Weekend Wander: Little Italy Farmer’s Market, San Diego

When you think of San Diego, located in sunny southern California, you likely have a vision of palm trees, sunshine, surfers, and a major metropolitan city. Farmers and fresh produce are probably not things that come to mind. Well, the Little Italy Farmer’s Market combines them all…with maybe the exception of the surfers.

Every Saturday, rain or shine (but usually shine), over 130 vendors set up shop at this farmer’s market. The market first opened in June of 2008, while the Little Italy community of San Diego has been around since the 1920’s. In fact, spanning 48 blocks, it is the largest Little Italy community in the United States!

This is more than just a farmer’s market. It is six city blocks of fresh produce, handmade crafts, freshly made artisan foods and drinks, street performers, traffic cops directing the flow of cars and humans, unusual finds, dogs on leashes, babies in strollers, and people of all sorts. There’s also all of the restaurants and shops along the streets, a fountain in Piazza della Famiglia, and the quintessential palm trees of southern California.

My children were a bit overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude of this farmer’s market. My daughter loves dogs, and so she enjoyed seeing all of the wet noses and wagging tails. My son was fascinated with some freshly-caught sea urchins at one of the stalls, while his nose caught a whiff of the sweet scent of kettle corn nearby. My husband was on a mission to find some kombucha. We also picked up some fruit to share with my cousin (Hi, Krissy!) and her family, who live in San Diego and who we were visiting as part of our family vacation.

As for me, I was just soaking it all in: the sunshine, the colors, the sounds, the abundance, and the atmosphere. All those sights and smells made me hungry, but my eyes were bigger than my stomach and so I had to narrow it down. I ended up enjoying a delicious Mozambique breakfast samosa consisting of egg, potato, cilantro, onion, spices, and a sweet/spicy sauce from the Sabor Piri Piri food stall. While strolling around the market and trying not to get sunburned, I sipped on a most refreshing cucumber, mint, and pineapple drink from a vendor called Melanade.

At one corner, there was an old man tap-dancing to whatever tune was playing in his head (as he didn’t have any music playing), while at a different area, a young man was rapping and saying hello to the pretty women who walked by. There were books to peruse, fruits and veggies to buy, soaps and candles to sniff, photography to admire, foods to sample, interesting humans to people-watch, and music that drifted in the air. I enjoyed every minute of it.

As always, thanks for stopping by. ❀

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