While a brave few metro Phoenix farmers markets operate year-round, fall is when market season goes into full swing. The Valley has seen many markets come and go over the last few years, but there remain plenty of options from Gilbert to Sun City, Tempe to Fountain Hills. No matter where you live in the metro area, chances are, you have a farmers market nearby for a leisurely autumn stroll through rows of produce, an al fresco lunch from a local vendor, and handmade soaps and artisan hot sauces galore.
Ahwatukee Farmers Market
4700 East Warner Road
Sundays, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
*Open year-round, winter hours (9 a.m. to 1 p.m.) began October 1
Open since 2004, the Ahwatukee Farmers Market is one of the longer-running markets in metro Phoenix. Though they are open year-round, the fall season sees extended hours and more vendor participation. Local favorites include heirloom tomatoes from Abby Lee Farms and fresh loaves from Proof bakery, along with farm-fresh produce, herbs, flowers, free-range meats, seafood, and a rotating lineup of food carts.
Anthem Farmers Market
41703 North Gavilan Peak Parkway, Anthem
Sundays, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
*Open for the season on October 29 (through August)
In addition to your classic array of produce-hawking vendors, artisan condiment stands, local eggs, cheeses, butters, and grass-fed meat, this pet-friendly market has the added benefit of being located in Anthem Community Park, which provides the perfect setting for enjoying your lunch from the likes of La PupuSarita while the kids enjoy the playground, mini-railroad, and splash pad.
Carefree Farmers Market
1 East Sundial Circle, Carefree
Fridays, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
*Open year-round, winter hours (9 a.m. to 1 p.m.) begin October 6
Carefree hosts an all-season farmers market in the heart of its downtown area, near the sundial (the largest in the United States, if you care to know). The market comes to life during the fall and winter months, with vendors ranging from an African coffee stand to holistic medicines, local honey, and, of course, plenty of produce. October also features an enchanted pumpkin garden of hand-carved pumpkin sculptures.
Chandler Farmers Market
3 South Arizona Avenue, Chandler
Thursdays, 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.
*Open year-round for produce-only, full market opens for the season on October 5
Hosted in Dr. A.J. Chandler Park, this farmers market features over 30 vendors, including local Jeff Scott Farms and One Windmill Farms, which are on site year-round. During the peak season, which starts in October, vendors like The Tamale Store, Doctor Hummus, Big Reds Hot Sauce, and Eli's French Bakery will join the farms along with a host of activities, from yoga to chef demonstrations to live music.
Fresh and Local at ASU (Soon to be Centerpoint Farmers Market)
600 South College Avenue, Tempe
Thursdays, 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. through November 16
*Market will shift to Centerpoint Farmers Market (660 South Mill Avenue), held on Sundays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., after November 16th
During the semester, ASU hosts a weekly Fresh and Local Market where students and community members can shop for fresh produce, artisan clothes and beauty products, and prepared foods from local businesses at the College Avenue Commons Pavilion Area. The Centerpoint Farmers Market is scheduled to return to South Mill Avenue and Seventh Street later this fall, at which point the Fresh and Local vendors will shift to the larger, weekly 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday market.
Gilbert Farmers Market
222 North Ash Drive, Gilbert
Saturdays, 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.
*Open year-round, winter hour (8 a.m. to 12 p.m.) begins October 7
Located across the street from the iconic water tower, the Gilbert Farmers Market is one of the larger markets during the winter season, welcoming 84 vendors selling the likes of Blue Sky Organic Farms produce and eggs, bio-intensive Steadfast Farm's citrus, and Mangalitsa Pork from AZ Fine Swine, as well as nine food trucks, including Cousins Maine Lobster and Flying Saucer Pizza Truck.
Goodyear Community Farmers Market
3151 North Litchfield Road, Goodyear
Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
*Open for the season October 7
The Goodyear Community Farmers Market is held in Goodyear Community Park, where it welcomes local ranchers, farmers, jam and honey makers, bakers, and craftsmen. Pick up some Mama Chelos chips and salsa, fresh-cut flowers from Jim's, and a requisite head of kale before picking up a Guam-style lunch at Barbeskews.
Old Town Scottsdale Farmers Market
Brown and First Street, Scottsdale
Saturdays, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
*Open for the season on October 7
Shop for your organic veggies at McClendon's, pick up some brisket from Bootlegger's, grab a loaf from Noble, some Fiscalini cheese, and grass-fed beef from Double Check Ranch. The market is dog-friendly, and there is even a vendor selling natural dog treats. The market also hosts a range of classes as well, which have included how-to fermented foods and herb planting 101. Parking is available in the city lot at Brown and First.
Phoenix Public Market Open Air Farmers Market
721 North Central Avenue
Saturdays, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
*Open year-round, rain or shine
This urban farmers market is located in the heart of downtown in the Phoenix Public Market Cafe parking lot. It is one of the few die-hard markets that operate year-round, with local farms, artisan food producers, artists, and bakers filling the space each week. In addition to prepared foods, spices, condiments, artisan goods, and organic veggies, the market also hosts weekly classes on topics ranging from starting your own vertical garden to composting for beginners.
