Those unfamiliar with Atlanta need not overlook its food scene—as with film, arts and business, Atlanta’s food industry has grown exponentially since the turn of the millennium.
Several factors are at play here here. Although many of the city’s top-rated restaurants and overpriced spectacles like the Ponce City and Krog Street markets are a result of “revitalization,” Atlanta’s culinary boost cannot exist without its massive population influx, particularly international citizens and immigrants. Finally, heightened interest in food quality further supports Georgia’s top industry: agriculture.
A number of new farmers markets have popped up in metro Atlanta over the past few years, as it’s clear that in this city of eaters, people care about their food. Meanwhile, the old titans prove they aren’t going anywhere. Whether you’re looking for charm, strong community ties or an incomparable selection, Atlanta has the farmers market.
Note: all the markets on this list are operating as of publication date.
1. Buford Highway Farmers Market
5600 Buford Highway NE
The Buford Highway stretches nearly 50 miles, presenting lofty goals for even the most enthusiastic eaters. If you are looking for an elusive ingredient, you will find it somewhere along this road. In a land of strip malls, it makes sense that Doraville’s Buford Highway Farmers Market seems more like a superstore. The space, which has been open for more than 30 years, is meticulously categorized by both food type and origin—you have to when you offer one of the most diverse selections of food products around.
2. Morningside Farmers Market
1393 N. Highland Ave
Photo by Carl Black, CC-BY
Across the street from the reputable Alon’s Bakery and Market, you’ll find Morningside Farmers Market, which is open on Saturdays from 8:00 to 11:30. A relatively small market, Morningside’s market reflects its namesake’s charm—it’s the kind of place you stop by after a family brunch to pick up freshly baked bread, produce and small batch chocolate.
3. Emory Farmers Market
569 Asbury Cir
Founded in 2008, Emory University’s weekly Tuesday market corresponds with the flow of a typical school calendar and acts as an arm of Emory’s mission for sustainability. Emory’s market is an extension of the university’s dining services and works with vendors and local businesses to emphasize the importance of sustainable produce. Here, you’ll leave with food and knowledge.
4. Your Dekalb Farmers Market
3000 E Ponce de Leon Ave, Decatur
Photo by Carl Black, CC-BY
Like the suburbs that creep along the Buford Highway, Dekalb county is culturally rich—nearly one third of nearby Clarkston’s population is made up of immigrants. Your Dekalb Farmers Market is colossal (and still slated for expansion), boasting staples that heighten the market experience like a seafood counter (with a huge selection), a bakery and one of the city’s best buffets.
5. Decatur Farmers Market
308 Clairmont Cir, Decatur
The Decatur Farmers Market is an offshoot of Community Farmers Markets, which includes the popular (though currently closed) East Atlanta Village, Grant Park and Westside Provisions markets. The Decatur market prides itself on its ties to this closely-knit community, with ties to local businesses and artists. While Saturday sales don’t return until April 8, the Wednesday afternoon market has been running since January.
Main photo by Kate Medley, Southern Foodways Alliance
Sarra Sedghi is Paste Food’s and Paste Science’s assistant editor.