Make it, bake it or grow it: Victoria farmers markets are the place for fresh and local.
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Support Local, Farm to Fork and Boat to Bowl are all philosophies that many Victorian’s live by.
We are willing to pay a little more for quality products, made or grown locally.
If you’re looking for a place where you can sample some kombucha, pick up a jar of summer grilling relish and discover one-of-a-kind clothing, jewelry and accessories, then visiting Victoria farmers markets must be on your list of things to do while in town.
Our markets have something for everyone and you can find one nearly every day of the week!
They are the perfect escape to enjoy the slower pace of island living.
During summer months, Greater Victoria is home to over a dozen different outdoor markets. A handful of these move indoors and remain open throughout the year. The information below is for reference only – please consult websites and Facebook pages of the individual markets for the hours of operation. Remember to bring your reusable bags.
Most of the Victoria farmers markets are members of the BC Association of Farmers Markets. In order to belong to the association, each market hosts vendors who make, bake, grow, raise or wild harvest 100% of their products. This means when you support local markets, you are supporting entrepreneurs who value fresh, unique, quality products. It’s a principle that is easy to get behind.
The motto for the Esquimalt farmers market is that they are “worth crossing the bridge for” and I can personally attest to this. They had been in operation for 5 years before my first visit and I was not disappointed. Quite frankly, I wondered what had taken me so long to check this market out.
Since my initial visit, the market temporarily moved to Bullen Park to allow for social distancing. They then moved back to Memorial Park briefly with some vendors operating out of the new Esquimalt Town Square. In 2022 the market began operating twice weekly - Thursday evening at Esquimalt Town Square and Monday evening at Gorge Park. At the end of November they typically move indoors to the Esquimalt Rec Centre for a scaled-down market during the winter season.
Parking for the can be a bit challenging although it is better since moving from Memorial Park. Generally speaking your best bet for parking is at the Archie Browning Centre. Do not park at the plaza where Country Grocer is.
When I entered the market for the first time, my senses were immediately delighted by the colourful fresh fruits and veggies and the smell of delicious foods cooking in the food trucks. Throughout the market, numerous vendors offer free samples which I really appreciate. On my initial visit, I tried kombucha for the first time along with some pineapple jam and Wayward spirits made from BC honey.
I’m glad I tried kombucha because I had been seeing it everywhere and had no idea it was a fermented tea. As for the liqueur made from BC honey, I think that is going to make a fantastic hot apple cider when the weather is cooler.
One thing I didn’t consider before I went to the market was that I had recently got groceries and had very little room in my fridge for more. When you go to one of the Victoria farmers markets, be prepared for all the goodies you're going to bring home!
What impressed me about the Esquimalt farmers market was the variety and quality of the merchants. One vendor told me that this market is one of the best markets in the area and hard to get into.
The market has high standards, supporting local growers and producers with a make, bake or grow philosophy. The BC Association of Farmers’ Markets has been recognizing the Esquimalt farmer's market with awards practically since it's inception with prestigious titles such as Best Large Farmers’ Market and Best Market Manager.
A magnificent feat for an organization that has only been running since 2015!
On my very first visit to the market, I stopped by The Zone 91.3 booth to enter a ballot for an Esquimalt Farmers’ Market prize pack. To my absolute delight I was a winner and was presented with a gift of a burlap market bag, dinner and chocolate. Dinner was compliments of Farms Gate Foods + Catering where they loaded me up with one of everything on the menu, Chocolate and truffles came from Uncouth Chocolate.
All the food was pure delight to the taste buds. Be sure to give them a try if you see them at the market.
Finally, though, I met two artisans that stood out for me. Mixed Metal Mimi has a wonderful story of how she sources her raw materials from which she makes beautiful, unique jewellery pieces. I’m in love with nearly everything at her booth!
The other craftsperson is Melissa Labelle from wychbury ave. All of her work is special – natural, vegan and made by hand – but I have a passion for crochet and her work is beautiful. My favourite was the birthday banner. Who needs cheap plastic banners from the dollar store when such a great looking, reusable alternative exists.
Am I ever glad I’ve made the commitment to get out and explore Victoria farmers markets. Since my initial visit to the Esquimalt farmers market, I have been many times - always meeting wonderful new vendors with unique products to try. There's a reason this market get recognized with so many awards - get out and discover for yourself!
The first thing my 17-year old son said when we got to the Moss Street Market was “why haven’t we been here before?”. Good question. It seems to be a recurring theme each time we go to one of the many Victoria farmers markets.
One of the first things we noticed and appreciated about this market is the way the stalls are organized.
Down the one boulevard, we found a great assortment of fresh, locally-grown produce. Some of the greens and herbs had been picked that morning!
The selection increases and changes as the season matures.
Along the Thurlow Street boulevard we were surprised to find a local brewery, distillery and a cidery which ended up being fortuitous as we were able to pick up a selection of craft beers for my husband who celebrated his birthday just a few days after our visit.
From another vendor we sampled some tasty cheeses and bought some fresh curd. And then discovered some homemade strawberry-rhubarb jam (absolutely delicious!) and summer grilling relish (we've been back several times for more of both of these!)
Use this handy chart, courtesy of Capital Regional District (CRD) which will help you determine when fresh foods are typically available and you can plan your purchases. Remember to bring your re-usable bags when you visit the market.
In the middle of all the farmer stands was the artisan section featuring beautiful hand-made crafts, jewellery and clothing. We were especially attracted to the intricate pieces of copper jewellery and some pieces featuring parrot feathers. They were very cool.
Across from this vendor was a small information booth and the music area. Each week there is live entertainment featuring local musicians. We saw several people who knew exactly what to expect as they brought their own lawn chairs and were enjoying the performers while having lunch.
Speaking of lunch – the day we were there did not feature a lot of selection but there were 2 or 3 tents set up serving fresh, hot food. A couple people we ran into pointed out 2 more options in more traditional restaurants located across the street from the market on Fairfield Road.
The market is located on Moss Street at the corner of Fairfield Road and Moss at the Sir James Douglas school. The market runs on Saturdays and during the summer months, it is held outdoors in the school yard and on the surrounding boulevard from 10 am until 2 pm. From November through April, the market moves indoors and reduces their hours from 10 until noon.
Because the market is located on the grounds of an elementary school, there is playground equipment right onsite to entertain the little ones. Additionally, other amenities include accessible washrooms and an ATM machine.
The Moss Street Market has the right mix of food, entertainment, crafts and artisanal creations, making it an ideal Saturday morning destination.
Besides the fresh baking you’ll find at Victoria farmers markets, we also have some great bakeries to pick up delicious breads and rolls and decadent treats. Our local bakeries include these gems:
For foodies who want to try a variety of specialties, we recommend participating in one of the local food tours that are very popular.
Most of our outdoor summer markets also host a variety of local crafters and artisans in addition to the food, but sometimes you just want a craft market. Here are some of our favourites so far:
Did we miss one? If you know of Victoria farmers markets, craft markets or bakeries that we simply must try, please use the Contact Us form and tell us all about it.
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