Farmers’ markets are the perfect place to interact with local vendors and discover fantastic products. They’re also perfect for Instagram-worthy weekend outings when all you really want to do is eat. Little Italy Mercato goes above and beyond. Every Saturday from 8 AM to 2 PM, W. Cedar Street in Downtown San Diego is bursting with vendors selling food items we didn’t even know existed.
Here are 8 things that will keep you coming back.
1. Divine local coffee
Do not go look for the nearest Starbucks before beginning your farmers’ market adventure. Bump Coffee and Joes on the Nose each have stands that serve up delicious coffee and espresso drinks. Head to Joes if you’re looking for something sweet, like their Aloha Latte with coconut whipped cream. If you’re in the mood for something bolder and darker, head to Bump to try out one of their signature roast blends.
2. Fresh produce
All farmers’ markets have locally grown produce, but the sheer variety at Little Italy Mercato ups the game. You can sample nearly anything, and you’re guaranteed to find something that surprises you.
3. Dogs everywhere
Dogs in strollers. Dogs in purses. Puppies bounding up to each food stand. So many dogs roam the Mercato each week that you’re sure to encounter some major cuteness.
4. Live music
Incredible live music of all varieties plays on every street corner of the market, adding to the festive atmosphere. You can discover great original music while discovering incredible food.
5. Vegan and gluten-free options
Even if you have dietary restrictions, you can still find your fill at the Mercato. From a gluten-free pastries vendor to a raw, vegan, gluten-free pie vendor, there is no shortage for foodies with restrictions.
6. Bitchin’ Sauce
This is something you need to try today. At Little Italy Mercato, Bitchin’ Sauce sets up a tent with chips and six of their amazing signature dips like Cilantro Chile, Pesto, and Original. Even if you fill up on samples, you’ll probably buy at least three tubs.
7. Hopkins Almonds
A local family business, Hopkins Almonds shares their incredible variety of flavored almonds and almond butter every weekend. With flavors ranging from Dry Roasted to Sweet Coconut to Mexican Chocolate, you’ll definitely find one you love.
8. Vonda Lee’s California Cheesecake in a Cup
The name says it all. Cheesecake in a Cup is another family business that offers market-goers the opportunity to sample and purchase incredible cheesecakes — in plastic cups. On top of providing a gluten-free option and the classic cheesecake, they serve up delicious flavors like Coffee Bean, Key Lime, and Chocolate Fudge.
There are plenty of things to fall in love with at Little Italy Mercato and there is certainly something for everyone. Come once, and you’ll be trying to find parking near W. Cedar Street every Saturday.