Portland’s dining scene is legendary. But not every great meal is served at a restaurant or a food cart. Each spring, the city’s farmers’ markets come to life, creating a food lover’s paradise, loaded with seasonal produce and small-batch, locally crafted eats. Grab a (reusable) bag and get ready to explore the central city’s best outdoor markets.
Portland State University
Every Saturday, from 8:30 a.m.–2 p.m. (9 a.m.–2 p.m. Nov.–Feb.), downtown’s South Park Blocks transform into the city’s largest and most celebrated outdoor grocery. The Portland Farmers Market at Portland State University boasts 140 farmer and vendor stands, making it a great place to pick up not only heirloom tomatoes, Marionberries, broccoli and other hyper-local produce — but also some of the most iconic edible goods in town.
From Alma Chocolate toffee and Olympia Provisions charcuterie to bottles of Marshall’s Haute Sauce and bags of Nossa Familia Coffee, there are plenty of goodies to take home, even if your home is thousands of miles away. If you’re in the mood for take-out, order a plate of farm-fresh mole from Verde Cocina, a slice of deep-dish pizza from Via Chicago or the hunger-smashing “Reggie” breakfast sandwich from Pine State Biscuits and enjoy live music with your meal.
Pioneer Courthouse Square
Each summer, the Pioneer Courthouse Square Market comes to “Portland’s living room” on Mondays from 10 a.m.–2 p.m., mid-June through September. In addition to baskets of fragrant melons, berries, peaches and other summer favorites, the square’s 30 vendors offer a number of tasty mid-day snacks ranging from Oaxacan tlayudas at Tierra del Sol to seasonal rice and veggie bowls at Thrive to just-baked cookies and macarons from Decadent Creations and local, small batch jams from Plum Tree Jam.
The Shemanski Park Market, which runs 10 a.m.–2 p.m. on Wednesdays from May through Thanksgiving, is tucked behind the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, only three blocks from Pioneer Courthouse Square. Local chefs, students, businesspeople and visitors spend the lunch hour mingling at the market’s 50 stalls. After stocking up on organic produce from pears to pumpkins, shoppers chow down on kimchi dogs and grilled duck at Bingo! Sandwiches and wood-fired pizza from Tastebud. Liquid treats include herbal kombucha from Eva’s Herbucha and cold-pressed blends from the Portland Juice Company.
The city’s other four quadrants — yes, Portland has five quadrants — host their own Portland Farmers Markets, as well. Find more live music, local goods and seasonal produce in North Portland’s Kenton neighborhood on Wednesdays (June–Sept.), Northeast’s King neighborhood on Sundays (May–Nov.) and Southeast’s Lents neighborhoods on Sundays (June–Oct.).
No matter which neighborhood you find yourself in, or what day of the week you arrive, there’s bound to be a bustling hub of farm-fresh bounty nearby!