|Michigan peppers at Eastern Market (Photo by David Landsel)|
You already know all about Michigan's number one industry, correct? Quickly now-- what's in the number two spot? Did you guess agriculture? Correct. Take away the factories, and we're freaking Vermont or Oregon with our farms and our jam and cheese and pickles and what have you. While Detroiters tend to think the entire universe revolves around Eastern Market, it's really just the beginning of the extensive market scene in Southeast Michigan. Here, five of our current favorites, plus a few others we've got our eye on.
#1 Eastern Market It's not just a farmers market -- its a neighborhood, it's a slice of (very tasty) history, it's one of the few things in the city of Detroit even the most suburban suburbanite loves to love. And now (well, through the fall, anyway) it'll be running Tuesdays, as well as Saturdays.
#2 Ann Arbor Farmers Market Strict as hell (producers only) and obsessed with quality, those seriously into sourcing / eating locally and such should make tracks for this Kerrytown happening, held Saturdays year-round and Wednesdays through December. A recently added summer evening market (Wednesdays from 4:30 through Sept. 28) is a must.
#3 Royal Oak Farmers Market Rain or shine, this historic enclosed market -- a sort of Eastern Market in miniature -- has been at it for more than 80 years. Best of all, they operate year-round (Saturdays), adding Fridays from May through Christmas.
#4 West Park Farmers Market Just steps across Alter Road from a comatose section of Detroit and you're in a slice of small town Americana so perfect, it ought to have its own Norman Rockwell painting. Find 20+ vendors at this Grosse Pointe Park affair, held on Saturdays through September.
#5 Birmingham Farmers Market This Sunday Downtown do (May 1-October 23, 9a-2p) is more like an excuse for everyone in Birmingham to come out and socialize -- this is easily the most snappily dressed group of market goers you'll find anywhere in the region, which makes for nice people watching. There's live music, kids area and stuff to eat; in the summer, it always seems like there's something else going on downtown at the same time.
Bubbling under: Farmington Farmers & Artisans Market, Northwest Detroit Farmers Market, Dearborn Farmers & Artisans Market, Mount Clemens Farmers Market, Plymouth Farmers Market, Oakland County Farmers Market (Waterford), Depot Town Farmers Market (Ypsi)