If you’re visiting the town of Sonoma, don’t miss the opportunity to sample just-off-the-farm veggies and fruits, along with delicious locally-made products, at farmers markets and food stands.
Sonoma has two outstanding farmers markets:
The year-round Friday morning Sonoma Valley Certified Farmers Market is extremely popular with locals, and it’s a great place for visitors to put together a picnic for a day’s outing. Open since 1985, it offers certified fruits and veggies, locally-produced foods (including Vivo Vinegar, Capay Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Primavera Tamales and many more), baked goods, flowers and plants, and numerous hand-made craft items.
Open Fridays, 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
241 First St. W., Sonoma, 707-538-7023
Tuesday evening’s Valley of the Moon Certified Farmers’ Market, held on Sonoma’s historic 19th-century plaza, is incredibly popular with locals and visitors alike thanks to 60 superb vendors with outstanding produce, prepared foods, flowers, and crafts; a mouth-watering assortment of food trucks and vendors that allow you to choose an inexpensive dinner; and a changing weekly roster of live music that tackles everything from cool jazz to hot rap, with plenty of stops in between. Bring a blanket to spread your picnic and be prepared to dance.
Open Tuesdays (May-September), 5:30 p.m.-dusk.
Sonoma Plaza, 453 1st St. E., Sonoma
Other Produce and Artisanal Product Stands
Family-owned Vella Cheese Company has made hand-crafted, award-winning artisan cheeses since 1931 (the third and fourth generation of the Vella family now run the business). Vella Cheese has been recognized by Slow Food’s Ark of Taste, which celebrates a country’s diverse culinary heritage. All milk used in the cheeses comes from a local sustainably farmed dairy. Housed in a 1904 stone building, the factory and small retail shop are a short walk from Sonoma Plaza; you can buy small amounts of all cheeses produced by the company.
Open Mon-Friday, 9:30 a.m.-6 p.m.; Saturdays, 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m.. Closed Sundays and major holidays.
315 2nd St. E., Sonoma, 707-938-3232
Sonoma Garden Park, a project of the Sonoma Ecology Center, is a six-acre year-round community garden. Every Saturday during the market season (March-October), the garden holds a harvest market to sell its sustainably-raised produce, eggs, honey, flowers, nursery plants and more. While you’re there you can walk the on-site trails with their interactive educational displays, enjoy the butterfly garden and the fig forest, and explore the straw bale barn. There’s also a lively chicken coop that’s fun to watch.
Open Saturday (March-October), 9 a.m.-1 p.m.
19996 7th St. E., Sonoma, 707-996-4883
Written by Sonoma Insider Suzie Rodgriguez.