The Market: Roadrunner Park Farmers Market
Hours and location: 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays October through May and 7 to 11 a.m. from June through September
3502 East Cactus Avenue
The Scoop: This North Phoenix farmers market has been going strong since 1990. A flow of new attendees each season has helped its staying power — plus it features more than 25 stands offering a variety of products including fresh produce, handmade goods, sweet treats, pet snacks, and health and beauty products.
Sharon Stein, owner of RSauce, says the market's steady attendance is one of the reasons she comes back year after year. This is her sixth season at Roadrunner, and she says she “loves the market’s energy." Her company, RSauce, offers homemade barbecue sauces, with both sweet and spicy options, and interesting flavors such as raspberry chipotle. She also offers pre-made entrées, including meatloaf, which market goers can sample before buying.
Some of the other Roadrunner Park Farmers Market vendors include Blue Sky Farms and Twin Peaks Farms (both with fresh produce options), as well as Decio Pasta, Naked Lady Macaroons, Noble Bread, The Tamale Store, and Arizona Farms Cheese Co.
What We Liked: You don’t have to walk around hungry at this farmers market since stands like Gil's Taste of Taos and Polish Goodies have choices you can enjoy on the spot. In addition to tacos, the former sells hearty breakfast burritos. On our recent visit, you could smell the roasted Hatch chiles from a distance, making Gil's Taste of Taos an easy lure. Polish Goodies, on the other hand, offers ready-to-eat traditional Polish fare including stuffed cabbage rolls.
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Dog lovers have another reason to hit this farmers market. Though many of the area markets are dog-friendly, Roadrunner gets a particularly high turnout from the four-legged crowd.
What We Wished For: Roadrunner is a spacious park, but the market area is primarily condensed into a long rectangle. Because it is generally busy with visitors and so many of the aforementioned four-legged friends, it gets crowded along the market's main walkway. With a few of the stands positioned outside the main parallel rows, there would be room to spread out a bit, allowing for a break in the clusters.
And because there are so many delicious things to eat while at Roadrunner market, it might be nice if there were a few more tables and chairs to take a load off and set down the shopping bags while you enjoy a drink or snack.
Overall: Roadrunner Farmers Market is great destination for your produce needs — multiple stands including Queen Creek's One Windmill Farm offer numerous freshly produce choices, while specialty stands like Seacat Gardens offer small batches of heirloom vegetables.