Roadrunner Park Farmers Market
3502 East Cactus Road, Paradise Valley
Saturdays, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
*Open year-round, winter hours (8 a.m. to 1 p.m.) run October to May
This Paradise Valley farmers' market stretches the length of Roadrunner Park. Try a Mason jar of prickly pear juice from Sunflower Farms, pick up hand-painted cards and fresh cut roses from Simran's Garden, and stock up on locally grown micro-greens at this popular weekly market.
1490 East Weber Drive, Tempe
Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m .
*Opens for the season October 31
The owner of Singh Farms, Lee Singh, offers vegetables, fruit, herbs, and homemade prepared foods from his Scottsdale farm online and for pickup throughout the year. During the winter months, you can buy your goat's milk cheese, infused honey, potato-stuffed chile rellenos, and fresh produce directly from him and other vendors at the farm's weekly market in Tempe.
Sun City Farmers Market
16820 North 99th Avenue, Sun City
Thursdays, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
*Opens for the season October 5
The Sun City Farmers Market is a convenient option for those living in the northwest Valley, welcoming a good showing of farmers selling fresh produce, artisan food producers selling the likes of spicy pickled asparagus, chocolate, and fresh baked bread, as well as food trucks, handmade clothing, and pet accessories.
Uptown Farmers Market
5757 North Central Avenue
Saturdays and Wednesdays, 8 a.m. to noon (until November)
*Year-round market shifts outside in October; extended winter hours (9 a.m. to 1 p.m.) begin November 4
This posh market moves to indoor digs during the summer, but the real draw remains the sprawling fall and winter outdoor market, which features perks like "veggie valets" who will clean and chop your produce for you, and a token booth, where you can swipe your credit card in exchange for tokens accepted by vendors, for those times when you forget to bring cash. The vendors include fishermen, local dairy producers, ranchers, farmers, pasta makers, and picklers.
Verrado Community Farmers Market
Main Street and North Verrado Way, Buckeye
Sundays, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
*Open for the season on November 5 (through May)
Hosted at the Verrado Commons, this farmers market brings together farmers, ranchers, and craftsmen to offer locally produced dates, sausage, bread, herbs, fruits, veggies, and prepared foods like Middle Eastern sheesh tawook chicken sandwiches. The relatively new market is a popular choice for those living on the west side of the Valley.
Vincent's Saturday Market
3930 East Camelback Road
Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
*Open for the season in late October
This small market, attached to the French restaurant Vincent on Camelback, has a more imported focus than the other, local-centric markets on our list. Here you will find imported olive oil alongside local honey and fresh-baked croissants. Buy a glass of wine to sip as you browse the selection of French soaps and textiles, and purchase a bottle to take home along with your pantry items and fresh pasta. Prepared foods keep with the European theme, offering crepes, paella, and panini.
Peoria Farmer's Market at Park West (Momma's Organic Market)
9744 West Northern Avenue, Peoria
Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
*Open for the season on September 16 (through April)
Held in Peoria's Park West, this large market hosts close to 100 vendors each week. Get your cream and flavored butter from Udder Delights, pick up veg from TJ Farms, buy proteins from Wile E. Coyote, then stock your pantry with staples like cold brew, salsa, spices, and even locally made baby food from the dozens of onsite vendors. Face-painting and a bouncy house should keep the kids entertained, buying you a few extra minutes to peruse quilts, candles, and a book exchange tent.
Clark Park Farmers Market
1730 South Roosevelt Street, Tempe
Saturday at 8 a.m. to noon.
*Open for the season October 7th (through April)
This public pool-turned-community garden sells their own bounty alongside offerings from larger area farms, like Tiger Mountain, during their annual winter market season. Stands are filled with goods from other local vendors selling Syrian sweets, Argentinian empanadas, and essential oils. Free yoga and tai chi classes are offered on the adjacent lawn starting at 8 a.m.
Power Ranch Farmers Market
3685 East Autumn Dr, Gilbert
Wednesdays, 4 to 8 p.m.
*Open for the season on September 13
Held lakeside at The Barn at Power Ranch in South Gilbert, near Queen Creek, all the organic produce at this market is provided by Ray's Market, which also sells local honey, candy, and pies. Other vendors lining the lake sell handcrafted home goods, clothes, and jewelry, with a handful of small-batch food producers and a lineup of food trucks rounding out the offerings.
Rays Market at The Islands
825 South Islands Drive West, Gilbert
Thursdays, 4:30 to 8 p.m.
*Open for the season on September 21
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A new farmers market has opened in the Islands Community in Gilbert. The Thursday evening market will feature produce vendors, food trucks, and handicrafts in a park-like setting perfect for having evening picnics courtesy of trucks like Island Style BBQ and Burgers Amore on cool fall nights.
Fountain Hills Farmers Market
Avenue of the Fountains, Fountain Hills
Thursdays, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
*Opens for the season on October 26
This combination art fair and farmers market draws a crowd on Thursdays, as those who somehow don't have to be at work spend the afternoon browsing the 50 stalls selling fresh produce, cheese, specialty sea salts, infused olive oils, fresh breads and tortillas, and free-range, grass-fed meats. The art fair showcases the work of photographers, jewelry-makers, painters, and other craftsmen.
John Chakravarty and Felicia Campbell contributed to this list.