I've never believed in the lazy Saturday mindset. Saturdays are meant for getting up early, exploring, and trying new things! It's the one day a week without any (okay, hardly any) responsibility. Plus, I'm typically well-rested on Saturdays after crashing hard Friday nights (turn up).
This past Saturday, I woke up with this mindset - ready to explore and try something new.
Despite living just a short 10-15 minutes from downtown, I hadn't much explored downtown San Diego. So, I set off to Little Italy - a neighborhood in downtown I had heard nothing but great things about...and a neighborhood that supposedly hosted San Diego's best farmers market every Saturday. I'm a big fan of sampling local, fresh eats, stocking up on treats from small businesses, and of course, people watching. Farmer's markets are my favorite places for these reasons.
Honestly, when I arrived at the Little Italy Mercato, I was overwhelmed! I'd been to my fair share of farmer's markets, but this one was huge! Stalls took over multiple blocks, and hundreds of people swarmed each vendor...and I came in the last two hours when things were winding down!
However, I slowly walked through the stalls (trying to unsuccessfully fend off the heat) and tried some of the most amazing food & local goods! It was a beautiful day - and I relished in the slow pace I took because of the crowd.
Here were my favorites:
Green Fix Smoothie: Green Fix is a staple at many San Diego farmers markets, and I totally understand why. The vendors were so knowledgeable about nutrition and so friendly! I settled on the Green Fix "Original," which was a blend of kale, chard, collard green, romaine lettuce, dandelion, parsley, pure water, pressed apple juice, banana, and flax seed. It was a shockingly filling juice - and the banana helped sweeten the bitterness of the chard, collard green, and dandelion! I also recommend their special, seasonal Mint & Ginger blend.
Sage Mountain Farm: As someone who really values eating local, I loved Sage Mountain Farm. All of their produce is organic and environmentally sustainable, and the farm owners participate in a large CSA program in Riverside and San Bernardino Counties. I got a few beautiful squashes that I can't wait to cook with! Yum!
The Cheese Store of San Diego: YUM. They had me at cheese. I unfortunately couldn't buy anything from this stand because I had to run a few errands afterwards (and this would not be great sitting in a hot car), but my samples were delicious. I highly recommend the gouda! PS- There's an actual store in San Diego that hosts Sunday Suppers & Cheese classes! I cannot wait to try!
Any flower vendor: I bought flowers from a few different vendors because they were all just so pretty and very reasonably priced! My apartment now looks so bright & cozy!
Other favorites (that I couldn't snag pictures of because it was so crowded):
- Bitchin' Sauce: Hummus that is not actually hummus aka I can eat it because no chickpeas!! It's almond based and so yummy!
- Rickaroons: Sweet macaroon-like treats that are based on almond butter & coconut - no flour & all organic! A guilt free treat.
- Purity Apothecary: Organic skincare that smelled and felt amazing!
I had the best time at the farmer's market, and I truly believe I will be making an appearance there on a weekly basis.
Did I mention how cute the Little Italy neighborhood was too?! My new goal is to live here.