Farmers markets are incredibly popular in Houston – and there’s a good reason for that. Most Houstonians prefer the farm-to-table approach, and some of the restaurants have started doing the same thing.
Namely, the first Certified Green Restaurants designation was given to Ruggles Green. And, to honor the restaurant chain further, Ruggles Green now operates the Greenest Restaurants in the state of Texas. The chain has three locations in Houston.
Many of these restaurants use the above-mentioned approach. They turn to farmers markets to create their menus. So, if you want to follow the same method and avoid pre-packaged meals, Houston’s local farmer’s markets are a fantastic choice.
They are an affordable alternative for both the locals and the various farm-to-table restaurants. Also, there is a great variety of them, and you can find almost anything there. The markets offer various goods, both small and large, and they are all different. Furthermore, if you haven’t unpacked your kitchen supplies yet, then you can just visit some of the best ones and have a meal cooked out of scratch.
Farmers Market at Imperial
The farmer’s market at Imperial is also open all year round, and it is a little place full of activities. Sugar Land residents can purchase locally grown produce, listen to live music, and there are even activities for the kids. What’s more, the market offers cooking demonstrations, as well as other entertainment events. You can come here when it’s sunny or when it’s raining – the market will stay open no matter what.
Rice University Farmers Market
All items on this market have to be produced within 200 miles of the University, which is a standard all vendors follow. It is a small market, but there is an excellent variety of goods you can choose from. If you need eggs, meat, artisan pasta or even dog treats, this is the place for you. Furthermore, Rice University students can also shop here – they can use their Tetra Points (debit funds) to buy fresh produce and other goods. Usually, there are about 10 to 20 vendors in total.
City Hall Farmers Market
Operated by Urban Harvest, this market is located along both sides of the City Hall Reflection Pond. It has been home to 30+ vendors since 2010, and it also has chef demos and healthy lunch options for busy downtown employees. You can also enjoy live music while you’re there.
Westchase District Farmers Market
In the Westchase District Farmers Market, you can buy freshly grown produce from more than a dozen local merchants. There is pork, lamb, eggs, cheese, and honey. What’s more, you can even find homemade jam and artisan bread. Because it’s so well stocked, locals often call it a “little slice of heaven.” You can visit it even when it’s raining.
Central City Co-Op
If you want to save some money and get the best produce available, then you can become a member and buy goods at this market in advance. The market opened 17 years ago, and it is an organic one, which also means that all the produce has the necessary qualifications. If you buy a share online, you will be able to pick up your goods on Wednesday in Heights, Med Center, and Montrose. But, even if you’re not a member, you can still shop at this first co-op.
Eastside Farmers Market
This market opened in 2004, and since then, it has been open all year round. It is also another market under Urban Harvest’s control. Every Saturday, you can come here and choose from a variety of delicious goods that the local vendors are offering – from seafood and chocolate to bread and cheese. In addition to that, there are also food trucks, so if you want to have a snack, nothing is stopping you!
East End Farmers Market
The East End Farmers Market is the newest addition to Houston. During its opening weekend, it featured 35 merchants and all kinds of goods. There were organic doggie treats on offer, flowers, artisan bread, and even Mexican ice cream. Furthermore, this market is the first one that will take your electronic food stamps, so low-income families can also come and enjoy.
Tomball Farmers Market
The cooperative effort is the main trait of this market. Farmers operate it, and they also established it. There is a variety of produce you can choose from – anything from the regular meat offering to eggs and fresh seafood. Just like our previous entry, this market will stay open even if it’s raining. It is also a healthy alternative for local families who want to make meals out of scratch.
Canino’s Produce Co.
Family-owned markets are a rarity, so it’s no wonder Canino is a popular hub for healthy families. They first started in 1958, and they have since grown into quite a business. Even though the front part is more like a grocery store, you can just go around the back and enjoy the flea market. However, bear in mind that most vendors speak only Spanish.
Canino tries to sell a variety of locally grown produce, but they are not afraid to include other goods as well. From spices to fresh eggs, there’s something for everyone here.
Farm-to-table Restaurants in Houston
If you want to visit some of these restaurants in Houston, then you should check out some of our suggestions. There are more than 38 of them in the whole city, and Dish Society is a new addition. It has two locations: La Centerra in Katy and Galleria/Tanglewood.
When you get the menu, you will see that every dish has a list of ingredients next to it. That’s exactly what Aaron Lyons dreamed about. And, if you visit their website, you can see a list of their local sources.
The Culinary Tour
You can also take part in the Where the Chefs Eat™ tour. One of the previous ones included a local farmers market visit, and the group even went to a few farms, which were hand-picked by chefs. There, they had the chance to see how the produce is grown, and they took a tour of the land as well.
About Urban Harvest
Urban Harvest has been helping Houston pick healthier food options since 1994. It’s a local nonprofit and a leader in the food movement. They have collaborated with many schools, farmers markets, and community gardens. Moreover, they frequently hold education classes about healthy food choices. City Hall and Eastside Farmers Markets are under their control.