fbpx

St. Paul Farmers’ Market: The Complete Guide

St. Paul Farmers' Market

Want to know everything there is to know about the St. Paul Farmers’ Market? We’ve got you covered!

This guide, written entirely by St. Paul Residents, covers everything from market locations, to parking info, hours, and even insider tips on the best stalls and benefits!

We hope it helps you enjoy one of our favorite, low-key traditions in the Twin Cities!

COVID-19 UPDATE: The St. Paul Farmers’ Market is open for Summer 2020! Masks are required, and the number of stalls is definitely reduced. That said, most of the favorites are still there, so stay safe and enjoy!

St. Paul Farmers’ Market Locations

Fun fact: The St. Paul Farmers’ Market is more than just St. Paul!

Yep, the St. Paul Grower’s Association hosts farmers markets all the way from Lakeville up to Andover!

To see a full list of the 19+ locations and counting (with location addresses) here’s the official address book.

But ask any St. Paul resident, and there’s only one “St. Paul Farmers’ Market.” And that one is…

The Big Show: The Downtown St. Paul Farmers’ Market (Lowertown)

Lowertown Downtown St. Paul Farmers' Market

We LOVE the St. Paul Farmers market. (And… ahem… think it’s totally better than that other Twin Cities “farmers” market.)

Why?

When the weather warms up, perhaps nothing signifies the Twin Cities coming alive quite like the hustle and bustle of the St. Paul Farmers’ Market.

Located smack in the middle of Downtown/Lowertown St. Paul, the market in many ways represents the heartbeat of Saint Paul.

In the summer, crowds gather underneath the Farmers’ Markets permanent shaded awnings, eager to check out the freshest produce, snacks, and treats, all sourced directly local growers. In the winter, the market cuts back hours, and those awnings sit mostly dormant, eager for the ground to thaw and the produce to start growing yet again.

The whole thing makes for an awesome attraction. Surfing the crowd, dipping in and out of stands to grab fun and delicious samples, and grabbing fresh, healthy produce in the process.

We’re such fans of the market, we’ve been known to bring out of town guests when the weather is nice!

In fact, the market has such a rabid fan base, it’s not uncommon for some locals to do all their week’s grocery shopping there!

4 Reasons It’s Our Favorite Twin Cities Farmers’ Market

1. It’s just flat-out FUN

There’s something awesome about the buzz in the air at the St. Paul Farmers’ market.

Not to mention what a blast you’ll have when you…

  • look at all the beautiful flowers, produce, and snacks
  • taste ALL the samples
  • chat and joke with the local sellers
  • listen to the live music, either set up in the official market or across the street by an impromptu street performer

2. Only the freshest, in-season produce.

fresh produce

Unlike the Minneapolis “Farmers” Market, which at times feels more like a craft fair or generic grocery store than a local farmers’ market, the St. Paul Farmers’ Market ONLY sells seasonal produce.

In fact, the rule we’ve heard is that the St. Paul Market requires all produce to be grown within 50 miles of the city.

That means we know we’re getting the freshest ingredients, every time. We can’t say the same about produce from chain grocery stores, which are usually flown in from halfway across the world.

3. It feels good to buy local.

More than just a sticker you see slapped on the side of a small business, at the Farmers Market, buying local means you’re literally talking directly to the farmer who grew whatever you’re buying!

4. It’s REALLY affordable!

A lot of markets take advantage of the well-intentioned “buy local” or “buy organic” customer, usually charging an arm and a leg over what’s normal.

Not the St. Paul Farmers’ Market. Prices here are actually really competitive, often even cheaper than the most bargain of grocery stores.

Can’t beat that!

In fact, the St. Paul Market is so affordable, it even accepts EBT!

Our Top 5 Favorite Stands

Over the years, the market has developed some friendly faces and familiar foods. Here are our favorites.

farmers market produce stand

5. The Egg Roll Stand

We’ll admit, they’re not the best egg rolls in the world, but there’s something fun about scarfing down two egg rolls for $5.

4. The Donuts

Just make sure you come early, before they run out of Apple Fritters!

