Whether you're after freshly-picked produce, locally-made cheeses or the finest meat, South Australia’s farmers’ markets redefine freshness.
Not only are these the best farmers' markets in South Australia, two were named in Australia's top 10 farmers' markets by Australian Traveller magazine – the Adelaide Showground Farmers' Market and Barossa Farmers Market.
Adelaide Showground Farmers' Market
The teeming throngs that pour into Adelaide Showground Farmers’ Market on Sundays from 9am-1pm include ambitious home cooks, teens craving something sweet from Chocoholics Synonymous and grandmothers seeking their preferred potatoes from The Food Forest for the Sunday roast.
Here, at the sprawling showground market, the largest of its kind in South Australia, customers have access to everything from homegrown produce to preserves, pastries, cheeses, meat and bread. Much of the fare is grown locally for the market, which offers everything from bags of organic lettuce leaves to just-picked heritage apples and produce pickled, smoked or processed nearby.
Adelaide Hills Farmers Market
Held on the main street of Mount Barker every Saturday from 8.30am-12.30pm, the Adelaide Hills Farmers Market was set up in 2010 to support local producers who specialise in authentic, regional, fresh and seasonal produce. Amid the selection of 25 stalls are quality purveyors such as Bald Hills Olive Grove, The Coffee Pedlar, Ashbourne Valley Orchards and Bull Creek Bakery.
It’s a great, well-run market that is big on seasonality. This market is very popular with the local community and is the grand dame of the Adelaide Hills farm-to-table scene because of the stunning range of produce available – from olive oil to ocean trout. Keep your eyes peeled for chefs conducting cooking demos.
Barossa Farmers Market
This lively market packs a lot of variety into the Vintners Sheds in leafy Angaston on Saturdays from 7.30am-11.30am. For the past decade, home cooks have embraced the Barossa Farmers Market as a one-stop shop for ingredients that are synonymous with the Barossa.
The market only showcases fresh produce and food that is sourced from homes and farms in the Barossa: think Italian pastries, small-batch cheeses, balsamico, squares of buttery fudge, charcuterie, oils, pickles, preserves and condiments. Also recommended are the expertly made tarts from Eleni’s Baked Goods, freshly baked sourdough from Mehl and Wiech’s Egg Noodles, handmade for more than 75 years using the same recipe. Reward yourself for getting up so early with a cheese-and-tomato toastie and brew from Barossa Coffee Roasters.
Mount Pleasant Farmers Market
From the moment it opens – Saturdays 8am-12pm – Mount Pleasant Farmers Market swarms with locals in the know who seem hell-bent on satisfying their current food fixation. This market showcases the who’s who in the vicinity including Udder Delights, Otherwood Orchards, The Berry Farm and Raj Taste of India.
As it's just a short drive from the Barossa, Adelaide Hills, Murraylands and Mt Pleasant, it's a popular pit stop for epicurean adventurers. After a restorative ristretto from The Coffee Pot, sample kalamata olives from Amberlane, Smartmouth gingerbread and Muntrie Magic, which celebrates the muntrie berries native to South Australia. Pick up smoked fish from Zimmermans, or a pumpkin and feta quiche from Apton Field for dinner.
Willunga Farmers Market
All the action of Willunga Farmers Market happens in the town square of this picturesque community, Saturdays from 8am-12.30pm. Nothing beats wading through trestle tables piled high with pyramids of fresh produce, such as garlic, avocados, grapes and figs and an astonishing array of apples. South Australia is heaven for fresh produce and this market, going strong since 2001, is one of the best.
Expect a cross-section of hip families from the hills, Adelaide day trippers and food tourists on a frenzy. Stock your picnic hamper with cheddar from Alexandrina Cheese Co, salad greens or a hearty soup from Herbivorous, chilli jam from Matchett Productions and a Flour Power French stick. Then after all that food, spread your blanket in the Willunga Rose Garden and take in the beautiful surrounds.