There are a ton of farmers’ markets in New York City, but I always find myself drawn to the Union Square Greenmarket. It’s massive and packed and has myriad options. But with that comes a massive crowd, increasing the probability of running into an ex or having someone step on my foot. So when I want the farmers’ market experience without the Trader Joes-esque stress, I go to Borough Hall. While their vendors are few, they have just what you need for light summer shopping.
The Borough Hall Farmers’ Market takes up part of Borough Hall Plaza on Court and Montague Street in Brooklyn. It’s open three times per week (Saturday, Tuesday and Thursdays) from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and has been bringing farm-fresh produce, dairy, meats and more to the area for over 25 years.
Most of their vendors are on site year-round, like American Seafood (for wild-caught fish from Suffolk, New York), Central Valley Farm for raw milk cheeses and Ballards Honey. The space sometimes offers cooking demonstrations throughout the season and has a compost collection area for those who want to minimize their carbon footprint. If you’ve just walked the Brooklyn Bridge or want to explore Cobble Hill, this is a can’t-miss destination for farm-fresh groceries.
Ariel Kanter is an editor at Gilt City and contributing food writer to amNewYork. She lives and eats in New York City. Follow her on Twitter @RavenousRel and Instagram @ArielKanter for photos of meals and, occasionally, her cat Jasper.
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All Greens: There is no shortage of greens at Borough Hall. You'll find everything from piles of kale and mustard greens to kohlrabi and bok choy.
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Phillips Farms offers jars of some really tasty sauces and dips. Honeycrisp applesauce is one of them. (Don't you love that the only ingredients are apples?) There is also fresh tomato sauce and tomato ketchup.
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Ballards Honey: Whether you need a new natural beeswax candle or a pot of really fragrant unpasteurized honey, Ballards (from Delaware County, New York) is the place to go. This family-owned business began in founder James Ballard's backyard with just five hives. Now they have more than 2,000.
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Basil and Greens: Since I always end up killing my basil, it's always nice to know where to go to find more. Borough Hall also offers other herbs like lemon thyme, which is great to use in summery dishes.
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Big Beets: These beets were absolutely gigantic. Like the size of a melon.
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Brooklyn's Borough Hall market has been running for over 25 years.
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Cider: Walking around the farmers' market is never complete without a cup of ice-cold apple cider. These apples come from a historic 100-year-old orchard.
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DiPaola offers turkey meat in many iterations. There are burgers, sausages and even smoked turkey breast.
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Eggs: One of my favorite things to buy at farmers' markets are eggs. This way you're in complete control of what is in your eggs—and you can be confident that they're coming from happ(ier) chickens.
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Fish: You can also find your seafood at the farmers' market. Those scallops in the corner look particularly fresh and juicy.