North Texas Produce Party: A Guide to the Best Farmers Markets in DFW

A leisurely strolls through the farmers markets is good for the soul. These markets seem to bring out the best in people and provide a sense of community so often missing from daily life. They're also great places to people watch and, well, buy food. The best markets in Dallas-Fort Worth happen mostly on Saturdays from 8 a.m. to noon — after that, pickings get slim. Some markets, particularly in Denton, McKinney and Coppell, are well worth a commute. Here's a rundown of the best markets in DFW.

Denton Community Market
317 W. Mulberry St., Denton
9 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Saturday

Denton Community Market is not just an essential farmers market; it offers a quick tour of what makes this city so charming. The impressive maze of trucks and tents creates its own little world near the downtown square. After visiting a bunch of DFW farmers markets, you start to notice certain vendors — like Steel City Pops — that pop up at multiple markets. But Denton Community Market is full of surprises. There's fresh produce, of course, and arts and crafts. But you'll also find organic juice cocktails, biscuits and mushroom gravy, blueberry cheesecake-roasted almonds, even all natural dog treats and live music. One man sat at a table encouraging people to pet a large snake and one couple sold all manner of terrifying knives. It's also pleasant to meander through the grass under the shade of big, old trees.

McKinney Farmers Market at Chestnut Square
315 S. Chestnut St., McKinney
8 a.m. to noon every Saturday

When it comes to produce, meat, bread, arts and crafts and food stands, McKinney Farmers Market is second to none. But it's also situated in Chestnut Square, a village museum of historic homes circa 1854 to 1918. There's a wedding chapel, a kitchen for cooking demonstrations, even a blacksmith and goats to entertain kids. The calendar of events is worth keeping an eye on — thousands of people are looking forward to the annual ice cream crank-off on June 11. Every year, people come from near and far to crank homemade ice cream on-site for public tasting and judging.

Coppell Farmers Market
768 W. Main St., Coppell
8 a.m. to noon every Saturday

Located in the historical Old Town Coppell with a beautiful pavilion, Coppell Farmers Market is fiercely local, mandating that all produce must come from within 150 miles. This is also a competitive location with strict vendor guidelines — much of the produce is picked the day before. The stringent rules create a truly exceptional market. Don't be surprised to see shoppers with bags, carts and baskets, much like at a standard grocery store. Cash is the best option, but you can use a debit card to buy wooden tokens accepted by vendors. Definitely get there early for best selection — there's free coffee waiting for you. 

Lakeside Market
9150 Garland Rd.
8 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Saturday

White Rock and Lakeside are now one market outside Lakeside Baptist Church. For local produce, this is one of the best options within Dallas city limits. Great big bags of spinach and immaculate heads of broccoli were too good to pass up. But Lakeside also has a respectable variety of breads, cheeses, eggs and meats, which makes it an all-around good spot for most essential grocery items. There are also strong cups of coffee and bags of coffee beans from Noble Coyote Coffee Roasters. Scones, croissants and kolaches are available if you're looking for breakfast, and there's sorbet if you need to cool off.

Sweet Harvest Shed/Dulce Cosecha
1103 S. Harwood St.
8 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily

This is actually a great place to get produce if you're near Dallas Farmers Market. Sweet Harvest Shed/Dulce Cosecha is a gorgeous red shed full of fruits, vegetables and nuts. Even the pickiest shoppers will be happy with the watermelons, mangos, strawberries and apples here. They also put together darling fruit baskets and this might be the best place to get tomatoes. There's a great assortment of flowers here; the prices are very reasonable and the people are kind. Sweet Harvest also has baked goods like pies and breads. If you miss the way Dallas Farmers Market used to be, walk across the street to Sweet Harvest Shed. That’s what some of the vendors did.

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Jeremy Hallock