You all know it's farmers market season, and beyond knowing it, I hope you're getting out to see what's growing, smell the flowers, stock up on chicken eggs, choose some seafood for supper, take in the glow of local honey gleaming in glass jars, and get in on the baked goods, smoothies, wood-fired pizzas, and general delight created by people selling directly to people with dogs, strollers, weather, and live music all in the mix. But it's not only farmers market season; you can also find weekly artisan/thrift/vintage/flea markets, and monthly night markets in Tacoma! Take a look at our list, and don't let yourself believe you're too busy for this. Life is made more lively by enjoyment of community. Go bump into someone.
The Tacoma Farmers Market operates in 4 locations, with the Proctor Farmers' Market doing its own thing every Saturday, so that makes 5 days of the week for going to market with your reusable bags and baskets to fill with food and flowers.
With 2 weekly and 1 monthly La Paloma Artisan & Vintage Marketplace locations (formerly Tacoma Flea Market), the monthly Tacoma Night Markets, and other pop-up markets you barely go a day without a venue for directly supporting local artists, makers, and resellers in our city. The La Paloma markets focus on vintage and handmade goods, and also have live music, food, and treats from vendors like Local Bun (cookies!), Avocado & Co (caramel apples and tamales!), and Jan Parker Cookery (chicken bowls!).
Our list is in day-of-the-week order and includes 2 bonus out-of-town markets at the end. Enjoy!
Sundays - Multiple Markets!
Every Sunday: Point Ruston Farmers Market
10 am - 3 pm
June - September
5005 Ruston Way
Image from @tacomafarmersmarket
Second Sundays: La Paloma Pearl Street Market
10 am - 3 pm
June 10 - October
N 45th & Pearl (future location of Tacoma's Central Co-op)
Unlike the other La Paloma markets, this one has more opportunities for bartering and haggling!
Every Tuesday: Eastside Farmers Market
3 - 7 pm
June - August
35th & McKinley (just down the street from the Top of Tacoma!)
Thursdays - Multiple Markets!
Every Thursday: Broadway Farmers Market
10 am - 3 pm, May - August
10 am - 2 pm, September - October
9th & Broadway
Every Thursday: La Paloma Waterfront Night Market
Coming Soon to Fridays: Tacoma General Rose Garden Farmers Market
11 am - 2 pm
August 3 - August 31
315 MLK Jr Way (between 5th & Division)
First Saturdays: Tacoma Night Market
5 - 10 pm
Next Market is Saturday, July 7
734 Pacific Ave
Image from @tacomanightmarket
Other Tacoma Markets to Follow
If you just LOVE markets so much, make sure you're following Downtown Tacoma Market so you won't miss their pop-up markets at Courthouse Square (home of Lift Bridge Coffee and en Rama). You'll also want to follow Happy Fox Studio Jewelry, host and organizer of wonderful local makers-markets that pop-up around our city.
Two Out-of-Town Markets
Like to take a little day trip and go a bit further afield for your markets? We can recommend 2 personally.
9 am - 2 pm
Saturdays, April 7 - December 15
18901 8th Ave NE, Poulsbo
About 50 minutes by car from Tacoma
This is the market where our sister-in-law is the chef behind Oxalis Kitchen. This lady has food magic in all her fingertips.
savory rye galettes: fresh, from- scratch, full-meal-in-the-palm-of-your-hand tarts with rye flour crust, green garlic mascarpone, mushrooms, onions, peppers, prosciutto, etc.
"the brownie": gluten free, rich, perfect, topped with hazelnuts, and caramel
from-scratch sparkling soda: think seasonal fruits like strawberry with rhubarb, reduced and strained into a bright, sweet-tart syrup added to refreshing soda water
creative salads "to-go": creations like dilly summer soba with cucumber and beets, or rainbow kale with peanut sauce and brown rice
dressings to brighten your meals at home: varieties like miso ginger, or apple, feta, shallot vinaigrette
Of course, she's not the only booth at the market - you'll find fresh produce, honey, crafts, a knife sharpener, pickles, flowers, bread and baked goods - but you have to visit her and eat. P.S. - Oxalis Kitchen sells out!
9 am - 2 pm
Saturdays, April 21 - October 13
Pioneer Park & Pavilion, Puyallup
25 - 40 minutes by car from Tacoma
Image from @jessicaduggan_baker
At this market our cousin The Vintage Baker also sells out of her delectable sweet treats of every shape, size, color, and flavor. Cookies, scones, layer cakes, mini pies, turnovers, sweet rolls.
If it's sweet, makes your mouth water, and has you considering dessert for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, she bakes it. You might find savory croissants as well if that's more your thing.
This is another market with all the works: produce, music, food vendors, and all that jazz.
The moral of the story is, don't lament the selection and experience of the super market, and don't feel like you'd better just head to some big-box store next time you want to give a gift. Fresh, local, outdoor, seasonal markets are the perfect salve for your woes. If you don't buy anything, you'll still see something, you'll feel something, you'll be awakened just a bit. See you out there!