From farm to your table: 12 farmers markets in Pennsylvania to find the freshest summer produce

Philadelphia Farmers Market (Photo: Phil Roeder/Creative Commons)

By Kalena Thomhave

June 4, 2024

The season is here to enjoy fresh produce, dairy, meats, and more from Pennsylvania’s many farmers markets.

To anyone who has subsisted on mealy tomatoes throughout winter and early spring, the increasing temperatures mean one thing: it’s the season of farmers markets—and all the colorful produce we find there. Each week across Pennsylvania, hundreds of farmers load their goods to sell to the public at (usually) outdoor, often makeshift, markets.

Farmers markets these days tend to offer more than groceries, sometimes hosting events like live music or kids’ activities. Markets have become community hubs—places to learn more about your neighborhood and the people who live there, all while hopefully trying delicious samples of the foods on offer.

We’ve put together a list of 12 of our favorite farmers markets across the state. Mark your calendar for the next day your favorite market is open—it won’t be tomato season forever, so take advantage of your market now!

Eastern Pa.

Clark Park Farmers Market, Philadelphia

Clark Park in West Philly is one of the best farmers markets in a city full of them. On Saturdays, year-round, more than a dozen vendors sell goods like fresh flowers, homemade bread, and of course, plenty of produce. The Clark Park Farmers Market is considered a neighborhood institution—and the warm welcome extends to people who shop with SNAP (commonly called Food Stamps), WIC, EBT, or senior food benefits, which are all accepted at the market.

Lancaster Central Market, Lancaster

The Lancaster Central Market is not only an excellent farmers market—it also happens to be the oldest farmers market in the country that has continuously operated since it first opened in 1730. The Lancaster Central Market is open three days a week — Tuesday, Friday, and Saturday — and hosts nearly 70 vendors selling items such as fresh pasta, fresh flowers, and of course, bushels of fruits and vegetables. Many of these vendors also accept SNAP and EBT benefits.

Easton Farmers Market, Easton

We’ve got another historic market for you: the Easton Farmers Market, the oldest open-air farmers market in the country. It began in 1752 — the same year that the city of Easton was founded. Today, more than 50 vendors sell a range of locally produced goods: pies and produce, blooms and beer, and coffee and confections, just to name a handful. The market is also in a beautiful location: you can find it in a park at the confluence of the Lehigh and Delaware Rivers. Also, the market accepts SNAP and EBT benefits.

Co-Op Farmers Market, Scranton

The Co-Op Farmers Market in Scranton has served the Lackawanna County community since 1939. Indeed, there’s no other open-air farmers market like it in all of NEPA. Local farmers sell fresh foods during the warmer months, July through November. The market prides itself on being a producers-only market, meaning that everything at the market, from vegetables to flowers to bread, has been grown or made by the vendors themselves. Besides fresh goods, the market also hosts events like live music, cooking demonstrations, and much more.

Central Pa.

Broad Street Market, Harrisburg

Even though Harrisburg’s historic Broad Street Market suffered a devastating fire last July that destroyed half of the market’s brick building and displaced many businesses, it remains a gem of the city — and very open for business. Reconstruction of the brick building is estimated to take two years. In the meantime, a temporary structure has been erected to house the vendors displaced by the fire. And there’s something special about the market in summer, when vendors spill out from the indoor market house (the market’s stone building was not damaged in the fire) to fill the courtyard with colorful produce, homemade lunch options, and refreshing drinks. Summer is also when the market hosts events for the community like live music. You can visit every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. This market also accepts SNAP and EBT benefits.

Downtown State College Farmers Market, State College

State College’s small but vibrant farmers market runs each Friday from May to November in the city’s downtown. You can find flowers, homemade foods, sweet treats, and much more at this producers-only farmers market. If you’re local to Centre County — or just visiting — stop by the Downtown State College Farmers Market to get a flavor for the region.

Bedford Farmers Market, Bedford

The lovely town of Bedford holds its farmers market on Wednesdays from May through November in Bedford’s historic downtown square. While you’ll of course find farm-grown produce, specialty gift items, and delicious treats at the market, the Bedford Farmers Market also hosts a unique voucher program that benefits community members. On certain days of the market season, customers such as veterans, youths, and senior citizens can receive a $10 voucher good toward purchases at the farmers market. You can check the voucher schedule on the market website. The prospect of a voucher may bring you to the market, but fresh-baked cookies, local kombucha, and live music will certainly encourage you to stay.

Central Market York, York

Pennsylvania has no shortage of historic markets. Enter Central Market York, located in a beautiful historic building that has stood sentinel over York’s downtown since 1888. This indoor market is a hub of community activity, hosting farmers who sell their bounty, artists who sell their crafts, and events geared toward both kids and adults. In all, more than 50 vendors, including more permanent dining establishments, set up shop in the market house. Central Market is open Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday (though individual vendor hours may vary).

Western Pa.

Bloomfield Saturday Market, Pittsburgh

As its name suggests, the Bloomfield Saturday Market is held on Saturdays in Pittsburgh’s Bloomfield neighborhood. Taking up a large corner parking lot in the middle of the Bloomfield business district, the market is filled with vendors hawking fruits and vegetables as well as plenty of handmade gifts, plants, and local food trucks. Unlike most farmers markets in Pittsburgh, the Bloomfield Saturday Market allows dogs, so feel free to bring your furry friend along as you do your shopping! This year, the market is scheduled to run through Nov. 16.

Market Square Downtown Market, Pittsburgh

The Market Square Downtown Market is a quality farmers market like all of Pittsburgh’s markets, but we think it’s extra fun because it’s downtown. On Thursday afternoons from May through November, you can browse the booths and catch live music, all while surrounded by the skyscrapers of Pittsburgh’s business district. Then, grab some hot pierogi and wander around the area to see what else is going on in the hustle and bustle of the city. This market, like most in Pittsburgh (including the Bloomfield Saturday Market), accepts SNAP and EBT.

Meadville Market House and Farmers Market, Meadville

Pennsylvania’s penchant for historic markets continues west with the Meadville Market House, which has been in use since 1870. This means that for the past 150 years, Meadville community members have made their way to the market house to pick up local goods and products. While the market house is open year-round, there is also an outdoor farmers market during the warmer months. Beat the heat inside the market house, where you’ll find baked goods, tasty local food, gifts, and even an artist in residence, but then venture outdoors to meet local farmers while you browse for fresh produce and other groceries. The Meadville Market House also accepts SNAP and EBT benefits.

Ligonier Country Market, Ligonier

The Ligonier Country Market in charming downtown Ligonier is huge, hosting more than 130 vendors each summer Thursday and Saturday. You can shop for produce, bread, and other foods from local Pa. farmers, or you can visit numerous arts and crafts booths to get homemade gifts to spruce up your home or to give as gifts to your family and friends. Make sure you keep abreast of the different happenings at the market, because special events are common. For instance, each week sees a different activity for kids, like crafting bird feeders or making banana splits.

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CATEGORIES: FOOD AND DRINK
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