A Guide to Northern Virginia Farmers Markets

Josh Allman and Carrie Finn

A stroll through the farmers market with the family and a bag of fresh produce. Children holding chocolate croissants and parents sipping hot coffee — the ideal Sunday morning. Finding the perfect small-town farmers market in the Washington Metropolitan area is no easy feat. Amongst the abundance of choices, many do not fulfill the perfect Sunday morning criteria. 

Courthouse

Sprawling with millennials and long lines, the Courthouse Farmers Market is any parent’s worst nightmare. Small children are easily lost within the tightly packed tents, and the market is lacking a kid-friendly booth. Perhaps the main attraction of the market, a crepe vendor, might excite a young child, but only if they can make it through the lengthy line. For any parent who makes the trip without their family, the vegetables they hope to place on their children’s dinner plate are not easily acquired. A small amount of fresh produce is available, but only if it is pre-ordered.

Skinny jeans and side parts rule this farmers market. The coffee vendor and his beautiful bronze espresso machine make most of their profits off of millennials and their (gasp) dairy milk. Despite having to deal with his customers’ unfortunate taste in milk, the vendor is able to funnel rich coffee into the entire market’s mouths. 

Do not make the trek out to this market unless it is within walking distance of your home. Even if it is within walking distance, do not be over the age of 40 or under the age of 25. 

1400 N Courthouse Rd Arlington, VA 22201

Saturdays from 9am – 12pm

 

Falls Church

Upon entering the Falls Church Farmers Market, remember that animal farming is in fact farming. Coolers full of pork, chicken and beef welcome customers to a family-friendly market. Treats ranging from homemade pop tarts to a wide variety of apples are available for vegetarians. However, for our carnivorous readers, the meat, especially the sausages, is the star of this market. 

Parking is not a hassle, and the market is the perfect size for any family. Offering a wide selection of produce, baked goods and coffee, this market is an excellent place to shop for the week’s necessities. 

​​City Hall Parking Lot 300 Park Ave. Falls Church, VA 22046

Saturdays 8am – 12pm

 

Mosaic

The Mosaic Farmers Market has something for everyone, whether it be coffee, Thai crepes or Disney characters for hire. The market proved to be a combination of foodstuffs and trinkets. The first section was filled with everything from leather goods to ceramic pots, and after a long walk was the food. But the trek is worth the wait. Kimchi, oysters and barbeque as well as basic produce, meat and coffee could be found at the food tents. While a fun touch, the noise, crowds and eccentric color took away from the quaint feel a farmers market is intended to provide. 

2920 District Ave, Fairfax, VA 22031

Sundays 9am – 2pm

 

Columbia Pike

Situated on a small strip of grass between the busy road and a Walgreens parking lot, the Columbia Pike Farmers Market leaves much to be desired. The initial blow lies in its location. At the intersection of two heavy-traffic streets, the market gets lost in a crowded array of buildings and cars. Without any signage of its own, it is easy to miss and makes no effort to stand out. 

Once finally spotted, the mere total of six vendors would underwhelm any shopper. Surprisingly, these provide the basic variety expected at any market — coffee, baked goods and produce. The coffee, though, was lacking in quality. Cans of flavored cold brew are no match for a freshly ground and brewed cup of joe. On its small lot, the market provided little room for families to enjoy a Sunday morning excursion where the kids can roam while the parents shop around. 

In a suburban area, people look to farmers markets to be pockets of small-town America — a place to purchase your fresh produce away from the strip mall Harris Teeter. Columbia Pike does not provide this.

2820 Columbia Pike Market located in front of the Walgreens at Columbia Pike &, S Walter Reed Dr, Arlington, VA 22204

Sundays 9am – 1pm

 

Westover 

The Westover Farmers Market has an admirable balance. With an appropriate but not overwhelming variety, there are several vendors for produce, a few for meat and some for baked goods. The empanadas only come frozen, but the savory treat is worth the oven work. Despite the area’s crowded shops, ample street and lot spots make parking no problem. 

Its only downfalls: the coffee and the plastic. Greeted by a booth selling reusable bags for only one dollar, our hopes were high for the sustainability of the market, but these were quickly diminished when the brussel sprouts in a small wooden basket were dumped into a plastic grocery bag during sale. As for the coffee, there was none. Unacceptable. But several local coffee shops — Village Sweet and Trade Root’s — only a short walk away compensate for the market’s lack and make the trip worth it.

Westover Library Plaza, 1644 N McKinley Rd, Arlington, VA 22205

Sundays 9am – 1pm