Best New Farmers Market - 2009
Old Town Farmers Market, Scottsdale
In less than a year, the Old Town Farmers Market has emerged as a major player in the "eat local" scene. Where once you'd expect to find tourists, Western memorabilia, and the occasional wrought-iron howling coyote, you'll now find organic vegetables, local crafts, and ready-made noshes for home (assuming you don't devour them during the car ride, that is). It's hard to believe that a stone's throw from the Scottsdale bar scene you'll find crowds of people up at 8:30 on a Saturday morning, when "fashionably late" means missing out on chocolate cherry sourdough bread from The Phoenician, fresh hand-pulled mozzarella from Digestif, pulled-pork sandwiches from Rancho Pinot, or whatever indulgent dessert pastry chef Tracy Dempsey dreamt up this week.
During summer, the market moves underground, beneath the parking lot. It's a nice touch, really, because the heat can be a killer on things like Bob McClendon's legendary heirloom tomatoes or freshly picked greens from Maya's Farm. Find fresh olive oil, tamales, tortillas, and handcrafted soaps and lotions, too. And, of course, there will be music. At this hour, you can be sure it'll be live. We don't think DJs get up that early, even for fresh food and produce this good.