Named one of America’s finest farmers’ markets by The Daily Meal, Cooking Light and Fodor’s, Portland’s flagship farmer’s market at Portland State University perfectly embodies the city’s foodie sensibilities and independent spirit.
Every Saturday from 8:30 a.m.–2 p.m. (9 a.m.–2 p.m. Nov.–Feb.), the Portland Farmers Market at PSU transforms downtown’s South Park Blocks into the city’s largest outdoor grocery market. With space for up to 140 local vendors every week, the market’s myriad sights, sounds, scents and flavors may be mildly overwhelming to first-time visitors. Fear not; our guide to the market’s best vendors will make your visit a guaranteed success. (The market is also only steps from the Portland Art Museum and Oregon Historical Society!)
Fresh, local produce is the cornerstone of any proper farmers’ market, with new seasonal crops arriving almost every week. In Portland, you can expect crunchy snap peas and carrots in spring, tomatoes and melons in summer, and leafy greens and winter squash in the colder months. If you prefer pesticide-free produce (and who doesn’t?), stock up at the booths of Sun Gold Farm, a family-owned farm outside of Forest Grove, or Groundwork Organics, a stalwart supplier for many award-winning Portland restaurants. Stop by the sample counter at organic Gathering Together Farm for tastes of homemade salsas and veggie-centric recipes whipped up by the expert crew.
The arrival of the year’s first strawberries is somewhat of a holiday at the Portland Farmers Market, with patrons racing to get their hands on a few precious pints in the first weeks of April. Unger Farms is a popular choice for berries of all kinds, while the folks at Baird Family Orchards and Maryhill Fruit Company cheerfully proffer chunks of juicy peaches and nectarines in the summer months. If you’re visiting in the fall, don’t forget Kiyokawa Family Orchards, which has been growing more than 80 varieties of apples in the Hood River Valley since 1911 (no wonder it was named one of the nation’s top five apple orchards by USA Today!).
Eat local by visiting Portland-area farms that bring the dinner table to the fields!
Almost every Portland restaurant offers plant-based options, and dozens of local businesses are entirely vegan. (There’s even a vegan mini-mall!)
If you find yourself in Portland during berry season (June–August), don’t leave without sampling the Pacific Northwest’s sweet summer bounty.
Gifts and Snacks
A cacao-powered favorite, Buddha Chocolate invites visitors to try their hand-crafted vegan sweets made with unrefined sugar. And speaking of allergen-friendly treats, New Cascadia Traditional Bakery offers a broad array of baked goods that are gluten-free, vegan and truly delicious. Add some award-winning charcuterie from the meat masters at Olympia Provisions, and you’ve got all the makings of a top-notch Portland picnic.
Oregon is famous for its hazelnuts (known as filberts by the locals), and Freddy Guys Hazelnuts is a great spot to buy a few bags for friends and family back home. Another popular gift, Marshall’s Haute Sauce blends local produce into zesty condiments like habanero carrot curry and serrano ginger lemongrass sauces. Spice lovers will also get a kick out of the fresh dips and chile oils at Hot Mama Salsa, and if you’re a fan of fresh flowers, Lucky Farms is beloved for its beautiful bouquets.
Feeling parched from all that shopping and sampling? Quench your thirst with funky herbal kombucha from Herbucha or a bottle of fresh, organic, raw, cold-pressed juice from Portland Juice Company. Looking for something stronger? Wild Roots Spirits and Westward Whiskey are available for sampling at the market, and Stone Barn Brandyworks is a market staple, offering their craft distilled, regional fruit brandies and spirits (including oaked plum brandy and ouzo).
You’re in luck if you’re still hungry after all those delicious samples. Farm-fresh Mexican restaurant Verde Cocina, Mexican-style breakfast burritos from Enchanted Sun, vegan and vegetarian-friendly tamales from Sara’s Tamales, deep-dish joint Via Chicago and new-to-town Rangoon Bistro serving up Burmese street food, all serve up their signature fare at the market on Saturdays. No matter what you’re in the mood for you’ll find the perfect farm-sourced meal is only steps away.
Portland Saturday Market
Open every Saturday from March–December, Portland Saturday Market is the largest arts-and-crafts fair in the U.S.
Jade International Night Market
Thousands gather every August in Southeast Portland to celebrate the Jade District’s diverse immigrant community at the Jade International Night Market.
With a neighborhood grocery, meat market, coffee shop, food cart pod and more, the Mercado is one of the city’s most delicious destinations.
My People's Market
My People’s Market showcases local entrepreneurs and makers of color, connecting them with industry professionals and consumers.
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