Minnesota’s agricultural bounty comes to the big city during the warm weather months with the Minneapolis Farmers Market. The iconic experience brings together vendors, families, and curious visitors eager to grab a bite, take home fresh fruits and vegetables, shop artisan crafts, and soak up all kinds of good summertime vibrations.
The most famous and bustling of the three locations of the Farmers Market is the Lyndale Market, situated in the center of the city in a sun-splashed location bursting with vibrant activity. Visitors load up with armfuls of seasonal vegetables perfect for cooking at home, fresh coffee and snacks to enjoy while browsing, plants and growing advice for avid gardeners, and clothes, jewelry, and artisan foods that make for unique treats found nowhere else. The Lyndale Market is open from 6 a.m. to 1 p.m. daily—it’s a signature Twin Cities experience, perfect for bringing kids or visitors from out of town.
Office workers and visitors to Minneapolis’ downtown make up the bulk of the visitors to the Nicollet Mall Market, a sprawling banquet of fresh produce and snacks that operates from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Thursdays. Nicollet Mall is just blocks away from the Government Center Market, which is open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Tuesdays. Picturesque and lively, both offer welcome splashes of color and delicious flavors for those on break from their jobs as well as visitors from all over the world.
The Minneapolis Farmers Market strives to weave together the many diverse backgrounds and experience of Minnesotans, from cooking enthusiasts looking for the freshest ingredients to small farmers bolstering their seasonal livelihood. As part of its mission to provide fresh and locally grown food to the widest range of people and families, all three markets accept payment from EBT/SNAP and FMNP/WIC programs for low-income families, as well as employer-sponsored Healthy Savings programs—making wholesome nutrition an attainable priority for everyone.
Farmers Market events are some of the most memorable summertime happenings in the Twin Cities. On Saturday mornings, the Lyndale Market offers “market demos,” with chefs lending insider tips on cooking techniques, recipes, and storage advice directly based on what’s offered at the market that day (also entertaining fun for kids, and a way to get them started on thinking about healthy cooking). A pair of chefs also take center stage on August 10 for the annual Chef’s Challenge at the Market; two cooks each make a meal in 30 minutes out of ingredients from the Market to be judged by a panel (with an enthusiastic audience of about 10,000 every year).
The first outdoor Farmers Market in Minneapolis opened in 1876, and the Lyndale location premiered in 1937—making this one of the Twin Cities’ most enduring and beloved summertime traditions. (Not to mention the Christmas trees for sale there starting in the middle of November.) Today, fans follow the latest Farmers Market doings on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter—plus, news and recipes on the Market’s website—but what they treasure the most is the real-life, non-digital experience of fun, health, diversity, and community that brings people together in a spirit of celebration and wholesome good times.