Austin’s farmers markets have changed a lot since the days of City Market.
That’s the name of a covered market that opened in 1935 at the corner of East Seventh Street and what was then called East Avenue, the precursor to Interstate 35.
For nearly 20 years, Austinites bought produce from local and regional farmers seven days a week at this Art Deco concrete building that stood where Austin’s police headquarters is located today. It was the site of early fat stock shows and Depression-era food giveaways, according to Statesman history writer Michael Barnes, and although the market closed in 1952, it remains a landmark in the timeline of Austin’s food history.
The 1950s and 1960s were the height of the American supermarket boom, but by the 1970s and 1980s, Austin’s farm stands and markets returned, including a popular spot on Lakeshore Drive just north of Riverside Drive. In 1984, the Georgetown Farmers Market Association launched the WilCo Farmer’s Market, which is currently Central Texas’ oldest continuously operated market.
In the 1990s, the Travis County Farmers’ Market on Burnet Road was going strong and El Gallo restaurant on South Congress Avenue hosted the South Austin Farmers’ Market on Saturday mornings. Whole Foods hosted Saturday and Wednesday farmers markets in its parking lots at the Research Boulevard and North Lamar locations, and there were small weekly markets in communities all over Central Texas, from Seguin to Killeen.
In the early 2000s, Austin’s farmers market scene as we know it started to take root, with the Sustainable Food Center opening a downtown market in 2003 and what is now the Barton Creek Farmers’ Market thriving in Sunset Valley. Boggy Creek’s twice-a-week farmstand was also well underway, accompanied by weekly farmstands at Tecolote Farm and, later, Green Gate Farm.
The past decade brought another wave of farmers markets, from Dripping Springs to Elgin, San Marcos to Cedar Park. Although we don’t have a centralized daily market like we did with City Market, Austin-area shoppers can now find a market or farmstand selling local produce, meat and food products nearly every day of the week.
Each of these markets has its own personality, and they are home to countless small food businesses, from cottage law bakeries to burgeoning food brands, as well as farms and ranches.
Barton Creek Farmers Market, Austin’s oldest farmers market, dating back to 1987, when it opened in the Whole Foods parking lot. The market is now located in the back of the Barton Creek Square Mall, 2901 S. U.S. 360 (Capital of Texas Highway), and is open Saturdays 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., where you can often find live music. In addition to meat, dairy, produce, grocery products, flowers and art vendors, you can find prepared food vendors and sometimes a petting zoo. bartoncreekfarmersmarket.org
Bastrop 1832 Farmers Market, a market that taken place twice a week in a building near the railroad tracks in Bastrop’s downtown since 2002 and features local produce and goods from the area. You’ll find the market at 1302 Chestnut St. 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesdays, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays. bastrop1832farmersmarket.org
Boggy Creek Farm, this East Austin farm at 3414 Lyons Road opened in 1992 and has been hosting a weekly farmstand ever since. In recent years, farmer Carol Ann Sayle has added additional market days. Customers can shop the farmstand Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. boggycreekfarm.com
Buda Farmers Market, a market at 308 S. Main St. in Buda that takes place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays. Since 2010, this market has featured more than a dozen vendors selling everything from handmade soap to locally brewed kombucha. budafarmersmarket.com
Dobbin-Kauv Garden Farm, an urban farm at 5703 Manor Road in Northeast Austin that has a farmstand open Tuesdays through Fridays from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Sundays from noon to 3:30 p.m. facebook.com/dobbinkauvfarm
Dripping Springs Farmers Market, a Wednesday market held from 3 to 6 p.m. at Veterans Memorial Park in Dripping Springs at Highway 290 and RM 12. cityofdrippingsprings.com/page/fm.home
Elgin Farmers' Market, a year-round market that takes place from 5 to 8 p.m. on Thursdays at Veterans’ Memorial Park in Elgin. elginfarmersmarket.com
Farmer George Market, this year-round market takes places at three locations in Round Rock and North Austin: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays behind Ikea, Sundays from noon to 4 p.m. at Gateway Center, 9607 Research Blvd. in North Austin, and the first Thursday of each month from 3 to 7 p.m. at 12300 Riata Parkway. farmergeorge.market
Lone Star Farmers Market, a weekly market taking place at 12700 Hill Country Blvd. in Bee Cave from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sundays, where you can find fresh produce and meat, as well as baked goods and prepared foods. lonestarfarmersmarket.com
Pedernales Farmers Market, a market on Sundays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the parking lot of Apis restaurant, 23526 U.S. 71 in Spicewood, that started in 2017. pedernalesfarmersmarket.com
Pflugerville Pfarmers Market, a seasonal market on Tuesdays from 3 to 7 p.m. in The Green Red Barn at Heritage Park, 901 Old Austin Hutto Road. The market is usually open from May to October, with some dates during the fall and winter. pflugervilletx.gov/for-visitors/pfarmers-market
Texas Farmers’ Market at Lakeline, a Saturday market from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at at 11200 Lakeline Mall Drive in Cedar Park with more than 100 booths, including farmers, food product makers and prepared food vendors. This market opened in 2010 and is one of the largest in the area. texasfarmersmarket.org/lakeline
Texas Farmers’ Market at Mueller, a large Sunday market from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 4209 Airport Blvd. in the Mueller development next to the Mueller Lake that opened in 2012 and is a launching pad for many local food brands. texasfarmersmarket.org/mueller
San Marcos Farmers’ Market, a market at 155 E. San Antonio St. on the square in San Marcos that takes place from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays. facebook.com/smtxfarmersmarket
Sustainable Food Center Farmers’ Market Downtown, one of the longest-running farmers markets in Austin, this Saturday market started in 2003 and has certified local growers and ranchers selling meat, product, prepared products and grocery staples, including olive oil, honey, salsas and granola. You can find it at 422 Guadalupe St. (Republic Square Park) on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. sustainablefoodcenter.org/programs/sfc-farmers-market
Sustainable Food Center Farmers’ Markets Sunset Valley, SFC took over this farmers market location, 3200 Jones Road (Toney Burger Center), in 2012, where it continues to draw families, art and food lovers from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays. sustainablefoodcenter.org/programs/sfc-farmers-market
WilCo Farmer’s Market, a market in Georgetown that started in 1984. It currently takes place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Thursdays in the parking lot across from the library between Seventh and Eighth streets. The Georgetown Farmers Market Association also operates the Sun City Farmers Market from 9 a.m. to noon on Tuesdays at 2 Texas Ave. in Sun City. wilcofarmersmarket.com
Wolf Ranch Farmers Market, a Saturday morning farmers market at Wolf Ranch Town Center, 1015 W. University Drive in Georgetown, that is open from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. wolfranchfarmersmarket.com