmarket a highly regarded source of fresh foods, it’s even become a sought-out tourist destination as well, as chef-lebrities from Top Chef and elsewhere have been known to seek out their ingredients here. There are various farmers that set up shop on the different days the market is open, so be sure to visit each of NYCGrow’s devoted webpages to find out who will be there and when. The Union Square market is particularly grandiose and incredibly easy to get to from pretty much anywhere in NYC. There’s everything from freshly baked breads and pies to artisanal cheeses and wines. Be on the look out for the cooking demonstrations too.
Featured farmer: Holy Schmitt, maker of a delicious, all-natural horseradish.
2. Fort Greene Park
Washington Park between DeKalb and Willoughby Avenues, Brooklyn
Open Saturdays from 8am – 4pm
Diverse and welcoming, the Fort Greene Park Greenmarket is smaller in size and not as overwhelming as some others. Enjoy a relaxing stroll and visit the handful of stands that include handmade bags, hats, and other locally-made craft products, as well as cider, beets, fermented krauts, kimchi and more.
Featured farmer: Ronnybook Dairy, maker of flavored drinkable yogurts.
Greenwich Street between Chambers and Duane Streets
Open Wednesdays and Saturdays from 8am – 3pm
A neighborhood secret, the relaxed, family-friendly atmosphere at this greenmarket is as attractive a trait of the setup as the selection of fresh seafood, turkey, duck, herbs, honey, produce and more. Cooking demonstrations, raffles, and educational activities provide even more enjoyment for shoppers.
Featured farmer: Hudson Valley Duck, provider of cage-free ducks and duck products, including sausage and prosciutto.
4. 79th Street
Columbus Avenue between 78th and 81st Streets
Open Sundays from 9am – 5pm
Just behind the American Museum of Natural History on tree-lined Columbus Avenue, shoppers at this four-block long greenmarket will be treated to grass fed beef, fresh fish, duck, chicken, ostrich, goat cheese, fresh flowers, eggs, and a large variety of fruit and vegetables, just to name a handful of options. Foraged greens like ramps make an appearance in the spring, and an abundance of corn and berries arrive in the summer. Don’t be surprised if there’s a celebrity sighting or two during your visit.
Featured farmer: Ardith Mae Farmstead, makers of French-style cheeses, most notably their goat cheese.
5. Forest Hills
Queens Boulevard and 70th Avenue, Queens
Open Sundays from 8am – 3pm
A surprise entry on our list, many Manhattanites may have never even been to Forest Hills—although that’s changing, as the real estate world discovers the attractive and affordable market here. Among the best things about living here is the lively Sunday market. Community activities, cooking demonstrations and recipe exchanges add to the enjoyment of a market that already features an eclectic mix of locally grown fresh products. Organizers stress the importance of getting to know one’s neighbors in Forest Hills as a function of the market, along with familiarizing oneself with the farmers themselves. However, all are welcome to try their fish, fruits, meats, mushrooms and much more.
Featured farmer: Divine Brine, maker of fine natural pickles, Italian specialties and chutneys.