A day to browse, thrift, and try new food was an opportunity I could not deny myself. As someone new to Gainesville and a little self-conscious about eating alone, I’ve struggled to go out and try the amazing restaurant options the town has to offer. When I heard about the Florida Vintage Market, however, I shoved my worries aside, grabbed a friend, and took the bus down to see what it was all about.

Florida Vintage Market

The market brings together vendors, artists, and vintage enthusiasts in a bimonthly community event at Midpoint Park and Eatery on SW 2nd Avenue. Not only are they committed to promoting sustainable fashion, but they showcase local creatives and small business owners from right here in Gainesville. The food trucks at Midpoint perfectly fit the market's mission of community and sustainability by featuring a range of multicultural vegan and vegetarian options.

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From the moment we stepped into the park there was a warm and friendly buzz in the air. In the peak of the Sunday afternoon heat, the cool shady picnic benches were in high demand. The strawberry popsicles and the misting fans were also nice refreshers against the blazing sun.

As we navigated through stalls and clothing racks, Hope Tala’s funky soulful voice carried us along. People were shuffling, laughing, and haggling. In the maze there were colorful illustrations by an Argentinian artist in one tent and embroidered denim pieces in another; artisanal candles in one corner and a table of crystals and jewelry in the other.

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Fashion Meets Food Trucks

After scanning the menus, we started my food tour with a buffalo ranch mac and cheese bowl from Plantology. They specialize in vegan comfort food. The spicy kick from the buffalo sauce complemented their signature creamy cashew "cheeze". My friend had a Margherita pizza from the Mediterranean truck, Scuola Pizza, whose crust was bubbly and lightly charred. The couple at our table also had food from Scuola and they raved about how juicy and tender their hickory burgers were.

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From Zen Asian Street Eats, the krab sushi bowl had a tangy poké sauce that brought all the flavors together. The crunchy vegetables and sesame seeds atop the soft rice were the perfect texture combination. The pork belly bao bun (shown below) was as delicious as it looked. With a pillow-soft bun and succulent pork belly, I could have kicked myself for not getting it.

To say that we were stuffed would be an understatement. Despite that, I couldn’t help but run back to Scuola to grab a slice of baklava. I devoured it later that night with a hot cup of tea; something sweet to end a day well spent.

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This recap would not be complete if I didn’t mention the vendors, whose craft and collections were packed with variety. With over 60 vendors, the market is not short of richness and vibrancy. Jenny from Handmade by Jenny A has been a part of the market for three years and she raves about the positive energy of Florida Vintage Markets. She loves how the organization advertises the event and tries to get a good crowd. Her stall was full of adorable crochet plants and animals that she works on almost full-time. Having learned how to crochet from her grandmother, her work is a labor of love.

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Family-Friendly Fun

It truly felt like there was something for everyone. The kids played in the grass, and parents relaxed and mingled with each other – even the dogs looked happy, wagging their tails in the shade. If you are looking for a fun, family-friendly way to spend your Sunday, I encourage you to seek out a food market near you. Take your parents or your friends when they are in town. If you live in Gainesville, you don’t want to miss the next Florida Vintage Market on November 13th from 12:00 to 5:00 PM.