Slideshow: SE Staff Picks: Some of Our Favorite Farmers' Markets

KCC Saturday Farmers' Market (Honolulu, HI)
KCC Saturday Farmers' Market (Honolulu, HI)
I've only been to the Saturday Farmers' Market at Kapiolani Community College in Honolulu once, but if I lived in Honolulu I'd be tempted to go there regularly‐if not for the huge crowds. But tourists pile into the market along with locals for good reason: There's lots of great crowd-battling-worthy food. Along with produce, you'll find grilled pizza, fried green tomatoes and onion rings, shave ice (remember, shave, not shaved), fresh strawberry mochi, barbecued abalone, ginger soda, and more, featuring locally grown ingredients. Make sure to get there early or else you may find yourself strawberry mochi-less, as I did when I saw someone buy the last box right before I got up to the mochi stand. Robyn Lee
Greenmarkets (NYC)
Greenmarkets (NYC)
As a longtime New Yorker I'm obsessed with the Greenmarkets in New York. I've been writing about them since 1992. No matter where I go in the country, I find myself compelled to visit the local farmers' market but I'm lucky to have the Greenmarkets right here every week. Close your eyes and consider the last great apple or peach you ate, or the last great tomatoes you sliced and served with fresh mozzarella. Chances are you bought that apple, peach, or tomato at a farmers' market. At the Greenmarkets I frequent, you'll also find terrific grass-fed beef, heritage pork, artisanal bread, mussels and clams from local waters, and farmstead cheeses. When I'm in a tomato mood (and what better time to be in one!), I head straight to the Stokes Farms table. For berries, it's Rick Bishop's Mountain Sweet Berry Farms—now that's Mother Nature's candy. I also love Red Jacket Orchard's juices and anything pork from Flying Pigs Farm.. this could really go on for a while. Ed Levine
Lake Oswego Farmers' Market (Lake Oswego, OR)
Lake Oswego Farmers' Market (Lake Oswego, OR)
The Lake Oswego farmers' market (the one closest to my childhood home) is pretty idyllic, with a view of the water and gorgeous produce. (Frilly lettuces! Marionberries!) The last time I was there, the mushroom vendor, Springwater Farm, had $5 bags of Oregon truffles. I carried mine back to NY, and grated it over buttered pasta. Maggie Hoffman
Dane County Farmers' Market (Madison, WI)
Dane County Farmers' Market (Madison, WI)
As a Bay Area-born New York resident, I'd always favored Ferry Plaza Market (SF) and Union Square Greenmarket (NYC), and sitting by the Bay eating a 4505 breakfast sandwich or a basket of fresh figs is still my favorite way to start a Saturday. But I have to admit that I was blown away by the Dane County Farmers' Market in Madison. Since it's a producers-only market, everyone working the stalls knows their product—ever wanted to discuss the differences between two dozen types of apples? This is the market for you. And this being Wisconsin, there's cheese everywhere, my favorite being squeaky cheese curds (from anywhere) and Hot and Spicy cheese bread (from Stella's Bakery). It's warm and squishy and buttery and laced with oozing Jack and provolone, plus a little hot pepper. You can smell it from all over the market, and while it's about the least refined snack imaginable, it's also one of the tastiest. Carey Jones

[Photo: Daniel Zemans]

Mountain View Farmers' Market (Mountain View, CA)
Mountain View Farmers' Market (Mountain View, CA)
California has an abundance of stellar farmers' markets, but the one nearest and dearest to my heart is the Mountain View Farmers' Market. It's the one I visited most frequently during my years in CA, and since my sister now lives just down the street, a trip to the market on Sunday morning has become our weekend ritual whenever I'm out there. The first thing we do is pick up a bunch of freshly cut flowers at the market entrance, and then, bouquet in hand, we make our way through the rows and rows of vendors with their gorgeous bountiful harvests until we arrive at Kashiwase Farms, where little bowls of freshly cut slivers of peaches, nectarines, pluots, plums, and apricots await to be tasted.

After sampling a dozen varieties of these sweet 'n tart juicy fruits, we buy a bagful and then seek out the Bolani East & West Gourmet Afghan Food stand. This is my favorite market stop. The guys are always super friendly and eager to hand out samples of every combination of their veggie-stuffed flatbreads and spreads. The best bite? Spinach bolani topped with a bit of garlic mint yogurt cheese and a dab of sweet jalapeño pepper jelly. Yum. Christine Tsai

Rutland County Farmers' Market (Rutland, VT)
Rutland County Farmers' Market (Rutland, VT)
My regular farmers market is Union Square's Greenmarket in NYC but when I visit Lake Bomoseen in Vermont, I make sure to go into Rutland to hit up the farmers' market. They always have a great selection of cheeses and local produce. Sometimes there are even baby pigs, though they're so darn cute it puts me off bacon for a few days. Oh and I also stock up on honey for my morning yogurt. Those Vermont bees really know what they're doing. Carrie Vasios
Union Square Farmers Market (Somerville, MA)
Union Square Farmers Market (Somerville, MA)
The Union Square Farmers Market in Somerville is what a farmer's market should be. The market standbys are always in good supply, but seasonal specialities like garlic scapes, stinging nettles, and harukei turnips also crop up on the stands. In addition to the grown goods, Somerville's local producers like Taza Chocolate, Fiore di Nonna Mozzarella, and Iggy's Bread (ok, they're from Cambridge, but close enough) represent. It's large enough to offer a more than respectable selection, but not so large that making a first pass will make for a rush job when it comes time to shopping. And the weekly music or entertainment makes the Union Square market a place to linger and catch up with people from the neighborhood. Super community minded, they even have a central booth where food stamps (or credit cards) can be exchanged for tokens that are accepted by all the vendors. Perfect for the cash depleted.Meredith Smith [Photo via Flickr: anarchitect]