3. The Honey Man!

You can’t miss him. (He’s the one with the giant bee hat, in case you couldn’t tell…)

2. Chef Earl’s BBQ

This husband and wife duo’s been churning out some of the best BBQ in Minnesota for years, always cracking jokes with the customers and bringing a smile to everyone’s faces.

They started by bottling their own delicious sauce, which covers everything from mild and sweet Minnesota Nice flavors all the way up to Flamin’ Habanero!

In recent years, we’ve been lucky to see Chef Earl expand his operation, often pulling up a full smoker right to his stall, where he serves some of the best BBQ sandwiches around.

1. Any of the amazing produce stands

And yes, we’re counting the absolutely stunning flower stands here too.

fresh flowers

If there’s one thing that makes the St. Paul Famers’ Market amazing, it’s the local farmers pulling up their freshly picked trucks straight into their slots, then unboxing some of the most beautiful produce you’ve ever seen. (If you’ve never had your jaw drop at the beauty of onions… just you wait!)

St. Paul Farmers’ Market Hours

Ready to make a visit?

The main St. Paul Farmers’ Markets (the Downtown/Lowertown location) has two important hourly seasons.

Summer Hours

  • Saturdays: 7:00 AM to 1:00 PM
  • Sundays: 8:00 AM to 1:00 PM

Winter Hours:

  • Saturdays: 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM

Address:

  • 290 5th St. E, St. Paul, MN

You can check hours for other locations on the Official Farmer’s Market Schedule.

St. Paul Farmers’ Market Parking

While the parking situation at the St. Paul Farmer’s market can be intimidating at first, it’s really nothing to stress over. Soon enough, you’ll be whipping into a parking spot like a Farmers’ Market Pro!

Here’s our 4 favorite parking options, ranging from riding in style to completely free.

1. The VIP Option: Valet Parking for Just $5!

Leave it to St. Paul to make something that’s eye-gouginly expensive to be surprisingly affordable.

For just $5, you can pull your car right up to the market on Wall St., toss your keys to the valet-guy, and start getting your fresh produce on. When you’re done, they’ll whip the car back around for you, so you can load your groceries and go!

Here’s a handy map, courtesy of the St. Paul Grower’s Association, showing the valet zones. (With some helpful info about other parking options, too! We’ll get into those…)

St. Paul Farmers Market Parking Map
[Photo Credit]

2. The Default Option: Paid Parking Starting at $2

Probably the most popular option for most visitors is to park their car in any of the public lots, which start at $2.

Here’s a map of every public lot in St. Paul. For the Farmers’ Market, our personal favorite is the “Union Depot Lot C West” located at 240 E Kellog Blvd. It’s a short two blocks away from the market, and definitely the most popular lot for most of the market’s visitors.

3. The Frugal Choice: FREE Street Parking on Sundays

For us, the St. Paul Farmers’ market has become a Sunday tradition, and there’s one very obvious reason for that. Free parking!

If you can nab a spot, any of the metered street parking spots in St. Paul are free on Sundays. (Just make sure you don’t park in a loading zone, closed meter, or other no parking option. But any standard meter? Grab that baby while you can!)

4. Make it an event: The bike ride.

Want to experience the market like a true downtown local?

You could always find a free neighborhood spot a mile or two away in St. Paul’s West 7th Neighborhood, then take a leisurely bike ride to the market along Shepard Road or the bike trails along the Mississippi River.

You can either bring your own bike or grab one of the green Lime bikes in the summer! (This same strategy works for any of the city’s newly introduced electric scooters, too!)

Our personal favorite route starts at the intersection of Shepard Road and Randolph Ave. Follow the River for 2 miles before turning left into downtown at Jackson Street.

St. Paul Farmer’s Market Vendor Application

Ready to try your hand slinging your own goods at the market?

You’ll have to become a member of the St. PaulĀ  Grower’s association, then fill out a full application through the Vendor Application Page.

Among other things, you’ll have to show the Grower’s Association where your farm lies. If you’re selling food or samples, you’ll need to provide a copy of all licenses and insurance certificates.

Share on
Subscribe

Don't miss out

on awesome updates around the Twin Cities.
About the Author
More like this